Families are expected to spend an average of $697 on back-to-school shopping for their children in elementary through high school, according to the National Retail Federation.
TODAY’S TMJ4 caught up with parents who recently went shopping for school supplies.
“I came for charcoal and lighter fluid, and I'm back-to-school shopping,” said John Lovelace, the father of two teenage boys.
Lovelace said he typically procrastinates with back-to-school shopping, but when we met him on a Monday afternoon, he was on a mission to get it done before his kids start school Sept. 3.
Last year, back-to-school shopping cost him $250, he said. That was when he was shopping for three children. His eldest is now in college.
Shandraya Jenkins is shopping for only one child, her first grader.
“How much were you anticipating spending?” TMJ4 asked Jenkins.
“Like $30 or $40,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said she ended up spending $90.
The Krazy Coupon Lady, a consumer website, has plenty of advice on how parents can save on back-to-school shopping.
One suggestion? Buy expensive electronics such as calculators at your local dollar store.
“I came for charcoal and lighter fluid, and I'm back-to-school shopping.” — John Lovelace, the father of two teenage boys
Another idea is to spend your loyalty rewards from drugstores such as CVS or Walgreens on school supplies.
Finally, price matching will help if you've already gone shopping.
The Krazy Coupon Lady reports stores including Staples, Target and Office Depot will adjust their price if you find it cheaper somewhere else. In most cases, that applies within two weeks of your purchase. So, keep those receipts for a chance to get some money back.