CHICAGO, IL - August 14, 2012 – The days of
summer are drawing to a close and annual back-to-school specials are starting
to surface. Whether you plan to shop at your favorite retail store or reuse
supplies from last year, the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and
Northern Illinois (BBB) recommends sticking to a budget to avoid overspending
on school supplies.
to the National
Retail Federation, back-to-school spending on children is projected to
increase from last year. It is estimated that the average person will spend an
average of $688.62 per child in grades K-12, an increase from $603.63 last
year. The overall spending for back-to-school is expected to hit $30.3 billion.
excitement of a new school year can lead many people to over spend,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better
Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Before shopping look at what
you have in your house and narrow down what you really need versus what is
still in good shape from last school year.”
recommends considering the following when it comes to back-to-school shopping:
- Take inventory. There’s always that endless supply of markers,
crayons and notebooks around the house. Reusing these items can save
hundreds of dollars over the years. Consider repackaging by sharpening,
and cleaning older, gently used items before buying new ones.
- Look for the deals.
retailers’ back-to-school specials are available for online and in-store
purchase. Make sure to check out your local source for deals. Oftentimes,
retailers will put ads showcasing the special buy-one-get-one free deals,
or coupled items (i.e. a backpack and lunchbox packaged together) to lure
customers in. Shopping earlier offers a wider selection of merchandise and
more opportunity for savings.
- Set a budget. Decide how much you are willing to spend per child,
and include your children for a “teachable moment” on creating a budget. After
taking inventory, create a shopping list and stick to it. This will help
you avoid costly impulse purchases and ensure nothing is forgotten.
- Know what your child's school
Schools will often provide parents with a list of required items for the
school year, which can help determine what you need to purchase. These
lists are also available at many retail stores and on school websites.
Additionally, many schools have specific dress codes, so keep these
restrictions in mind before spending money on
clothes the school may not allow.
- Check for refund and exchange
sure you can exchange or return items. Keep in mind some items may be
non-refundable or have restocking fees associated with a return. If you
are shopping online or in stores make sure to check out the Business
Review at BBB.org
consumer tips you can trust, visit www.bbb.org
As a private, non-profit
organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an
ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of
conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims,
online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and
issue reports on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage
people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.