Parents expect to spend hundreds during back-to-school shopping amid inflation

Parents face rising costs for back-to-school supplies

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Families are gearing up for hundreds of dollars in costs for back-to-school shopping as inflation continues to rise.

Over the next few weeks, families are expected to pay an all-time high cost.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) said the average family will spend $864 to send their children back to school. From school supplies to hair cuts -- it’s adding up. The NRF survey said one-third of consumers (38%) said they are cutting back in other spending areas to cover the cost of items for the upcoming school year.

Taylor Stanley, a mother of five, spoke with News4JAX about back-to-school shopping.

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“Binders, note pads, crayons... everything and they’re all in five different grades,” Stanley said. “From Pre-K to 6th grade.”

Stanley said she will be shelling out the big bucks this year. We asked her how much she expected to spend.

“Gosh, with clothes... probably $1,000,” Stanley said. “Minimum.”

Another local mom expressed how shopping will go this year.

“I have three kids -- so three backpacks, lunch boxes, shoes, clothes, supplies -- so it’s a lot,” Bonnie Terry said.

Paola Ortiz told News4JAX her household budget is being crushed by inflation.

“We always like to track whatever we spend and we realize it’s like double,” Ortiz said.

What parents are paying for goes well beyond the aisles filled with binders and glue sticks. Many parents do dental and doctor visits before school. There are fees for different activities children are involved in, new shoes, new clothes, and more.

Total back-to-school spending is expected to match 2021′s record high of $37 billion. Families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $864 on school items, approximately $15 more than last year.

Back-to-school spending has increased dramatically since the onset of the pandemic, as families adjusted to changes from virtual and hybrid learning. Compared to 2019, back-to-school shoppers are expected to spend $168 more on average, and total spending is up $11 billion, NRF said.

“Everything’s gone up,” Bonnie said. “So I’m sure this gonna’ cost more too.”

We want to know: What are some “unusual” costs -- or things your child may need that others don’t -- you have to pay to send your kids back to school? What’s on your child’s checklist that’s not on the supplies list?

Let us know below.

About the Author:

Scott is a multi-Emmy Award Winning Anchor and Reporter, who also hosts the “Going Ringside With The Local Station” Podcast. Scott has been a journalist for 25 years, covering stories including six presidential elections, multiple space shuttle launches and dozens of high-profile murder trials.