Back-to-school: How much is it costing your family?

By Alexandra Tendler Personal Finance FOXBusiness

Back-to-school shopping means big business

Teachers, parents and students are spending big bucks back-to-school shopping. Here's a breakdown

Back-to-school season is the second most competitive retail season after the winter holidays; yet despite the wide array of deals offered from textbooks to MacBooks, families are spending more than ever on school supplies this year, as consumer optimism remains at a 16-year high.

Continue Reading Below

Back-to-school spending for elementary through high school students is expected to reach $29.6 billion in 2017, which is up from $27.3 billion in 2016, according to the National Retail Federation. Families will spend $688 on average for 2017, compared to $674 last year.

July and August account for 70% of back-to-school sales, with retailers ringing in more than $19 billion in the two-month period, according to Deloitte. And as traditional retail knows well, more and more shoppers are looking for deals online, as 75% of shoppers say they use social media and the web to view promotions, 64% to receive a coupon, and 43% to browse products.

More from FOX Business

Another enticement for many shoppers this summer is a sales tax holiday, which has been offered by 16 states over various weekends in July and August.

Deloitte reported that 53% of shoppers would increase their in-store purchases as a result of a sales tax holiday, and 44% would increase their online purchases. Conversely, 44% of shoppers would not finish their purchases if sales tax was automatically included.

Sales tax rates range from as low as 3% in Louisiana to 7% in Mississippi and Tennessee, according to WalletHub.

Continue Reading Below

Other states offering sales tax breaks are Alabama, Missouri and Oklahoma with roughly 4%, New Mexico and Virginia with about 5%, and Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, South Carolina, and Texas offering roughly 6%. These rates apply to the gross sales of personal property and vary slightly for food, vehicles, and machinery. 

What do you think?

Click the button below to comment on this article.