How inflation is affecting the cost of school supplies — and how you can save

MADISON, Wis. — With historic inflation impacting everyday life and less tools to help parents with rising costs, Back to School shopping could be very expensive for families this year.

A National Retail Federation study says parents can expect to pay 40 percent more this year on Back to School supplies, with the average household expected to spend more than $860. Just 36 percent of parents said in a recent Morning Consult survey that they can afford their kids’ school supplies.

Last year, parents benefited from stimulus checks and advance child tax credit payments, but those aren’t available this year, when some of the most common and necessary items will be the most expensive.

For high schoolers and college students, things like laptops and tablets will still be the most expensive items, but the prices for items like paper, pencils and pens are also on the rise this year.

To try to save some money, many families are changing their buying habits. According to the National Retail Federation, more people are shopping online, looking for generic options over brand names, and using more coupons when they shop for school supplies.

If you’re still searching for supplies, Walmart could be an option, as the megachain has announced price reductions for many products due to a buildup of inventory.

For more Back to School coverage and information on this year’s school supply drive, click here.