HOUSTON - Texas' tax-free weekend begins this Friday. It's your chance to stock up on back to school supplies and clothes without paying sales tax.
Tax-free shopping means you'll save about eight cents for every dollar you spend on most items up to $100. It's not the kind of savings that creates a shopping frenzy, but it's the added discounts retailers give that usually make it worth it to brave the crowds and wait in long lines.
According to the National Retail Federation, the average family with kids in kindergarten through high school will spend about $669.28 getting ready to head back to school this year. If you shop this weekend, you'll shave $55.21 off that total just in tax savings.
"It just plain saves them money," said Walmart's Todd Manley.
As a regional manager for the big box retailer, Manley's hoping for crowds. But don't forget you can shop tax-free online too.
If you do want to venture out, think outside the box.
For basic polos and khakis, shop resale stores like Kid to Kid. Everything in the Galleria store is 15 percent off this weekend.
Lunchboxes and backpacks are tax-free and at the Disney store in the Galleria, your kids' favorite character lunch boxes are $10. Backpacks are $15.
If you're still looking for clothes, head to the Houston Premium Outlets. When you purchase a Gap, Lowe's or JC Penney gift card totaling $50 or more, you'll get a $10 Simon gift card for free at the information booth while supplies last. Then take that JC Penney gift card to a store where they're offering $10 back-to-school kids haircuts and kids' eyeglasses for $29.99 now through Sept. 6.
This is the 16th annual tax-free weekend in Texas. The state legislators who wrote the bill all those years ago are hoping they can increase the savings next year by making items up to $150 tax-free and adding computers to the list of tax-free items.
If you know of some great deals and ways to save on back to school gear, share them on Local 2 Consumer Expert Amy Davis' Facebook page.
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