KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — As summer vacation winds down for many, the National Retail Federation expects the average family to spend more than $860 on school supplies this year.
From pencils and paper to shoes and haircuts, the costs can add up quickly. The retail federation also revealed that 84% of shoppers are expecting to pay more this year for school supplies.
“I’ve just been gradually getting the things that I need,” Catina Hall said.
Hall is a foster parent and takes care of a five-year-old boy who is getting ready to start his academic career.
“A tentative glance was like 48 bucks just for the supplies. That’s nothing else. That’s not the shoes, the socks, the clothes and everything else a child will need for starting school.”
Hall believes inflation has gone a little overboard and that’s why she’s buying school supplies at a slow but thoughtful pace. She estimates she’ll spend around $200 to $250 getting five-year-olds ready for school.
“I didn’t want to take the heat all at one time, so it’s not been too bad since I’ve been gradually getting it,” Hall said. “But a lot of these families that have more than one child, I feel for them. I’m lucky I just have one.”
In Anderson County, students will be receiving $40 worth of school supplies to help alleviate some of the financial burdens.
“It’s just another added expense for parents that we had the ability to care of through some funding and through some great financial choices that we made last year,” Anderson County Schools Director of Communications Ryan Sutton said.
Sutton has kids of his own in school. According to him, the extra cash will go a long way for many people and it’s much appreciated.
“We looked at supply lists all the way from K-12 and kind of figured out that average cost, that it would cost. And we figured out the amount of money that each school would, you know, based on enrollment, what would be the best thing to purchase those supplies so that each student can have success. And as a district, we do have a little bit more buying power when we buy in bulk,” he said.
The National Retail Federation predicts about $37 billion will be spent on back to school supplies this year.
Fortunately, Tennessee’s back-to-school tax-free holiday weekend is coming up on July 29 and it will run through July 31.