NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With just a few weeks left until Labor Day, the rush is on to get school supplies.
By the time you’re done shopping, it might feel like your wallet has been emptied out. But as CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reports, there are ways to cut costs.
“Hundreds of dollars. And depending on where your child goes to school, it might even be up into the thousands,” mother Adriane Mack said.
That’s the challenge parents face as they try to save money on school supplies.
“There’s a dollar store in my neighborhood, so I try to shop from there where it’s a dollar for the pencils,” Mack added.
Some kids enjoy the huge shopping season.
“I love it,” 10-year-old Jhnria Sconiers said. “That my parents get to spend money on me.”
They’re spending more than ever.
“The National Retail Federation says that Americans are going to spend a record $84 billion on back to school spending,” “The Money Coach” Lynette Khalfani-Cox said.
She said that works out to about $1,000 per college student and nearly $700 on middle and high school students.
Financial experts say before spending lots of money on new things, go through your child’s closets and old supplies to see if anything can be used again.
Khalfani-Cox said to teach your children the difference between wants and needs.
“Like I told my daughter who asked for a $150 pair of UGGs: You need a pair of boots, but you don’t need a $150 pair of boots,” she said.
She also said to pass on the idea of spending limits.
“A better question is: What’s the least that we can spend and still get what we actually need?” she said.
Michele Samarel said some local schools are now partnering with supply companies so parents can buy everything online, with half the profits going back to the school’s PTA.
“The price I was paying with this program three years ago was over $100 per child, and now the price has gone down to in the $70s,” she said.
Jariel Sconiers said his secret is to buy school supplies all year round, instead of waiting for the big rush. His daughter Jnria’s advice?
“Do good in school, kids,” she said with a smile.
Experts say parents can use back to school shopping to teach kids about credit and the important of maintain a good credit rating, especially heading into college.