DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Families are expected to spend more than ever shopping for school supplies this year.

According to the National Retail Federation, back-to-school spending is expected to reach an estimated $41.5 billion dollars.

“It is an expense, and we’ve noticed this year it has gone up quite a bit. So while the list stays they same, the prices have gone up,” says Carrie Johnson, whose daughter will be a sixth-grader in the Northmont City School district. “We spent probably around $75 on school supplies this year.”

Parents say clothes are the biggest expense.

“We save up throughout the year as well because we know that we’re going to have these expenses,” says Kelsey Brown who has fourth and seventh graders in the West Carrollton school district,

She estimates her family spent $300 on back-to-school shopping this year.

“We went and bought stuff really early so we got everything taken care of right away,” says Robin Miller whose son Drew is a sixth-grader this year in Miamisburg.

She says shopping early helped save her family money.

Centerville made it easy for families like the Dewberrys with one-stop shopping for their second-grader.

“We went on We typed in Cline Elementary and it popped up all of here school supplies. It went on and had their package on there,” describes Kendra Dewberry. “It made it super easy. We didn’t have to like look and see or overspend, and get her extra crayons knowing she didn’t need it.”

Paula Dytko also has kids in the Centerville City School district.

“School supply shopping is super easy. You just pay for kits, and they remind us, and it’s super easy, so everybody gets the same supplies, and they last the whole school year,” describes Dytko.

To get ready, parents have found ways to stretch their dollar like discounts, coupons and giveaways.

“The West Carrollton Police Department, they did an awesome thing where they gave away backpacks filled with school supplies,” describes Brown.

A number of other organizations have also held school supply drives to help with cost, as well as parties to celebrate students going back to school.

The Apostolic Lighthouse Church will be hosting a Back to School Bash at Eagle Ridge Apartments on Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 5:30 p.m.

The Hilltop Community Center will hold a Back to School Bash on Saturday, Aug. 19 from 1-1:30 p.m.

The Little Hearts Early Learning Academy at 4544 West Hillcrest Ave. in Dayton is hosting a backpack giveaway and block party on Saturday, Aug. 26 from noon-4 p.m.