DENVER (CBS4) – Get ready for some sticker shock when doing your back-to-school shopping. The cost of backpacks, pencils and notebooks jumped four times inflation.

Parents, you aren’t imagining it. School supplies are more expensive this year, which means as the cost of back-to-school supplies go up, many parents are trying to find a way to bring them back down.

Parents will spend the most on clothes and shoes, and fewer families will be buying electronics this year than last year. But those who do buy a new tablet or smartphone for their child or children will spend less in other areas.

Here are the costs associated with individual items: this year compared to last year parents will pay $10 more for a graphing calculator, $4 more for post-it notes or scissors, and nearly $7 more for a three-hole punch.

Here’s a side-by-side analysis of school supplies per level of education parents will spend: $577 for elementary school students, which is a 5.3 percent increase over last year; $763 for middle school students, just over a 5 percent increase from 2012; and $1,223 for high school students, which is up 9.5 percent from 2012.

The good news is there are still good deals to be found, but you’ve got to shop around. A pack of pens can vary from less than a dollar to $6 depending on where you buy them. Still, even with the savings, it’s expected that families will spend almost $27 billion on back-to-school shopping.

The increase in prices affects teachers as well. Teachers spend an average of $347 of their own money to buy school supplies for their class. Organizations which give away school supplies to students are beginning to see teachers ask for supplies as well.

If there are more families who have to choose food or school supplies, they’re going to choose food, which means teachers are having to pick up that slack for their students.


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