Study shows back-to-school shopping costs have nearly doubled

Almost four-in-10 parents plan to spend over $600 on back-to-school shopping in 2022

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Inflation has left many families across the country stretched thin this year.

With the new school year right around the corner, school supply costs, like food and gas, may leave some families struggling even more.

A research team at savings.com surveyed more than 500 parents of school-aged children.

Of the 500 parents surveyed, Senior Editor of Industry Research Corie Wagner of savings-dot-com discovered that 40% say they’re planning to spend $600 or more for back-to-school supplies this year.

Each parent in the survey is spending for just less than two children, on average.

“Last year, only six percent of parents felt they were going to spend that much,” Wagner said. “That $600+ group is growing, which is a lot of money.

Wagner says many parents factor in haircuts and doctor visits for their kids as part of their school shopping budget.

Just one-in-10 parents surveyed said they’d spend less than $150.

And a whopping 44% plan to seek assistance to shop for their children.

“I was pretty upset to hear that nearly half of the parents in our study are concerned that inflation’s going to prevent them from buying everything that their children need,” Wagner said. “Not having everything a child needs to go back to school — that can be a hindrance to learning and a stigma between some children and their classmates.”

However, Wagner and others say immediate relief is in sight.

With Tennessee’s sales tax holiday on clothing, school supplies and computers beginning Friday, July 29, Chattanooga’s Hamilton Place hopes parents and students take advantage of the tax break.

“This weekend, we have a Back to School Bash where we’re welcoming families in the community to come and shop for their back-to-school apparel needs,” said Stacey Keating, Spokesperson for CBL Properties. “In addition to the sales tax holiday, a lot of our retailers have great deals planned for the weekend. So it’s a great weekend to save when you’re saving for back-to-school.”

For the upcoming sales tax holiday weekend, general apparel such as shirts, pants, socks, shoes, etc. costing $100 or less will be exempt.

Additionally, school and art supplies priced at less than $100 per item such as binders, backpacks, pencils and more are also exempt.

Categories: Chattanooga, Education, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News