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Southeast Texas parents react to the impact of inflation on back-to-school shopping

Several back-to-school events happening around Southeast Texas on Saturday will be giving away free school supplies to help ease the minds and wallets of parents.

BEAUMONT, Texas — New numbers from the National Retail Federation show inflation hitting families when it comes to back-to-school shopping.

One third of consumers nationwide are cutting back their spending in other areas so they can pay for items their children need for school, according to a study from the NRF.

Just like gas prices and grocery items, school supplies are not immune to the price hikes.

Walking down the colorful back-to-school aisle, it's clear why children get excited about choosing their school supplies, but seeing the price tag has changed that excitement for parents. 

Southeast Texas parents like Rebecca Taylor and Christina Koots dread this time of year

"Something that use to be a dollar on sale is almost 3 dollars now," said Taylor.

"Their pants are already $15 dollars last year they were 7 (dollars) everything else has went up at least half," said Koots.

Thanks to supply chain shortages and inflation reaching a 41-year high, this school year Taylor is having to travel outside of her county to track down what her daughter needs

"Even looking online a lot of stuff is already sold out. If you try to buy it online you can buy it, but if it gets bought in the store before they pull it they're already out before you get there," she said. 

Parents are also facing higher prices for just about everything on the list.  For Koots, her spending has doubled compared to last year.

"School supply shopping I usually spend about 350 to 400 a year. This year was 500 dollars and I'm not done I have at least 150 to go," she said.

According to the national retail federation, families are expected to spend at least $864 dollars on average for school shopping this year, which is $15 more than last year.

Taylor stresses the importance of not getting defeated due to such huge changes. 

"Just take your time and if you have to just get what they need right now and slowly add to it as you go," Taylor said. 

Both parents say to make a budget and stick to the basics like pencils and paper. They also suggest waiting for the teacher's syllabus to avoid buying supplies your children don't need.

If you're still needing supplies for your children, there are several school supply drives happening around Southeast Texas on Saturday, July 30 to help families out:

  • Back-To-School Supply Drive: Smith Middle School, 4415 Concord Road @ 10 a.m. 
  • Back-To-School Drive-Thru Supply Drive: Odom Academy Middle School, 2550 W Virginia Street @ 9 a.m.
  • Back-To-School Supply Giveaway: Lion's Den Park, 1802 Main Avenue @ 10 a.m.
  • Back-To-School Jamboree: Sha Bebe Cafe, 4699 Magnolia Street @ 11 a.m.  
  • 4th Annual Back-To-School Event: Riverside Pavilion & Boat Ramp, 708 North Simmons Drive @ 11 a.m.

Some events are while supplies last. 

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