"Proper planning and early shopping are the best ways to survive the back-to-school shopping season."

Back-to-school - this twelve letter word is enough to make kids shudder with fear since their fun ride is finally over. It's time to wake up early in the morning, have a quick breakfast, pack school bags and then head to school. But more than kids, it's a stressful time for parents - psychologically and financially since they have to do all the prep-work with a smile on their face.

Undoubtedly, the biggest stress factor for parents in the July-August season is back-to-school shopping. And why wouldn't that be? Back-to-school shopping can make a family spend extra hundreds or thousands of dollars on kids' overall education. And, this is not a trivial matter.

So how much are parents going to spend on back-to-school shopping this year? Will they spend more or less? And how can they save a little on their kids' education needs? Find out right now.

Parents - How much will they shop this year?

As per the National Retail Federation, shoppers are likely to spend $674 on each child in this back-to-school shopping season, up from $630 previous year. Parents are expected to spend an average amount of $108 on school supplies. But, if we add clothes and shoes too, then the expenses would add up to $363 on an average. Around $204 will be spent on back-to-school electronics.

Nearly 50% of parents are scared that they won’t be able to buy everything given in the school list. This is what came across from an online survey conducted by Ebates. Undoubtedly, it’s not a shocking revelation for a website that promotes cashback coupons to find that parents are worried about having enough money to buy back-to-school supplies.

Most parents spend anything between $50 and 250 on every child on clothes. And, 7 in 10 parents spend around $100 on kids’ shoes and 50% parents spend $50 on school supplies.

Breakdown of how much parents spend


15% Parents spend under $50
41% Parents spend between $51 and $150
29% Parents spend between $151 and $250
15% Parents spend $251 and over this amount


37% Parents spend under $50
35% Parents spend between $51 and $100
27% Parents spend $101 or above this figure

School supplies

52% Parents spend under $50
28% Parents spend between $51 and $100
20% Parents spend around $101 or above this figure

Top 5 Back-to-school stressors for parents

Back-to-school shopping - 52%
Waking up kids and sending them to school - 51%
Hiring a good teacher - 43%
Getting the homework done - 33%
Bedtime - 30%

(This survey has been conducted by over more than 6000 parents).

Back-to-school shopping - Budget-friendly tips for parents

  1. Create a budget for back to school shopping. Keep the following points in mind when you're creating this budget:
    • Calculate how much do you need to pay for your kid's tuition fees and co-curricular activities.
    • Calculate how much you need to pay for local taxes.
    • Find out how much you need to spend for Advance Placement classes and lab fees.
  2. Buy school supplies during the state's tax-free period.
  3. Discuss with your kids and finalize their shopping list on the basis of needs and wants.
  4. Check out the deals available in Walmart, Amazon and other online shopping portals.
  5. Download the coupon applications in your smartphone from the Google Play Store to save on your online shopping excursions.
  6. Check out the to know what you need to buy as per your kid's grade.
  7. Sell your kids' outgrown clothes to consignment shops to get tax deductions.
  8. You can even sell those clothes to shops for money.
  9. Dispose your kids' old clothes and raise money for local school through Schoola.
  10. Get some money saving ideas from your kids on back-to-school shopping.
  11. Recheck the existing supplies and school supply lists before shopping.
  12. Swap a few items with other parents in order to save money.
  13. Rent a few supplies to know if they're actually required.
  14. Have a look at retail memberships to save on back-to-school shopping.
  15. Shop back-to-school supplies from thrift stores and garage sales.
  16. Buy a few used textbooks after comparing the price carefully.
  17. Buy pens and crayons in bulk to save money.
  18. Follow Twitter and Facebook to know about the sale offers and coupon links.
  19. Save the receipts in case you want to change the items if your kids don't like them.
  20. Go for shopping on two different days for school supplies and school clothes.
  21. Shop from a participating merchant who is donating a percentage to the school.

Read more - Get back to school without debt

Back-to-school shopping - Do's and Don'ts


  • Buy supplies in mid-summer or after the peak time is over to get 50%-75% discounts.
  • Explore Ebates to buy major brands and get cash back as well.
  • Check out the deals properly so that you can pick the best one.
  • Stick to your budget no matter how much your kids demand for a pricey backpack.


  • Don't use credit cards for back-to-school shopping as it becomes easier to stretch budget.
  • Avoid shopping back-to-school supplies during January and August as there is a huge rush.
  • Avoid taking out a payday loan to buy back-to-school supplies.
  • Avoid purchasing in a hurry or when your stomach is growling for food.

Final suggestion

Preparation is a must when you don't want to spend a fortune on back-to-school shopping. So, start planning early so that you don't miss out the deals and coupons in any way.

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