It's the of the year to go back to school shopping.

For some, it's therapeutic.  For others, it's a headache.

Today I visited three different stores in the Mankato area to compare what it would cost to send your second grader to school with the proper supplies as well as hear what parents had to say about back to school shopping.

I purchased everything on the list except a backpack and gym shoes because those two items can vary drastically in price.

The first of my three stops was Walmart.

After ringing up my supplies, the total amount came to $25.74 and from there, the bar was set.

Stop two was Shopko.

As far as total amount spent, I wasn't sure what to expect here but upon ringing up my supplies I was relatively surprised with an amount totaling at $25.50.

Last but not least I made my way to Target, purchased my materials on the list and the total came to $20.60.

I was truly surprised about the 20% savings I received at Target.

While at the store, I talked to dozens of parents who voiced frustrations they had with the list.  A common theme was specifics of the list and materials that don't get used.  For example, a parent was wondering if it was really a big deal if a folder or notebook was green instead of red as many lists give you specific colors to buy.  Another parent was curious as to why a child needed glue sticks and a bottle of glue, not just one or the other.

Many other parents had the same issue but say they recommend reusing materials not used the year last year so you don't have to re–buy them the next time you're back to school shopping.

--KEYC News 12