One third of parents get into debt preparing their children to return to school.
The annual Credit Union Back to School Costs survey reveals that two thirds of parents say the costs negatively impact on household bills and family plans.
Although spending on books and uniforms is down, voluntary contributions and the cost of school trips are up.
Extra-curricular activities are the highest spend, showing a significant increase from €133 in 2015 to €185 this year.
The survey found it costs on average of €967 to send a child back to primary school and €1,474 for secondary school, with more than one in 10 parents cutting food bills in order to cover the costs.
The credit union research also found escalating price tags are run up on new uniforms and gym gear at an average of €257 a child, the so-called voluntary contribution to the school at about €113 and books at €145.
The most expensive items on the list were uniforms for secondary school children at an average of €234.
On average, parents borrowed €357, down slightly from last year by €3. And 14% of the mothers and fathers in debt over back-to-school costs said they have used a moneylender at one time to get the cash.
The survey of 1,000 adults in June also examined the knock-on effect, with two thirds of parents saying they sacrifice a family holiday to meet the costs.
CEO of Dundrum Credit Union in Dublin Gerry McConville advised parents to avoid moneylenders and to shop around for uniforms and other school necessities.