At least Gloria Garcia's old washing machine had good timing.
"It just went on the blink," she said while checking out new models Thursday at Central Park Sears.
This weekend, when she buys a new energy-efficient machine, she won't have to pay sales tax.
"It helps a lot," she said.
To encourage Texans to kick old energy-wasting clunkers to the curb, the state is waiving sales tax on certain Energy Star appliances. They include clothes washers, dishwashers and refrigerators priced at $2,000 or less.
Retailers are upping the enticement factor by offering deep discounts, too.
"This is our Black Friday," said James Menton of Sears at Central Park. "We're expecting to do huge numbers."
Shoppers can maximize savings by stacking store sales, tax breaks and utility rebates.
For example, a Kenmore refrigerator that's regularly $1,300 at Sears was on sale for $899. You get a $100 CPS Energy rebate and you don't pay the $74 in sales tax. Your total savings is $574.
Going green means saving green down the road, too. Newer appliances use less energy and water and should translate into lower utility bills.
"A washing machine can actually save you over $2,000 over the lifespan," Menton said.
The tax holiday begins Saturday and continues through Monday night.
Items eligible for tax break:
- Air conditioners priced at $6,000 or less
- Refrigerators priced at $2,000 or less
- Ceiling fans
- Incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs
- Qualified clothes washers