This tax-free weekend is intended to help parents prepare their children for school, so you can avoid taxes on items like:
Backpacks and messenger bags
School supplies (notebooks, pencils, pens, etc.)
All qualifying items, however, must cost less than $100. This restriction applies to individual items
rather than your entire purchase. You can, therefore, purchase multiple pairs of pants that cost less than $100. You cannot, however, buy a pair of pants that costs $100 or more.
Keep in mind that Texas law specifically states that items must cost less than $100. If a pair of shoes costs $99.99, then it qualifies. If it costs $100, it does not.
Make a List Before You Shop
It's easy to forget essential purchases during long shopping trips. Making a list before you shop will help ensure you buy everything your children need. After all, if you don't buy it during the tax-free weekend, you will have to spend more money on it later.
You can make your list on a sheet of paper, but there are plenty of smartphone apps that can help you shop. Some of the best list-making apps include:
The basic versions of these apps are free, so you don't have to pay anything to use them.
Take Advantage of Coupons and Sales
The tax-free weekend can help you save about $8 for every $100 you spend, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take advantage of other savings opportunities, too. In previous years, many stores have offered coupons and sales to help parents save even more money. Some have even extended their hours to give shoppers more time. Check your local newspaper for more information about sales and extended hours at shops near you.
Use Layaways to Buy More
If spending hundreds of dollars on school supplies and clothing during one weekend will put too much stress on your budget, you can spread the expense out by using layaway offers. As long as you put the items on layaway during the tax-free weekend, you benefit from the savings.
Many families find that this is a more affordable option than using credit cards. Although you still get to avoid tax when you pay with a credit card, you run the risk of paying interest on your purchase. In most cases, the interest costs more than you can save by shopping during the tax-free weekend.
You Can Also Save With Rain Checks
August 5 through 7 is a busy weekend, so there's a chance that stores will run out of popular items. Just because the shelves are empty doesn't mean you have to pay tax at a later date. Avoid those taxes by asking the store to give you a rain check. You'll still get the benefits of a tax-free weekend even though you will pay for your purchase at a later date.
Compare Prices Before You Buy
Stores compete against each other during the tax-free weekend. Like any other time, though, some stores have lower prices than others. This makes it important for you to compare prices before you shop. That way, you can save even more money.
Getting kids ready for the school year is an expensive endeavor. This year, save as much money as possible by following these tax-free weekend tips.