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Coinstar Survey Shows Back-to-School Costs Expected Higher This Year Compared to Pre-Pandemic

Vast majority of parents will send kids to in-person schooling this fall creating more free time
BELLEVUE, Wash. - 
July 7, 2021

The Coinstar® Back-to-School Survey, conducted among 1,004 U.S. parents, was released today and reports that the majority of parents (84%) plan to send their children to in-person schooling this fall. Most parents report being excited or relieved that kids are returning to a classroom and parents will likely have more free time. The downside is many parents expect back-to-school costs to increase from pre-pandemic school expenses.

Back-to-School Emotions and Costs Elevated

 About four in five parents plan to send their kids off to the classroom this fall with costs and emotions higher than pre-pandemic.

  • Nearly nine in 10 parents (86%) are relieved or excited about kids going to in-person schooling; one-third (33%) reveal they are nervous
  • 61% of parents expect back-to-school costs to be higher than pre-pandemic; 29% say about the same
  • 68% report spare change at home is higher or about the same versus a year ago
  • 70% say they are planning or will consider cashing in spare change to cover back-to-school expenses

More Free Time Isn’t All Fun

Most parents sending kids back to school will have more free time, but the Coinstar survey reveals that doesn’t equate to all leisure time. Of parents expecting to have more free time, 44% will spend it doing housework or chores; 34% will use time to be more productive at work; 38% will squeeze in quiet time, and 32% will treat themselves to a massage, walk or something else personal.

Survey Methodology

 Coinstar commissioned Atomik Research to run an online survey of 1,004 parents with children between the ages of 5-18 living at home and in school in the fall of 2021. The margin of error fell within +/- 3 percentage points with a confidence interval of 95 percent. The fieldwork took place between June 15 and June 16, 2021. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency.

About Coinstar, LLC

 Coinstar® is the global leader in self-service coin counting with 23,000 kiosks in North America, Europe, and Japan. More than 800 billion coins have been processed since Coinstar’s inception in the early 1990s. In the United States, consumers can convert their change to cash, a no-fee eGift card, or donate to charity at supermarket, mass merchant, drug store, and financial institution kiosk locations. Expanded cash services at Coinstar kiosks include purchasing cryptocurrencies and adding money into digital accounts. For brand advertisers, Coinstar now offers adPlanet™, which enables lead generation on the interactive kiosk screen and a flexible digital advertising platform that sits atop Coinstar kiosks at select grocery locations. For more information on Coinstar or kiosk locations, visit

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