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Cost of back-to-school shopping

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Parents are busy back-to-school shopping with the new school year just around the corner. Muscogee County schools start August 7th and Phenix City starts back August 19th.

The National Retail Federation said families with school-age children will spend about $635 dollars on shoes, clothes, supplies and electronics this year. That's about $50 less than last year.

Nationwide, back-to-school shopping is expected to top $26 billion.

Mimi Biggers has already spent about $300 on clothes and shoes for her two kids. "We're looking to probably do about at least 200 in school supplies." Biggers said her go-to store is Wal-Mart."We just went to another store, won't call their name, but it was like double the price for the same product so when you're spending that much you want to get more."

News 3 priced a school supply list for a fifth grade student in Muscogee County. To buy everything on the list it cost about $40.  The list included dry erase markers, Kleenex, paper towels and a binder.

Notebooks were also on the list. Wal-Mart is selling a one-subject 70 page wide rule notebook for $.017 a piece. K-Mart has them on sale for $0.50. Notebook paper is $0.82 at Wal-Mart and computer paper is $2.97. A 24-pack of USA Gold #2 pencils cost $3.77 at Wal-Mart, but Target has them on sale for $3.00. Most stores are having a sale that ends August third.

Some teachers may have a more specific list once classes begin.

When it comes to certain items Biggers said it may work out better to splurge. "Maybe go a dollar up as opposed to going a dollar down because like binders... by the third month of school his one inch binder is now in half. So instead of spending 99 cents, we'll probably do like 5 dollars this year to make sure it actually lasts."

For those looking to save even more money Alabama and Georgia have a sales tax holiday coming up. In Alabama it will be held from 12:01 a-AM on Friday, August 2nd through midnight on Sunday, August 4th.

Georgia's school tax holiday will be August 9th  and 10th  this year.

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