Before kids get back to class next week, parents have to solve a whole different kind of math problem called the back-to-school budget.
“I think on average I end up spending about $100 per child,” said Andrea Fizzard, as she loaded up the car outside Staples. “The $100 is usually just school supplies, pens, pencils, paper, that kind of thing.”
She says she doesn’t really give in to any idea of a ‘must-have’ item for her kids.
“I’m not really that kind of mom, I’m usually good at re-using what we already have to kind of stretch the budget.”
Ivy Mababa has three kids in elementary school and she also tries to stick to a budget of $100 each.
“I keep the things that they can still use this year from previous years,” she said.
“They can still use the shoes from previous years but the papers, notebooks, it should be new.”
Corinne Gibson admits she spends a bit more on her youngest son because he is the last of her children still in high school.
“I include clothes and stuff so my back-to-school budget for my son is about $700,” she said. “He gets new clothes, new gym clothes, he needs a new scientific calculator, he gets all the new books, but I do kinda baby him.”
She says notebooks and binders are the most expensive school supplies. One notebook cost $12 and a five star zipper binder was $22, but he needed five.
Gibson says she enjoys school shopping because it’s a chance to spend time with her son. But she does like to buy everything at one store instead of driving everywhere around the city to look for the best deal.
Jamie Dobson has one daughter in high school and a son still in elementary school.
“I did $100 for her because she’s got a job and I didn’t get anything else for her so no extra perks,” she said. “For him I needed to get quite a few clothes because he had a big growth spurt.”
Dobson admits she didn’t really add up the amount of money she paid for straight school supplies, but she does love to hunt for bargains.