Parents Expect to Spend Double on School Supplies

Do you have an extra $700 to spend on school supplies?

That's what the average parent is expecting to spend for the upcoming school year, according to a study conducted by, and nearly half of the 500 parents of school-age children questioned in the survey plan to seek assistance in paying for back-to-school purchases.

For the second year in a row, conducted a study to gauge their back-to-school plans — and their worries, writes Editor Annie Kim.

"Like food, gasoline, and utility bills, the costs for school supplies are rising," Kim writes. "Parents are preparing to spend more this year than they did in 2021 to get their kids ready to head back to the classroom."

A lot has changed in the two years has conducted such a survey, including the rising cost of gasoline and other essentials amid inflation. One in four parents surveyed in 2021 thought they'd spend under $150 on all their school-supply needs. This year, only 11% believe they'll spend that much, according to the survey.

Some 44% expect to spend more this year than in 2021. Clothing and footwear appear to represent the bulk of the spending, found, averaging $160 per child. The return to in-person learning was key to the extra need for school-appropriate clothes.

Key findings in the back-to-school survey:

  • Parents expect to spend a total of $697 on average on school supplies for the 2022-23 school year.
  • Almost four in 10 parents plan to spend over $600 on back-to-school shopping this year; only 6% of parents expected to spend that much last year.
  • Almost half of parents feel inflation will impact their ability to buy everything their child needs.
  • Nearly half — 44% — of parents plan to seek assistance for back-to-school purchases. 

Back-to-school deals

Several retailers are addressing the shopping concerns by offering deals in the days leading up to the start of school, listed, including: Old Navy, The Children's Place, Kohl's, Best Buy, Walmart, Apple, Office Depot, Target and Staples.

Tax holiday

Unlike Indiana, several states offer tax-free or tax-reduced periods where parents get a break in sales tax on certain back-to-school items. Neighboring Illinois will offer reduced tax shopping Aug. 5-14, thanks to Senate Bill 157 that lowers the tax rate on clothes and school supplies by 5%.

Certain clothing or footwear item must be less than $125, according to NBCChicago. surveyed 530 adults who have children attending K-12 schools, with a median family income between $50,000-$74,999. The survey was conducted online in July 2022.

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