Last week, a majority of Windsor-Essex students returned to the classroom, some sporting new backpacks and back-to-school apparel after 18 months of flip flopping between in-class learning and virtual schooling.
While many parents may have wanted to send their children back to school wearing the latest fashion and prepared with the most up-to-date school supplies, some Windsor-Essex parents are struggling to provide those essentials for their kids.
Julie Boucher, a mother of six children, said she invested more money on back-to-school shopping this year due to increased prices, yet she planned ahead by buying in bulk and seeking out sales for supplies, clothing and footwear months in advance.
“Backpacks in the mall are $70 to $80. I’m sorry, that is, to me, ridiculous for a backpack,” Boucher said.
Boucher and her husband Scott lost work due to COVID-19. Boucher’s business as a wedding and event planner took a hard hit from cancellations, reduced guests lists and lockdowns while her husband, who worked two full-time jobs, was given reduced hours.
She said their wallets felt a tighter pinch this year during back to school shopping.
“Just the cost in binders and paper and markers and mechanical pencils, I’ve seen a huge price rise,” she said.
Boucher estimated she spent at least $300 on school supplies – excluding shoes, clothing and lunch boxes – for three of her four school-aged children.
Julie (left) and her …….