SEATTLE -- Going back to school is no small feat. There are clothes, shoes, electronics and of course, school supplies. The National Retail Federation estimates the average family will spend $673.57 this year. That estimate is $40 more than 2015.
When spending that kind of money, Q13 FOX News wants to make sure you're shopping wisely. We asked the Better Business Bureau's David Quinlan for advice on becoming a smarter back-to-school shopper.
First off, Quinlan said shoppers need a budget. Not just a budget for back-to-school, a budget for the entire school year. Go beyond the usual list of school supplies and new shoes.
Be sure to factor in:
"By filing your money into the appropriate areas you can avoid being surprised when you find out your 5th grader no longer fits in last year`s winter coat, " Quinlan said.
Also, shoppers need to read the fine print on those back-to-school ads.
"When shopping in-store or online be sure to review the ad for restrictions, quantities and dates for sale and return policies," Quinlan said.
Along those same lines, if shoppers are making a big purchase, research, research, research.
"Research brands and options to choose one that meets expectations and budgets," Quinlan said. "Many computer and software companies offer discounts to students. Shop from a BBB Accredited Business for peace of mind."
For college students headed back to school, scams are a real concern. Quinlan offered a list of situations college students to beware of: