(WHTM) — It’s August. That means it’s time to start thinking about the kids heading back to school.

Of course, that also means back-to-school shopping. The time to get on that is now.

From binders to bookbags and clothes to computers, there’s a lot to buy as your kid prepares to go back to school. No matter their age, it really adds up.

A new WalletHub survey shows 83% of parents say the cost of education is out of control. Nearly half say they’ll spend more this year than last year.

In fact, the National Retail Federation estimates consumers will spend record amounts this year.

Back-to-school spending is expected to reach $41.5 billion. That’s up from $37 billion last year.

Back-to-college spending is even higher. It is expected to reach $94 billion. That’s $20 billion more than last year’s record.

Breaking these numbers down even further, parents are expected to spend an average of $890 on back-to-school items, that’s $25 more than last year. College students will spend an average of $1367.

What are the biggest back-to-school items?

Electronics, clothing, and shoes make up the top three.

When it comes to classroom supplies, the usual suspects are all in high demand. These include notebooks, crayons, scissors, highlighters, pens, and pencils.

Also, big on school lists is tissues and disinfecting wipes.

So how can you get the most bang for your buck this month?

The folks at RetailMeNot have come up with the top things to buy in August.

Up first are computers and electronics.

You’ll find lots of deals this month on tablets, laptops, and headphones.

Retailers know students are on the lookout for upgrades. In fact, this will be the last time before Black Friday that you’ll see a lot of popular tech on sale at the same time.

Shoes also go on sale during the back-to-school shopping season. The best deals will be on summer shoes, sandals, and slides. But you should be able to find some deals on sneakers too.

The same holds true for clothes. You can find discounts on summer clothing right now. If you need fall clothes, you may want to wait until labor day sales.

And for college students, Kristin McGrath a shopping expert at RetailMeNot has a tip.

“If you want to save money on your college textbooks, the first thing you need to do is stay away from the campus bookstore, the books there are marked up because of the convenience factor,” she said. “So just by buying them somewhere else, any online bookstore will do, you’ll probably save yourself some money.”

Instead of buying books at the campus bookstore, you can rent them, buy used or get e-textbooks.

Finally, one more tip to save on back-to-school items: wait until right before school begins to snag any remaining notebooks, lunchboxes, and dorm items stores are looking to get rid of.

Of course, don’t do this for something you really need, but it may be a cheap way to pick up a few extras.