Save your receipts for school supplies

Rachel Malarz, a tax preparer in Coon Rapids, reminds parents who are purchasing school supplies to save receipts for a Minnesota tax credit.

"Every tax season, I have clients who miss out on this potential tax savings because they had no knowledge of it and didn't keep receipts so they can claim it," she said.

Costs for paper, erasers, pens, markers, shop supplies, notebooks, home-ec supplies, art supplies, computer paper and nonreligious textbooks are allowed. Also allowed are expenses for tutoring, music lessons, instrument purchase or rental and driver's education.

A few items not included are fees for PSAT, SAT or ACT, travel expenses for overnight class trips, and fees for nonacademic programs including sports camps, lessons or equipment.

To get a copy of "Qualifying Home School Expenses for K-12 Education Subtraction and Credit," go to www.tinyurl.com/3Lmcbbj or call 651-296-3781.

Discounts on Ren Fest

Maybe the royals aren't looking for discounts when attending the Renaissance Festival, running weekends and Labor Day through Oct. 2. But plebians looking for a little jousting and hoisting can save $3 to $5 per ticket.

Save $5 Saturday through Monday if you bring five cans of food to donate.

Save $3 if you purchase tickets at participating SuperAmerica, Walgreens, Menards and Whole Foods stores. Subway locations offer a $3 off coupon with purchase that can be taken to the fair.

For more information about entertainment at the festival, call 952-445-7361 or go to www. renaissancefest.com.

Admission prices before discounts are $21 for adults, and $12 for ages 5 to 12.

$10 Internet service for low-income families

In 2010 Comcast was voted "worst company" in the United States by readers of the Consumerist. The company has taken a few steps since then to improve its reputation.

In mid-September, Comcast rolls out discounted broadband Internet service in the Twin Cities for $10 a month plus tax in homes that have at least one child receiving free lunches through the National School Lunch Program.

The company also is selling Acer or Dell notebook computers for $150 that support wired Internet and Wi-Fi and include Windows 7 Starter.

That's not a bad deal considering that 1.5 Mbps service level normally costs $27 to $40 per month, depending on bundling. Competitors that charge $5 to $10 per month offer dial-up service, which has significantly slower response time.

To request an application in English, call 1-855-846-8376, or call 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.

For more information go to www.internetessentials.com. To qualify, enrollees must live in a Comcast service area, have not subscribed to Comcast Internet service in the previous 90 days and not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment.

John Ewoldt • 612-673-7633 or jewoldt@startribune.com. If you spot a deal, share it at www.startribune.com/dealspotter.