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Texas tax-free weekend: 5 things you need to know before shopping

Texans are expected to save $90.3 million during this year’s back-to-school tax-free weekend, according to the state comptroller’s office.

From Friday through Sunday, shoppers won’t pay state or local sales tax on most clothing and school supplies. In most Texas communities, that works out to a savings of 8.25 cents for each dollar spent.

In addition to not having to pay taxes, many retailers are holding sales this weekend, increasing the potential savings for cost-conscious parents – and students shopping for themselves.

“As Texas families begin the process of replacing their beach bags with book bags, Texas’ sales tax holiday is the perfect opportunity to save some money on the supplies families need before the school bell rings,” state Comptroller Glenn Hegar said in a written statement. “As a dad to three young children, I know how these expenses can add up.”

Before you hit the stores, here are five things you need to know:

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What you’ll spend. The National Retail Federation estimates the average family with children in elementary through high school will spend $684.79 on back-to-school necessities this year, while college students (or their parents) will spend, on average, $942.17. Both figures are down slightly from last year. Combined, the National Retail Federation says spending will reach $82.8 billion.

Not everything is included. Only eligible school supplies and clothing priced at under $100 each are tax free. (See a full list at texastaxholiday.org.) You’ll still pay taxes on big-ticket items such as computers.

Extended hours. Most Central Texas shopping centers, as well as standalone big-box retailers such as Kohl’s, are adjusting their hours this weekend.

Barton Creek Square

• Friday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• Sunday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Lakeline Mall

• Friday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• Sunday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Domain

• Friday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• Saturday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• Sunday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Tanger Outlets San Marcos

• Friday: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• Saturday: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

San Marcos Premium Outlets

• Friday: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• Saturday: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Round Rock Premium Outlets

• Friday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• Sunday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Shop early, shop late. Take advantage of those extended hours to avoid the crowds. Midday is the busiest time, retailers say, so plan on going first thing in the morning or late at night if you want some breathing room.

Head online. The tax holiday, which got its start in 1999, isn’t limited to brick-and-mortar shops. Online retailers shouldn’t be collecting sales tax on eligible items this weekend, either, according to the state.

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