DALLAS - The sales tax holiday is underway this weekend across Texas.
Experts say inflation will drive more families to use sales and other deals to get needed supplies before the school year starts.
State law exempts sales tax on qualified items, such as clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks, priced below $100. That will save shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend.
As the bright colors of school supplies blanket area stores, the dim outlook on prices has people eager for any savings they can find.
"We’re trying out here, we’re trying," parent Reona Lawrence said.
Lawrence is a mother of three and was out Friday shopping for tax-free weekend deals.
"Trying to make ends meet and put food on the table and trying to buy high dollar supplies, backpacks, clothes, uniforms and all that. It’s hard it’s hard," she added.
A cashier scans school supplies for a customer at a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. location in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Thursday, August 6, 2015. Photographer: Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The National Retail Federation said, given inflation, sales events are expected to play an even bigger role for back to school shoppers.
Total spending is expected to meet last year’s record high, with 38% surveyed saying they’ll cut back in other areas to cover the cost of items needed for school.
"It really shows us the back to school and college is an essential for families and they will do what it takes to make sure students have what they need for the start of classes," said Katherine Cullen, with the National Retail Federation.
Financial experts said putting in a little extra work can go a long way toward saving money.
"I will tell you that you might want to think outside your box, your comfort zone, and maybe look at some other stores," said Cathy Dewitt Dunn, with Dewitt & Dunn Financial Services. "Go on to social media, Instagram, Facebook Live, to see if there's any coupons out there. Google, the store itself."
Dunn said sticking to a budget, and perhaps not taking your children shopping with you, might help too.
"If there's a way to maybe use your book bag from last year. Take a look at all of your old school supplies that your children brought home at the end of the school year. You might be able to recycle them, use some of them," she said. "And, you know, not everybody needs a new lunchbox or a new backpack, and we think that we do. So I also said maybe leave the kids at home and you go to buy all of their school supplies."