LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -- School supply lists can be long but there are ways parents can prepare to save money before even heading out the door.
One way is to use price comparison websites.
"Google shop or price grabber are a couple that you can plug in the product that you are looking for and it will come up with the number of stores that are selling it and you can click on the stores and the prices and then you can decide if you want to go to the store or if you want to shop online for the product," said Patricia Huddleston, a Professor of Retailing at Michigan State University.
Other experts recommend saving ahead of time.
Scott Matteson, the Human Development and Family Studies Internship coordinator at MSU says, "If you think about it now and you start putting ten dollars a month away now, next year you have a hundred and twenty dollars that's available for you to go out and buy school supplies."
Buying supplies in bulk with other parents is another way to cut down on the cost by 10 to 25 percent.
"So one thing parents might want to consider particularly if there are a lot of parents with the same age school children in the same neighborhood is buying in bulk at like Office Depot or a Staples and then splitting up the particular unit", says Huddleston.
Allowing kids to have a budget for how much money they can spend can also help save money.
Huddleston says, "Set a budget for your children and give them the money and say once you've spent that money that's it and it's really surprising how well kids will keep to a budget if they feel it's their money."