With the new school year nearly upon us, many parents are stocking up on school supplies while managing a tight budget.
A lot of parents are looking around for the best prices throughout the month and even year, instead of getting all their shopping done in one day.
Local store managers say don’t wait too long. It’s important to jump on deals early before they sell out.
School supplies are selling like candy in eastern Idaho, where parents are out to find the best deals before classes begin.
According to retail analyzer ShopperTrak, back-to-school sales should be up 3.8 percent from last August, and it’s a good predictor of holiday sales to come.
Crystal Van Orden has five children to get ready for school this year. Reporter Jessica Crandall caught up with her in Target on Friday shopping for essentials she found on sale through an online ad.
“I just look around. I see what I can get. I don’t like to pay more than 25 cents for crayons!” said Van Orden.
She said the secret to saving money is looking for deals all year and keeping on top of school supply sales throughout the month of August.
Store manager Holly Shanklin said they see a lot of parents like Van Orden coming in the first week of this month.
“They kind of look around and see what’s available. I think they’re kind of price matching between places, and then they’ll come get the things that they need,” said Shanklin.
For reusable necessities like clothes, a lot of parents are turning to new stores like Runway Fashion Place in Idaho Falls. They buy used clothes for teenagers and sell them back for a fraction of the original price.
Manager Kimberly Hoover said it’s a great alternative for families in a struggling economy.
“This week has been awesome. I’ve noticed a lot of people coming in to trade in their old clothes to get new school clothes,” said Hoover.
ShopperTrak predicts even though sale numbers may go up, shopper numbers may dwindle as a result of national budget issues affecting the average American’s wallet.
According to the National Retail Federation, parents this year will spend an average of $604 on apparel, school supplies and electronics for their kids.