PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The National Retail Federation predicts this year will be the most expensive back-to-school shopping season.
“Everybody is gearing up for back to school,” Aaron Moreno, who lives in West Palm Beach, said.
Even though Moreno’s son, Hudson, is only 2 years old, the stress of school supply shopping still affects him.
“He’s not in school yet but we do buy a lot of crayons, a lot of coloring books, that kind of stuff,” he said.
It’s all stuff that has only gotten more expensive in these inflationary times.
“I have two nephews that are first and second grade and I was just talking to my brother about buying all of their school supplies," Moreno said. "They weren’t expecting it to be as much as it was.”
The National Retail Federation predicts this year will be the most expensive back-to-school shopping season on record, with Americans expected to spend around $41.5 billion on school supplies. That’s up from around $36 billion in 2022.
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“Here’s the deal, stores are having trouble helping you save money right now, because the supply chain is still a little wonky," Carl Gould, business analyst and founder of 7 Stage Advisors, said. "There’s still some challenges out there.”
Gould told WPTV while pricing for non-discretionary items like backpacks, clothes and shoes are actually down, costs for school supplies are up 20% this year.
“What you want to do is look out for a sale. Number two, a few families get together and buy together, because if you spend over $200 to $300, they’ll add to the amount in discount that you get back,” Gould said. “And other shoppers are getting savvy by using their credit card that they get a lot of points for.”
Gould also suggests adjusting your budget and attempting to find deals online.
“Especially, when you’re used to having a budget of a certain amount," Moreno said. "When you have kids, no one ever tells you all the different extra things that you need, so it’s been really tough.”