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Survey: Parents shelling out big bucks for back-to-school needs

PHOENIX -- Kids are back in school, but it's Mom and Dad who are getting "schooled" in the checkout lines.

A new survey by said parents pay an average of $263 per child for the back-to-school stuff kids need.

In addition, about nine in 10 parents said their child participates in extra-curricular activities, so they are actually paying more.

"Parents are anticipating spending about $400 per child to fund any extra-curricular activities that their child may be involved with," said shopping expert Trea Bodge.

And if you think it's just the kids who play sports, guess again.

"There are dues for certain clubs, like the drama club or the chorus," Bodge said. "There might be a uniform that they need to wear and costumes for the school play."

Bodge said that there's a way to save money buying band instruments and other extra-curricular needs.

"Buy them used on Craigslist or on eBay," advised Bodge. "If your child changes their mind about what they're participating in, you can actually sell the item back and make back your investment."

Nearly 91 percent of parents responding to the survey are glad to have their kids back in school. Parents said that their house is quieter with the kids gone and that they no longer have to worry about how to keep their kids busy, like they did during the summer.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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