CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The countdown is on! Students will head back to the classroom in just three weeks. With the start of a new school year comes the cost of several new items like pencils, book bags, and clothes – and those items can really add up.

A few local experts are sharing ways to help you save money this back to school season.

Before hitting the aisle, Kristian Bastian and Jody Vitali say you need to make sure to do your homework.

They say that going into a store without a plan will increase your cost, so make a list of everything you need after you take inventory of what you already have.

“It kind of takes the nerves away from everything and you can look forward to this new season in your child’s life rather than dreading it knowing how expensive it can be.”

Jody Vitali, Co-Owner Charleston Mom’s Blog

You can also turn to your phone for help; saving money while shopping can be as simple as downloading apps like Ibotta, Ebates, RetailMeNot, and more.

Vitali says the apps can price check with stores in the area and give you money for purchases.

“You hook it up to a bank account and then you’re saving money on the items you buy. It may seem small, just a few dollars here and there, but they can really save up.”

 -Jody Vitali, Co-Owner Charleston Mom’s Blog

Since the average household spends nearly $700 to get kids ready for school, those dollars will come in handy.