As back-to-school costs soar, experts provide tips to help families save

As back-to-school costs soar, experts provide tips to help families save

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Back-to-school shopping is an outing that can fill a parent with dread, and this year, it comes with a steeper-than-usual price tag.

Nausheen Asif took her daughters, Mariam and Misha, to shop for supplies while marking items off a list of her own. The Texas mom is also a teacher, and she pays for some classroom items herself.

She told CBS News she has to factor those extra supplies into her family budget.

The price of school supplies has risen almost 24% over the last two years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

“It’s not just the school supplies itself, individually,” Asif noted. “Our utilities have gone up. Our, you know, just the gas, taxes. Everything has gone up.”

Even with a teacher discount, she spent almost $1,000 on supplies for her daughters and her classroom.

Experts say families looking to save should know they don’t have to buy everything at once. For example, winter clothes can be bought in the fall, when they tend to be discounted. Deals can also be found on sites like Facebook Marketplace and other resale stores that sell gently used clothing. For expensive electronics, such as laptops, experts suggest shopping at Labor Day sales.

Consumer Reports deals editor Samantha Gordon said Google Shopping is a useful tool for clothing and school supplies as well.

“They’ll give you all the different options so you can make the smart choices,” she said.

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