Wisconsin News

Families expected to spend more on school items this year

Survey: Families will spend 5 percent more this year

Cost of back-to-school shopping rising

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - It's that time of year again when families start their back-to-school shopping, and this year, a new survey estimates that parents will spend a little more this time around.

"I like picking out new stuff," said Elsa Benson, a sixth-grader.

Elsa and her mom decided to get a head start on back-to-school shopping, but Elsa's mom is expected to spend a little more this year.

According to the National Retail Federation, families will spend about 5 percent more on school items, including clothes, shoes and electronics.

Here is a quickbreak down of spending by grade:

On average a family will spend $682.99 on a high school student. The cost for a middle school student, like Elsa, comes in a close second at $682.13, and about $580.94 is expected for a kid in elementary school.

"Sometimes I am surprised by some of the general supplies we have to buy," said Amanda Scholze, a mother of three.

Scholze said it's no longer just Kleenex or paper towels her kids are bringing in to share.

"Some of the things on the list now, we have to bring in our rolls of Scotch tape that are ready to go in a dispenser," said Scholze.  "Which, with cut budgets at school, I guess it's to be expected."

To deal with an increase of needed supplies in some classrooms this year, Scholze has a plan.

"I go through the ad for Target, see what is on sale for the week and try to come in and get what's on sale," said Scholze.

This is Scholze's first trip for school supplies, but she said there are plenty more to come in the future.

"I will probably go for the next three weeks or so to hit the sale prices," said Scholze.

However, Elsa and her mom finished school shopping on Friday because Elsa would like to go back to enjoying what's left of her summer vacation.

"I think summer went really fast, and so I'm not really excited to go back to school," said Elsa.

Keep in mind, there are other ways to make your dollar stretch a little further. Make sure you go through old school supplies and recycle what you can, because more often than not, you won't have to buy everything new.

Combined spending for back-to-school items and college supplies is expected to reach $74.9 billion nationally.

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