The hunt for back to school supplies is on. The list your youngster brings home from school seems to get longer every year.

When you take a look at your child's supply list, you might find some strange requests. I remember going back to school with a box of crayons, a binder filled with loose leaf paper, a ruler, and a few pencils. That has changed dramatically. Teachers are very specific about what they want the children to have. Often you might need to venture out of the school supply section to get things like kleenex and plastic bags for the classroom. The National Retail Federation’s recent survey on back to school spending estimates that parents will spend, on average, $688.62 to get kids from kindergarten to high school ready for school, up from $603.63 last year. This price tag includes new clothes, shoes and electronics.


Just the supplies will cost $95 for most families. Why does it cost so much? You'll find things like markers, dry erase markers, dividers, two-pocket folders, a storage box, sticky notes, index cards and much more.  The costs go up as your children get older. In middle school and high school, they might need a scientific calculator which can set you back at least $100. And classes like P.E., band and choir will add items like uniforms and musical instruments.