STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -- It's only July, but school supplies are already on the shelves.
And a new survey estimates that parents will spend $500 per child this back to school season.
The survey comes from consulting firm Deloitte. It reported that parents will spend about the same as last year on school supplies. On average, they'll spend $501 per child for clothes, supplies and electronics.
"I think that's extremely high for where we live, and if you shop around you can get a much better meal than that," said Elizabeth Neuman of Stevens Point.
The survey also says that parents can save big by shopping later. It says that parents who wait until August will spend $458 per student. Those who shop now will spend $532.
"In the past, we've always tried to wait until the last minute to wait for the sales to come out," said Rose McGuire, a mother from Iola. "Saving a quarter on all of those (supplies) wasn't worth not getting the cool folder my daughter wanted or the back pack or the lunch pack."
Parents can turn to the internet to find the best deals.
"I think using online sources to price check, just to make sure your local market is within check with what the national market should be," father John Schultz said.
Several parents said they try to buy extra supplies for families or teachers in need. If you'd like to help out, you can donate new school supplies to the Workplace Volunteer Council's Fill a Backpack Fill a Need project. Supplies can be dropped off August 8 - 14 at the United Way office.