The Texas Comptroller’s Office recently forecast that state shoppers will save $87 million in state and local taxes during the current tax-free shopping weekend. That’ll buy a lot of extra school supplies for all the little ones looking forward to returning to the local halls of education, as well as those who aren’t as excited about summer ending.

The exemption will cover purchases of qualified goods that are priced under $100 but will end at midnight on Sunday. The annual event, which started in 1999, is designed to give families a chance to stock up on new items for students ahead of the school year. But it is also a great way for students of all ages to save some money on things like clothing and footwear, backpacks, school supplies and more.

Of course, even among those categories, there are specific distinctions, such as which shoes qualify and details on which backpacks aren’t exempt. Those looking for a complete list of qualifying items for the tax-free weekend can visit for a detailed list.

While many local stores are preparing for a big weekend — estimates are businesses will see a 10 percent bump in sales — as if it were a holiday, that means most stores will be busy and there will be shoppers everywhere.

I’m sure there are a number of items I could use that would be a little cheaper this weekend, but the prospect of pushing through packed stores isn’t very appealing to me. For those like me who would rather skip the long lines and crowded stores, online purchases are also part of the tax-free weekend in Texas.

In years past, we’ve had retailers tell us that the tax-free weekend is the second biggest one of the year for them behind Black Friday.

The Texas weekend has been around for 18 years and two of our neighboring states — Oklahoma and Louisiana — have since created their own versions, but they both had the weekend last week, so Texas could see an influx of out-of-town shoppers looking to save again.

Happy birthday Saturday to Billy Joe Stephenson and Billie Joe Walton, both of Sherman; James Cobb Sr. and Wanda Tabb, both of Denison; Marie Ray of Southmayd; Peyton Morris of Savoy; Joel Farris of Lewisville; and Vicky Cardozo of Richmond.