Shoppers Beware: Tax free tips for you

A couple of consumer groups have compiled a list of do's and don'ts for anyone taking advantage of the tax free weekend.

Both the Better Business Bureau and the Consumer Credit Counseling Service have some tips to make sure you get the most bang for your buck without going in debt or buying things you may not need.

Check with the school for the required lists and then take inventory before you go and see what can be used again from the last school year.

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"First, thing they want to do is have a check of their inventory from the preevious years. Look at what they have and then make a list of what they will need to add to that before they go shopping. Stick to that list and budget and they'll have a successful weekend," according to Janna Kiehl, BBB CEO in Amarillo.

Don't forget to check with friends and familiy members to see if they've got supplies they don't need anymore.

Draw up a budget and be sure to stick to it. The average family is expected to shell out more than 600 (603.63) dollars to prepare their children to return to school. It's easy to get get caught up in the sales and officials believe it's a great way to teach kids how to stay on track when it comes to spending.

Check with the big warehouse stores and buy in bulk with friends to split the cost of supplies.

Do your homework. Check ads, cuirculars, online promotions. There are plenty of advertisements to be found to draw consumers in and you can save an extra few bucks here and there just by doing some research.

Avoid signing up for in-store credit cards that come with extra savings incentives. The interest you have to pay on most of these cards negate any savings over the tax free weekend.

Don't forget to check out any refund policies...make sure you can return any items you find you don't need for another way to save money.

And Kiehl adds, "Get a plan, ask a question if you dont' know. When there are sale items there, make sure you're comparing appkles to apples and it's sale items you're looking at and indeed, not only if it's a good bargain but it's something you're going to use."