Wednesday, August 3, 2011
This morning we discussed school supplies and where and how to save money on them. As all parents know school supplies can end up costing a nice chunk of change. I wanted to compare prices at two major retailers, so I took a school supply list I found for a second grade class and also a seventh grade class and price compared the two at Walmart and Target.
The second grade list had 15 different items on it and the total at Target for those items was $22.15 and the total at Walmart was $21.82. The two stores were so close in price that I was surprised. Many of the items that almost all school kids need (glue sticks, markers, paper, and crayons) were the exact same price at both of the stores.
Now when it came to the seventh grade list of items, there was a bit more of a price difference. The seventh grade list had 15 different items on it too and the total at Target was $47.16 and Walmart came in at $35.80. Part of the bigger price difference was the selection of items available. My list asked for a ream of copy paper and Target only had a couple of options the least expensive being $4.29, while Walmart had a larger selection and the cost on the least expensive paper was $2.97. The same was true for calculators, on the list was a TI-30X calculator. Target only had a fancier version in stock and it was $13.29 while Walmart had the regular TI-30X and it was priced at $8.44.
Neither the second grade or seventh grade totals include backpacks, lunchboxes or anything besides what was listed on the supply list. Backpacks and lunchbox prices vary greatly from store to store. Targets least expensive backpacks started at $16 while Walmart had ones starting at $10. Lunchboxes at Target started at $5, while at Walmart they started at $3.48.
If you still have some time and can break your shopping trips up over the next few weeks, then you can take advantage of the great sales they have each week. This week crayons may be on sale and if you wait to pick up the markers until next week when they are on sale, you can save some money!
There were several items on the lists that regularly have coupons that you can use to save money. Items like Clorox wipes, Kleenex and even pens have recently had coupons available that could save you even more money than just picking them up on sale.
One of the biggest things you can do to save money on school supplies is price match. Both Target and Walmart have price matching policies where they will match competitors printed ads. The item has to be an identical item, meaning that if Office Max has their Office Max brand of paper on sale, you cannot price match since Walmart and Target won't carry the Office Max brand. If Office Max has Crayola Crayons on sale for $.25 a pack, you just need to bring the sale flyer with you to Target or Walmart and they will price match it for you! It is super easy to price match and is a great way to maximize the sales at each store, without having to run around to each store to get one great deal at each one!