Have you had your TAX FREE Holiday weekend for your State yet? This means ALL clothing, computers, school supplies and more, can be purchased without paying taxes online and in-stores. I know many States are having theirs this upcoming weekend, including Florida and Missouri, where Cori and I live.
In fact in Missouri, we usually have two Tax Free Weekend events, which break into two different categories. One is limited to Energy Star products, or hurricane preparedness. While the other is a general sales tax holiday that takes place every August, to help parents save money on their kids’ back-to-school shopping needs. Energy Star and emergency planning tax free events tend to take place at different times throughout the year. In Missouri, the Energy Star tax free weekend takes place in April, around “spring cleaning” time.
As a parent and/or teacher you’ll want to plan ahead and take advantage of the tax free savings whenever possible! Just make sure that you’re not buying things you don’t really need, just because of the savings. Instead, make an actual list of what you need to buy, and shop around to make sure that shopping during your State’s tax free weekend is really going to result in the best deal for your purchases.
According to singleparents.about.com, the following 21 states are all ones that participate in these Tax Free Holidays.
Here is the 2012 Tax Free Weekend Schedule by State:
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- Washington D.C.
- West Virginia
If your state does not sponsor a tax free weekend, you should definitely consider driving to a nearby state that does. Alternatively, you can also contact your local state representative to request that he or she initiate sales tax holiday legislation for your area.
In addition, don’t make the mistake of buying anything you don’t need just because of the sales tax holiday. After all, the sales tax rate in Missouri, for example, is only 4.225%, so that’s the amount – plus any local sales tax, if applicable – that you would be saving by shopping during the tax free weekend. It’s entirely possible that you’ll find greater savings by shopping either before or after the actual sales tax holiday, so pay attention to sales circulars and advertisements for your favorite retailers. You can actually see our full back to school matchup list, by clicking here.
Keep in mind, as well, that NOT all cities and counties in your State (as listed above) participate in the annual or bi-annual tax free weekend event each year, so you’ll need to check with your local government to find out whether you can expect the sales tax savings in the area where you live. Many States go above and beyond to advertise for them, since it does bring a lot of money to National stores.
As a frugal shopper, you’ve learned by necessity how to make the most of every dollar, and back-to-school shopping is no exception. Take full advantage of your state’s tax free weekend (or week) by applying the following tips:
1. Plan Ahead
Plan major purchases around your State’s tax free weekend event. For example, if your State allows you to purchase school supplies, clothing, and shoes tax-free during the first weekend of August each year, use that time to purchase not just what you need right then, but what your children will need over the next several months. This is something that I always do with school supplies, so we don’t have to pay full price a few months down the road!
In Missouri, these are this weekend’s TAX FREE items:
- Clothing under $100
- School supplies under $50
- Computer software under $350
- Computers/computer equipment under $3,500
2. Compare Prices
Use the sales circulars in your Sunday paper (there were quite a few this past weekend!!) to compare prices on the items you wish to buy. In addition, visit the web sites of several stores where you usually shop. For example, if you tend to buy your kids’ jeans at Old Navy or Gymboree, visit their web sites during tax free week to find out which store is offering the better deal. Do the same for items such as school supplies, computers, and even sneakers. Remember to check back here, at Cori’s Coupon Corner to find all the great Back To School Deals.
3. Use Coupons to Take Advantage of Special Deals
Some States will not allow consumers to use coupons during a sales tax holiday. Visit your State’s tax free weekend event web page (see links above) to learn about the rules that apply in your area. Even if coupons are not permitted, though, pay attention to your local stores’ advertisements for “Early Bird” shopping hours and special deals that can add to your savings during tax free weekend.
I hope these tips are able to save you time, money, and your sanity while shopping during your Tax Free Weekend in your State! Happy Savings!!
Post published by Melissa Roach, team member at Cori’s Coupon Corner.
Melissa is a Full Time Mom & Blogger HERE (please check out her blog!)
Thank you to SingleParents.About.com for such great information!