Frugal is the word for back-to-school shopping

Four out of five Americans surveyed this summer by the National Retail Federation say the economy is affecting their plans for the new school year. Spending is expected to decline by 7.7% with many families planning to buy only what they need and shopping sales. Discount stores continue to be a favorite choice to find bargains, but the NRF survey found that drug stores are gaining in popularity for back to school items.

While spending in most back-to-school categories is expected to decrease, one area continues to grow: electronics. With prices for laptops, iPhones, and other equipment decreasing, many families are taking advantage of the opportunities to get technology for their kids, especially those going off to college.

When we went to school, we did very little back to school shopping. Yes, new paper in a shiny new loose leaf was fun, but my mom always thought we should start school and see what we really needed. Often, the required list was quite small or could be bought in stages. There really was no need for expensive trips to stock up on junk.