The 2021- 2022 school year gets underway Aug. 2 for the four biggest districts in the El Paso area, and that means the kids are going to need classroom essentials and a new wardrobe or two -- especially now that in-person instruction is back.

Thanks to the state’s annual Sales Tax Holiday, El Paso shoppers will catch a break at the cash register on back-to-school items again this year.

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From Friday, August 6 to Sunday, August 8, a sales tax will not be tacked onto your purchases of eligible items that sell for less than $100 each.

As in previous years, eligible items include most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks. Not all merchandise, however, is exempt. Textbooks, computers, and software, for example, are not. On average, back to school shoppers will save approximately $8 for every $100 spent.

Purchases Do Not Have to be Made In-Person

For those still hesitant about in-person shopping, qualifying items can also be purchased tax free online or by telephone "from an online or catalog seller doing business in Texas” if the item is both delivered and paid for during Tax Free Weekend, or if ordered and paid for during the exemption period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period ends.

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Law-aways

Lay-away plans can be used to take advantage of the savings as well, which is especially helpful this year since school begins prior to the tax-free weekend.

In order to take advantage of the tax exemption, the final payment on items previously placed on lay-away must be made between August 6 - 8.

In other words, you put stuff on layaway now and pay it off over the Sales Tax Holiday weekend. Qualifying items can also be put on layaway that weekend and paid off later tax free.

Items That Qualify

• Footwear, like sneakers, boots, sandals, slippers, and socks.

• Most clothing, such as jeans, shorts, shirts, blouses, sweatshirts, sweaters – even pajamas, robes, and nightshirts.

• School supplies: Crayons, erasers, glue, highlighters, markers, notebooks, loose leaf ruled paper, pencils, pencil sharpeners, pens, calculators.

The above is just a sampling. It’s a pretty long list. A breakdown of clothing items and footwear that are exempt can be found HERE, and a list of qualifying school supplies HERE.

See How School Cafeteria Meals Have Changed Over the Past 100 Years

Using government and news reports, Stacker has traced the history of cafeteria meals from their inception to the present day, with data from news and government reports. Read on to see how various legal acts, food trends, and budget cuts have changed what kids are getting on their trays.