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School supplies: Buy your own or buy a ready-made box?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SEATTLE — Stores all around the Puget Sound have their back to school displays out for shoppers.  The National Retail Federation says the average family will spend more than $600 on clothes, electronics, and school supplies for back-to-school.

To help parents, some schools offer pre-packed boxes of supplies; schools that participate will often provide parents with a link where they can buy a box that’s packed and ready on the first day of school.  These boxes normally sell for between $40 – $60 and contain all the supplies students need.

Q13 FOX’s sister station in Memphis, WREG, did some comparison shopping to see if these boxes are more cost-effective for parents.  They found that it’s usually about $5-$10 cheaper for parents to buy the supplies individually than it is to buy them pre-packed.  You can see their story above.

Many school districts who offer the boxes use them as a fundraiser, so it’s not necessarily driven by profit.  The districts often set the price for the boxes.

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