TODAY | August 03, 2013
>>> first, this is "today" on nbc.
>>> this morning on today's consumer, getting a head start on back to school shopping. there is an added incentive to start on the shopping because it's tax-free weekend. katy tur has more.
>> reporter: they say nothing in life is certain but death and taxes. this weekend in many states even that's not true. right now florida, virginia, new mexico and eight other states are temporarily going tax-free. while six others, including connecticut, and texas have tax-free weekends later this month. it started in the 90s to help families save and retailers boost sales. the 4% to 9% savings are drawing crowds.
>> typically we see a surge are traffic. i would say depending on location it could be 5 to 10% which is significant for us over the weekend, particularly at this time of year.
>> pens, binders, calculators, oh, my. back to school supplies are are some of the most popular items for this weekend. that includes clothes. but truth be told you will probably have to go farther than this aisle for the kid stuff . each state has rules for the weekend. watch for price limits on individual items of oh clothing and back to school supplies.
>> are these tax-free items?
>> absolutely. head to toe . each model is wearing items that are under $100. so the entire outfit is exempt.
>> reporter: back to school spending can average $600 for the average american family. losing the tax could mean saving $50.
>> this will be an incentive for them to buy an extra item they may need or buy an additional piece of clothing for their children.
>> reporter: an extra item for the kids or more yourself. what are you looking for -- for you?
>> i'm focused on the kids now.
>> reporter: you're always focusing on your kids. you're a mom.
>> new shoes, that's true. for myself, maybe updating my fall wardrobe a little bit.
>> reporter: a win-win for mom and dad . no taxes. and the kids are headed back to school , too. for "today," katy tur, nbc news, fairfax, virginia.
>>> "today" contributor and lifestyle contributor elizabeth payhew has more on what tax free means for you.
>> thanks for having me.
>> this isn't exclusive to just kids. we can all benefit in ways you may not have expected like halloween costumes .
>> that's right. you will find surprising things. what i suggest is you go to the department of revenue. 11 states have it this weekend. really look at the items and print it ott. chances are the sales clerk won't know what you potentially know. they're not going to memorize the list.
>> it is different for each state. so make sure certain things fall under that and what the limits are.
>> all 11 states have different rules, different things that are tax-free. you will find different things. for example, you can gear up for halloween with costumes. your kids can commit to what they want to be.
>> that's hard. this counts as clothing.
>> it does. it has to be under $100 in most states . a couple states have one is more. like $300. another is $75. connecticut is $300. florida is $75.
>> let's hope your halloween costume is under a hundred bucks.
>> tights and hosiery. great time to stock up.
>> diapers? i wish i knew this.
>> tax-free diaper day.
>> jenna can stock up now. cleats, ballet shoes ?
>> check. it's not all states but hiking boots is in almost ever state. things like cleats and ballet shoes , a few states . look at this lists. you will get a great deal. feet grow so stock up.
>> every penny you can save is great. we know about school supplies but a budding artist could save on art supplies , too. these usually fall in the $20 to $50 maximum range. most things are like that. whether it's scissors -- there are bizarre exemptions like some states won't allow you to buy envelopes or masking tape. it's interesting. you need to go line by line.
>> print it and bring it with you. one of the things people tend to buy is a computer. especially a kid with a new laptop or a new family computer .
>> laptops, electronics are in the category. even things like head phones or speakers for the computer. it covers a lot under the technology department. those price ranges tend to be bigger. everything from 600 to $2500.
>> it's 11 states this weekend but other states come up later in the fall. if you don't have it this weekend it might be soon.
>> this is to gear up for back to to school and have incentive to buy what you and the kids need.
>> i have a list for