Heating costs will increase as we anticipate cooler temperatures. With rising food and energy costs, it is easy to see why back-to-school shopping lists can be expensive. These shopping lists can include everything from unleaded pencils to laptops.

There are smart ways to save money on back-to-school spending. The Discover Card provides these five tips to parents who wish to shop smartly this fall.

1. Decide what your children need.

Many schools send letters stating the supplies required for the school year. You can use your child’s school supply lists to identify the absolute necessities.

Find deals on must-haves by looking early. Stick to your shopping list. Avoid impulse buying and adding to your shopping list. “extras”These are the fastest ways to eliminate any savings that you may have.

2. Do an inventory. Take a look at your list of essentials and take a look at what you already have. It will still be usable if your last year’s lunchbox is intact or outgrown. Your child may be able to use extra notebooks, pencils, or pens.

3. A budget is essential. Budgets help parents stay on track and teach kids how to spend wisely. Tell your child about the budget and encourage them. Offer your child a reward such as a treat, or money off their savings. You can even put the extra money in a savings account.

4. Shop on Tax-Free Days. There are tax holidays in place for back-toschool shopping in fourteen states and the District of Columbia. On items like books, clothes and school supplies, shoppers don’t pay sales tax. You can check your state’s Web site to find out when and if there are tax-free days.

5. You can search multiple stores and don’t forget the internet. You can compare stores by looking through weekly circulars. You don’t have to go from one store to the next to find bargains. Instead, check if your preferred retailer has comparable prices.

You can search the Internet for discounts. Many online stores offer exclusive deals and free shipping. ShopDiscover.com offers a cashback bonus of up to 5 percent on orders placed online at the top clothing and sporting-equipment stores.

Visit Discover Card to learn more about how it helps cardmembers make money go further. www.discover.com/backtoschool.