Save money on tax free weekend

HOUSTON Chances are you have not heard much about the sales tax holiday on energy efficient appliances this weekend. We spoke with people who didn't realize they could save close to $100 on appliances if they just waited a few days to buy.

Karen West is in the market for a new refrigerator.

She said, "I have been without for about six weeks and I am trying to find the best deal. I have been shopping around everywhere at all the stores."

But West nearly missed out on some extra savings. By waiting to get that refrigerator until this weekend, West can avoid paying sales tax as long as she buys an Energy Star rated appliance. Fortunately the fridge she likes qualifies.

B.J. Jackson can save money on a new dishwasher by waiting to make the purchase this weekend. Now that Jackson knows the appliance will be tax free starting Saturday, he plans to wait a few days before buying. Jackson can save close to $50 on the dishwasher because he was planning on getting an Energy Star rated version anyway.

"We are in a recession, and if you look at stats it shows that it reduces your light bill, so it is a no brainer," Jackson said.

The tax free weekend for Energy Star rated items starts Saturday and runs through Monday. Big ticket items are not the only thing eligible for the discount. Light bulbs and ceiling fans and even programmable thermostats are on the tax free list. Stores are also offering discounts on Energy Star appliances to increase the savings.

"It is a very significant amount of money," said Gi Gi Horner with Home Depot. "They can do it for their residence, non-residence, it can be a gift."

Keep in mind this is different from those rebates the state handed out a few weeks ago. You do not have to go online to get the discount. Just go to the store, buy something with an Energy Star rating, and you avoid paying sales tax.

It starts Saturday and runs all day Saturday, Sunday and Monday. You save the 8.25 percent sales tax at the time of the sale.

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