The costs of the essentials – glue, markers, pens, rucksacks – have increased

From glue, markers, pens, and tape to backpacks, sneakers, even underwear, the price tags on these necessities have jumped over the past year as inflation makes all kinds of purchases more expensive.

Families can already adjust their household budgets to absorb higher prices, but when everything costs more, it adds up.

“We look at millions of consumers of all financial levels and income brackets, and no one is immune to skyrocketing inflation in their everyday lives,” said Brian Mandelbaum, CEO of Klover, a personal finance and commerce consumer data company. “The most affected are those households that live paycheck to paycheck, on a very fixed budget.”[ads1];

Klover, which collects consented consumption data from its more than 3 million consumer users as well as point-of-sale price data, looked at year-over-year price changes for the most common items on annual back-to-school shopping lists—everything from pencils and pens to clothing and sneakers.

It found that shoppers are spending much more on school-related purchases this year compared to 2021, although the average number of transactions fell for categories such as children’s clothing, electronics and school and office supplies.

“We learned that people go to places like big box stores less often, and when they do, they also buy fewer items per trip,” Mandelbaum said.

He has a prediction for how the back-to-school shopping period will play out this year: “It will be longer, and may even extend past the start of school, which is unusual,” Mandelbaum said. “Shoppers will wait for prices to come down and get what they hope are better deals.”

Costs of classroom materials

Mandelbaum noted items like Scotch tape and Sharpies have seen some of the highest price jumps year over year.

For all varieties of 3M’s Scotch-branded tape, the average price rose nearly 70% this year compared to 2021.

The costs of two other popular school supplies — Sharpies and Elmer’s Glue — are up nearly 55% and 30%, respectively, in 2022.

Mandelbaum said buyers are paying 12% more for BIC pens as well.

Elsewhere, prices for popular JanSport backpacks are about 2% higher, Nike sneakers are up 12%, the average price of Hanes underwear is up 6.4% and TikTok-approved Gen Z favorite Dickies pants are 13.6% more .

One exception: crayons.

Crayola crayon prices have trended lower year over year. “It’s a rare outlier,” Mandelbaum said.

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