SAN ANTONIO - Third-grader Jake stood in the backpack aisle pondering his choices.
"Should I get blue or black?" he asked.
His fifth-grade sister was busy picking out a "cool" green pencil pouch, while his mom.
Tracy Shamon waited patiently, doing a little back-to-school shopping math.
"We spend $200 to $300 on getting everybody back to school," she said.
And that's just the supplies.
The clothing will come later when the weather cools.
"This is all mandatory stuff," she said. "We tried to just use the binder from last year, but we made the decision not."
After making do and cutting back the past couple of years, families will spend more this year on back to school, according to a survey for the National Retail Federation.
Families with children in kindergarten through 12th grade are expected to spend $688.62 on average, up from $603.63 last year. That's $85 more.
In addition to restocking supplies after cutting back last year, the increase is attributed to apparel prices on the rise.
Even though parents seem willing to spend more this year, they will still hunt for sales and discounts.
Jaclyn Brunn, who has five children in school, said she's already spent more and school is five weeks away.
"They're going to want to be in sports, band, orchestra, so, yeah, it adds up quickly."
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