The end of summer and lead up to back-to-school can be stressful and anxiety-inducing for families, but the majority (85 per cent) of Canadian parents say that if they get the shopping done early, they actually enjoy the back-to-school season. In fact, 91 per cent of Canadian parents agree that this makes for a much more relaxed back-to-school season, according to a recent poll.

More than three quarters (77 per cent) of Canadians shop for back-to-school supplies early, up slightly from 75 per cent in 2018. And parents also employ a range of creative strategies to help reduce the stress of back-to-school for both themselves and their kids, including trying to keep their kids’ minds engaged during the summer with books or activities (76 per cent).

When it comes to spending, 67 per cent of parents expect to fork out more than $100, at an average of $168 per child, a considerable increase from $155 in 2014. This average spend varies across the country with a high of $179 in Atlantic Canada and a low of $164 in the West, as well as by age of child. Post-secondary aged children are expected to cost parents a high of $198 per child and a low of $147 per child for those with pre-schoolers.

Strategies for getting the best deals
The majority (70 per cent) of parents plan to shop online for back-to-school this year, more than doubling from 31 per cent in 2014 when the poll first launched. More than half (52 per cent) of parents who do some of their back-to-school shopping online think they get the best prices and they also prefer the ease and convenience of online shopping for back-to-school. And, online shoppers for back-to-school have a number of tricks up their sleeve to ensure that they get the best possible online deals: 70 per cent search retailer websites, while 41 per cent use cash back websites – a trending increase from 37 per cent in 2018 and 32 per cent in 2017.

As another way to ease the stress of heading back to the classroom, a whopping 94 per cent of Canadian parents say they include their kids in the back-to-school shopping process. For example, 69 per cent let them help pick out products (68 per cent in 2018, 66 per cent in 2017) and 30 per cent let them help when shopping online, up slightly from 27 per cent from the previous two years.

Shopping online and early keeps Canadian parents relaxed this back-to-school season (CNW Group/Ebates Canada)
Shopping online and early keeps Canadian parents relaxed this back-to-school season (CNW Group/Ebates Canada)