On the Site:


Gephardt Busts Inflation: Saving $ on back-to-school supplies with inflation

Aug 12, 2022, 6:36 AM | Updated: Nov 21, 2022, 11:17 pm

Even in the best years, back-to-school shopping is stressful for moms and dads. But with inflation running amok this year, parents are tackling big price hikes on top of the stress. Fortunately, there are ways they can still save money.

With higher prices are chewing away at every dollar in back-to-school budgets, the KSL Investigators shopped five retailers. We found our list of school supplies increased in price by 15-to-20 percent, and that is just in one year.

To offset inflation, 38% of parents surveyed by the National Retail Federation said they have cut back on spending in other areas. 18% are putting in overtime or have gotten a side gig. And 12% told the NRF they are going into debt or borrowing money to pay for school supplies.

“You have to be even more careful, even more clever, when you’re looking for ways to save on your back-to-school shopping,” smart shopping expert Trae Bodge said. She recommended starting by taking stock of what you have at home.

“Everything’s going to be more expensive and so it’s really important, first of all, to only buy what you need,” Bodge said. “So, I strongly suggest that parents go through their old backpacks, have your kids try and all their clothes, and then evaluate the list from the school and then make your plan.”

Just a few minutes comparison shopping online will save you money. Bodge likes to Google her shopping list.

“The Google shopping platform is really helpful,” she said. “It’ll basically populate an entire page full of where that item is available, how much it is, and then maybe you can pull in the help from a coupon site at the same time and say like, ‘Okay, this one, I can earn 3.5% cashback. There’s no cash back here’ and make your decision accordingly.”

Do not forget dollar stores: our list of supplies proved cheapest at the dollar store we shopped. And sure, get the essentials now but hold off on spending your entire budget: you’ll still find deals after school starts – especially on clothes.

“You want to get a few basics and some couple new pieces so kids can feel special going back to school,” Bodge said.

If electronics are on the list, consider buying last year’s model of computer, tablet, or smartphone – or a refurbished one. Make sure it has a warranty.

But the best thing you can do, said Bodge, is to involve your kids because here is one of the most teachable moments about money and budgeting.

“I do think making a visual example for your child – say, ‘we have X number to spend. This is how much those sneakers are impacting our budget, this is how much we have left for the list from your school.’ And for kids to see how that works from a visual perspective can be very, very helpful,” she explained. “You can show them the difference it can make by buying used or using a coupon. for them to see that now, they will go out into the world eventually much more well informed and hopefully making smarter decisions as well.”

Two more money saving ideas: Buy supplies in bulk and split the cost with other parents. And use price comparison apps. Many of them will allow you to scan barcodes to compare prices with other stores.

KSL 5 TV Live

Back to School

Holly Duke teaches all-day kindergarten at West Kearns Elementary....

Deanie Wimmer

High stakes of kindergarten readiness; what Utah schools are doing to improve student performance

Ready for kindergarten used to mean a child turned five by the cutoff date. But as the stakes and expectations get higher, teachers are encountering some surprising behaviors.

2 months ago

This week KSL+ looks at what school districts describe as “chronic absenteeism” in Utah’s sch...

Braden McElreath and Michael Houck, KSL TV

8 Utah schools have been placed on lockdown since the start 2023-2024 school year

In just two and a half weeks, seven Utah schools have issued seven lockdown protocols. 

3 months ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Dan Rascon

Bingham High seniors petition due to school parking shortage

Some Bingham High School seniors in South Jordan, say a new parking policy for students is now preventing them from finding open stalls.

3 months ago

The outside of Ella Vista Elementary School. (KSL TV)...

Shelby Lofton

Bella Vista Elementary starts school year without air conditioning

Another Utah school is starting its school year without any AC.

3 months ago

McKinley Elementary School, Box Elder County School District. (KSL TV)...

Karah Brackin and Mary Culbertson, KSL TV

Box Elder School District among the last to head back to school; largely due to the County Fair

Box Elder School District heads back to school as one of the last districts to do so in the state. While they have unique factors to consider, students and administration are pumped for the new school year.

3 months ago

The Timekettle Translator earbuds that Herriman High School uses for their international students....

Karah Brackin and Michael Houck, KSL TV

New translation device helps international students in classes and studies

As Herriman High School continues to see the number of international students increasing, the school is turning to a game-changing device that is helping break down the language barrier.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Saving $ on back-to-school supplies with inflation