Sorry to bring up the subject, kids, but we have to talk about back-to-school shopping. The length of the back-to-school shopping season is getting longer each year, with promotions being announced at the start of summer, and experts say the lists of needed supplies that parents receive from teachers are also getting longer. "The average 2014 required school supply list now contains 18 items," says Tim Sullivan, the founder of TeacherLists.com. "That's a 29-percent increase from 2013 with almost the entire increase coming from more and more types of consumable supplies being added to lists. It's not so much more glue and notebooks – it's glue and notebooks plus tissues and resealable bags and hand wipes," adds Sullivan. Sullivan says longer supply lists means more spending, and retailers are jumping on that by starting promotions earlier than ever before. Experts say $5 billion is spent on back-to-school shopping. A survey conducted last month by the National Retail Federation found that 24 percent of K-12 parents looked for early back-to-school sales. Additionally, 45 percent of K-12 parents said they are planning to shop sales more often this year. Approximately 52 million parents will be heading to the stores this back-to-school season.