COLORADO SPRINGS — Summer break is coming to an end, and it's that time of the year again for families to start buying school supplies.
Data from the National Retail Federationshows the typical family with children in K-12 will shell out roughly $860, and college students $1200 — outside of tuition and books. 68 percent of families have noticed higher back-to-school items, especially with clothing and accessories.
"I've noticed clothes are more expensive, shoes are more expensive. I did noticed Prime days weren't as aggressive as they have been in years past," said Brown.
Which can be tough for Brown whose a mother of four.
"I start early with back to school. I try to take inventory of all of my kid's closets to see what they are growing up or what they'll need," said Brown.
Luckily, Brown doesn't have to stress about school supplies. Her kids' schools are helping to buy things like folders, colored pencils, and glue sticks.
"For things like backpacks and lunchboxes, that's when I really shop the Prime and target deals," said Brown. "When it comes to budgeting, I try to do most of my shopping in July and August. Similarly when Black Friday and Christmas deals are going, I'll shop for spring."
"I think it is important to have a plan. Sitting down and having your school supply list is a great way to start. So you have a detail list of things you want or need to buy. Some of things you might be able to use from last year so if it's a pencil box or backpack, said Keith Lobis, Regional Bank President, Wells Fargo.
After going through the list, determine your budget and spending limit. If your budget and anticipated costs aren’t lining up, see what you may be able to cut from your list, or what you may already have in your house.
"Some of the items, I think it is good to consider bulk items. So if its something you're going to use throughout the year, can you save by buying in bulk now," said Lobis.
"We do have a Costco membership which helps us buy in bulk or when we see sales that say buy three and save," said Brown.
She recommends families start their back to school shopping early, and take advantage of deals.
"Cost comparing can be time consuming, but I try to stick with retailers that I have loyalty programs with. I will cost compare with those. Use your friend network, if you've got friends who are willing to share their hand me downs — that has been a big lifesaver for us," said Brown.
Wells Fargo also recommends getting kids involved to help them understand the cost of their things, and to find lower prices.