Parents Break the Bank for Back-to-School Shopping

What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

Americans will spend an estimated $26.5 billion on back-to-school items this year.

Back-to-school shopping is in full swing. And parents are being forced to open their wallets wide to pay for their children’s school-related expenses.

A recent RetailMeNot survey found that two-thirds of parents will start back-to-school shopping by the end of July.

Also, it found that parents will spend some serious cash, $659 on average, on school-related costs for their family throughout the school year.

It takes a lot more than a new outfit or two and some pencils to prepare for a new school year these days. Parents now have to budget for multipage school supply lists and extracurricular activities. A RetailMeNot press release said:

“It’s important to factor in the costs of extracurricular activities in order to stay within budget for the school year,” says Trae Bodge, senior lifestyle editor for The Real Deal by RetailMeNot. “Surprises usually do come up during the year. Whether it’s a birthday party for the classroom or a fundraiser for art class, there are plenty of ways to save and stretch your budget by shopping early and always looking for discounts.”

The National Retail Federation estimates that Americans will spend a staggering $26.5 billion on back-to-school shopping this year. That includes money for classroom supplies, electronics, clothes and shoes. Parents with high school students spend the most, while those with elementary school-age kids get off the cheapest.

RetailMeNot found that 3 in 4 parents have cut back on purchases for themselves – like dinner, vacations, and clothing and shoes – so they can afford their child’s school-related costs.

Here are a couple more highlights from the RetailMeNot survey:

  • Extracurricular activities. Nearly 9 in 10 parents said their child participates in extracurricular activities during the school year. Extracurriculars come with a hefty price tag — $396 on average.
  • Online vs. in-store. The number of parents planning to shop for back-to-school supplies solely in a physical store has fallen from 72 percent in 2013 to 60 percent in 2014.

I remember my parents stressing out when we started the back-to-school routine. It’s understandable, considering they had five kids to clothe and prepare for school with the necessary classroom supplies.

Last year, my husband and I were preparing our then 3-year-old daughter to attend preschool. We had a lengthy list – including the typical crayons, scissors, glue and paper, as well as tissues, baby wipes and sanitizing wipes, among others. It wasn’t cheap, and I know it’s going to continue to go up.

How much do you spend on back-to-school items? Do you have any cost-saving back-to-school shopping tips? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: Lookin’ Good! How to Get a Killer Deal on Eyeglasses

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,973 more deals!