For parents, the return to school means a return to spending: NerdWallet recently found that, in spite of the pandemic, about half of parents who plan to back-to-school shop this year expect to spend about the same as they normally would, with more of that spending going toward clothing than in 2020.
The pandemic has added new items to shopping lists. More schools are asking students to bring their own water bottles and in some cases larger quantities of items like pencils and crayons as teachers try to restock classrooms, says Charles Field , CEO of TeacherLists, which publishes close to 2 million supply lists provided by schools. It’s also harder to find discounts on back-to-school items this year, he says, because of supply-chain challenges. “As retailers run out of stock, they’re less likely to do super-low pricing, especially for things produced overseas,” he says.