LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — For many households, August means preparing for the upcoming school year. Children are gearing up for new academic challenges and parents are facing challenges with their wallet.

The National Retail Federation says shoppers spent on average $688 in back-to-school shopping in 2012, but, they expect parents will spend about 8 percent less this year.

One way to spend less, is to get a break on sales tax.

Virginia shoppers will be treated to a tax free weekend on certain back-to-school supplies, starting Friday.

The full list of tax exempt items can be found here, but they do include calculators, school supplies less than $20 and footwear that costs less than $100.

The NRF also says that while this is the second-largest consumer spending season of the year, a good way to keep costs down is to comparison shop online.

An estimated 37 percent of parents will comparison shop online this year as opposed to 32 percent last year.

Virginia’s tax free weekend initiative runs from Friday, Aug. 2 through Sunday, Aug. 4.


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