Central Florida’s back-to-school sales tax-free weekend kicks off on Monday, July 25, but due to decades-high inflation, parents are facing much higher prices than in years past.

According to Deloitte’s 2022 back-to-school survey, parents plan to spend $661 per child, on average, for back-to-school shopping this year, up 8% from 2021 and 27% from 2019. With back-to-school shopping being the second largest spending event for parents, behind holiday expenditures, the survey also found that nearly three in five parents are concerned about the inflated BTS costs.

As many families continue to grapple with the financial effects of the pandemic and face increased costs of other living expenses, Goodwill is offering parents some relief. With more than 30 retail stores across our six-county area, the nonprofit serves as an affordable BTS shopping option. While items are not guaranteed to be in stock, Goodwill is an excellent starting point for clothes, shoes, backpacks, supplies and more – all priced at an average of 30% below big box retailers.

The Deloitte study also showed that BTS shoppers are looking to shop more sustainably this year – a trend that Goodwill is well ahead of. Sustainability is one of Goodwill’s founding principles, as the nonprofit promotes thrifting, reusing, donating and upcycling to reduce one’s environmental impact. In 2021, local Goodwills diverted nearly 19 billion pounds of usable goods from landfills. And if you have clothes, shoes or other potential items that could be used for back-to-school, you can drop those off at Goodwill. There are 30 retail stores that accept donations as well as 20 Donation Xpress sites across Orange, Osceola, Lake, Brevard, Volusia and Seminole counties. To find the nearest Goodwill to you, visit www.GoodwillCFL.org.