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Here’s how families are back-to-school shopping amid inflation

Inflation has drastically risen this year. Here’s how families are back-to-school shopping in the middle of rising prices

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Inflation has drastically risen this year. How will families tackle back-to-school shopping amid rising prices?

Illustration by Michelle Budge, Deseret News

While U.S. inflation has slightly dropped, some parents are still worried about shopping for back-to-school supplies before the school year starts.

Recent surveys have revealed that back-to-school budgets are rising this year, potentially as a response to inflation. Back-to-school spending has risen on average by 5.4% this year, according to a survey from JLL, a global real estate company. The average budget for back-to-school shopping has risen to $339 per child this year in comparison to $322 last year.

Additionally, JLL’s survey reveals that those whose budgets are significantly impacted by inflation will spend on average 15% less than last year, while those whose budgets are less impacted by inflation will spend 5.8% less.

James Cook, director of retail research at JLL, said that JLL’s recent survey shows that “most parents plan to use multiple cost-saving methods to allay the effects of inflation.”

“More than half of shoppers will look for sales and coupons,” Cook continued.

More back-to-school shopping statistics

Back-to-school spending is going to reach $36.9 billion, according to a recent National Retail Federation survey, with families expected to spend $864 per household. That’s a $15 increase from the $849 average last year.

According to Katherine Cullen, senior director of industry and consumer insights at NRF, “People are really thinking about back-to-school and college the way they are other major spending events, like the winter holidays.”

Unsurprisingly, consumers’ increased back-to-school budget is likely to compensate for inflated prices. NRF’s back-to-school survey found that electronics have increased by 2.2%, educational books and supplies have increased by 4.5% and stationery has increased by 21.8%.

How to go back-to-school shopping amid inflation

Here are three tips on how to go back-to-school shopping this year:

  • Take advantage of back-to-school sales. Most retailers offer decent back-to-school sales in August and into September.
  • Buy secondhand. Shopping for items secondhand is quickly becoming the norm. You can get quality clothes, shoes and more at your local thrift store.
  • If possible, wait for big sales to make big purchases. If a computer or other big item is on your back-to-school shopping list, consider waiting until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to make your purchase.