EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Did you know the primary source of stress for this back-t-school season is the rising price of products?

A recent RetailMeNot survey revealed that a main common concern among consumers is the budget pressures from a year of inflation affecting shoppers.

Many people across Texas take advantage and save on school supplies and clothes by shopping during the tax-free weekend taking place Aug. 11-13. With that in mind, RetailMeNot’s savings experts compiled a list of savings and shopping tips to make the most of this weekend.

Here’s everything you need to know about the tax-free weekend:

What’s tax-free?

  • Footwear priced under $100: Boat shoes, cross trainers, dress shoes, hiking boots, cowboy boots, flip-flops, jellies, running sneakers, safety shoes, sandals, slippers, tennis shoes and walking shoes.
  • Clothing priced under $100: Jackets, jeans, dresses, jogging apparel, baby clothes, hunting and fishing vests, blouses, shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, tennis clothes, trousers, underclothes, pajamas, golf clothes, scout uniforms, workout clothes and raincoats.
  • Accessories priced under $100: Baseball hats, rain hats, bow ties, neckties, children’s backpacks, belts, leather gloves, winter hats, scarves, shawls and wraps.
  • School supplies priced under $100: Binders, chalk, book bags, calculators, cellophane tape, compasses, composition books, crayons, erasers, folders, glue, highlighters, index cards, school supply kits, legal pads, lunch boxes, markers, notebooks, paper, pencil boxes, pencil sharpeners, pencils, pens, protractors, rulers, scissors and writing tablets.
  • Face masks priced under $100: Cloth and disposable fabric face masks. 

What is NOT included:

  • Accessories: Hair accessories, jewelry, purses, handbags, gym bags, wallets, watches, garden gloves and protective masks like N95. 
  • Sporting clothing and gear: Baseball pants, football pants, helmets, hockey gloves, shoulder pads, ski suits, life jackets, pads, chest protectors, water ski vests, wet and dry suits.
  • Sports footwear: Baseball cleats, soccer cleats, tap dance, water sport products, skates, ski boots, bowling shoes, cleated climbing shoes, fishing waders and galoshes.

FAQ answered by RetailMeNot’s shopping experts:

Can you shop Texas’ tax-free weekend online?
Yes, you can shop Texas’ tax-free weekend online as long as what you buy is officially purchased and the payment is processed within three days from 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 11 until 11:59 p.m. on August 13. Specifically, your order has to have been processed and charged within the timeframe, but it doesn’t mean you have to receive the items before the end of the tax-free weekend. 

Watch out for shipping and handling fees on online purchases.
For online purchases, the charge for shipping and handling is added on to the item and considered part of the overall item price. So even if your jacket was $95, the extra $7 shipping and handling fee would make the jacket $102, which would mean it no longer qualifies as tax-free since it’s over $100. 

Can you use layaway during Texas tax-free weekend?
Yes, you can save on layaway items during Texas tax-free weekend. If, during the weekend, you make the final payment on an item already on layaway or choose an item and place it on layaway these payments will be tax-free.

Are coupons allowed during Texas tax-free weekend?
Yes, coupons are allowed during Texas tax-free weekend, although as with any coupon be sure to read the fine print. Also, expect lots of sales as Texas retailers and Texas online merchants compete to attract your business. Check out Target and Walmart for some of the best back-to-school coupon offers.

Can you return or exchange items during Texas tax-free weekend?
Yes, you can still return or exchange items during Texas tax-free holidays, but make sure to have your original receipt. If you want full reimbursement for items purchased before tax-free holidays, you’ll need to prove with documentation that the tax was paid with a valid receipt. For exchanges, if it’s the same item (different size, different color) no tax will be due. However, if you exchange an item after the tax holiday for a different item, the new item is subject to sales tax.

If I was charged tax during the tax holiday, can I request a refund of the tax paid?
Yes, if the items you purchased qualify as exempt during a tax-free weekend you will qualify for a refund of the tax paid. Your refund can be either directly from the seller or the seller may give you Form 00-985 and ask you to file for your refund with the Texas Comptroller’s office.