It pays to know A, B, Cs when back-to-school shopping

  • Published
  • By Staff Report
  • Army and Air Force Exchange Service
How do military families get their kids back to school without breaking the bank? It is elementary by following the Base Exchange's A, B, C's for a back-to-school savings.

A -- The Army and Air Force Exchange Service offers a valuable lesson in mathematics with tax-free shopping on clothes, school supplies and electronics. In fact, while numerous states have begun instituting "tax holidays," military shoppers are not subject to the restrictions and limited savings opportunities associated with these one-time offerings as tax-free shopping is available throughout the year at Base Exchanges around the world. Furthermore, AAFES facilities in the states with tax holidays, such as Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia, will match local sales tax percentage discounts during these time frames, by category, to offer an additional sales rate (equivalent to the local sales tax rate) to the already low AAFES prices.

For example, an exchange shopper buying clothing, school supplies, books or computer equipment at Maxwell Air Force Base during Alabama's tax holiday, Aug. 7-9, will see an additional discount of 10 percent on all qualifying items.

B -- Military shoppers can teach their children well by staying on budget with discounts on this year's "must have" fashions and supplies. These special buys will move to head of the class this week as a 24-page circular, chock full of discounted backpacks, clothes, bicycles and more, arrives at AAFES exchanges.

The lesson in smart shopping continues throughout August as shoes, school supplies and anything else a student may need to get back to school not only will be tax free, but discounted up to 30 percent.

"AAFES' buying staff has done its homework over the past year and we're ready to pass the savings lessons along to military Families," said AAFES's chief marketing officer Mat Dromey. "Even though we've crammed to deliver the best 'back-to-school' shopping experience possible, we're always prepared to match the lowest local price to ensure authorized shoppers receive the best value for their dollar."

Additional details concerning AAFES's"We'll Match It!" program, as well as links to upcoming "back-to-school" sales and specials are available at  

C -- Sure class is a reward in itself, but some extra incentive never hurts. Beyond being a destination for back-to-school shopping, Base Exchanges even offer an array of free and discounted products to students who excel in the classroom through its "You Made the Grade Program." The current "You Made the Grade" booklet includes valuable coupons and an entry form for a quarterly drawing in which three winners are randomly awarded savings bonds in $2,000, $3,000 or $5,000 denominations.

To receive the booklet, students simply present a valid military identification card and proof of an overall "B" or better average to their local Base Exchange. Students may receive one coupon package and enter the savings bond drawing for every qualifying report card. Military families can contact their local main store manager or general manager for more information.

While some people may say you cannot put a price on education, any authorized exchange shopper will tell you that saving money at the Base Exchange is as easy as A, B, C.