Parents may need to prepare to spend more on school supplies this year

Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 8:25 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A brand new school year is just around the corner, bringing a list of school supplies to buy. However, shopping this year may take up more of one’s budget than expected.

Pens, pencils, notebooks and hand sanitizer are all items to be expected on school supplies lists. Sam, whose son is going into First Grade, stated she spent around $100 on school supplies last year for her son. She is a single mom, and each year is getting tougher for her to afford as her son gets older. It is even more expensive for bigger families.

“When your kid wants the fancy stuff, then you know it’s a different story,” Sam said.

According to the National Retail Federation, families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $890 on back-to-school items this year.

“It’s the amount, quality, everything you’ve got to buy, different glue sticks and all that,” Sam said. “Just a little costly to get all the supplies that they demand.”

The cost of school supplies has increased every year for the past four years, and it is not a one-time buy. Parents and teachers are stretching their budgets to keep up with school supplies lists every year.

“I’m going to be honest, I haven’t really started much with the school supplies, so it’s a little hard, so I’m going to be looking all over town for those free school supplies,” she said.

Some families shop early to take advantage of deals, like Prime Day on Amazon, while others focus on discount stores. The NRF says, either way, more families are being cautious shoppers this year. For example, Sam is relying on school donations before last minute deals.

“This is the first place I’ve started looking, but I had pretty good luck for the most part finding everything,” Same said. “It helps a lot.”

Before breaking the bank for school supplies this year, check with schools in your area for free supply drives.