Americans Feeling Pain of Inflation as They Begin Back-to-School Shopping

by Casey Harper


Inflation has soared in the past year, and parents are feeling the difference as they start back-to-school shopping this year.

A new Morning Consult survey found that parents expect to spend more money and are less excited about shopping for their children this year.

“As pressure mounts on everyday expenses, more parents feel that they’ll have trouble or outright can’t afford their children’s back-to-school needs compared with previous years,” the group said. “Parents’ planned spending has increased significantly from prior years as families wrangle budgets to accommodate anticipated higher prices for school necessities.”

The report found that 19% of parents cannot “afford all the back-to-school supplies they need,” compared to 9% who said the same in 2020.

“And as the shopping season ramps up, parents are nearly evenly split on feeling either stressed or excited about back-to-school shopping, which is a marked change from last summer, when more parents were excited about returning to a more ‘normal’ school year in classrooms,” the group said.

Parents are also cutting back on school supplies they deem are not as important.

“Larger economic trends indicate that essentials like notebooks, pencils and new clothes for growing kids will still make it into shopping carts, but discretionary items might be at risk of getting cut or at least traded down to less expensive options,” the survey said. “The majority will shop in stores or mix online and instore shopping, highlighting opportunities for retailers to use location and loyalty data to push additional shopping trips for customers buying back-to-school items. Retailers juggling inventory challenges and inflation pressure must precisely target cross-channel promotions and push in-store upsell opportunities to earn their share of wallet from these eager but stressed-out shoppers.”

This report comes on the heels of a recent study from Deloitte which found that back-to-school spending is expected to reach $34.4 billion for K-12 students, an all-time high.

“More than half (57%) of back-to-school shoppers surveyed are concerned about inflation, though many remain determined to purchase needed supplies, possibly driving spending per student up by as much as 8%,” the report said. “Back-to-school shoppers surveyed plan to decrease their spending on technology products by 8% year-over-year, while those shopping for college are set to increase their spend on technology by 22% from 2021.”

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Casey Harper is a Senior Reporter for the Washington, D.C. Bureau. He previously worked for The Daily Caller, The Hill, and Sinclair Broadcast Group. A graduate of Hillsdale College, Casey’s work has also appeared in Fox News, Fox Business, and USA Today.
Photo “Back-to-School-Shopping” by Daniel Case. CC BY-SA 3.0.


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2 Thoughts to “Americans Feeling Pain of Inflation as They Begin Back-to-School Shopping”

  1. 83ragtop50

    No problem where I live. The taxpayers are hit for providing supplies and meals for every student. I did not sign up to raise other people’s kids. Socialism at its finest.

    1. Yep, agreed. Back when my kids were in grade school, the teachers would say they need 3 boxes of crayons, 3 of each color folders, 3 glue sticks, etc etc. I always told the teacher I would send the items in as my child needed them. The whole idea behind their premise being it would be communal property. Yeah, I’m not doing that.