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How parents, students can save on school supplies during supply chain disruptions

Money experts provided some advice on how parents and students can save during back-to-school shopping.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — One of the top concerns for parents in 10TV's back-to-school survey is supplies for class. We went to the experts to see if global supply chain issues are helping or hurting goods for students.

The cost to go to class is going up, according to a 2022 Deloitte survey. The report says families expect to pay 8% more this year, or $661 per child compared to last year. 

Andrea Woroch, a money-saving expert, shared some advice on how to put in the effort to save upwards of 20% on supplies.

“Regardless of what you're buying, you always want to look for a coupon,” said Woroch. “I actually prefer to shop online when it saves time, but to it's so much easier to compare prices and find those coupons.”

She recommends buying the products online and choosing store or curbside pickup.

Some of the sites Woroch uses for coupons and rewards are CouponCabin and Fetch Rewards.

“All you do is take pictures of all your shopping receipts, or you link your email to get points for your online orders,” said Woroch. “And then you can redeem all the points you earn for free gift cards to stores like Walmart, Target and Amazon.”

Will all the items on your list be available? E2Open, a software platform, tracks logistics and distribution. CEO Michael Farlekas says record high inflation has changed the supply and demand environment.

“You'll see a deflationary on some items, things that there's an oversupply of, and then things that are subject to input costs, like food and oil, those things we're seeing, actually high inflation, we have a very strange environment right now,” said Farlekas. “People make tradeoffs… people will maybe not be so happy, but they're going to essentially get what they need and it will all normalize.”

Farlekas says technology products will probably be the most impacted.

“I think the one thing that focuses on would be the laptops that people need because you had a chip shortage,” said Farlekas.

“There are ways around it and one of my best tips is to look for a certified refurbished gadget if that is on your list,” said Woroch. “You can go to eBay, Amazon, Best Buy, all of these reputable retailers offer certified refurbished, they promise that that item is going to look and work like new, and they come with a money-back guarantee, a warranty on the option to return and so that'll give you peace of mind that you're getting quality for significant savings. Instead of trying to get the latest and greatest, maybe you get an older generation that's been now refurbished, that's going to save you serious bucks.”

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