Families start back-to-school shopping as summer's end draws near

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With many New Jersey schools starting the new school year in about a month, many parents were out taking their kids back-to-school shopping.

The Walmart on Route 1 South in North Brunswick was busy Monday, crowded with parents and their children who were looking for all their supplies for the new school year.

“I need the binders, folders and locks for lockers,” says student Grace Garvey. “I like back-to-school shopping, but back to school isn’t much fun.”

The National Retail Federation predicts that parents will spend $83 billion on back-to-school shopping this year – just slightly lower than last year. This breaks down to about $680 per family with students from kindergarten through college.

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Father Martin Garvey says that sometimes the supplies get more complicated as his daughter goes through school.

“It’s frustrating not understanding what a 1.5 inch binder is…and stuff like that,” he says.

About half of what families spend on school supplies goes toward new clothing and shoes, says the National Retail Federation.

“I like my kids to be fashionable,” says Martin Garvey. “When you look good, you feel good.”

The National Retail Federation says that families also spend a lot of money on electronics and then traditional school supplies.

Most New Jersey schools will begin the new school year right after Labor Day in September.

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