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Parents Are Spending Way Too Much on Back-to-School Supplies

Around $510 per household, according to a new survey.

Flickr Steven Depolo

Parents will spend an estimated $510 per household on school supplies this year, according to a new survey from Deloitte that analyzes back-to-school buying trends. In fact, back-to-school shopping is now the second biggest shopping season of the year in the United States, behind the holidays, with over 29 million families spending more than $27 billion each fall.

What’s even more interesting is how the money is being spent. According to the annual studyparents plan to drop around $286 per child on clothing and accessories and an average of $112 on actual pens, pads, and Star Wars Trapper Keepers.  Meanwhile, computers, tablets, and electronic devices will account for the lion’s share of back-to-school budgets with an average of $299 being spent per student.

The survey also analyzes the busiest times for school shopping and where parents are doing most of the buying. Not surprising considering earlier school start dates, the majority of spending takes place during the last two weeks of July and the first two weeks of August — when around $18 billion is spent collectively. And while online retailers like Amazon have been the beating boxes for a while now, parents still prefer to shop in actual stores. This year, about 57 percent of the back-to-school shopping will take place in brick-and-mortar locations. The survey found that customers aren’t looking to buy online as much as they’re looking for prices and deals online that they can use to price-match in store.