Tips To Make The Most Of Your Back To School Shopping

Texomans will be out in full force this weekend taking advantage of the tax free holiday.

But, some aren't waiting to get school supplies, we found out many are hitting the stores early in an effort to avoid the crowds.

To help make the most of your back to school shopping experience Newschannel 6 Lindsey Rogers has some tips for all Texoma parents.

"Back to school over the past few days has been crazy. There's been a lot of people in here getting stuff early. I don't think many are waiting for tax free weekend," John Scroggins said.

"It's just so crazy during those shopping times so it's not that big of a deal. We just get it before," John Bunch said.

"I just don't want to be in the rush. For what we buy, it doesn't add up enough to me," Another Texoma parent said.

Scroggins is an assistant manager at Wal Mart, but he's also a father.

And he's not waiting to get his shopping done.

"We don't want to wait and get caught in the hustle and bustle. It's stressful, the lines are long and stuff is picked over. We just wanted to get it done early," he said.

Scroggins said the way things are going so far, if you wait for the sales, the supplies may be out of stock.

"It's going off shelves as fast as we put it on. We've scheduled people to come in early to get it on the shelf and as soon as we get it stocked it's gone within a matter of minutes," he said.

As things get down to the slim pickins, make sure you don't get stuck accidentally buying the wrong thing.

"Typically if it's not something that can be returned or exchanged especially if they're not with me, then we work it out another way," one parent said.

Monica Horton with the BBB said it's important shoppers are familiar with stores return and exchange policies.

"You need to be aware of these policies before you buy. There's not a set policy that stores must follow. Each store sets their own and if their policy is no refund or exchange there's nothing we can do at the BBB," Horton said.

Every year around this time Horton says a number of shoppers call the BBB with complaints.

"Exchange policies are not typically something consumers think about until it's a situation they're not happy with the policy," she said.

Even the experts working the store say the whole weekend can be a bit overwhelming.

"If you can't afford it, it's worth the wait, but if you have time and the money, I would get my stuff early," Scroggins said.

But even with all the madness, we found some have made a tradition out it.

"My daughter and I do that every year on tax free weekend," Amy Howard said.

The Texas tax-free weekend has been the third weekend of August since 2007.

The state legislature changed it from the first weekend of the month because public schools pushed back the first day of school.

This year, it starts Friday and includes clothes, shoes and a long list of school supplies priced under $100.

Lindsey Rogers, Newschannel 6

At a glance

  • The Texas sales-tax holiday begins Friday and ends Sunday.
  • The sales tax in El Paso is 8.25 percent, which means for every $100 spent, a shopper saves $8.25 on eligible items.
  • Learn more about the tax-free items at

    A look at the list of tax-free items
    School supplies
  • Binders
  • Book bags
  • Calculators
  • Cellophane tape
  • Blackboard chalk
  • Compasses
  • Composition books
  • Crayons
  • Erasers
  • Folders; expandable, pocket, plastic and manila
  • Glue, paste and paste sticks
  • Highlighters
  • Index cards
  • Index card boxes
  • Legal pads
  • Lunchboxes
  • Markers
  • Notebooks
  • Paper; loose-leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board and construction paper
  • Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Protractors
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Writing tablets
  • Baby clothes
  • Backpacks for use by elementary and secondary students
  • Belts with attached buckles
  • Boots -- cowboy, hiking
  • Caps, hats -- baseball, fishing, golf, knitted
  • Coats and wraps
  • Diapers -- adult and baby
  • Dresses
  • Gloves (generally)
  • Gym suits and uniforms
  • Hooded shirts and hooded sweatshirts
  • Hosiery
  • Jackets
  • Jeans
  • Jerseys -- baseball and football
  • Jogging apparel
  • Neckwear and ties
  • Pajamas
  • Pants and trousers
  • Raincoats and ponchos
  • Robes
  • Shirts
  • Shoes -- sandals, slippers, sneakers, tennis, walking
  • Socks (including athletic)
  • Shorts
  • Suits, slacks, and jackets
  • Sweatshirts
  • Sweatsuits
  • Sweaters
  • Swimsuits
  • Underclothes
  • Work clothes and uniforms
    Source: Texas comptroller