Families pack stores for back-to-school shopping
Tuesday is the first day of school for many students across our region.
But before children go back to their classrooms, their families are expected to spend hundreds of dollars on back-to-school items.
Families with school-age children are expected to spend an average of $635 dollars this year according to the National Retail Federation.
That money isn't just for backpacks, pencils and paper - but also for clothing and electronics.
Today, we went to the Pasco Walmart to see what families are buying.
Many aisles with markers, binders, and folders have been packed with people all day.
Some parents tell us they've tried to spread out their back-to-school shopping so they don't take the financial hit all at once.
But other parents who started their shopping today are rushing to finish in time.
But one thing the parents we spoke with agree on is even though the price to prepare their children for school isn't cheap, it's worth it.
"I should have a budget for that, but I just go buy it and I don't actually know, but I'm sure it is in the hundreds of dollars. It's worth it. They're all worth it."" said Danielle Dubois, mother of four.
"I'm sure I have at least $500 in my cart already, but I have four kids" said Cherie Broadway, mother of four.
"Is it worth it?" we asked.
"Yes, I get the school year to myself" laughed Broadway.
The average amount families are spending this year may sound like a lot, but it's actually down more than $50 dollars from last year's spending totals according to the National Retail Federation.
Total spending on back-to-school items is expected to reach $26.7 billion.
Combine that amount with back-to-college purchases, and families are expected to spend a total of $72.5 billion.