On average, families spend more than $687 per child on school supplies, Ocean County Freeholder says; How much are you spending on school supplies?

As summer break winds down, it is not too soon to start thinking of all the things your kids are going to need when they head back to school this September.

There are the basic school supplies – the pencils and notebooks, the backpacks and lunchboxes. Then there is the back-to-school wardrobe, and the more higher-priced items, like new computers or tablets.

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent around $83.6 billion on back-to-school and back-to-college shopping in 2017, more than a 10 percent increase from 2016.

“On average, families spend more than $687 per child,” said Ocean County Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, Chairman of the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs. “It is possible to spend less and ensure your child is well prepared and ready to learn, if you shop with a game plan.”

Creating a budget using the teacher’s supply list as a starting point should help keep expenses under control. Also, list items in the order of priority and estimated cost, keeping in mind extra-curricular activities, such as uniforms, field trips, and lab fees. Decide how much money you can spend and what can be eliminated from your list, if necessary. Take inventory of what you already have. Whenever possible, reuse and recycle last year’s gear before buying something new.

According to Stephen Scaturro, Director of the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs, stores in New Jersey are required by law to have an adequate supply of advertised on-sale items in stock. He also recommends keeping your sales receipts and knowing the stores return policy.

Researchers predict, too, that an increasing amount of shopping will be done online. Before ordering anything online, learn about the merchant. Beware of prices that are drastically lower than those you have seen elsewhere, as it may indicate a scam. Also, assure the website is secure prior to giving out your information.

“It is recommended that a credit card is used for online purchases,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little. “It will provide an additional level of protection if there is a problem with the item you have purchased.”

In addition, college textbooks can be a daunting expense. Consider purchasing used textbooks from other students, online, or in bookstores. A bit of research may show that there is little or no difference between a new edition and the previous edition.

How much do you pay for school supplies per child?


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There are 10 Comments to "On average, families spend more than $687 per child on school supplies, Ocean County Freeholder says; How much are you spending on school supplies?"

  • Anonymaam says:

    $100 per child every year. Uniforms and other fees not included

  • Resident says:

    That number makes sense when you consider uniforms and shoes.

  • Old Lakewood resident says:

    I think all the schools should get the replies And we should just get the uniform shoes and briefcases we spend enough money on To Wishon And the teachers know what they’re getting for the kids and they all have the same thing and the teacher won’t say that they need more then what is on the list

  • Ruth says:

    The frustrating thing is that you spend money and run around getting supplies, some of which are never used and then the first few days of school you get hit with additional supplies that specific teachers want that aren’t on the list.

  • Nonsense says:

    $70! Lol!

  • Thrifty shopper says:

    I just made a cheshbon… a little over $200 per girl
    Including: uniform (2 skirts, 4 shirts & a school sweater- assuming I buy all new, which usually doesn’t happen- often at least something lasts through more than one year or can be handed down), backpack (land’s end so it really lasts more than one year but I’m including the full price paid), socks, shoes (1 or 2 pairs per kid) and everything on the school supply list
    I do buy some basic supplies through the year when they go on sale (I added in the price I paid).

  • Lakewood Mom says:

    I think they’re figuring on a new tablet per kid. Our schools don’t require that, thankfully 😉

  • Surprise supplies says:

    The school should buy and bill for supplies as needed they can buy in bulk. Also don’t understand why every year the schools need 100 forms filed out… It should be like a car unless info has changed or new registration keep as is

  • Me says:

    I spend close to $200 a kid ?

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