As a frugal mom, I'm not one to turn down a freebie or a cheapie, particularly when it comes to back-to-school supplies. My kids both had a sizeable list last year, which I kept a copy of just so that I would know what likely will be on this year's list as they move ahead a grade. Pricegrabber recently conducted a survey about back-to-school shopping feelings and 46% of consumers plan to spend more this year than last and couched that figure as a "hopeful sign that the economic recovery is gaining traction."
More? Of course they're going to spend more. Anyone who tracks prices notices that things just cost more! I don't necessarily see this as an economic predictor so much as a fact of life that prices go up and consumers are more aware that yeah, things just cost more, so back-to-school will take a bigger chunk out of their household budget than last year. I have two kids and had I taken that survey, I'd have ticked the box saying I was planning to spend more. Clothes cost more this year, compared to last. Clothing is a significant portion of the money I spend on back-to-school for my kids.
Consumers will be on the look out for back-to-school deals on office supplies, clothing, back packs and more... all summer long, including starting some back-to-school shopping in June (17% of respondents of their survey). A good chunk (35%) will wait until July, and the bulk will be last-minute shoppers, will start their shopping in August (44%). There was a notable shift in these percentages (a few percentage points) from last year, which could be an indicator that consumers want to spread out their purchases to make them more affordable over time so that it's not such a huge bite from their paychecks in July and August, and not necessarily that this survey is a predictor of a recovering economy.
When do you plan to start your back-to-school shopping? Or do you never quit? I'm always looking for supplies that my children can use in their classrooms... all year long!