The cost of filling a typical school supply list, How to shop wisely

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Indianapolis, Ind. (July 28, 2015) - You don't need a master's degree in math to know the cost of school supplies adds up quickly. Lists are getting longer and supplies are getting pricer.

You spend a big chunk of change on supplies and that doesn't even include the clothes, shoes, backpack, lunch box and more.

CBS 4 went shopping to get a ballpark figure of the expenses a family can face when filling a school supply list using a 4th grade list from Noblesville Schools. The list is similar to most other districts in Central Indiana. Click here to see the list.

For basic supplies, three popular big box retailers totaled this:

Target: $57.10
Walmart: $85.77
Meijer: $36.03

When adding in the optional supplies, such as tissues and hand sanitizer, these were the results:

Target: $97.47
Walmart: $119.08
Meijer: $70.96

Of course this will vary based on feature sales or promotions.

One service many schools now offer is a school supply kit made for you with everything your child's teacher has on the list.

The kit is oftentimes delivered straight to the school.

Parents say the prices seem comparable.

One mother of a Noblesville elementary-aged student said her SchoolKidz kit cost $44 and included everything she needed.

If you're school shopping, there are a few ways to make it easier on yourself.

Shop at home. See what supplies you already have.

Use social media to your advantage. Oftentimes just "liking" a page unlocks savings.

And use a price comparison app instead of driving to multiple stores to comparison shop.

Buy in bulk. Certain school supplies get burned through at a fast rate over the course of the school year. It might cost more upfront, but you'll have cheaper supplies on hand for several months if you buy in bulk. Or consider buying in bulk at a local warehouse store and splitting the cost with a fellow school family.

Don't give in to impulse purchases in the store!

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