How Much Will You Spend on School Supplies?

The average American parent is expected to spend nearly $689 on back-to-school items. Will you spend that much?


Students in Decatur and Atlanta are back in class, and kids in DeKalb and Fulton public schools will be in their seats Monday.

For many parents, these are days that include high-stakes trips to the store to help their children find the perfect backpack and school supplies. And let's not even talk about clothes.

The National Retail Federation projects that parents of children in grades K-12 will spend nearly $689 on their children's back-to-school needs, almost $85 more than last year.

All of this got us wondering about the school supply lists that parents are asked to fulfill.

Most of the lists look pretty straight forward. But then there's the DeKalb County teacher, who will remain nameless, who went beyond listing No. 2 pencils and crayons to specify Ticonderoga brand pencils and Crayola crayons.

To be fair, the Ticonderoga packages proclaim they are "The World's Best Pencil" and Crayola's crayons are made in America.

But some teachers are also asking parents of kindergarten students to kick in a package of photocopy paper. And items like anti-bacterial wipes are pretty common on school supply lists.

What do you think of your child's back-to-school supply list? Is it reasonable? Are there items that seem too expensive or not education related? Let us know what you think in the comments area below.

If you have not bought everything on your child's list, don't fret. The state of Georgia has revived its sales tax holiday for Aug. 10-11 and many back-to-school items will be tax free.


Related links:

Tucker Farmers Market Collecting School Supplies

Alison Kyle August 10, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Target had it all laid out and the prices were excellent. I spent only $68 for my decatur first grader. Wish the tax holiday started before decatur went back to school!
Dinopolis August 10, 2012 at 05:23 PM
schools should provide all this stuff for free--it costs way too much
Decaturette August 10, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Oh, that's what I thought once upon a time, back when my first child went to kindergarten. Then I realized how little the teachers were given for supplies. Our choice is to help get the supplies into our children's classrooms or have the classrooms be without. It's unfair that money is wasted all the time in school systems but our teachers are not given paper to copy instructions for the homework. It's unfair that CEO level salaries are given to Central Office staff when they are public servants just like the teachers and the salary inflation could cover a darn lot of supplies. It's unfair that some parents faithfully bring in every item on the list even though it's a financial sacrifice for them even though some parents who could easily afford it, just can't be bothered. But, in the end, most of us parents do what is needed for the children sitting in the classroom and not responsible for the actions of adults. We bring in the glue sticks, the pencils, the composition books, the poly folders with pockets and sprockets, primary colors only, etc. :)
Leslie Johnson August 12, 2012 at 06:19 PM
I've spent a little over $200 for the basics and I still need to get a book bag and a couple of special notebooks. Mind you, we still don't have the official school supply lists from 2 high schools. So I'm thinking another $200 or so.


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