How to spend smarter on school supplies

How to spend smarter on school supplies
parents are expected to spend more than $500 per child on supplies, clothing, and other necessities. (Source: WALB)

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - For parents with kids in school, spending on back-to-school items is a $28 billion business.

The National Retail Federation says parents will spend more than ever on school supplies this year than ever before, and parents are expected to spend more than $500 per child on supplies, clothing, and other necessities.

As part of our new series, “Spending Smarter,” we took a closer look at back-to school spending to find ways you can save money

Buy in bulk

There are several stores across the ArkLaTex that sell products in bulk. Dollar Tree offers bulk school supply items on its website, including some name brand items like Crayola crayons and Playskool markers.

You can also buy in bulk from sites like Amazon.

Make a plan

If you’re the kind of parent who likes to visit a physical store to do your shopping, time and gas money can add up. According to shopper data, it can take an average of 16 different trips between July and September to purchase items for back-to-school.

Experts suggest comparing prices online first, then making a plan to buy as much as you can at one store, and limit the number of other stores you visit.

The extra gas money it takes to go to multiple stores can eat into any potential savings you may find at other stores.

Know what products have prices that fluctuate

We did some comparison shopping and we found a lot of the most popular necessities like crayons and markers were the same prices at most of the big box stores like Walmart and Target. A box of 24-count crayons costs 50-cents at most stores.

But where prices really started to differ was with your essentials like pencils, highlighters, and tissues.

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