It’s August, and that means a new school year is right around the corner! Or maybe school has already started in your area? One of the things I love most about a new school year is shopping for new school supplies! When I was growing up, school supply shopping was one of my favorite adventures with my mom. It was so much fun to buy new pencils, notebooks, clothes, and maybe even a new backpack if I was lucky. Remember Trapper Keepers?!

I’m really looking forward to it this year, since school has mostly returned to normal. The past few years have been so different because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we didn’t buy a lot of school supplies. And, since we weren’t leaving the house as much, we bought a lot more of everything online. It’s just not quite the same as shopping for supplies in person!

Do you like shopping for school supplies? Do you prefer to shop in-person or online? Let me know in the comments, and I’d love to know what your favorite item is! Mine is definitely notebooks– I love brand-new notebooks!

So what does back-to-school shopping look like in 2022? The National Retail Foundation has conducted surveys since 2003 to study how American families shop for the school year. According to their research, families expect to spend an average of $864 getting ready for the school year. Nationwide, that’s a total of $37 billion! The top categories that families are spending money on is electronics, clothing and shoes.

Even though the economy and inflation are on consumers’ minds, and the cost of supplies is higher, back-to-school spending is still strong. The NRF expects that families will spend at least as much as last year, which saw record highs for back-to-school shopping, and will exceed pre-pandemic levels.

School Supply Shifts

The items students need for school has dramatically changed over the years. While kids still use pencils, notebooks and glue sticks, electronics is a category that has seen tremendous growth. And, electronics spending has increased a lot in the past three years. The National Retail Foundation reports that electronics purchases account for half of the back-to-school shopping growth in the past three years.

School supply kits, where multiple items are bundled together, have also become popular. According to research by inMobi, 40% of shoppers they surveyed would be likely or highly likely to buy kits. For parents of younger children, 49% of those who responded indicated they would be likely to buy them.

How Are People Shopping?

While online shopping is still popular, Supermarket News reports that parents’ online back-to-school spending is expected to decline to 35% in 2022, compared to 39% last year. The publication references a survey from Deloitte that found only 35% of parents plan to use social platforms for shopping, compared to 41% last year.

“Digital shopping channels reached a saturation point,” Deloitte stated. “Although still higher than pre-pandemic levels, consumers indicate digital fatigue.”

According to Deloitte, in-store shopping is expected to account for 49% of back-to-school spending, up from 43% last year.

One interesting anecdote from the survey: parents want free shipping! 79% of the survey respondents indicated that free shipping was more important to them than fast shipping.

Scan Your School Supply Purchases

While every school has it’s own list of supplies for students, many of the basics are the same. As you’re shopping for school supplies– or even supplies to restock your home office– don’t forget to scan your purchases and report them to NCP!

Supplies might include:

  • Pencils
  • Scissors
  • Erasers
  • Highlighters
  • Glue
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Pens
  • Notebooks
  • Loose paper
  • Folders

Happy school supply shopping! Not a panel member? Join here and start earning rewards for providing info about your purchases today!



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