Many household bank accounts have been hit by the recession so many parents are looking for bargains this year.
The new school year starts with less. A recent report shows consumers are doing back to school shopping at discount department stores and dollar stores.
The school section of the Target super store in Broadview was busy on Wednesday with back to school shoppers.
"First I went to the dollar store and whatever I could not get at the dollar store I came here knowing I would find it," said Lisa Moragne-Kayser.
"I'm cutting back on extra school supplies. Really getting the basics that I need right now," said Lisa Smith.
"People are definitely looking for bargains this year, looking for what's on sale, getting the most value for their money," said Lance Sorlien, Target.
Target also has the school lists. The supply lists provides parents with all the items that you need to get for your children.
"Just basically what's required and what's on the list for back to school. We've cut back on the extras," said Diana Guajardo.
One Oak Park mother of three says she is spending less money on clothes and saving on school supplies.
"I'm becoming a smarter shopper. I'm a teacher actually and went through my classroom to see what we had that they could use. And also going through the house to see what we already have," said Cheryl Sullivan.
"We're not getting pens, erasers or scissors," said Patrick Sullivan, Cheryl's son.
The clothes section of the store was not busy. Many customers say they will wait for fall sales. The assistant manager said school uniforms are selling.
"In the past I would just buy school clothes regardless if it was needed at the beginning of the year and now we'll buy it if needed," said Moragne-Kayser.
"Everyone just about has a strategy to cut back. They're going through their closet to search for anything that is already there that they can possibly use for their kids. This is having a big negative impact on apparel sales," said George Rosenbaum, Leo Shapiro and Associates.