August 20, 2012

Back to School Shopping

Maggie Rulli breaks it down -- and shares some ways to save.

Maggie: A brand-new first day outfit, a fresh pack of markers, maybe even some new electronics. Students have a lot to buy before the first bell rings.

What do you plan on buying this year to go back to school?

Student: Um… Like, colored pants, a backpack, probably like a messenger bag or something like that.

Student: I just have my computer, and just take all my notes on the computer.

Student: I need to have my notebooks and binders and stuff, because if I’m not organized, I don’t really know what’s going on in my life!

Maggie: Retailers say back-to-school shopping is the second-biggest spending event of the year, right after the holiday season. According to the National Retail Federation, spending on back-to-school this year will average $689 per family, up from $604 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $30 billion. When you include college books, dorm furnishings, and supplies, it is $84 billion.

Now, how much money would you say you are going to spend this year, going back to school?

Student: Since it’s senior year, I definitely want to look good, but probably not go over the $100 budget.

Student: $500, at least now.

Student: A lot. Probably more than $1,000, maybe. I don’t know.

Maggie: But the retail organization did find that 85% of shoppers say the economy is affecting where they shop, and how much they buy. And more people are skipping the stores and doing their shopping on the web. Since 2003, online back-to-school shopping has quadrupled, with nearly 40% of shoppers buying at least one item online.

You do any of your shopping online?

Student: Yeah. Definitely. Discounts here and there.

Student: Yeah. I like to use the app on my phone.

Maggie: These web shoppers are also spending about 27% more than the shoppers who never touch a keyboard – an average of $874 per person.

But if you are not ready to give up on the stores entirely, just take your smartphone with you to snag the latest deals because, of course, there’s an app for that! A whole bunch, actually – apps that show you where to find the latest deal, what your favorite stores are offering, even apps that let you scan the coupons right from your screen.

Well, I’m all checked in and ready to find a deal. So, let’s go back-to-school shopping!


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