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Iowans face high prices on back-to-school shopping

According to the National Retail Federation, the average household is expected to shell out $864 in total.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Kids enjoying their summer might hate to hear it, but the school year is right around the corner. 

Now, after dealing with rising costs on everything from gas to food, inflation has a new target—the classroom. Many Iowans will find themselves spending quite a bit more when they're shopping around this summer.

"As a teacher myself, I know it's hard for a lot of families just to get all the basic needs that we need for the kids throughout the school year. So you know, we've seen it impact a lot of families," said Suzanne Vandekamp, who was back-to-school shopping for her two kids.

According to retail analytics firm DataWeave, a basket of about a dozen school supplies increased in price by an average of nearly 15% for the 2022 back-to-school season, compared to a year ago. One example: the price of backpacks are up nearly 12% to an average of $70.

"We have lots of people donating extra school supplies and get extra stuff for all the kids so everyone's always taken care of, but it's taken a toll on some people," Vandekamp said.

Local 5 grabbed a list of supplies that a 5th grader would need at Des Moines Public Schools. After filling up a cart with everything, we found that it would cost around $86 to get just one student ready for class.

That list also doesn't account for things like clothes or backpacks, meaning many families could find themselves spending much more than that. 

According to the National Retail Federation, the average household is expected to shell out $864 in total. Nationwide spending on school clothes and supplies this year is on track to match 2021's record of 37 billion dollars.

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