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Tax-Free Tips: How teachers stock up on the holiday

Teachers often take advantage of the tax-free weekend to stock up on necessities for their classrooms, but not everything they need is tax-exempt.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tax-free weekend is great for students to stock up for back to school, but it's huge for teachers too.

Denna Stroud, a second grade teacher at New Market Elementary, and Caitlin White, a fourth grade teacher at Talbott Elementary, are a mother/daughter teacher duo who say tax-free weekend is like Christmas, but they still feel the pain in their own pockets.

"Yes," White laughed. "Christmas in July." 

"We're always looking for discounts and sales or whatever, so of course the tax-free weekend helps out," Stroud echoed.

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Like most teachers, Stroud and White dip into their own pockets to get school supplies.

"Yeah, it's kind of like buying for your own child except she was much more expensive," Stroud said as she motioned toward her daughter.

Some things they stock up on are just a few bucks.

"For me, it is definitely crayons, glue and scissors," White explained. "I don't know if they eat those things or what, but they are gone always."

So what do teachers, especially elementary ones, say they spend the most money on every year?

"Oh that's very easy," Stroud affirmed. "The decorations. I mean you want your kids to come to school and be excited."

The School Box school supply store in Knoxville always sees an influx of teacher shoppers on tax-free weekend.

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"We just try and make sure the shelves are full," store manager Bobby Jones said. "We have everything ready on backup."

But there are some things even a school supply store isn't able to sell tax-free on that yearly holiday weekend.

RELATED: Mark your calendars! Shop tax-free in Tennessee on many items this weekend!

"A lot of the bulletin board sets, the trimmers they use, work books they use in their classrooms do not fall under the tax-free items," Jones explained.

Stroud and White agree decorations, cleaning products, and books are items they wish they could skip paying the tax on, but say other groups invest in education too.

"We're very lucky here because we have a lot of people in the community, parents, organizations and churches who also look forward to tax-free weekend to stock up and then to donate to us," Stroud said.

The School Box explained schools are also able to set up accounts with them, so teachers are able to shop tax-exempt all year round through the school account.

Tax-free weekend is also a great time for people to shop for those supplies and donate them to schools and nonprofits for students and families in need.

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