Save money on school supplies by being prepared - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Save money on school supplies by being prepared

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ATLANTA -

For many, school is right around the corner. You're likely not looking forward to shopping for -- or paying for -- school supplies. A little preparation before you shop for the supplies can save you some money.

Going back to school is a big deal for kids.

"It's just fun to go to school to see your friends everyday," says student Nick Cushing.

It's also a big deal and a big bill for parents.

"[I'm] a little overwhelmed with all the stuff you need to get for back to school," said Nick's mother Dawn Cushing.

Buying everything kids need for class can take a big bite out of your wallet. Smart school supply shopping starts before you get to the store.

First, you should make a list and stick to it. You can get your school's list online, or you can often find it at your local store. Next, look around for the best prices. Check ads in the newspaper and online. And clip or print coupons.

Good Day Atlanta's Joanne Feldman tackled the back to school supply list for her daughter's 2nd grade class.  Her daughter Carys says the shopping was fun.

"I just like to shop for stuff for me," said Carys.

It was a little more stressful for mom. They stocked up on things like crayons, pencils, glue, notebooks, folders, paper, and erasers. They also needed things like tissues, paper towels, and hand sanitizer.

Good Day did some shopping around with Joanne's list at large retailers, office supply stores, and dollar stores. We found the cheapest prices at Walmart for most of the items, and very similar prices at Target for many of them.

For example, we found the Crayola markers on her list for $0.97 at Walmart and $0.99 at Target. The cheapest price we found at the office supply stores we checked was $1.99. We found it highest at a dollar store chain, at $3.00.

We found eight Elmer's glue sticks on the list for $2.00 at Walmart and Target. The cheapest price we found at an office supply store was double, at $4.00. We also found them for $4.00 at a dollar store chain.

The dry erase markers we needed were $2.50 at Walmart. We found them for $2.89 at Target, $5.49 at an office supply store and $3.00 at a dollar store.

Prices for a basic plastic pencil box vary, from $0.57 at Walmart to around $1.00 at Target, the office supply stores, and dollar stores.
           
The grand total for Feldman's list at Walmart came to a little more than $32.00 before tax. We priced the same list for around $36.00 at Target and Dollar General, and around $53.00 and $58.00 at Staples and Office Depot respectively.

But you have to take into account that sometimes you can't find the exact items at each store. So there was a little improvising necessary, as every parent who shops for schools supplies, knows.

Keep in mind, Walmart will match another store's advertised price on an identical item. The bottom line is do your homework before you go shopping.

Links:

Walmart
Target
Office Depot
Staples

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