Does it seem going back to school is costing you more this year compared to last year? With the start of the school year in Bismarck-Mandan starting this week, time is running out to wrap of all of your shopping. The countdown is on.

School shopping has changed in the last few years. Most schools provide parents with a list of supplies essential for each student throughout the school year. The list takes the guess work out of shopping.

Some parents take the stress out of shopping with on-line shopping at sites such as Amazon. One local parent said it saves a lot of time and in many cases, you save money. She would rather go online and shop for school supplies, have them shipped to her door and does not have to experience the hassle of the crowds and trying to find a parking space. She said "a couple of clicks and I'm done."

If you think you're spending more money this year than last, in some cases, you could see and increase according to Tewkesbury Town Crier. The findings for the current school year are the average cost for elementary school was $637 in 2017 and increased to $662 in 2018. Middle school costs from went from $1,001 to $941 this year. A drop was also noted for high school, from $1,489 to $1.355 in 2018.

Then you have to figure in the cost of sports participation fees and other activities such as cheerleading and certain school projects and field trips.

Keep in mind most student won't need everything on their list on the first day of school. Remember, most retail outlets will keep school supplies out and as we near Labor Day, many of these items will go on sale to make room for Halloween and holiday decorations and supplies and they'll want to clear the shelves for the new arrivals. You don't need to buy everything at once and when the clearance sales take place closer to Labor Day, you can stock up for the school year.

(source)