Students head back to school in less than a month, and schools have issued a list of supplies that each student needs for the year.
The National Retail Federation annually surveys parents and students across the country to find out how much back to school shopping really costs. New findings show that 2017 is predicted to be the second most expensive year since that survey started in 2003.
"Seems like everything gets more expensive every year out here," said Jessica Rohde, a local mother back to school shopping for her daughter.
"I just helped my granddaughter find a calculator that she's supposed to have, and it was on sale for $89," said Karen Lown, a local grandmother who bonds with her grandchildren over back to school shopping each year. "That's a good amount of money. That takes a large portion of the budget right there."
The survey results released from the National Retail Federation put combined costs for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade and college at a total of $83.6 billion. Of that total, $29.5 billion is projected for kindergarten through twelfth grade students alone at an average of $687.72 per student. An estimated average of $238.89 will be spent on clothes, $204.33 on electronics, $130.38 on shoes, and $114.12 on school supplies.
"When we used to shop, there used to be a list of things to get, but it wasn't as itemized," Lown said. "Now it's one red folder, one blue folder, one purple folder."
Parents continue finding ways to cut the cost.
"This year, what we did is we save all of our materials from last year," Lown said. "So, we've got a pile of pencils and a pile of folders, so we're going to try to supplement with that."
"Shop the online ads, and look what you can find--either when you're online or at the store--and compare," Rohde said.
Many stores, like Target, try to make back to school shopping easier on the wallet, so that parents do not have to look far to stay within budget.
"At Target, we're here for the guest," said Rob Clark, Senior Team Lead at La Crosse Target. "So, if you need help finding something, that's what we're here for. We're running all of these great promotions, we're keeping our prices competitive."
Clark said back to school season is one of the busiest times of year for Target. The sales started in mid-July.
Another money saving trip from parents is to shop early before items sell out. Parents can make sure they have all of the supplies they need at a low cost.