Survey: Back to school price tag tops $500 per family

(Illinois News Network) — The price tag for parents to send their kids back to school this year is estimated at more than $500.

The back-to-school shopping list seems to grow every year, and never seems to get any cheaper.

Liz Verrill, an audit partner with accounting and consulting firm Deloitte, said a new survey puts the back-to-school price tag at about $510 per family this year – $28 billion in all.

“Compared to when you and I were kids, we were not spending on computers or cell phones, or anything like that,” Verrill said. “And that does make up almost $4 billion of the $28 billion back-to-school spend. So that’s kind of a change over time.”

Verrill says the back-to-school shopping season, essentially July and August, is second only to the holiday shopping season.

But unlike the holidays, Verrill says parents will buy most of their back-to-school supplies in brick-and-mortar stores.

“Shoppers are spending more money in stores than online,” Verrill said. “We continue to hear about the trend away from brick-and-mortar stores and toward online. But shoppers plan to spend almost double, about $300 in stores nationally, compared to what they spend online.”

Verrill says their survey shows that kids will have a big impact on what parents buy, if not how much they spend.