Survey Says: Here Are Parents’ Biggest Back-to-School Stressors

A new school year is beginning, and while kids are heading back to reading, writing and arithmetic, parents are stressing about time and money. conducted a survey along with Harris Interactive* to find out what concerns parents the most as their kids return to school.

Here are some insights:

  • Shopping and preparing for school lunches stresses out 50% of moms. The good news is there are shortcuts you can take. For example, did you know you can freeze peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Make a week’s worth on Sunday. For a twist on the classic, try Jif’s new hazelnut spread.
  • Parents like convenience—56% choose pre-made items and snacks. Right now, you can find plenty of coupons for convenience items like yogurt, fruit snacks and granola bars.
  • Fewer than 50% of parents make lunches for their children more than three times a week. However, dads are helping reverse that trend. Men are more likely than women to regularly pack lunch for their kids.
  • Nearly 75% of parents are concerned about rising food prices and are looking for grocery sales and coupons. To save even more, use coupons on sale items when grocery shopping—watch for midweek ads to let you know which items will be especially discounted.
  • Nearly 41% of moms won’t buy school supplies if they’re not on sale or if they don’t have a coupon. For a one-stop shop with guaranteed low prices, gather all back-to-school ads that come in the mail then shop at a store with price matching.

One last tip: If you’re like the majority of parents (83% to be exact), you’re looking for bargains on school supplies. Try online. Use coupon codes for savings on top of sales, all from the convenience of your home.


This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of from July 20-24, 2012 among 2,208 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Jennifer Conway,, 978-463-0289.

Discover even more back to school tips and guides here: