Moms Are Big Spenders as Kids Return to School According to New Survey

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ClubMom offers moms tips for a healthy and happy school year.

Moms will be giving their credit cards some exercise as they get ready to send their kids back to school this year. They are smart shoppers and they are spending big, according to a new survey conducted by ClubMom (, the free national membership organization for moms. Most moms (72%) are spending up to $300 per child on their back-to-school items including clothes, notebooks, backpacks, lunchboxes, and other must-haves. Twenty-four percent of moms will spend $300 or more per child.

Monica Bernstein, ClubMom's Mom Expert, helps moms give their spending habits a break by encouraging them to take advantage of warehouse stores and sales. “Then, it's easy to stock up on items needed throughout future school years,” says Bernstein. “Buying a pack of 200 number 2 pencils won't seem as silly when you only have to buy them once every three years!”

Shopping with Mom

Summer is coming to a close and before moms know it, their kids are pleading for the latest backpacks, sneakers, and other “hot” back-to-school essentials. While moms love to make their children happy, they aren't budging. Half of moms say they have the most influence over the items purchased for back-to-school, while only 8% say their children are the biggest influence.

Moms realize that their kids aren't to blame – 44% of moms either “strongly agree” or “somewhat agree” that their children feel pressured by other kids to wear certain clothes, or carry the newest backpacks and lunchboxes. Nearly 50% of moms think school uniforms would eliminate the pressure to wear certain clothing.

It's Mom Time

This year's first day of school will be a breeze for the kids; it's mom who will be clinging to her children at bus stops across the country. Only 5% of moms will feel relieved when their children go back to school. Thirty-two percent of moms will feel sad because their children are growing up too fast before their eyes. For mom to avoid feeling like she is missing out on her children's days while at school, ClubMom's Bernstein suggests that she volunteers in the classroom, or simply gets involved with the PTA.

Even so, after spending the entire summer with their children, 31% of moms are looking forward to getting back into their normal “mom” routines. What is on mom's agenda now that the kids are hitting the books? Moms will have more time to do the chores and errands (50%), spend time alone (28%), and hit the gym (16%). Working moms will be able to get to work earlier or on time (25%).

Both Better and Worse Than in Mom's Day

A whopping 84% of moms are happy with the education their children are receiving. Forty-six percent feel the quality of their children's education is better than the education they received while growing up.

What's not up to par, and one of their biggest concerns, is their child's safety. A strong majority of moms (67%) feel that their children are less safe than while they were in school.

While no one can eliminate every potential danger from a child's life, moms can take some steps toward prevention. ClubMom's Bernstein suggests the following safety tips:

  • Go over the “Stranger Danger” rules with your kids: 1. Say no! 2. Get away! 3. Tell someone! 4. Sometimes you need to yell!
  • Put your child's school through the paces of the School Safety Checklist, found at, for assurance that your child will be in a safe environment.
  • Practice role-playing dangerous scenarios with your children on a weekly basis. Use silly voices to make it engaging, while also getting your important message across!

To make schools even better for their children, the majority of moms (61%) would like to see smaller class sizes, followed by more interaction between parents and teachers (42%), and more enrichment classes like music and art (34%).

School Lunch Surprises

Surprisingly, half of moms think their children's schools serve a nutritious lunch. However, 46% of moms are still packing the standard “brown bag” lunch, while only 28% give money to their children for a hot lunch in the school cafeteria. Among those who pack a lunch for their child, 40% make a deli meat sandwich and 30% rely on the good old, quick and easy, peanut butter and jelly!

Remembering kids love to dip, ClubMom's Bernstein suggests moms think outside of the brown paper bag and pack baby carrots with hummus or dressing, or apples with yogurt to dip into. Complete the meal with a thermos full of chicken or tomato soup.

Putting a Stop to Too Much TV and Video Games this School Year

When the school year begins, the summer games come to an end. The majority of moms (80%) put their foot down and place restrictions on the amount of time their children spend watching TV and playing video games.

However, these fun times aren't completely abolished! Forty-two percent of moms allow their children to watch TV and play video and computer games only after their homework and chores are completed.

To help moms keep their children from vegging out in front of the TV or playing video games for hours on end, ClubMom's Bernstein suggests that moms set up a token system. For each chore completed, like making the bed, your child gets a quarter. Then, he/she can choose to either save the quarter or turn it in for the privilege of 1-hour of TV or time playing video games.

ClubMom surveyed moms via an online poll of members between July 25 – 31, 2005. The total sample size was 1,209 moms.

About ClubMom

ClubMom (created and administered by CMI Marketing, Inc.), established by Meredith Vieira, moderator of the popular daytime talk show “The View,” actor and social activist Andrew Shue, entrepreneur and ClubMom Chief Executive Officer, Michael Sanchez, among others, is a free national membership organization with the mission to recognize, reward, and celebrate moms for what they do every day. With already more than 2 million members and growing fast, ClubMom invites moms to join free and take advantage of the many benefits of membership. Members are provided with the one-stop source for rewards, savings and practical advice.


Meredith Pincu

Senior Manager, Public Relations


(646) 435-6525

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