Back-to-school shopping is serious business: The National Retail Federation reports that this year, parents with children in kindergarten through 12th grade plan to spend $630.36 on average. Over the last decade, that number has climbed from $443.80.
“We’re seeing a consistently more confident consumer … fewer people are saying they’re shopping for sales,” says Stacie Severs Nelson, client services and marketing director of Prosper Insights & Analytics, which conducted the survey for NRF.
Parents said they would spend an average of $217.82 on new clothes, $117.56 on new shoes and just under $100 on school supplies. Electronics, including computers and tablets, are another big expense, with 58.3 percent of parents saying they would purchase electronics for an average cost of $197.24.
Despite their long shopping lists, many of the 6,500 survey respondents report they aren’t in a big hurry to get their shopping done early. “Consumers are planning to make back-to-school purchases a little later, with 30 percent planning to wait one to two weeks before school starts,” Nelson says. “They’re hoping for sales later in the season.”
If back-to-school shopping is on your to-do list, here are some of the best hacks to keep in mind.
1. GET A LITTLE AT A TIME
2. MAIL IN THOSE REBATES
3. WAIT TO BUY CLOTHES
4. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF GIFT CARD SITES
5. REVIEW WHAT YOU HAVE BEFORE SHOPPING
6. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TAX-FREE HOLIDAYS
7. GET THE TEACHER-APPROVED LIST
8. SHARE YOUR BUDGET WITH YOUR CHILD
9. BUY EXTRA FOR OTHERS
10. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PRICE MATCHING
11. COORDINATE WITH OTHER PARENTS
12. LOOK FOR REFURBISHED ELECTRONICS
13. DON’T FORGET DINNER
14. CONSIDER THE REST OF YOUR SHOPPING NEEDS, TOO
Written by Kimberly Palmer of U.S. News & World Report