(WWLP) – With National Back to School Prep Day Tuesday, many will be thinking about how to plan for the school year ahead, while saving money.

Back-to-school shopping can be an exciting time of year, but this season may appear a little different. As the National Retail Federation says the average amount of $890 will be spent on back-to-school supplies by families with K-12 children. Which is $25 higher than last year, a new record caused by inflation.

The e-commerce company, Pattern says the price of a typical basket of back-to-school goods has risen by 5.45% over the last year. Pattern lists all the items that have risen past the inflation mark:

  • Graph paper (went from $9.37 to $11.67)
  • Mechanical pencils (went from $9.06 to $11.18)
  • Highlighters (went from $6.22 to $6.97)
  • Folders (went from $11.43 to $15.18)
  • Index cards (went from $6.74 to $10.07)
  • Crayons (went from $10.43 to 13.01)
  • Red pens (went from $6.19 to $6.98)
  • Composition books (went from $9.84 to 11.83)
  • Rulers (went from $4.87 to $5.43)
  • Scientific calculators (went from $23.00 to $22.78)
  • Notebooks (went from $12.75 to $13.13)
  • Pens (went from $9.37 to $9.53)

“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.”

The nonprofit consumer organization Consumer Reports suggests the following to help you save on your next back-to-school shopping trip:

  • Stick to a list: This means buying what the school only requires.
  • Take Stock at Home: Make sure to double-check what you have at home to avoid duplicating items.
  • Shop Every Week and Start Early: You always want to be on the lookout for when an item could go on sale.
  • Hold-off on Everyday Supplies: There will be many deals on basic items like pens and notebooks throughout the summer. It’s best to watch out for deals on bigger-ticket items like backpacks and calculators.
  • Buy in Bulk with Friends: If shopping with friends or family, you might be able to buy in bulk and split the purchase bill. Items you can buy in bulk are brown paper bags, sandwich bags, anti-bacterial wipes, or tissues.

Local News

Kayleigh Thomas is a digital reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Kayleigh on X @kayleighcthomas and view her bio to see more of her work.