BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – With many schools starting in a few weeks, it is time to start thinking about that shopping list, but before you head over to the checkout counter, you may want to check out ways to save.

Whether it is folders, paper, backpacks, or clothes, back-to-school shopping can be costly.

According to the National Retail Federation, families will spend almost $900 on back-to-school items this year, which is up to $25 from last year’s high.

De Pere School Social Worker Sabrina Esala explains why in addition to inflation, parents spend so much on supplies for their children,

She says, “I think everyone wants those name-brand, Crayola crayons, markers, and things like that, and kids want to fit in. They want those name-brand clothes, and they don’t want to feel left out.”

There are a few tips to save money when shopping for school essentials. Firstly, always look for deals. A local store, School House in Ashwaubenon, is one place you can save.

Owner Tom Sieber says, “You can come here and buy one [item] instead of going to the big-box store and buying 12 [items]. At the end of the day, you probably save a little bit of money by buying exactly what you need instead of buying huge quantities that you’ll never use.”

Another tip is to budget throughout the summer and not buy everything at once.

“Shopping over time is definitely easier, especially because now it does cost around $100. That can be a lot to do all at once, especially if you have multiple children,” Esala says.

She also says to reach out to local organizations, like churches, to see if there are any drives going on in your area.

The De Pere School District is also hosting its 3rd annual Hands Across De Pere fundraiser on Sunday, August 27th, from 3-7 p.m. at the Swan Club. This fundraiser supports families in need throughout the school year.