The National Retail Federation expects that households will spend about $849 this year for school supplies compared to $685 in 2018. The federation says it’s likely due to more electronic purchases and kids heading back for in-person classes.

Local experts say parents are playing catch-up after kids have been sitting at home learning in front of a computer screen. Frederick Floss Buffalo State College economics and finance professor says, this is a great opportunity to reexamine distribution of household funds.

“We’re probably going to by more apparel, more sneakers and those kinds of things, because for the last couple of years, we haven’t bought any,” Floss said. “If our kids are in middle school, all of the sudden their stuff is two sizes two small and you’re not going to let them go to school in that. It didn’t really matter when all they were wearing was sweatpants or shorts.”

Some local back-to-school shoppers have been seeing school supply prices trend upward.

“It has gone up a little bit on some things, but you just have to make due,” said Carla Reynolds Niagara Falls. “And, remember the children need what they need and that’s expected.”

“I noticed everything getting a little more expensive and I know lists for parents are getting a little bit longer,” said Audrey Stafford, a local teacher. “So, I know we worked hard this year to get some things off the list to keep it low for parents.”