Lufkin starts school in a week and a half and back-to-school shopping is in full swing.

The amount we're spending on school supplies is, well...a good chunk of a paycheck. Ready for the amount?  We've also got a way to score a free backpack.

Back-to-school shopping is more than shoes, jeans, pencils, and erasers.  All of that adds up quickly enough, but it's really the electronics that boost the total into the $75-billion range overall.  No one is taking notes on a legal pad when you can plug them right into the iPad or laptop.

Each of us spends an average of $673 on school supplies, according to Forbes.  And the stores love us.  Christmas still rules, but all of the backpack and shoe shopping makes this the second-biggest shopping season of the year for retailers.

School starts in Lufkin on August 22nd, and the ISD says they're holding a Back-to-School Bonanza this Saturday, August 13th.  The Junior League of Lufkin sponsors it along with the Angelina County Chamber of Commerce, and they'll have it at the Pittser Garrison Civic Center from 8am to 2pm.

Oh, and they'll have free backpacks there filled with school supplies, to help you out with the back to school bills and cut into that $673 expense.

September is usually a good time to buy school supplies because stores mark them down after the mad rush, and that's another way to save money.  If you can wait that long.

Good luck this year.  And bring on football!