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Parents worry about increasing cost of school supplies

Some organizations are helping their communities get ready to go back to school as parents share concerns about rising costs for school supplies.
California Jobs
Posted at 12:35 PM, Aug 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-08 14:35:43-04

It's that time of year again — back to school. But some parents may not be as excited as their kids are.    

As inflation continues to climb, some parents are worried about the increasing cost of school supplies. 

Alissa Brown is a mother of four living in Colorado Springs who's taking advantage of sales and budgeting. 

"I've noticed clothes are more expensive, shoes are more expensive," she said. "For things like backpacks and lunch boxes, that's when I really shop the Prime and Target deals." 

In North Carolina, father Drew Davidson has noticed the increases as well.  

"You definitely see an increase from the little things," he said. "It's a private school, so just the tuition — you've got to stay ahead of the game, try to keep that money to the side, do little things here and there just to stay ahead." 

The National Retail Federation, or NRF, says consumers are paying more due to inflation and supply chain issues. Compared to three years ago, back-to-school spending increased by 41% and back-to-college expenses increased by 36%. 

Despite higher prices, the NRF says people are still spending.  

Families with children in kindergarten through 12th grade spend an average of $860 on school supplies. College students spend an average of $1,200 — not including tuition and books.  

Keith Lobis from Wells Fargo recommends parents stick to their budget, see what they have at home and cut that from their shopping lists. He also suggests parents consider buying in bulk.  

"Sitting down and having your school supply list is a great way to start so you have a detailed list of things you want or need to buy," he said. 

And some groups are stepping up to meet families' needs. Organizations like Northern Kentucky Harvest offer backpacks filled with supplies. 

"I think it just gets harder year after year," Northern Kentucky Harvest President Paul Gottbrath said. "I mean, there's a whole assortment of expenses that they have to deal with. I think it's just hard. A lot of these families are really struggling just to meet the basics."

In Milwaukee, Jacarrie Kicks4Kids assists families with returning to the classroom. 

"At this event, the kids can get book bags or supplies, a free haircut or hairdo, they can get a brand new pair of shoes," said organization founder Jacarrie Carr.

The group plans to give away 600 pairs of shoes — a fresh new pair for a fresh new school year.  

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