Parents are hitting the snooze button when it comes to stocking up on school supplies, working with smaller budgets and using up last year's leftovers. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Crystal Marcus-Kanesaka, is planning to spend about $300 to get her two daughters ready for school this year. No impulse buys allowed. (SOUNDBITE) CRYSTAL MARCUS-KANESAKA, MOTHER OF TWO SCHOOL-AGE GIRLS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I have a list. The things that I have to buy are things like pencils, crayons, a lot of folders. They also ask us for these bulk items that are just for general school supplies, like tissues, and wipes, and Clorox bleach wipes to clean the classroom." The economy may be getting better, but it's not translating into bigger back-to-school budgets. According to the National Retail Federation, average family with children in grades K-12 will spend $630 on electronics, clothes and other school needs this season. That's about forty dollars less than last year. Total U.S. back-to-school spending is forecast at almost $25 billion. Already retailers are talking about back to school as a bummer. Thursday Kohl's blamed delayed back to school shopping for disappointing results. And according to a recent Deloitte study, the big style trend for this year... is being fashionably late. Deloitte's Jackie Fernandez: (SOUNDBITE) JACKIE FERNANDEZ, PARTNER, DELOITTE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Consumers are actually delaying their spend a little more this year. They'll certainly buy the normal things as school opens, but more and more people are using what they have from last year and delaying their spend based on what they think the school needs. So, they wait for that shopping list to come out from the school, and then they'll go out shopping. So, there is a bit of delay in the spend this year as well." And when they do shop, its strategic. Looking online for better deals - but buying in stores - when prices go down. The bright spot, Deloitte says, back-to-school is no longer considered a prediction of the holiday season.