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Supply spending is up five percent this year for school supplies

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Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Kids, cover your ears. School is just around the corner and parents, although you might be looking forward to some peace and quiet, that back-to-school shopping could give you sticker shock.


According to a national survey, supply spending is up 5%. And this year, American families will spend a collective $26.5 billion getting their kids ready for school.

It may only be July, but stores are already bracing for back-to-school shoppers.

And any day now, parents should start equipping their kids with shiny, new and possibly expensive supplies.

Briana Scearcey/Mom of Kindergartner: “A lot of glue and colors and folders.”

Briana Scearcy's oldest will start kindergarten this year.

Scearcy: “Having not done this before, it's a learning process for us too.”

But Scearcy doesn't expect a kindergarten supply list to be too pricey.

Scearcy: “A good guess, probably around a hundred dollars.”

Supplies like pencils and notebooks can cost around a-hundred dollars. But the total bill for supplies, clothing and electronics can set families back around $670.

According to the National Retail Federation, that's what the average US family will spend to get kids K-through-12 ready for school. And some teachers say they see families struggling to cover the costs.

Charlotte Franks-Erickson/5th Grade Teacher: “That's one reason I buy a lot of my own supplies and try to get the school to provide some, is that not everyone get bring their own supplies.”

And in the digital age, many parents are buying more high-tech supplies.

The national survey says parents spend on average more than $200 on electronics for back-to-school. That's 7% more than families spent just last year.

But for now, Scearcy is happy back packs and crayons are her biggest back-to-school expenses.

Scearcy: “I think it depends how electronic we go, but for the most part, we'll keep it pretty simple.”

Many school supply stores offer their steepest discounts in July. And some, like Target, will donate supplies to a student in need, for every store-brand school item sold.