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Back-to-school shopping expected to reach record highs: Tips to save

Back-to-school shopping may likely cost you the most ever this year. Inflation is putting a big strain on parents' wallets.

Parent Ashley Godina said shopping for her three kids cost her a pretty penny this year.

"I'm kind of done being like surprised over prices that keep rising," said Godina. "We kind of just have to bite our tongues and are like, okay, if that's what you need, we can get it."

She spent over $200 on things like school supplies and clothes. She expects to spend another $200 on the next shopping trip.

"Our kids are going to see that our parents are going to do what it takes to get them the stuff that they need," said Godina.

According to the National Retail Federation, families with K-12 children plan to spend an average of $890 on back-to-school items this year. That's about $25 more than last year, a new record mainly due to inflation.

According to the e-commerce company Pattern, families looking to save money during back-to-school shopping should watch out for the supplies below, which have risen past the inflation mark:

Parent Sarie Gonsalves is waiting for classes to start to do her shopping.

"Our finances have not increased, but the prices of, you know, everything has gone up, so it's just not going to go as far," said Gonsalves. "I think the best thing is to get the list from the teacher before you go and buy those things that you think that your kid will need for the classroom."

Gonsalves is prioritizing other things on the budget, like groceries and cutting back on non-essential school supplies.

"I'll usually look online and see if there's anything cheaper, you know, that similar or the same," said Gonsalves.

Godina worked to find discounts and sales at stores near her and online.

"Do your research first to see what's on sale before you go," said Godina.

Families can also buy secondhand, ask friends to go in on a bulk order, buy off brands, and stick to a shopping list of supplies.

Nonprofit consumer organization Consumer Reports offers the following saving tips:

  • Compare prices before you buy. 
  • Spread out your shopping. 
  • Keep an eye on sales after you're done shopping. 
  • Consider buying refurbished electronics. 

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.


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