SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

Many parents are getting an economics lesson before the first day of school, as they look for deals on school clothing and supplies.

Some parents say they are definitely living within a budget.  One is trying to keep it under $100 per child.

A Goleta resident said in addition to her local stores she has gone to Ventura County for school clothing.  "I wish they had a Target or a WalMart over here," said Rachelle Lopez.   

Several stores have price breaks on pens, pencils, notepads, binders and other basic school supplies.  

Often, schools will provide parents with a list of specific supplies a child will need by the first day of classes.

Sarah Anticouni at the My Sweet Pineapple consignment store in Santa Barbara has new and gently used clothing for girls, boys and adult women.  She says some are under the cost of a full price item at a department store by over 50 percent.  Shoppers can sometimes "buy three" items for what they pay elsewhere for one.  With that, she says there can be some significant savings, and both the parent and child are happy as they start the school year. 

"I've worked with parents (on a budget)," said Anticouni.  "I would say 'it's five dollars off.'  I've done that a lot of different times."

Many major department stores are setting aside special sections for school clothing and offering discounts that will extend for the rest of the month as different school schedules roll out.