RALEIGH, N.C. — One-third of families plan to cut back on spending to help cover the cost of items that their children must have as they return to school, according to a National Retail Federation survey.

What You Need To Know

  • Electronics are the No. 1 item parents will spend money on to prepare kids to head back to school this year

  • Tech expert Jennifer Jolly says that starting around fifth grade, laptops and smartphones are the top electronics for students

  • One way to help lower costs is to use the coupon-finding Paypal Honey desktop browser extension, Jolly says

Experts say the No. 1 item parents will spend on for back-to-school supplies is electronics.

Jennifer Jolly, a technology expert and columnist, says laptops and smartphones are the most important electronics for students starting in about fifth grade.

She says Vaio laptops are affordable items that are sold online and in national retail outlets.

Jolly also recommends a coupon-finding program she says has saved her hundreds of dollars.

“The easiest way to make sure that you’re paying the lowest prices across the board is to install the Paypal Honey desktop browser. This is an online shopping tool that automatically discovers coupons at your favorite stores,” Jolly said.

You can find the desktop browser extension at joinhoney.com.