Inflation drives up the prices of school supplies

11Alive took items from a fourth grader’s supply list and headed to Target, Walmart and Staples to see who had the best deals.

ATLANTA — With inflation still on the rise, many parents will be spending more money on back-to-school purchases for the upcoming school year.

Like many parents, Amy Ard has three children returning to Atlanta Public Schools in two weeks. She said shopping for school supplies was stressful with the rising costs of everything due to inflation.

11Alive took five items from Ard’s fourth-grade student’s supply list and headed to Target, Walmart and Staples to see who had the best deals.

These items were: a pack of dry erase markers, notebooks, disinfectant wipes, pencils and a backpack.

Who came out the cheapest?

The cheapest place was Walmart, at $47.84 for all five items. The highest was Target at $58.45. Staple’s total came in at $57.76.

The prices for pencils at the three stores all seem to be about the same, but the prices for dry erase markers, backpacks, and wipes differ a lot.

For more expensive items like the backpack, Ard said it makes sense to shop around, as long as she doesn’t have to drive too far and use too much gas.

Back to school inflation figures

According to the National Retail Federation, the cost of back to school has risen from $697 per family in 2019 to $864 per family in 2022.

And they said parents are trying to cut costs this year by comparing prices online, buying more sales, buying more generic items and even reusing last year’s supplies.

“Honestly, I’ll be in my attic because a lot of what they brought back last year is unused and going back to the school supply list,” Ard said.

And Ard said his family will also participate in back-to-school giveaways for free supplies.

“I put it on my calendar for the first time this year,” Ard said.

Back-to-school events

Dozens of organizations and school districts are holding back-to-school events that will provide families with free supplies ahead of the school year. Here are a few in the metropolitan area.

Atlanta Public Schools – Back-to-School Bash provides free backpacks, school supplies, and resources to APS students and their families.

It will take place on Saturday, July 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center. Get more details here on the registration process.

Clayton County Public Schools – The district is hosting a back-to-school party on Saturday, July 30 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will be held at Charles Drew High School, located at 6237 Garden Walk Boulevard in Riverdale. This year’s event will include giveaways of school supplies, music, food, games and more. Get more information on their website on how to register.

DeKalb County Schools – The district is hosting a back-to-school rally on Saturday, July 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will be held at James R. Hallford Stadium at 3789 Memorial College Ave in Clarkston. Get details on the district’s website.

Fulton County Sheriff’s Office – The Sheriff’s Office is hosting a book bag and school supply giveaway on Saturday, July 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will take place at Trammell Crow Park, located at 4980 Cascade Road SW.

There will be food, music, games, health assessments and more. Get more information here.

Find more back to school events here.


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