Back-to-school shopping more expensive than last year - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Back-to-school shopping more expensive than last year

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The school supply lists are out and parents are filling their kids' backpacks. But they are paying more. 

According to Huntington National Bank's annual Backpack Index, the cost of readying K through 12 public school students for the 2014- 2015 school year jumped 20 percent from the previous school year. 

According to the index, it will cost families with elementary school students about $642, $918 for middle school students and $1,284 for high school students. These amounts are all higher than the 2013- 2014 school year. 

"I hate it," school supply shopper Bonita Watlington said. "I hate it. I hate it. They ask for too much. I got a whole list of stuff. We never did have to have this when I was going to school. I mean this is ridiculous. It's totally ridiculous. I hate this! Every year."

Watlington said school supply prices go up every year while her 12-year-old daughter continues not to use everything they buy.

"They didn't even use all of the pencils by the end of the year," Watlington said. "I don't know what happens to them."

So this seasoned shopper said she has now adapted. 

"I do whatever I have to do to budget," Watlington said. "I shop around to look and see who's got the best price. I try to find something that's going to last for awhile because sometimes the supplies would be torn up within the first month of school."

Watlington said she also does not wait for August to come to start shopping. 

"I've just been buying little by little all summer long," Watlington said. "And I recycled some of her stuff from last year. It's all about saving a penny. Ninety-nine more cents and you have a buck."

When it came time to check out, Watlington said she spent less than she hoped to and saved $3.50 thanks to several sales. 

"That's $3.50 in my pocket," Watlington said.

She said she would much rather shop before the tax-free weekend than save a little more money. 

"You have to fight the traffic, getting in and out, it's not worth it," Watlington said. "I'd rather save the $3.50 so I'm happy."

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