HOUSTON - The rush is on to stock up on school supplies as the tax-free weekend is underway. You may not find everything you need, and some items will cost you more.
Parents are expected to spend $58 more per student on school supplies this year due to inflation. That's a 12% increase over last year, according to the National Retail Federation.
Clothes, shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes, and school supplies under $100 are tax-free this weekend. Here's the complete list. It doesn't have to be kids' clothes. Baby clothes, diapers, and adult clothes are all tax-free.
The hottest shoes and backpacks are often hard to find, but you might struggle to find a few things due to COVID shortages, such as clothing, kids' shoes, backpacks, sports gear, laptops, tablets, and stationery. Remember you can still shop tax-free online, just buy them before the weekend ends.
Budgets are tight for many families this year. Here are ways to save:
- Do a supply sweep through your home and reuse what you already have.
- Arrange a supply swap with classmates who can trade extras.
- Check garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops for backpacks, shoes, and clothes.
- Don't overlook discount or dollar stores.
- Use money-saving apps like Rakuten or ShopSavvy, or shopping browser extensions like Capital One.
- Follow stores on Twitter and Facebook for coupons and sales, and check circulars.
- Buy refurbished electronics from stores that sell them, or places like Goodwill Computer Works.
- And limit kids to only one extra purchase. Use this as an opportunity to teach them about budgets.
Shortages are expected to last through the school year, so stock up for next semester, too.
The Tax-Free Weekend ends Sunday, August 8.