Parents are cutting back on spending during this back-to-school season, but less so on clothing than on school supplies, computers and electronics, according to a survey by online price comparison site PriceGrabber.com.
41% of the online consumers with school-age children say they will cut back on spending this year because of the weak economy. But the cutbacks will not be across the board.
57% of parents say they will spend the most on clothing this year, versus 44% in PriceGrabber’s survey last year. But only 19% say electronics and computer-related equipment will take up the biggest part of their budget compared with 23% last year, and 18% say school supplies, versus 22% last year.
Asked how they plan to save money this year, 51% say by shopping in discount stores, 38% by using online comparison shopping sites and 27% by printing coupons from retailers’ web sites.
About half of parents of kids in grade school, junior high and high school say their back-to-school budget is between $100 and $499, while only 24% of parents of college-age kids cite that range. Among parents of older students, 21% say they plan to spend more than $500, 8% less than $100 and 47% say they have no budget at all.
The web ranked second as the most likely place to research and shop, at 26%, behind department stores (33%). Other places where parents are shopping are office supplies stores (19%), specialty clothing or electronics shops (17%) and drug stores (5%).
The results are based on a survey of 1,802 online consumers between July 24 and Aug. 7.