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Getting the Most Out of Tax-Free Weekend

As the back-to-school season approaches, parents must find ways to save on school supplies, clothing, and other necessities. At TDECU, we understand the importance of stretching your budget while preparing our children for the new year. In this blog, we provide practical tips to help you make the most of the tax-free weekend, enabling you to save money and make back-to-school shopping a more budget-friendly experience.

Getting the Most Out of Tax-Free Weekend

This tax-free weekend is intended to help parents prepare their children for school so that you can avoid taxes on items like:

  • Shoes

  • Clothing

  • 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 states explicitly 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.

1. Understand Tax-Free Weekend Dates and Eligible Items

The first step to maximizing your savings is to be well-informed about the tax-free weekend dates and the specific items that qualify for tax exemption. Research and familiarize yourself with your state's tax laws and regulations regarding back-to-school shopping. Make a list of eligible items, such as school supplies, clothing, footwear, backpacks, and computers, ensuring that you focus your shopping efforts on these qualifying products.

2. Plan Ahead and Create a Shopping List

Before heading out to shop, create a comprehensive shopping list based on your children's needs for the upcoming school year. Take inventory of what they already have, and prioritize the items they require. Planning ahead and having a clear shopping list will help you stay focused, avoid unnecessary purchases, and make the most of your time during the tax-free weekend.

3. Compare Prices and Look for Discounts

Even during tax-free weekends, comparing prices and seeking discounts to maximize your savings is essential. Research prices at different retailers, both online and in-store. Look for special promotions, coupons, and deals that can further reduce the cost of your purchases. Take advantage of price-matching policies if available, ensuring you get the best possible price on the items you need.

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.

4. Shop Early to Avoid Crowds

Tax-free weekends often attract many shoppers, leading to crowded stores, longer checkout lines, and the potential for items to sell out. Consider shopping early during the tax-free weekend to make your shopping experience more efficient. Arriving early in the day can help you beat the crowds, find the items you need more easily, and save time. Additionally, some retailers may offer special early bird discounts or incentives. Tax-free weekend 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 will still get the benefits of a tax-free weekend even though you will pay for your purchase later.

5. Maximize Online Shopping Opportunities

In addition to brick-and-mortar stores, explore online shopping options during tax-free weekends. Many online retailers participate in these events, offering tax exemptions on eligible items. Take advantage of the convenience of online shopping and compare prices across different websites. Look for free shipping options or promotions that can further enhance your savings.

6. Take Advantage of Bundle Deals

During tax-free weekends, retailers often offer bundle deals or packages that combine multiple items at a discounted price. Look for these bundle deals, especially for school supplies or clothing sets, as they can provide additional savings. Evaluate the bundle's contents and consider whether the items align with your children's needs to ensure you get the best value for your money.

7. Teach Your Children About Budgeting

Back-to-school shopping presents an excellent opportunity to teach your children about budgeting and wise spending. Involve them by discussing the importance of making thoughtful choices and prioritizing needs over wants. Set a budget for each child and encourage them to stick to it. By instilling these financial lessons early on, you empower your children to become savvy shoppers and develop responsible money management skills for the future.

8. Check for Additional Savings Opportunities

In addition to the tax savings during tax-free weekends, check for additional savings opportunities. Some retailers may offer loyalty programs, student discounts, or special promotions during the back-to-school season. Sign up for newsletters or follow retailers' social media accounts to stay updated on these additional savings opportunities and maximize your overall savings.

9. Keep Receipts and Track Expenses

After making your purchases, keeping receipts and tracking your expenses is essential. This practice will help you stay within your budget and serve as a reference for future shopping needs. Additionally, keeping receipts enables you to take advantage of price adjustments or return items if necessary. Organize your receipts and create a system that works best for you, whether using digital apps or maintaining physical copies.

10. Evaluate and Plan for Future Needs

Once the tax-free weekend is over, take some time to evaluate your purchases and plan for future needs. Assess what items you still require and watch for sales or clearance events throughout the year. By planning ahead and taking advantage of sales opportunities, you can avoid last-minute rushes and make back-to-school shopping a more budget-friendly experience year-round.


Tax-free weekends offer a valuable opportunity to save money on back-to-school shopping. You can make the most of this cost-saving opportunity by understanding the dates and eligible items and implementing the tips in this guide. Maximize your savings, teach your children about responsible spending, and confidently start the new school year knowing that you have effectively managed your back-to-school expenses.

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.