Bloomington resident Terri Klodzen lingered between the stacks of green and blue folders at Walmart Tuesday, searching for one of each that’s cheap but sturdy.

She’s noticed an increase in the price of school supplies, she said, but it’s still affordable while she’s only shopping for her oldest son, August Klodzen, a third grader at McCormick’s Creek Elementary School in Spencer. As a stay-at-home mother of five, though, she’s scared she won’t be able to afford school supplies in a few years.

“I’m very nervous for when we have to take all five of our kids shopping for school,” she said.

As the cost of basic necessities continues to rise due to inflation, parents and teachers are feeling the stress as the start of the 2022-23 school year approaches. In addition to rising costs of school supplies, families often have to buy new backpacks, clothes and other items before the school year begins.

Consumer prices increased about 8% between May 2021 and May 2022 — the biggest 12-month increase in 40 years — according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the Midwest, the price of groceries has increased by about 12%, while gas prices have increased by about 50%.

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