Plan now for tax-free weekend

August 11, 2009 4:17:35 PM PDT
The tax free weekend can be tough, you have to fight the crowds, shelves go bare, it can be a real head ache, but if you plan now, you may be able to take advantage of the savings without the hassles.Clearly this is not tax free weekend and it is the lack of a crowd at this store that has Michelle Leppard browsing the aisles for back to school clothes. Leppard says she'd rather spend a bit more than shop tax free.

"There is no place to park, there are people all over the place, and you can't try anything on. The kids are a mess because there are just too many people," said Leppard.

Those are the same reasons Lisa Haynes is avoiding tax free weekend. However, both shoppers could still get the tax free savings by taking advantage of layaway. Stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall's offer layaway and as long as back to school shoppers pay for their items in full on the tax free weekend, they save 8.25 percent. It turns out most shoppers we spoke with did not know about that option.

"I bet you there are a lot of people who are not aware of that and could stay away from the crowds and then come pick it up that day," said Haynes.

Another thing to remember when it comes to the tax free weekend is price matching. Tou may be able to do all your back to school shopping at a small number of stores by taking advantage of price matching.

"Wal-mart price matches, Target price matches, as far as school supplies they will also price match on clothes if it is the exact same item, so anywhere you price match, it has to be brand for brand, it has to be the exact same item," said ABC 13 Super Saver Erin Libranda.

If you plan to price match, Libranda says you have to do your homework.

"Most stores that price match will only price match a current ad, so if it is last week's ad you are out of luck. You have a whole week from the time the ad breaks on Sunday to get your game plan down to figure out what store is the best and bring the ads to that store," said Libranda.

The tax free weekend is August 21, 22 and 23. You can save $8 off every $100 you spend, but as we have seen in the last few years, stores offer special deals on top of the tax free savings.

Not everything is tax free that weekend. Most back to school items are tax free. This year, school supplies are included on the tax free list with pencils, paper, and notebooks all included this year for the first time.

Click here for the full list of eligible items.

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