BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – More than 29 billion dollars is expected to be spent on back to school supplies this year, according to The National Retail Federation.

As the start of the school year is nearing, some already started in Maine, we set out to find a family doing their back to school shopping to see just how much they are spending.

“You definitely need more stuff, so I need a bigger backpack,” Madisen Smith said.

Smith and her sister Rylee were doing some last-minute shopping with their mom at the Target in Bangor Tuesday.

Madisen is going into sixth grade and Rylee is going into third in Bucksport.

NEWS CENTER sent the sisters out with recommended shopping lists for Maine schools according to their grade to see just how much more money is spent on older kids.

Madisen’s list called for more expensive items, including highlighters, binders and a calculator. Rylee’s list required smaller items, like glue, pencils and colored pencils.



That’s more than a 30-percent increase with just a three year difference.

“We were very last-minute,” the girls’ mom, Lisa Smith, admitted. "Life's hectic."

While Madisen said she was not ready go back and Riley said she was, said she is ready to get them out of the house and back into the classroom.

NEWS CENTER also took the girls’ lists and went online. On Amazon, the totals were significantly higher for the same items.

For the specific requirements, reach out to your area school. Avoid those lists offered in the stores as some schools require much less than others.