Nearly Two-in-Three Parents Plan to Use a Coupon to Save Money on Back-to-School Items for Their Children, Finds New Survey

--Nearly One-in-Four Plan to Spend $200 or More Per Child--

Aug 02, 2011, 07:00 ET from

WHITING, Ind., Aug. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Summer fun may still be at full throttle for kids, but many parents are already planning their back-to-school shopping strategy. A new survey reveals that nearly two-in-three (64 percent) online parents (1) plan to use a coupon or online coupon code for their back-to-school purchases this year. Coupons will likely help keep parents' pocketbooks in check, though, as nearly one-in-four (24 percent) parents said they plan to spend $200 or more per child on back-to-school items this year. This survey was conducted online nationwide by Harris Interactive from July 13 – 15, 2011, among 3,304 adults age 18 and older.

Of parents who plan to use a coupon or online coupon code to save money this upcoming back-to-school season, many will use them on essential school items for their kids, including:

  • Supplies, such as pencils and paper – 70 percent
  • Clothes – 59 percent
  • Electronics, such as calculators, computers and cell phones – 37 percent
  • Sports equipment – 18 percent
  • Uniforms – 13 percent

"Fall can be an expensive time of year for many families, as school-associated expenses can quickly and unexpectedly arise," said Jackie Warrick, Chief Savings Officer at, a leading online coupon site. "To help families stick to their budgets, many are doing their homework ahead of their shopping and using all resources available to them to help save money. They've learned from the challenges of the past few years that it's important to save whenever possible."

Parents will also lessen the blow to their wallets this season by hitting the web. More than four-in-ten (43 percent) parents who did back-to-school shopping last year said they plan on making more purchases online than in-store this year. When asked why, parents said the following:

  • Better deals online – 26 percent
  • It's easier – 23 percent
  • Helps save on gas by not driving to a store – 20 percent

Regardless of where parents spend their green this autumn, it's important that they make a list and stick to it. Nearly half of parents said an online coupon or coupon code would influence them to make a back-to-school purchase they otherwise would not make.

Warrick offers the following tips for earning an "A" grade on back-to-school shopping:

  • Get out the calculator: Don't let surprise expenses creep up on you. Meet with your family and chart out your back-to-school budget ahead of time. That way, you won't scramble at the last minute and will instead have appropriate time to search for savings.
  • Swap and Save: Get together with some of your friends that have children of different ages and swap clothes, toys and books that aren't being used. You can save a lot on items that will still be new to your children and you'll help the planet by reducing waste.
  • Don't jump the gun: Sometimes, the best deals to be had are closer to the end of summer as stores look to push their inventory. Consider buying absolute essentials (think: graphing calculator or uniforms) earlier in the shopping season and more common items like folders and pens closer to the first day of school. You won't be alone – three-in-ten parents said they plan do their back-to-school shopping 2-3 weeks before school starts.

Survey Methodology:

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of CouponCabin from July 13 – 15, 2011, among 3,304 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighted variables, please contact: Allison Nawoj,


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(1) For the purposes of this survey, parents are defined as those parents who plan to do back-to-school shopping