Back-to-school prices skyrocket amid inflation

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 10:22 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Just like almost everything else these days - the cost of school supplies is going up. Some parents and teachers say they are having to make tough decisions on where to spend their money.

“Am I going to spend more money on just food we’re eating, or get school supplies and cut back on groceries,” Jonthan Dale, Electra ISD teacher, said.

Each year, parents and guardians are given a list of school items to ensure their child is prepared for the upcoming year, but the price tag looks a little different this time around.

“The school supplies have gone up the prices have gone up substantially,” Dale said.

The nearly 10% rise in the consumer price index has many parents and teachers worried if they can afford supplies this year.

“It’s different now,” Dale said. “It used to be where you can just set aside a certain amount of money and get your school supplies. Now, you have to almost double the amount of money you need for school supplies.”

Teachers have a limited budget for school supplies, so this means some have to take on a second source of income.

“I have to work a second job, and so if I have to do it, other people are going to have to do that too,” Dale said. “It means taking on more hours at work, trying to pick up overtime, if possible, more hours away from home, maybe a mom that doesn’t work now needs a job and that kind of thing.”

Both parents and teachers say they are cutting back on non-essential items and saving money even farther ahead of time to prepare for this school year.

“Yeah I mean, when inflation started going up we started saving money earlier in the year because I knew if we waited until the last minute we wouldn’t be able to afford all of it.” Natasha Wagner, stay-at-home mother said, “So, it’s just kind of crazy how much more expensive everything is.”

The average household is expected to pay around $661 on school supplies this year per child, which is up 8% from last year.

“It’s kind of scary to think about how we are going to be able to afford things as inflation keeps going up ‘cause it doesn’t look like there’s any end in sight to it,” Wagner said.

Back-to-school shopping is now the second largest spending time for families behind the holidays.

“If your able to just start saving a little bit now so that by the time school starts again, you’ll have a little bit to pay for it ‘cause I’m sure it’s going to be more next year,” Wagner said.

If you are interested in saving a few bucks for back to school, one way is to go shopping on the tax-free weekend on Aug. 5-7.

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