Parents may experience high prices for school supplies

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 6:36 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Back-to-school shopping can be another burden for parents, amid the rising prices of gas, groceries, and other necessities.

Sydney Hawkins from Action News 5 took a list and shopped for a kindergartner at Bartlett Elementary to show what you can expect to pay.

“They seem to be shopping a little bit later this year than normal. We’re hoping that’s not an indication of where the economy is headed,” said Any Gattas president of Knowledge Tree.

Knowledge Tree a school supply store in the Mid-South that tailors to certain supplies you may not find at your local Target or Walmart.

This year, retailers said, shopping at a specialty store could help you with items affected by supply chain issues.

“Whether it’s a seat sack- that’s a sack that sits on the back of a child’s seat. It’s on many lists, not very easy to find,” said Gattas. “Specific tablets that we carry, that are specified by certain teachers because of the kinetic benefits of them when they’re in the classroom learning. Those types of things to try to pay attention to the best you can. It’s really hard to find some of this.”

According to Knowledge Tree’s sales history, inflation and supply chain issues are affecting school supplies like Crayola Crayon. Where a year ago, they would have been 25 percent less.

Other Crayola products are up too. A 16-pack of crayons are up almost 35 percent, and colored pencils are up 12-percent.

Retailers say if your child’s teacher does not list a specific brand, shop smart.

“If the teacher specifies Crayola, try to get Crayola. If they don’t specify a brand, it’s okay to buy an off brand, which is going to be less expensive,” said Gattas.

The National Retail Federation said parents should expect to pay about $15 more this year for school supplies.

The receipt came out to $65 and some change. We pulled a receipt from last year at Knowledge Tree with similar items, and that total was just over $44.

The National Retail Federation reports almost 40 percent of parents have been scaling back on other expenses, leading up to back-to-school shopping this year.

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