Sales Tax Holiday Weekend Set for Aug. 7-9

The Texas annual sales tax holiday has been set for Aug. 7-9 just in time for families sending children back to school.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said shoppers can save money on certain items priced under $100 during the tax-free holiday weekend.

"As the father of three young children, I know back-to-school expenses can really put a strain on family budgets this time of year," Hegar said. "This is an opportunity for families to save some money and prepare for the start of the school year."

The state law exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100 from sales tax. That adds up to about $8 on every $100 spent during the tax-break weekend.

Sales tax must still be paid on some items, such as luggage, computer bags, purses, wallets and watches.

Hegar estimates shoppers will save nearly $87 million in state and local sales taxes during the Texas tax break weekend that's been an annual event since 1999.

The National Retail Federation estimates the average family will spend about $630 on electronics, clothes and other back-to-school needs.

Tiffany Treese is a mom of three who tries to save money but admits she has precious little time to comparison shop.

"You search around online. You see ads," said Treese. "You try to do the right thing as far as saving a buck, but it's so stressful trying to do it."

We figured many of you were in the same situation, so we enlisted Dian Farmer, a coupon blogger at Grocery Shop for Free. Her daily mission is to find the best deals. Farmer found decent deals at three different stores, including offers on pens and pencils at Dollar General.

"Their kids' scissors are $1. Buy one get one free, so they're 50 cents each," said Farmer.

And Farmer points out that if customers buy $20 worth of supplies, the store will give you $5 back.

The coupon is on Dollar General's website.

Farmer found more deals at Walmart, pointing out that 10-packs of Bic pens are, with a coupon, 47 cents.

The coupon for the pens is found in the Smart Source coupon insert found in the Sunday paper published on Aug. 2, 2015. A coupon in that same insert also gets you folders for 47 cents at Walmart.

With a coupon from the same paper, customers can buy Bic mechanical pencils at Target for 49 cents with a coupon and Crayola 10-count markers for 97 cents without a coupon. If you spend $25 dollars, Target will give you a $5 gift card.

If you don't want to drive around to several stores, Walmart will ad-match its competitors. Target does the same but won't honor competitors' coupons.

f you're shopping for clothes, Old Navy is offering $10 "Super Cash" when you spend $25. Super Cash can be used on future purchases during a designated period. Old Navy also has uniform polo shirts on sale starting at $5 and khakis starting at $10.

Kohl's will take $10 off a purchase of $30 of kids' clothes and shoes, accessories and handbags. Boys jeans there are starting at $9.99.

To maximize your savings, Farmer recommends apps that offer to pay you back when you buy certain products. Ibotta, Checkout 51, Hip2Save and Shopmium are among Farmer's recommended apps.

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