When you’re discussing your favorite holidays, you might end up with a pretty long list. No matter the reason for the season, chances are you’ve made some unforgettable memories with your family year after year.

Here at CollegeCounts, we like to shine a spotlight on one of the more underrated holidays in our state: Alabama’s Back to School Sales Tax Holiday!

For three whole days (July 19-21), shoppers have the ability to purchase certain school supplies, computers, and clothing free of state sales tax. It’s the perfect time to stock up on back-to-school clothes and supplies for your kids’ upcoming academic year. And if you ask us, it’s also the perfect time to start thinking about saving for college by opening or contributing to a CollegeCounts 529 account.

Yes, it’s tempting to splurge on something nice for yourself with all that cash you’ll save due to the sales tax holiday, but those dollars would also make a perfect contribution to a new or existing CollegeCounts 529 account for your children, grandchildren, or nieces and nephews.

And speaking of school supplies, if you’re getting ready to send a student off to college, you should know that your 529 funds can be used for more than just tuition. Qualified expenses include books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment, as well as computers and more. Room and board expenses are also included as long as the student is enrolled at least half-time.

You may be thinking, “That sounds nice and all, but college is a long way away.” Sure, your children may be several years from their cap and gown, but if they’re old enough to need back-to-school supplies, they’re old enough to have a college savings account. In fact, the earlier you start saving, the more you can potentially earn—even if you’re starting small.

Already have a CollegeCounts 529 account for your children? This is a great time to add a little extra to your regular contributions. Want to contribute to a CollegeCounts 529 account where you’re not the account owner? You can always make a gift for the special students in your life.

So when you’re thinking ahead to August during the Alabama Back to School Sales Tax Holiday, start thinking way ahead and open (or contribute to) a CollegeCounts 529 account for your children. Pretty soon, they’ll be buying their own back-to-school supplies—and they can use every dollar they can get.