Price of school supplies on the rise

How to deal with higher costs


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," July 25, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: Well, talk about a back to school bummer. Just as shopping is about to kick in, a new report finds costs are way up.

Huntington Bank's Backpack Index showing school supply prices jumped more than seven percent this year, but why?

Susan Shipley here with some ways to get around that sticker shock.

But the question first off is, why up so much?


Expenses are up so much I think because of the items that were -- everyday items that are part of the Backpack Index program, they haven't gone up very much. But what has happened is the pay-to-play for a lot of schools have gone up.

At Huntington, we really believe in doing the right thing for our clients in helping parents and students to be able to budget properly for school supplies.

VARNEY: OK. Tell me how you do it.

How do I get around this? Because I'm not keen on a seven percent increase on back-to-school supplies.

SHIPLEY: Well, Stuart, it's very easy to get around it.

What you need to do, first of all, is make it a family project, a fun family project. Get together. Find out what school supplies you currently do have. And when you have those school supplies, you check the ads, the Sunday ads. Look at comparison shopping. You need to do a lot of comparison shopping. You need to stick to a budget. And when you...

VARNEY: How about shopping at Wal-Mart? I am actually a Wal-Mart shopper, and I'm pretty sure I could get some back-to-school items at a very reduced costs. Do you recommend that?

SHIPLEY: Yes, Stuart, I do recommend that. I recommend doing a lot of comparison shopping, finding the best prices that you can.

VARNEY: Sure. All right, how about this one? I have got a large family. I have done a lot of back-to-school shopping in my time. And I find that schools demand too much of things, like 12 pencils or six erasers or something. Do you think maybe you could pare down that back-to-school shopping list and get away with it? I think you can. What say you?

SHIPLEY: I say that you can as well.

I think what you need to do is you need to find out what you have already that can be reused. You have to not only just at the school supplies, but look at other things that a student needs, like musical instruments. Talk to neighbors and talk to friends about those instruments, borrow things. Reshine things up and reuse them. I'm a mother of three students, of three school-age students, and we do that all the time.

VARNEY: I beat you. I have got six.


VARNEY: And I think that sometimes we become slaves to fashion. You don't have to have that particular backpack. Remember that?

Susan, out of time, but thanks very much for joining us. We do appreciate it. Thank you.

SHIPLEY: Thank you.

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