Press Releases

RetailMeNot Shoppers Trend Report Reveals That Nearly 80% of Parents Spend Up to $500 per Child During Back-to-School Shopping

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- (, the largest online coupon site in the United States, released a survey today finding nearly 80% of parents spend up to $500 per child for back-to-school shopping. Additionally, the majority of parents get the jump on the school year by starting their shopping in July and August (54%) vs. after the school year begins, according to a survey jointly conducted with Ipsos Public Affairs ( A significant number of parents, 29%, find the back-to-school shopping experience to be either annoying or stressful.


"Contributing to the stress, a significant majority of parents are spending hundreds of dollars per child on back-to-school purchases in a still sluggish economy," said Trae Bodge, senior editor of the RetailMeNot Insider. "Parents should take this opportunity to involve their kids in planning and budgeting for back-to-school expenses to teach the difference between wants versus needs."

Key survey findings:

  • The survey found that nearly 80% of parents will spend up to $500 per child on back-to-school shopping. A significant majority of parents (83%) use coupons when they shop.
  • Nearly a quarter of parents (22%) start their back-to-school shopping in July, though a plurality (32%) wait until August.
  • Clothing tends to account for the bulk of parents' back-to-school budgets, with 35% saying they plan to spend the majority of their budgets on clothes
  • Another common expense is school supplies (e.g., pens and paper, art supplies, folders, backpacks and lunch boxes), with a third of parents (34%) saying that school supplies will account for at least 30% of spending
  • One in seven (15%) report that at least 30% of their budget will be put toward shoes.
  • Among parents who are involved in back-to-school shopping, a plurality (27%) say that they find it to be routine, including 31% of dads. 
  • While one in five (21%) say that they find it fun, or see it as a great opportunity to connect with their kids, 29% of parents find back-to-school shopping to be either annoying or stressful.
    • Moms are more than twice as likely as dads to say that back-to-school shopping is fun (27% vs. 13%), while dads are more likely than moms to find it annoying (15% vs. 8%).

To help consumers save on back-to-school necessities, RetailMeNot has launched a back-to-school savings promotion that will continue through September 2012. For coupon codes and in-store offers on pencils, backpacks, clothing, computers and other essentials, visit:

Methodology for Ipsos Survey

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted July 12–17, 2012. For the survey, a national sample of 1,041 adults aged 18 and older with a child under the age of 18 from Ipsos' U.S. online panel were interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of 1,041 and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About ( is the leading consumer destination for collaborative online coupon, deal and promotional code hunting and sharing. 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 deals and offers from retailers from across the globe. Online coupons are rated and ranked by users, ensuring that quality deals rise to the top and expired coupons drop down the list. is operated by WhaleShark Media, Inc., the world's leading marketplace for online coupons and deals.

Shopping on the go? Download the RetailMeNot Coupons App for iPhone to access hot deals, browse top coupons, popular stores and categories and get thousands of online and in-store coupons to Save When You Want, Where You Want™. Make sure to "like" on Facebook, follow the company via Twitter @retailmenot and follow us on Google+.

About WhaleShark Media, Inc.

WhaleShark Media, Inc. ( is the world's leading marketplace for online coupons and deals. The company's websites enable consumers seeking to save money to find hundreds of thousands of offers from retailers across the globe. WhaleShark Media experiences more than 400 million consumer visits to its sites every year. The WhaleShark Media portfolio of coupon and deal websites includes, the largest online coupon site in the United States;, the largest online coupon site in the United Kingdom; in Germany; and in France;;; and WhaleShark Media is a fast-growing, profitable company funded by venture capital firms Austin VenturesNorwest Venture Partners, Adams Street PartnersGoogle VenturesJ.P. Morgan Asset Management and Institutional Venture Partners (IVP).

Be sure to "like" WhaleShark Media on Facebook and follow the company via Twitter @whalesharkmedia.

Media Contacts:

Brian Hoyt
+1 512 777 2957 office
+1 202 330 3070 mobile

Kristen Nelson
+1 512 777 2887
+1 832 398 5792


Media Contacts

North America
RetailMeNot PR Department
Media Inquiries: +1 512 777 2957
Jordy Mongin
RetailMeNot, France