How not to overspend on school supplies

Posted at 6:05 AM, Aug 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-01 10:37:49-04

It's back to school time, so many parents may be getting inundated with ads for pens, pencils, notebooks and binders.

The truth is, back-to-school shoppers have plenty of options, whether in store at places like Walmart, Target, Kohls, or online.

A new study from the National Retail Federation says families are still overall choosing to shop for school supplies in person, going against the grain of the consumers shopping online. Across the nation, 57 percent of families will buy them in a department store.

RELATED: ShopSmart: Back to School Savings

"I just find it easier to go to the store and just buy it, one stop, instead of waiting," said Cassandra De La Rosa, a high school senior who lives in San Marcos, who planned to buy her new clothes at Target.

Ana Smith, a spokeswoman for the federation, said online versus in-store prices are about the same. She added many of the brick-and-mortar stores offer in-store only deals, which can lead to impulse buying, and that's something to watch out for.

Sarah Heath, who was shopping for school supplies at the Walmart in San Marcos, said it's important to check the quality of the item -- something she can do in person.

RELATED: All Things Back To School

"I like having something to look at," she said, "and knowing what I'm going to buy, if it's quality, or if it's not."

Smith said families tend to buy school supplies in store because it allows parents to be more involved in their child's education. She said, however, when it comes to online school supply shopping, people often opt to buy required items like Kleenex or paper towels for convenience.