After several years when inflation made shopping for back-to-school supplies more expensive, there could be good news for parents in Minnesota this fall.

While we've been used to costs for just about everything increasing, this year, though, that might be false. At least when it comes to buying all those back-to-school supplies, that is, because sources indicate back-to-school costs this year might NOT be as expensive as previous years here in the North Star State. 

Minnesota may be known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but we're also apparently the Land of 800,000 students. That's according to recent information from Ballotpedia, which says Minnesota had 821,260 students enrolled in a total of 2,014 schools in 331 school districts in 2022.

And all those students need school supplies, which is why back-to-school shopping is big business for retailers. CapitalOne says back-to-school spending reached nearly $135.5 billion in 2023. That's a lot! But will those costs be higher this fall?


Maybe not. According to a new 2024 NerdWallet survey:

Parents of K-12 or college students and who plan to do back-to-school shopping this year will spend $541, on average, on school supplies and clothing for their kids’ upcoming school year.

And while that amount certainly adds up if you have several students in your household, it may *not* be a higher amount than parents in the Gopher State shelled out last year. That same Capital One story reported that back-to-school costs per K-12 students last year were $597, nearly 3 percent higher than in 2022.

When you put those two data points together, it would seem to indicate a decrease of $56 dollars per K-12 student in back-to-school shopping this year. Doing the math, that would mean K-12 back-to-school costs could be over 9 percent cheaper this year than in 2023, no doubt good news for parents across the Bold North.

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And while you might be thinking that July 7th is a wee bit early to be looking at new backpacks, notebooks, clothes, and other school necessities, the National Retail Federation (NRF) says around 22 percent of Minnesota moms and dads have already started the annual ritual of back-to-school shopping.

NRF also says that over two-thirds (68 percent) of shoppers say they typically plan their back-to-school shopping around retailer events like Amazon Prime Day (which is next week), Target's Circle Week, or Walmart's Deals (both underway now), an increase of 55 percent from 2019. Keep scrolling to see how parents plan to save money when they load up on those back-to-school items.

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Here Are Helpful Tips To Save Money On Back-To-School Shopping

CNET's 2023 Back-to-school survey asked shoppers how they were planning to saving on school supplies this fall. Here's what they said.

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