GREEN BAY - Hard to believe, but the Back to School shopping season is already in full swing.Retailers say it's going to be a busy one.Parents nationwide are expected to shell out nearly $75 billion for supplies, shoes and clothes.So how are local parents trying to fit the expenses in their budgets?Teacher and mother-of-three Michelle Robbe says she's made her list-and she's checking it twice."I usually buy on sale as much as I can the year before and I double up so that I don't have to buy anything extra throughout the school year," said Robbe, who teaches fourth grade in Neenah.Retailers like Shopko say it's the second most wonderful time of the year."Back to School is second only to Christmas in our selling season. And it's actually more challenging for the retailer because it's a lot more units at a lot less dollars," said Shopko Bay Park Square Store Manager Dale Adams.As you fill up the cart, the prices add up. The National Retail Federation says the average family is expected to spend $669.28 this year. That's up five percent.To send just one child back to school it costs nearly $80, and that's just for the bare basics: notebooks, pens, folders, glue, markers, colored pencils, paper, pencils,But as any parent knows, the back to school checklist isn't just notebooks and crayons.It can also mean new jeans and shoes--that can cost a bundle."I'd say probably close to three hundred per child. And that's to just kind of get them started," said Robbe.Robbe says she also buys supplies for her school children with her own money."We can stock our classrooms and that every kid can have the same start to the school year because we do have students that do come in and they can't have the fun folders. My kids are going to pick fun folders today. Not all the kids are going to have fun folders," said Robbe.And if you can spare an extra folder or notebook, The Service League of Green Bay needs your help for its Back to School drive.Around 1500 kids have signed up to receive supplies."Currently we're looking for over 11 thousand notebooks," said Bridget Erwin with the Service League. "So notebooks, crayons, markers, glue."That way, every kid can get a great start as they head back to school.
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