Living in Missouri definitely has its perks…unpredictable weather all year round, people who are very down to earth and friendly, and then of course there is the bi-annual Tax Free Weekend!
There are several different types of tax free weekend events in the U.S. Some apply to general merchandise, while others are limited to Energy Star products or hurricane preparedness. Most general sales tax holidays take place during 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.
Wendy (the founder of Frugal Fabulous Finds) wrote THIS POST explaining why she NEVER shops Tax Free Weekend, definitely worth reading to keep it in perspective and learn when it IS and when it ISN’T worth it to battle the crowds for Tax Free Weekend events.
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 2013 Tax Free Weekend Schedule by State:
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.
Keep in mind, as well, that NOT all cities and counties in your State (listed above) participate in the 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.
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.
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 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 The Children’s Place, 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 Frugal Fabulous Finds 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.
Thank you so much to SingleParents.About.com for such great information!
Post published by Melissa Roach, our Product Review & Giveaway Specialist.
Melissa is a Full Time Mom & Blogger HERE (please check out her blog)