Mari's Moments

How to maximize your savings on Texas sales tax holiday

Parents can take advantage of the state’s tax-free weekend, which runs August 5 through August 7.
Parents can take advantage of the state’s tax-free weekend, which runs August 5 through August 7. Star-Telegram archives

Believe it or not that first bell for your school-age children is just a few weeks away, and it’s not too early to plan your shopping spree for back-to-school supplies.

Families with children in grades K-12 are expected to spend an average of $673.57 on back-to-school supplies this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

That's why many parents take advantage of the state's Sales Tax Holiday, which runs Friday, Aug. 5, through Sunday, Aug. 7. Shoppers can get tax exemption for most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100. This means parents can save about $8 for every $100 spent.

All sales of qualifying items made during the holiday period qualify for the exemption, including items sold online, or by telephone or mail.

Say you spent $700 during the Texas sales tax holiday, that means you would save about $56. This doesn’t seem like much but if you follow some of the tips below, you could see considerable savings for your family.

Here are some tips to maximize your tax-free weekend savings:

1. Collect and use coupons

Many retailers are enticing shoppers with extra discounts during the weekend. Stores such as Kohl’s, JC Penney and Bed, Bath & Beyond will honor store coupons during the tax-free holiday, which could mean big savings for you.

2. Target big-ticket items under $100

Buy backpacks, winter coats or a nice pair of dress shoes. Also, think about items that rarely go on sale: school uniforms, diapers or work uniforms.

3. Shop online

Skip the crowds and get the same discounts with online retailers. Don't forget to apply any coupon codes to your order.

4. Place or complete your layaway order

If you place your qualifying tax-free items on layaway or make the final payment during the tax-free weekend, your items will be tax exempt.

5. Don't buy items that are NOT exempt

Check out the full list of what items are tax-free at the Texas Comptroller site:

View this video for more tips

Got any tips for shopping on the Sales Tax Holiday? Comment below.

Maricar Estrella: 817-390-7720, @maricare

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