Store workers say Texas' sales tax holiday is like Christmas in August -- complete with long lines and big crowds.
In addition to the usual clothing, footwear and some backpacks, the sales tax holiday this year also exempts most school supplies. Items must cost less than $100 each to qualify.
Shoppers recommend setting an alarm clock.
"Get in there early, because the lines are so long," said Santoya Powell, a soon-to-be college freshman.
"I try to get there early so I can beat the crowds, because I'm not a crowd person," said Christine Wilson, mother of a college freshman.
Some stores are extending their hours, but some shoppers have found their own way to extend the shopping period. Malaika Brown, a mother of two is scouring store ads so she can plan ahead.
"They're growing like crazy, so the clothes are expensive," she said. "It seems like I buy clothes every month."
Powell also planned ahead -- by putting items on layaway for the weekend.
But one mother of three will avoid the crowds altogether. Monica Williams bought her children's school supplies after the end of last school year.
"That way you can get a lot of good bargains then, because they're trying to get rid of all their overload," she said.
The tax-free holiday runs Friday through Sunday.
It used be held during the first weekend of August, but state legislators moved it to the third weekend several years ago because of complaints that it fell during family vacations.
Check out our special Back to School Edition of Want This for ideas on some of the best things to buy for the school year.