With back-to-school right around the corner, families are looking for deals — especially as rising prices impact school spending this year.
Several Fresno shops are stepping up to the plate with steep discounts on back-to-school items.
Amy Ratliff, co-owner of Fairy Godmother’s Closet, says she’s had more families come in than any year since the children’s clothes resale store opened in 2019.
‘”Last year, a lot of people were shopping online, but this year for sure there are more people coming in than last year,” said Ratliff. “With the business model that we’re in, we tend to grow in a downturn because our stuff is bargain priced.”
For school supplies, some of the best bargains are at the big chain stores.
Families should also be on the lookout for giveaway events held by Fresno businesses and community groups. There’s a list of some of them at the bottom of this story.
Inflation Stressing Parents’ Pockets
A recent survey conducted by Morning Consult illuminates the pressure that sky-high inflation is placing on families.
Only 36% of those polled say that providing back-to-school items isn’t a financial challenge. Another 40% said they’re concerned about how much the items will cost. And, nearly 1-in-5 said they can’t afford to buy everything their children need.
In 2021, many parents got by with the help of stimulus checks and advance child tax credit payments, along with pandemic savings from reduced spending.
For most families, however, these savings are dwindling as the burden of inflation catches up with them. As a result, parents face tough decisions on spending for groceries, gas, and new clothes for school.
The best option for many parents is to take advantage of back-to-school sales and discounts to help stretch their budgets.
Finding the Most Bang for Your Buck
Despite inflation, parents have a few places to go for back-to-school shopping that won’t break the bank while offering something new for kids to rock this school year.
Big retail stores like Walmart, Target, and Staples are offering relatively inexpensive deals for school supplies with most items starting under $1 and as low as 50 cents.
For parents struggling to find affordable school clothes and shoes, there are deals in thrift stores, shopping mall outlets, and even some big retailers.
Free Back-to-School Giveaways
Several local businesses and nonprofits are hosting free back-to-school drives.
For example, Kongo’s Barbershop in Fresno is offering free haircuts to anyone under 17 on Tuesday, Aug. 9. The shop will also have free school supplies, drinks, pizza, and snow cones available.
At Figarden Loop Park, there will be free school supplies for military and first responder families on Sunday, Aug. 7, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In addition, the West Fresno Family Resource Center has a backpack and school supply giveaway on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 3 p.m to 8 p.m. at the Valdez Hall in downtown Fresno. Children can access free haircuts, health screenings, and COVID-19 vaccine and boosters, as well.
Assemblymember Will Give Away Oral Health Kits
Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno), in partnership with Fresno Unified’s Parent University, is giving away oral health kits Friday, Aug.5, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Maya Cinemas on Campus Pointe Dr. in Fresno.
The kits are provided by Byte, an at-home clear aligner company that has been a longtime advocate for tele-health and tele-orthodontics for underserved and disenfranchised communities.