Parents spending more than ever on back-to-school supplies

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Students will be heading back to school soon, but before they do, many parents will need to stock up on a long list of school supplies.

Nowadays, parents are spending more than ever on school supplies, but there’s always ways to save.

Retailers estimate families with grade-school children will spend an average of just over $669 on back-to-school expenses in 2014, a total of $26.5 billion, according an annual survey by the National Retail Federation.

Spending per household is up five percent over one year ago, and as school districts ask families to provide more of their own classroom supplies, spending on those items has climbed 12 percent. The largest chunk of back-to-school money will be spent on electronics – more than $212 on average.

Most consumers start shopping early. Two-thirds of those surveyed say they start at least three weeks ahead of the first day of school, some as far out as two months.

Why? Presumably because shoppers will also be on the hunt for deals. When asked how the overall state of the United States economy will impact their shopping plans, almost half said they’ll look for sales more often.

Others shop more comparatively, shopping either online or with print ad circulars. Approximately one-quarter will also make do with items from the previous school year. Many families will chip in for their own back-to-school expenses. Teens will kick in an estimated $913 million of their own cash, while tweens add $544 million to the overall back-to-school haul.

Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News

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