PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Saving money is top of mind for many families preparing for the back-to-school season. From clothes to shoes and supplies – it all adds up.

Experts say that everything is more expensive, but that doesn’t mean parents can’t catch a bargain.

Bola Sokunbi is a best selling author and the CEO of Clever Girl Finance. She has twins and says she likely will spend $100 per kid on school supplies.

She says being prepared for higher prices will save you the shock at the store. Along with that, she said making a list of the essentials can help, so you know exactly what you’re looking for.

“Definitely make that list of the essentials,” said Sokunbi. “Create a budget around the essentials and how much you’re willing to spend. You also wants to see if there’s any student discounts at retailers.”

She also recommended leveraging certain apps, like Rakuten, which will give a rebate for shopping normally. If you’re buying textbooks or electronics — even those expensive calculators for calculus — buy second hand

If times are especially tough, there are local organizations which offer free school supplies.