EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Back-to-school shopping this year will have families navigating rising prices

Aug 10, 2022, 9:35 AM | Updated: Aug 30, 2022, 3:38 pm
Back-to-school shopping display is pictured....
FILE - Back-to-school supplies await shoppers at a store on Saturday, July 11, 2020, in Marlborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes, File)
(AP Photo/Bill Sikes, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — As school draws near, families are expected to spend more on back-to-school shopping this year. Families shopping for school supplies will have to navigate higher prices caused by inflation.

“Families with kids in elementary through high school, are expecting to spend around $864 on average. That’s about $15 more than last year,” said National Retail Federation Senior Director Katherine Cullen.

That may not feel like a huge jump, but the difference between now and pre-pandemic spending is even higher.

“We see them spending about $168 more on average than they did before the pandemic,” Cullen said.

The top things families spend money on to prepare for the start of school are clothes, shoes and electronics, with an emphasis on the latter.

“When we look at what’s really driving the difference between pre-pandemic spending and today’s back-to-school shopping, it’s really a story largely about electronics,” Cullen said.

The National Retail Federation estimated that families would spend $13 billion on electronics this back-to-school season.

National Retail Federation’s annual back-to-school survey showed that 38% of respondents planned to cut back in other spending areas to cover the cost of school supplies.

Some states are getting creative in order to navigate high prices. In Illinois, the state legislature passed a 10-day temporary sales tax cut on everything from school supplies to clothing to help cover the cost of inflation.

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Back-to-school shopping this year will have families navigating rising prices