With August fast approaching, there is one thing on many parents minds: back to school shopping. Even for those parents whose children don't go back to school for a while still, some of the best back to school sales begin to roll out in the middle of the summer. And some parents just like to get ahead of the long lines and hassles of finding the exact backpack their kids want and start early. Frankly, there is no wrong way to do back to school shopping. But it seems that with every year, it gets more and more expensive. Per an annual survey by Deloitte, American families are spending upwards of $510 on back to school needs. That is a lot of money.
As expected, electronics make up the biggest chunk of the money being spent. Approximately $299 is going towards things like tablets and laptops that students will need to set them up for the school year. Parents are also spending a good portion of their budget on clothing and accessories. Stocking up on everyday school clothes like pants isn't cheap, and then factoring in things like shoes is going to run up those numbers pretty quickly. Actual school supplies have the least amount of money spent on them, but because they're usually heavily priced down, this isn't too surprising. When you can buy glue sticks for less than a dollar, you can get a lot of bang for your bucks.
Interestingly, parents prefer to do their back to school shopping in an actual store versus online. 57 percent of back to school shopping will happen in store, so be prepared for long lines and possibly having to go to multiple stores for all of the items on your list. Stores like Target and Walmart will likely be very popular places for parents because of the fact that you can get the bulk of your shopping done in one place. Parents are only looking online for price comparisons since some brick and mortar stores do price matching. The last two weeks of July/first two weeks of August are the points where the most shopping is done. Presumably because kids all over the country go back to school in mid-August.
Basically, we're right in the thick of back to school shopping. Be diligent about what you're spending on, and where you're buying. Sometimes it's easy to just go with the first deal we see, but there could be something better out there.