A new national survey finds Americans are spending an average $688 on back to school shopping. The survey from the National Retail Federation says the dollar amount includes clothing and school supplies. The $688 figure is up $84 from last year's $604 average. That sounds like a lot of money to me. What about you?

I learned a few years back, I am better off to let my kids have a few new clothing items as we prepare for school, but not to go off the deep end spending because once school starts they're going to ask me for a different kind of jeans or shoes or something! We usually buy a new outfit for the first day and a few new shirts, and I make sure they've got decent shoes.

When it comes to school supplies, I absolutely can not stand driving from one store to the next to search for deals. I usually look through the Sunday paper and pick a couple of places with good prices that generally have things in stock and make one trip. At least I try to. Sometimes, I order online if shipping is free!

Either way, I don't think I am spending nearly $700 on each kid! Maybe total, but not each one! What are you spending for back to school?