Inflation causes school supplies shock for parents

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A parent shops for school supply deals at a Target store, Wednesday, July 27, 2022, in North Miami, Fla. In this back-to-school shopping season, parents, especially in the low-to-middle income bracket, are focusing on the basics like no-frills rain boots, while selling out at less expensive stores, including second-hand clothes as soaring inflation strains their household budgets. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

RALEIGH — Parents are finding sticker shock when buying school supplies this year, as inflation under the Biden administration hit a forty-year high of 9.1%.

According to the world’s largest retail association, the National Retail Federation (NRF), back-to-school spending this year will hit a new record high of $37 billion, surpassing the 2021 record. $37.1 billion. NRF’s estimate for 2021 is up $3 billion from 2020.

NRF expects parents of elementary school students to spend $15 more than in 2021 for an average of $864. In 2021, NRF estimated average spending at around $848, which is $59 more than in 2020.

“Back-to-school expenses have increased dramatically since the start of the pandemic, as families have adapted to changes in virtual and blended learning. Compared to 2019, back-to-school shoppers are expected to spend $168 more on average, and total spending is up $11 billion,” said a July 14th According to the NRF press release.

According to NRF, a school supplies survey showed a majority (68%) said they saw higher prices on school items with clothing, accessories and school supplies among the top items consumers saw. higher prices.

The contrast in current spending is stark compared to the NRF’s 2014 estimate of $26.5 billion for K-12 back-to-school supplies; an average of just over $669 per child.

Parents shopping at typical places like Walmart can find deals on items like folders, notebooks, and art supplies like pencils and crayons.

Prices at Walmart stores in Wake County generated a sale of 24 packs of Craz-art crayons for 34 cents, down from 74 cents. In contrast, the same size Crayola brand crayons cost $2.74.

On Amazon, a pack of 24 Craz-art crayons can be found for $1.54 and the same set of Crayola crayons of the same size can be found at a minimum of $5.25 and a maximum of nearly $6.40.

Buying standard supplies like glue and scissors also adds up with glue packs costing over $4 and a single set of scissors ranging from $1.47 to over $2 depending on size and type.

A pack of 12 generic number 2 pencils was found on sale for 47 cents while a pack of 10 BIC pens was reduced to 97 cents from $1.57.

Records of various types were found at the lower end of 50 cents at $1.48 up to a high of $2.18.

Seeing if an old notebook can be repurposed can be a good way to save a few bucks, as single-subject notebooks used to cost between $1.26 and $2.64 depending on the brand. Prices for varieties of composition notebooks range from 50 cents to $2.24.

File cabinets of all sizes were one of the most expensive items found. One-inch binders cost between $1.24 and $2.34. Prices were similar on Amazon for binders of this size, but finding a single binder in stock instead of a multi-pack could be a challenge.

For a three-inch binder, the price was usually between $6 and $7.64. The same 3-inch binders on Amazon regularly cost between $14 and $19, and Amazon’s own brand was about average, currently priced around $16.50.

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