published : 2023-08-21

Guidelines to Minimize School Shopping Expenses Amid Rising Costs

Skyrocketing Cost of Simple School Supplies: Erasers Saw a 143% Price Hike, Reports Shopify

A candid shot of a parent browsing school supplies section in a retail store, the price tags clearly visible, capturing the daunting moment of back-to-school shopping reality. Taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

As students gear up for the new academic year, parents' wallets are feeling heavier pressure. Home budgets tremble as school supply costs potentially reach an astonishing $41.5 billion, up from last year, reflects data from the National Retail Federation.

With inflation continuing its upward march, typical family spending for school necessities will increase to approximately $890, a hike of $25 per family compared to last year's costs.

Bare necessities are no longer bare nor necessary, with erasers marking a staggering 143.4% cost increase, school uniforms not far behind with 73.2%, and even the humble dry-erase boards noticing a 57.4% price surge, according to Shopify's survey.

However, savvy shopping and strategic budget approaches can significantly ease this financial burden. One such method is to check what supplies are already on hand before beginning the shopping journey, thus avoiding unnecessary expense on duplicate items.

Recent experience dictates that last year's backpack might still be usable, potentially harboring reusable supplies in its corners. Trae Bodge, a renowned shopping expert, champions this idea of reassessing and reutilizing materials at hand.

An exciting image of a well-known shopping expert, like Trae Bodge, giving tips on how to shop smart, with a backdrop of a vibrant school supply store. Taken with a Nikon D850.

In addition to this, consumers can adopt a more competitive and strategic shopping approach, maximizing coupon use and historical price comparisons. Utilizing PayPal Honey, a browser extension, can aid significantly in this endeavour.

PayPal Honey's ability to test, find, and apply the best coupons at checkout simplifies the shopping experience while ensuring the best possible prices. It even allows customers to add items to a droplist, providing notifications when the dropped price hits a sale.

espite these helpful tips, financial constraints still can pose formidable challenges. In these circumstances, community resources can prove invaluable. Public resources could range from the provision of school supply packs to loaned laptops.

In the realm of secondhand items, gently used supplies can be a budget-friendly option. School supply swaps and online community sales groups offer an affordable platform to both buy and sell used, but good condition, school-related items.

In a bid to pace the shopping budget effectively, applications like PayPal Pay Later offer the flexibility to spread out payments overtime as per convenience.

A heartwarming image of a student, visibly happy, standing next to a pile of gently-used school supplies purchased from a swap or an online community sales group. Taken with a Sony A7R IV.

Choosing a versatile credit card can also usher smart savings. An example of such a card is the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card. This card offers new cardholders a 0% annual percentage rate while also granting 3% cash back in a chosen category each month, such as online shopping or dining.

Balancing the card's cash back category with the user's current expenditure focus can result in significant savings. For example, opting for 'online shopping' as the cash-back category during high shopping season can streamline savings.

Plus, being a student also has its own advantages. These can range from exclusive promotions on school websites and popular retail stores to students discounts available on-site at the time of payment.

Lastly, consumers are advised to tap into various loyalty programs offered by their favorite retailers. These schemes can often grant significant future savings and discounts.