SAN ANTONIO -

Tax-free weekend started Friday with bargain-hunters headed out early for big deals without big crowds.

Even early in the morning, the Wal-Mart on Jones Maltsberger had a steady stream of shoppers who wanted nothing to do with the long lines that usually fill Texas stores during the sales tax holiday.

"It gets too crazy, and I was thinking everything was going to get picked over as well," said Beatrice Blackmon.

Michelle Ferguson went shopping for three kids.

"I normally don't do tax-free weekend. I was just going to do it this weekend anyway, so I thought I'd come early this morning before everybody came," she said.

Other shoppers embrace the whole experience, complete with the long lines.

For Marcey Perryman, it's a family tradition. She shopped Wal-Mart Friday and plans to head to the outlet mall in San Marcos on Saturday.

"Usually I go with my family, so one person will get in line while the other one's looking, so it's not too bad," Perryman said.

Big families equals big savings

Larger families also may see bigger tax-free savings.

Mary Vasquez, store director of the Academy at Loop 410 and Vance Jackson, said she sees people buying what they need for all their school-age children.

She said for example, clothing and other school items worth $94, minus about $8 in sales tax at 8.25 per cent and additional price drops, will total $30 in savings.

Click on this State of Texas link for more information on the tax holiday.

For a list of recent stories Jenna Hiller has done, click here.