Back to school: That hurts the cash register

A few weeks before the start of the school year, the sharp rise in the price of school supplies does not go unnoticed by many parents who adopt strategies to reduce the bill.

• Also read: Back to school: Almost everything costs more

“This is my fourth child, so compared to the other three I usually get away with it for about $90 this year and now it’s $130 per child,” says Sarah Nex of the Lebourgneuf branch of a large office supply chain in Quebec.

She noticed that some products like protective sleeves and dividers cost more than before.

“I didn’t expect to get 130 piasters earlier,” laughs the mother.

She’s surprised, especially since she’s been trying to predict the hit to inflation.

“The school bags, I collect them [inutilisés] of his brothers, on the contrary, I even bought fewer things than in previous years because I recycle, which I didn’t do before. »

A real climb

This increase is not just a matter of parental imagination. Statistics Canada’s consumer price index also reports a 7% increase in the price of textbooks and school supplies from June 2021 to June 2022.

During this time, Requests for help explode in organizations.

“It was the year that cost me the most,” said Geneviève Brière, 44, of Charlesbourg, after shopping.

She claims to be paying “maybe fifty dollars more” than she used to.

“There aren’t many specials,” remarked the mother of two elementary-school boys. […] A knapsack costs 12.5 piasters, so it’s expensive if you need four or six.”

So all means are good for saving.

“In general, I like to renew the devices so that they can get off to a good start. I don’t recover much, but this year I’ve told myself that I’ll recover with certain things, like duo-tang, things like that,” she explains.


She consoles herself by telling herself that the state subsidy for the purchase of supplies, which is $108 per child for parents who are eligible for family allowance, should largely cover the bill.

On the contrary, other consumers looking for discounts say that they have not felt a significant increase in their budget for school supplies.

“I think it’s comparatively the same price as in previous years. Of course you have to look at the flyers, find the right discounts in the right places. But now with the Internet, you can order everything online in advance,” stresses Annie Chabot from Quebec.

– With Sylvain Larocque

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