You can save a little cash on your South Carolina purchases Aug. 5-7 thanks to a statewide sales tax holiday. But with a little extra planning, you can save even more ways when you shop in South Carolina stores or online. These savvy shopping tips can help you score the most savings and some added benefits.

Time your big purchases

Before any big purchase, spend time researching the product and retailers to find potential upcoming coming sales or promotions. Also, be conscious of the calendar, holidays and gift-giving events that might prompt special offers on an item you want. Another smart strategy: shopping end-of-season sales when items are marked down to make way for new inventory.

Use digital shopping tools

You may be wary of signing up for promotional emails but remember — it’s only junk mail if it isn’t useful. Putting your name on mailing lists of your favorite retailers and brands is a good way to get early or exclusive access to special offers. Downloadable browser extensions and plug-ins are other cost-saving tools that are increasingly popular. When you’re shopping with one or more of these tools installed, your browser automatically checks for coupons or price comparisons that allow you to get the best available deal.

Shop refurbished

Whether it be for savings or sustainability, refurbished products are a top choice among savvy shoppers. These options often deliver quality, like-new products at deep discounts from premium brands that are vetted to meet high performance standards. You can shop across multiple condition grades and a wide range of price points within categories like tablets, smartwatches, laptops, desktops and smartphones — giving you more choice and the reassurance of buying a product that fits your specific needs and budget. Score savings, for example, on trusted refurbished products at

Save on shipping

When you’re researching an online purchase and comparing prices, be sure to factor shipping into your total cost. Many retailers offer free shipping once you spend a certain amount, extend free shipping to preferred shoppers or offer periodic shipping promotions. Also beware that buying items on sale can drop you below free shipping minimums, so ultimately you pay more than you would have by paying full price. In some cases, you can also save money by having an item shipped to the local brick-and-mortar store and picking it up there.

Take advantage of warranties

Understanding the terms of your purchase can help protect you if there’s a problem and may even allow you to take advantage of special rewards. Before finalizing a transaction, check into warranty options. Even refurbished products can come with warranties for a specified time. For new items, some retailers offer the option to extend your warranty beyond what the manufacturer provides. In addition, some retailers offer money-back incentives on certain purchases or allow you to accumulate rewards for discounts on future purchases.

Family Features contributed to this story.

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