It should come as no surprise that buying school supplies is expensive.
It’s estimated parents will spend anywhere between $489 and $890 this year to provide school supplies for their child this year.
To help parents save, Florida’s back-to-school sales tax holiday starts today and runs through Aug. 6. Another tax holiday will run from Jan. 1-14.
Back-to-school spending is expected to reach $41.5 billion, up from $36.9 billion last year and the previous high of $37.1 billion in 2021, according to the National Retail Federation.
Back-to-college spending is expected to hit $94 billion, about $20 billion more than last year’s record.
How much will parents spend on school supplies this year?
A survey conducted by OnePoll said the average parent will spend $489 on school supplies this year.
Savings.com put the estimate more than $100 higher, saying the typical parent expects to spend nearly $600 on school supplies this year.
The highest estimate came from the National Retail Federation, which estimated families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $890 on back-to-school items this year, approximately $25 more than last year’s record of $864 and a new high.
More than half of parents are concerned they won’t be able to afford everything their kids need for class, Savings.com said.
Clothing makes up the biggest cost of back-to-school supplies. Parents plan to spend over $140 per child on clothes for the new academic year.
More than half of parents concerned about affording necessary school supplies
According to Savings.com, 54 percent of parents are moderately or extremely concerned about inflation impacting their ability to buy all the supplies their children need for this school year.
The figure is up from 46 percent in 2022.
How much do teachers spend on supplies for their classrooms?
Just before the pandemic, educators on average spent around $500 of their own money on classroom supplies over the course of the year. That number is expected to be considerably higher this year.
When NEA Today asked educators what they spend their money on the list included: Paper and notebooks, binders and clipboards, crayons and pencils, dry erase markers, glue sticks, and organizing bins.
Some said they have to purchase their own soap and hand sanitizer to supplement what is provided by the district.
One analysis estimates that this academic year, educators will spend more than $820 out-of-pocket on school supplies.
More parents to take advantage of tax-free holidays to buy school supplies
More parents are taking advantage of tax-free holidays offered in many states, including Florida, to save money.
This year, 66% of respondents said they would shop during the tax-free periods, a slight increase over the 60 percent last year.
When is Florida’s back-to-school tax holiday?
For the first time, the Florida Legislature established two tax-free holidays to help parents purchase school items.
The two back-to-school sales tax holidays run from July 24 through Aug. 6 and Jan. 1-14.
Florida tax-free school shopping:Florida offering two sales-tax holidays on school supplies. Save money on these items
Summary of school supplies that will be tax free in Florida
- Learning aids and jigsaw puzzles selling for $30 or less.
- Most school supplies selling for $50 or less.
- Clothing, footwear and accessories selling for $100 or less.
- Computers and related accessories selling for $1,500 or less (when purchased for non-commercial and personal use).
Where can I find back-to-school deals right now?
Here are some outlets with back-to-school deals that started in July ranging from Amazon and Best Buy to Dollar Tree and Walmart.
How do parents plan to save money during the school year?
“Even though consumers plan to spend more on school and college-related items this year, they are still looking to find the best value and deals,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said.
“Consumers are stretching their dollars by comparing prices, considering off-brand or store-brand items, and are more likely to shop at discount stores than last year.”
According to a survey commissioned by Stasher and conducted by market research company OnePoll, here’s how parents plan to save this year:
- Buy school supplies earlier than usual – 50%
- Meal prepping and planning – 45%
- Purchase second-hand/used items – 44%
- Repurpose leftovers or food from prior meals – 44%
- Skip buying some of the supplies – 43%
- Have my kid carpool instead of taking public transportation – 42%
- Reuse my kid’s school supplies – 38%
- Involve my kid in free instead of paid after-school activities – 30%
- Borrow school books from the library – 19%
- Invest in reusable items that can be used as they grow – 18%
More tips to help save money while back-to-school shopping
- Take your time shopping and search for discounts ahead of time.
- Shop major sales during the summer.
- Take advantage of tax holidays.
- Go shopping with a plan. Set a budget before you go.
- Compare prices before you buy. Search online to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal.
- Spread out your shopping. Don’t go to just the major retailers. Look in dollar stores, office supply stores and wholesale stores.
- Consider buying refurbished electronics.
- Keep an eye on sales after you’re done shopping. If something goes on sale, you might be able to get some of your money back.