It's hard to believe but summer is winding down and it will soon be time to head back to school.
Before your kids can hit the books, however, it's time to hit the stores to stock up on supplies.
"Have a whole binder full of coupons and I take them with me to find the best deals," said Shannon Cunningham.
Deals can be found, but spending this year isn't expected to make the honor roll for many stores. The National Federation of Retailers projects spending to be $634 for families with school-aged children.
"Oh, no. We will spend less this year," said Karen Turek, a mom, when asked if her family fit into the spending category.
Overall, back-to-school spending is expected to be down eight percent from last year's record numbers, with families with college-aged kids averaging $830, which mom Kathy Dent said she will hit.
But for the majority of families, the economy still isn't making the grade, said Chris Duelfer, an assistant professor of economics at Cedar Crest College in Allentown.
"Fact is that the economy is growing, but in paychecks we're not seeing that," he said.
Duelfer pointed to the loss of the payroll tax cut, as well as still slow-growth discretionary income as key reasons why wallets won't open as wide.
"Real hard income constraints. Just haven't see increases in paychecks. Most jobs that have been created are low paying part time jobs, which is different from previous recoveries," he said.
For mom Joy Wolbach, however, school uniforms, not the economy, are slowing her spending.
"Instead of buying a bunch of outfits, I can buy a few pieces they can wear," she said.
Economists said this is the second biggest shopping season of the year, next to the holidays. Back-to-school shopping is a key indicator of how November and December will go in the retail industry.