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RetailMeNot's "Do the Math" Campaign Highlights Recent Education Budget Cuts and How Parents Are Increasingly Bombarded With School-Related Costs

- 95% of parents will have to contribute to their kids' classroom supplies because of school budget cuts

- In addition to tuition costs, the average parent estimates that they will spend another $285 per child for school related costs this fall

- Nearly 3 in 4 parents start back-to-school shopping before the end of July

Aug 6, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- RetailMeNot.com (www.retailmenot.com), the largest digital coupon website in the United States, today released its findings from a recent back-to-school survey on the upcoming school year. Continuing with the "Do the Math" campaign, more in-depth data is being released on the impact of nationwide education budget cuts and how they are increasingly affecting parents.

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As previously reported, a recent study from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities demonstrated how elementary, middle and high schools in 26 states received less state funding in the 2012–13 school year than they did the year before. In fact, in 35 states, school funding was below 2008 levels. In addition to teachers' funding more of the cost of education out of their own pockets, parents are facing increased pressure to supplement the cost of their child's education this year.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average household income has been decreasing over the past several years. As of 2011, the median household income was $50,054, a 1.5% decline from the previous year and the second consecutive annual decline. Despite these significant drops in household income, according to our study, parents also have to bear the burden of education budget cuts for their kids in the classroom.

The RetailMeNot study was conducted with The Omnibus Company (www.omnibus.com) and follows the recent survey released on the impact of budget cuts on teachers.

In short supply

Of those parents surveyed, 95% say they will have to buy or contribute to their child's classroom because of their school's budget cuts.

  • Almost half of parents (45%) will have to supply their kids with basic cleaning supplies, such as paper towels.
  • Parents will be getting a jump on the flu season, with 47% saying they will supply their own antibacterial products.
  • Working parents and parents with a yearly income of $50K+ think they will have to contribute to the purchase of sports equipment (34% vs. 29%, respectively), musical instruments (26% vs. 25%), iPads (23% vs. 24%), computer software (20% vs. 18%) and uniforms (42% vs. 23%).

Are budgets practical?

Eight in ten (80%) parents typically set a back-to-school budget every fall, less than a quarter (23%) of these parents are likely to come in under this budget.

  • Younger parents are keen on saving money, with ages 18–34 being more likely than those 35 and over to set a budget and come in under it (27% vs. 9%).
  • Parents with an income under $50K are more likely than those with an income $50K+ to set a budget and stick to it (37% vs. 26%).
  • Almost 4 in 10 parents (37%) with an income $50K+ are likely to set a budget and go over it.

How many hundreds will be spent?

When their children in grades K–12 return to class this fall, the average parent estimates that, in addition to tuition costs, they will spend another $285 per child on school-related costs. And more than 1 in 5 (21%) imagine that they will have to invest more than $300 per child on additional school related costs.

  • Fathers are banking on a higher per-child cost than mothers ($333 vs. $247).
  • Parents with an income of $50K+ are likely to spend more than those with income under $50K (average $368 vs. $217).
  • Working parents are likely to spend more than nonworking parents (average $325 vs. $216).

"The financial pressures that have been placed on the backs of parents due to budget cuts can mean a difficult start to the school year," says Trae Bodge, senior editor for The Real Deal by RetailMeNot. "It's important for parents to start shopping early and plan their back-to-school needs well in advance so they can set a budget and try to stick to it. Using coupons from a site like RetailMeNot.com can help parents significantly stretch their dollars so they can buy more of the things their kids need."

When to shop?

Nearly 3 in 4 parents (71%) start school shopping for the upcoming school year by the end of July.

  • Early shoppers! Parents in urban areas (16%), parents ages 18–34 (14%) and working parents (12%) are more likely shop before the previous school year ends.
  • Parents with an income under $50K are more likely than those with an income of $50K+ to have started shopping by the end of July (52% vs. 41%) and before the previous school year ends (14% vs. 6%).

Contest Alert!

Do you know a teacher who's in need of supplies to better serve his or her students? Create a YouTube video nominating your favorite teacher. RetailMeNot will reward a 3-minute Costco shopping spree for the best video submission! For official rules and contest details, visit http://www.retailmenot.com/blog/2013-teacher-nomination-contest.html now through Friday, August 30, 2013, to submit your nomination.

To learn more about the RetailMeNot's "Do the Math" campaign, follow our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/retailmenot or via Twitter at www.twitter.com/retailmenot (@retailmenot #dothemath).

To access savings on everything from school supplies to clothes to electronics and dorm room gear, visit www.retailmenot.com/backtoschool.

Survey Methodology:

This survey was conducted between May 22 and May 28, 2013, among 306 parents of children in the U.S., in grades K–12, using an email invitation and an online survey. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 5.6 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.  The margin of error for any subgroups will be slightly higher.

About RetailMeNot.com

RetailMeNot.com (www.retailmenot.com) is the largest digital coupon site in the United States. Our mission is to help consumers save money and enjoy a hassle-free discount shopping experience. Since November 2006, our users have shared hundreds of thousands of digital coupons from retailers. Digital coupons are rated and ranked by users, ensuring that quality deals rise to the top and expired coupons drop down the list. RetailMeNot.com is operated by RetailMeNot, Inc., the world's largest marketplace for digital coupons.

Shopping on the go? Download the RetailMeNot Coupons app for iPhone and Android phones to access Hot Deals, browse top coupons, popular stores and categories and get thousands of online and in-store coupons to shop when you want, where you want. Make sure to "like" RetailMeNot.com and authorize the RetailMeNot app on Facebook, follow the company via Twitter @retailmenot and add us on Google+. Consumers can sign up for RetailMeNot's Online and In-Store Coupons Newsletter by visiting: http://www.retailmenot.com/signup

Shopping on the go? Download the RetailMeNot Coupons app for iPhone and Android phones to access Hot Deals, browse top coupons, popular stores and categories and get thousands of online and in-store coupons to shop when you want, where you want. Make sure to "like" RetailMeNot.com and authorize the RetailMeNot app on Facebook, follow the company via Twitter @retailmenot and add us on Google+. Consumers can sign up for RetailMeNot's Online and In-Store Coupons Newsletter by visiting: http://www.retailmenot.com/signup

About RetailMeNot, Inc.

RetailMeNot, Inc. (www.retailmenot.com/corp/) operates the world's largest digital coupon marketplace. The company's websites and mobile apps enable consumers across the globe seeking to save money to find hundreds of thousands of digital coupons from retailers. RetailMeNot, Inc. experienced more than 450 million visits to its sites in 2012. The RetailMeNot, Inc. portfolio of coupon and deal websites includes www.RetailMeNot.com, the largest digital coupon site in the United States; www.RetailMeNot.ca in Canada;www.VoucherCodes.co.uk, the largest digital coupon site in the United Kingdom;www.Deals.com in Germany; www.Actiepagina.nl, a leading digital coupon site in the Netherlands; Bons-de-Reduction.com and www.ma-Reduc.com, leading digital coupon sites in France; www.Poulpeo.com, a leading cash back site in France; and www.Deals2Buy.com, a leading discount offer site in North America. Be sure to "like" RetailMeNot, Inc. on Facebook and follow the company via Twitter @retailmenotinc.

Media contacts:

RetailMeNot PR Department

 

Allison+Partners Public Relations
retailmenot@allisonpr.com

SOURCE RetailMeNot.com