The Cost of Back to School Shopping

By Rachel Martin

August 13, 2012 Updated Aug 13, 2012 at 11:10 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – It's back to school time, which means back to school shopping, and that can get a little expensive. Indiana’s NewsCenter went school shopping to figure out how to save some cash on supplies.

Some people dread it.

"It's not my favorite, said Izabell Estes, a 5th grader at Hickory Center. “It’s hard because you have to figure out everything that you need and you have to make sure that the place you’re at has everything.

For her, school begins Wednesday. “When you shop at the last minute everything is out and you can’t find it,” she said.

Others don't mind. "It's kind of fun. My mom usually let's me help out,” said Eli Sutaphong, a 2nd grader at Glenwood Park, which begins August 20.

“It’s been painless so far,” said Chanelle Barnes, Eli’s mom. “The list isn’t too long, it’s not anything crazy.”

With school starting this week and next, back-to-school shopping is something that needs to be done, but that doesn't mean breaking your bank.

"The clothes are what's usually the issue,” said Barnes.

"We spent about $50 at the other place, so we'll see this time,” said Melissa Estes. “We got book bags and a few odds and ends the other store didn't have, so all in all probably about $100."

INC’s Rachel Martin decided to take the challenge by school supply shopping at the Meijer on Lima Road. She obtained two supply lists, one for kindergarteners and one for 8th graders, and went searching for the best deals. The strategy was to find the cheapest items.

The kindergarten list included: folders, glue sticks, gym shoes, hand sanitizer, notebooks, plastics bags, tissues, washable markers and wet wipes. The 8th grade list was a little more elaborate with colored pencils, composition books, dividers, folders pens, glue, graph paper, gym shoes, index cards, loose leaf paper, pens, pencils, poster board, a scientific calculator, spiral notebooks, three ring binders, and tissues.

But the prices weren't that bad. Items were listed as low as 15 cents and two items for $3.00.
By the end of check-out, school supplies for a kindergartener totaled $45.86, but it jumped up by about $30 to $75.29 for an 8th grade student. The most expensive item on both lists were the gym shoes at about $16 for the kindergartener and around $25 for the 8th grader.

"They're pretty reasonable. I think they’re about the same as last year,” said Barnes.

"This year, I didn't have the time to do all the competitive ads and everything,” said Estes. “As the grades get higher, I guess the more expensive it is. I'm just glad it's done and over with."

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