Table of Contents
- Walmart Back To School Sale 2020
- Crayola Colored Pencils, 12-Pack: $.97 in-store ($2.91 online)
- Office Depot
- Just Basics Spiral Notebook, 70 Sheets: $.25 (limit 4)
- Scholastic Crayons, 24-Pack: $.33 (limit 6)
- Office Depot Wood Pencils, 12-Pack: $.75 in-store ($1.39 online)
- Pencil Sharpener, 2-Hole: $.49
- Crayola Crayons, 24-Pack: $.50
- Elmer’s Washable School Glue, 4-Ounces: $.50
- Mead 1-Subject College Ruled Spiral Notebook: $.59
- Crayola Colored Pencils, 12-Pack: $.99
- Top Flight 175 Sheet Wide Ruled Paper: $.99
- Staples Composition Notebook, 80 pages: $.50 in-store ($.75 online)
- Staples #2 Pencils, 12-Pack: $.50 in-store ($.75 online)
- Crayola Crayons, 24-Pack: $.50 in-store ($1.99 online)
- Staples Washable Glue Sticks, 4-Pack: $.97 in-store or online
- Crayola Markers, 12-Pack: $.97 in-store ($2.99 online)
- Best Walmart Sales on School Supplies
- Shop Walmart Back-to-School Sales on School Supplies
- Best Walmart Backpack Sales
- Shop Walmart Back-to-School Sales on Backpacks
- Best Walmart Clothing Sales
- Shop Walmart Back-to-School Sales on Clothing
- Best Walmart Computer & Electronics Sales
- Shop Walmart Back-to-School Sales on Tech and Electronics
- Best Walmart College & Dorm Sales
- Shop Walmart Back-to-School Sales on Furniture
- 13 Secret Ways to Save at Walmart That Only Experts Know About
- 3. Get 10% Cash-back on Everything You Buy
- 4.Know Your Markdown Tags
- 5. Get a Box of Free Samples Every Month
- 6. Buy a Loaf of Bread for $1
- 7. Take Another Picture
- 8. Get Free Walmart Gift Cards
- 9. Get Paid for Walking Into the Store
- 10. Get Online Prices in the Store
- 11. Print Your Own Free Coupons
- 12. Get Free Baby Stuff
- 13. Save Money on Gas
- School Supplies
- School Supplies List
- Walmart School Supplies
- Target School Supplies
- Tips for buying essential school supplies
- We Took Our School Shopping List to 5 Stores. This Store Was Cheapest by 43%
- Our Back-to-School Shopping List
- 1. Walmart: Does It Really Have Low Prices?
- 2.Target: Will Its Store Brand Help You Save?
- 3. Dollar Tree: Is $1 Actually a Good Deal?
- 4. Staples: Will You Pay More Just to Avoid the Toy Aisle?
- 5. CVS: How Much Will You Pay for Convenience?
- Where to Go for Back-to-School Supplies
- Walmart — Save on laptops, kids’ clothing, and school supplies
- Best Buy — Save on MacBooks, iPads, small appliances, and more
- Target — Find deals on kids clothes, school uniforms, and backpacks
- Amazon — Save on laptops, noise-cancelling headphones, and more
- Bed Bath & Beyond — Save on storage, bedding, and more with a .edu email
- JCPenney — Deals on school uniforms, premium backpacks, and athletic wear
- Foot Locker — Save on Nike, Reebok, Under Armor, and more
- ThinkGeek — Save on themed notebooks, bedding, and more
Walmart Back To School Sale 2020
Walmart is your one-stop shop for making it out under budget this back-to-school season. Walmart’s vast assortment of school supplies, clothing, tech and more all come at the lowest prices thanks to the store’s rollback deals that can save you 30% on the majority of items on your shopping list. Plus, save up to 80% on clearance technology this August only and help your kids get ahead in class with their new laptop, while also giving them a social life thanks to their new phone.
Are you a fan of Amazon Prime or do you simply want to save big on shipping? Take advantage of Walmart’s new ShippingPass and get FREE unlimited 2-day shipping to anywhere in the country. Try it today free for an entire month with the 30-day trial. Don’t need free 2-day shipping for the entire month? Walmart still has you covered with free same-day in-store pickup and free shipping on orders over $50!
No matter who you are or where you are, Walmart will make sure your back-to-school shopping is as fast and easy as possible, all at the lowest prices.
Crayola Colored Pencils, 12-Pack: $.97 in-store ($2.91 online)
Courtesy of WalmartMore
Right now, Office Depot also has 70-sheet spiral notebooks on sale for just $.25 apiece (down from $2.99 regularly), available in-store and online alike. There’s a limit of four per person, but $1 for four notebooks is one of the best back-to-school deals we’ve seen all summer.
Just Basics Spiral Notebook, 70 Sheets: $.25 (limit 4)
Courtesy of Office DepotMore
Scholastic Crayons, 24-Pack: $.33 (limit 6)
Courtesy of Office DepotMore
Office Depot Wood Pencils, 12-Pack: $.75 in-store ($1.39 online)
Courtesy of Office DepotMore
Target has plenty of deals right now on back-to-school essentials, with prices starting at only $.49 each. Best of all, most Target deals are available at the prices below throughout the entire back-to-school season, and you’ll find the same low prices online and in the store.
In some cases, it looks like you’ll need to make a purchase of at least $25 in order for Target to ship these items, and free shipping is available if your purchase is $35 or more. Another option is to make purchases online and head to your local Target store to pick them up. Target says pickup is available for online orders in as little as two hours after purchase.
Here are some of the deals:
Pencil Sharpener, 2-Hole: $.49
Courtesy of TargetMore
Crayola Crayons, 24-Pack: $.50
Courtesy of TargetMore
Elmer’s Washable School Glue, 4-Ounces: $.50
Courtesy of TargetMore
Mead 1-Subject College Ruled Spiral Notebook: $.59
Courtesy of TargetMore
Crayola Colored Pencils, 12-Pack: $.99
Courtesy of TargetMore
Top Flight 175 Sheet Wide Ruled Paper: $.99
Courtesy of TargetMore
In the local weekly ad we saw, Staples had a bunch of back-to-school deals on notebooks, markers, and more, with prices set at $.50 or $.97 each. Mind you, the best deals tend to be available in-store only, so you may encounter higher prices if you’re trying to make purchases online. Here are a few of the deals:
Staples Composition Notebook, 80 pages: $.50 in-store ($.75 online)
Courtesy of StaplesMore
Staples #2 Pencils, 12-Pack: $.50 in-store ($.75 online)
Courtesy of StaplesMore
Crayola Crayons, 24-Pack: $.50 in-store ($1.99 online)
Courtesy of StaplesMore
Staples Washable Glue Sticks, 4-Pack: $.97 in-store or online
Courtesy of StaplesMore
Crayola Markers, 12-Pack: $.97 in-store ($2.99 online)
Courtesy of StaplesMore
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Walmart’s back-to-school sale features some pretty generous sales: They’re offering hefty discounts on big ticket items, including up to 69% off back-to-school clothes and up to $250 off desktop computers and accessories, $100 off Google Chromebooks, and $80 off Apple products.
While some brands have already ended their best back-to-school deals, at Walmart, you can still catch some great sales on all your school needs now before prices start to crawl back up. Below, check out the latest deals on Walmart’s best products so you can enter the new school year with ease!
Best Walmart Sales on School Supplies
- Score 2-day, free delivery on select school supplies.
- Shop notebooks and sketch for as low as 50 cents.
- Shop pens at up to 60% off pencils up to 41% off.
- Shop tape and glue at up to 69% off.
- Shop arts and crafts supplies at up to 50% off.
- Shop locker accessories for as low as $3.
- Shop TOPS Composition Book at 43% off.
- Shop Sharpie Pocket Style Highlighters at 33% off.
- Shop Crayola Uni-Creatures Coloring Pages and 64-Count Crayons at 28% off.
- Shop Crayola Twistables Colored Pencil Set at 27% off.
- Shop pencil pouches for as low as $3.
- Shop rulers and protractors for as low as 76 cents.
Shop Walmart Back-to-School Sales on School Supplies
Crayola Colored Pencils (12 Count) Crayola walmart.com $0.97
Rainbow Gel Pens Paper Mate InkJoy walmart.com $16.92
Take 22% off
Z-Grip Retractable Ballpoint Pens, 24-Count Zebra walmart.com $7.69
Take 59% off
Super Sticky Notes (5 Pack) Post-it walmart.com $6.99
Take 28% off
Scissors Set, 5-Count WESTCOTT walmart.com $4.88
Take 30% off
Super Tips Washable Markers Crayola walmart.com $6.99
Take 46% off
Washable Clear Glue Elmer’s walmart.com $4.88
Take 45% off
TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator Texas Instruments walmart.com $88.00
Best Walmart Backpack Sales
- Shop backpacks for as low as $7 at Walmart.
- Get up to 23% off Disney kid’s backpacks.
- Get up to 63% off Sammy and Jake backpacks.
- Get up to 65% off Rockland Luggage Rolling Backpack.
- Get up to 79% off Vbiger Casual Shoulder Bag.
- Get 38% off ZIPIT Talking Monstar Blue Lunchbag.
- Get 23% off Eastsport Multi-Purpose Dynamic School Backpack.
Shop Walmart Back-to-School Sales on Backpacks
Polka Dot Rolling Backpack Rockland walmart.com $27.95
Casual Shoulder Bag Vbiger walmart.com $13.98
Oxford School Backpack & Sling Bag Set Coofit walmart.com $32.98
Multi-Purpose Dynamic School Backpack Eastsport walmart.com $12.88
Best Walmart Clothing Sales
- Shop juniors’ clothing at up to 69% off.
- Shop kids’ shoes at up to 48% off.
- Shop kid’s uniforms at up to 31% off.
- Shop girls’ everyday wear from $9.
- Shop boys’ everyday wear from $9.
- Shop Jacques Moret Tank Skirtall at 42% off.
- Shop Wonder Nation Tank Top & Reversible Skirt Set at 25% off.
- Shop No Boundaries Triple Stack Wide Cuff Jeans at 24% off.
- Shop kids’ coats and jackets from $6.
- Shop kids’ jeans from $8.
Shop Walmart Back-to-School Sales on Clothing
Girls’ Solid Leggings, 2-pack Child of Mine by Carter’s walmart.com $7.00
Take 36% off
Girls’ Costume Hoodie Trolls walmart.com $14.50
Take 27% off
Justice League Graphic Tee DC walmart.com $6.00
Take 26% off
Taper Jogger Jeans Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. walmart.com $7.50
Take 55% off
Best Walmart Computer & Electronics Sales
- Take up to $250 off desktop computers and accessories and score free shipping on select items.
- Take up to $100 off Chromebooks and score two-day delivery on most items.
- Take up to 53% off printers.
- Take up to 50% off audio electronics.
- Take up to 60% off phones and phone accessories.
- Shop school calculators from $6.
- Take 44% off RCA Galileo Pro 2-in-1 Tablet.
- Take 25% off ASUS VivoBook WideView Laptop.
- Take 25% off Acer Chromebook, 16GB Internal Storage.
- Take 24% off Apple iPad, 32 GB.
- Take 60% off Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones.
- Take 33% off HP DeskJet Wireless InkJet Printer.
- Take 25% off Razer Naga Trinity Mouse.
- Take 33% off Lenovo Chromebook.
Shop Walmart Back-to-School Sales on Tech and Electronics
14″ Chromebook S330 Lenovo walmart.com $199.00
Take 33% off
Iphone 7/8 Plus Case i-Blason walmart.com $19.99
Take 60% off
Galileo Pro 11.5-inch Tablet RCA walmart.com $97.99
Take 45% off
15.6-inch, Internal Storage Chromebook Acer walmart.com $149.00
Take 25% off
Best Walmart College & Dorm Sales
- Get free shipping and two-day delivery on most mattresses.
- Get free, next day shipping on kitchen appliance orders $35 and up.
- Get up to 33% off mini fridges.
- Get 33% off CreativeWare Adjustable Bed Riser System.
- Get 33% off Instant Pot DUO 80.
- Get 42% off Tramontina Non-Stick Pan Collection.
- Get 45% off Seward Collegiate Footlocker Trunk.
Shop Walmart Back-to-School Sales on Furniture
Collegiate Footlocker Trunk Seward walmart.com $54.99
Namast’Ay In Bed Inspirational Throw Mainstays walmart.com $12.00
Take 28% off
Non-Stick Red Cookware Set tramontina walmart.com $22.97
DUO80 8 Qt Programmable Pressure Cooker Instant Pot walmart.com $99.00
Shanon Maglente As the Products & Reviews Assistant at GoodHousekeeping.com, Shanon covers the best deals and products across home, appliances, health, beauty and parenting.
13 Secret Ways to Save at Walmart That Only Experts Know About
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder
If we told you that before you head to Walmart, you could get paid to watch cooking videos on your computer, you’d probably laugh.
It’s too good to be true, right?
But we’re serious. A website called InboxDollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch a chef teach you the recipe for fudge brownies and the next you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.
All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward. Brands pay InboxDollars to get these videos in front of viewers, and it passes a cut onto you.
It’s possible to earn up to $225 per month watching these videos — that could make a serious dent in your Walmart bill.
Unlike other sites, InboxDollars pays you in cash — no points or gift cards — and it’s already paid its users more than $56 million.
It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately earn a $5 bonus to get you started.
3. Get 10% Cash-back on Everything You Buy
Steve Dabenport/Getty Images
One of our favorite ways to save at Walmart is with Rakuten, a cash-back site that gives you 10% cash-back on everything you purchase at Walmart.com.
There’s no catch.
You just have to sign up for a free Rakuten account. Plus, they’ll give you free $10 gift card to Walmart for giving the site a try. To earn your gift card:
- Sign up for Rakuten with your email or Facebook account.
- Use the Rakuten portal the next time you need to buy something. It’s connected to thousands of stores, including Walmart, Amazon and Target. You’ll need to make your first purchase through the site within 90 days and spend at least $25.
- Your account will be credited with rewards points you can cash in for your $10 Walmart gift card.
4.Know Your Markdown Tags
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder
Walmart has a sneaky system for marking down clearance tags. You can use this information to find the best Walmart deals!
- Items with prices ending in $__._7 are the original price.
- Items with prices ending in $__._5 are the first markdown.
- Items with prices ending in $__._1 are the final markdown.
So, if you see a “clearance” item with a price ending in “5,” and there’s still plenty in stock, you can hold out for a better markdown.
And if you see one ending with “7,” you’ll know the item isn’t discounted at all yet.
5. Get a Box of Free Samples Every Month
What if we told you there was a way to get a box of samples each month — from leading brands like Olay, Tide, Purina, V8 — and in exchange, all you’d need to do is share your honest feedback?
PINCHme promises to do just that.
When we registered, we found out we could choose from samples of ZzzQuil Sleep-Aid, Purina One Tender Selects Cat food, Hidden Valley Greek Yogurt Dressing, and a V8 Veggie Blend Juice and +Energy 2 pack (these were full size samples).
But, the samples change each month, and options vary based on your profile and location.
We love that PINCHme sends the samples to you (who doesn’t get excited about mail?) and doesn’t require a credit card to sign up or payment for shipping.
Once you fill out your profile, PINCHme presents you with relevant samples it has available.
Then next month, just rinse and repeat.
6. Buy a Loaf of Bread for $1
A lot of us at The Penny Hoarder HQ have been doing this for years!
Head to the bakery to find day-old bread on sale — usually for less than $1.
In some stores, we’ve even seen an impulse rack near the registers, in case you need that final nudge. This is an affordable way to indulge on fresh-baked ciabatta or French breads with an otherwise hefty price tag.
7. Take Another Picture
Okay, this a bit of a double dip, but it totally works. Ibotta will also pay you cash for taking pictures of your grocery store receipts.
Here’s how it works:
Before heading to the store, search for items on your shopping list within the Ibotta app. When you get home, snap a photo of your receipt and scan the items’ barcodes.
Bam. Cash back.
. Plus, you’ll get a $20 sign-up bonus after redeeming your first 10 offers within 14 days.
8. Get Free Walmart Gift Cards
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder
Want a free Walmart gift card? The folks over at Swagbucks want you to give your opinions on new products and they’ll shower you with free gift cards for your time.
You’ll get points called SBs for each survey you qualify for and complete. Those SBs can be redeemed for cash via Paypal or gift cards to a number of popular retailers, including Walmart.
Pro tip: You’ll get a free 500 SB (or $5) bonus when you sign up and earn 2,500 SB within your first 60 days.
9. Get Paid for Walking Into the Store
Sometimes, to get the most out of your Walmart bargain-shopping trip, all you need to do is walk in the door. That’s right — no purchase necessary.
The Shopkick app pays you in “kicks” for walking into Walmart and other participating stores (including Target, TJMaxx and more). You can redeem kicks for gift cards to a number of retailers, including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Sephora and Best Buy.
It pays you even more kicks for photos of your receipts that include qualifying items you purchased in store with a connected credit or debit card. You can also earn kicks for online purchases.
10. Get Online Prices in the Store
Before you buy something at the checkout counter, it’s worth whipping out your phone and seeing whether Walmart is offering an even better price online at Walmart.com. It’s easy to use the website’s handy search function.
Because here’s something you may not know: Walmart will match its online prices for in-store purchases.
Sometimes you’ll discover an item on your list has been marked down online, but not in the store where you’re shopping.
To get the better price, just pull it up on your phone and show it to the cashier. Seriously, they’ll give you the online price with no hassle. They know the score.
11. Print Your Own Free Coupons
Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder
Traditionally, we flipped through circulars in search of coupons. Now you can just go online and nab them from manufacturers.
There are a number of sites that offer free printable coupons. It’s much simpler than breaking out the scissors and giant binder!
12. Get Free Baby Stuff
Parents-to-be and new parents should jump on this deal: Walmart offers a free baby welcome box. Get on it quickly — we don’t know how long this one will last!
Packed with product samples, the Walmart boxes allow families to “get a head start with Baby’s development,” according to the website.
The best part? It ships totally free.
13. Save Money on Gas
Deals on gas at Murphy USA gas stations change throughout the year.
You’ll find special savings when you pay with a Walmart gift card, Walmart credit card or Walmart Mastercard.
Right now, save 3 cents per gallon when you fill up with a Walmart gift card.
*The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card has been collected independently by The Penny Hoarder. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. The Penny Hoarder is a partner of Credible.
It’s that time of year again – time to get the best deals for school supplies! I’ve gathered all of the important information for you to use to get the most bang for your buck.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved school supplies. In the middle of the summer when the stores start bringing them out, I could walk the aisles forever. Am I weird? Maybe. I don’t know why a new pen, some Sharpies and fresh paper makes me so happy.. but they do!
Some schools go back after Labor Day, but there are a lot of schools that go back mid July, which is right around the corner. Now is the time to search those sales and stock up on these deals.
School Supplies List
To help you with your back to school shopping, I created this cheat sheet with comparisons to different stores. This is the new updated 2019 edition:
I tried to spell everything out and make this printable as clear as possible. You can look at the stockpile amount so that you know if you ever see anything at that price to stock up! It’s also good to know what each store typically sells each item at.
Download this printable school supplies sales. For personal use only.
If you like this post, you’ll like these back to school posts too:
- Student Binder
- Back to School Questionnaire
- Lunchbox Notes Your Kids Will Adore
- If You Give a Teacher a Cookie …
Walmart School Supplies
Walmart has the best deals in general as far as back to school is concerned. As you can see from the cheat sheet, they beat pretty much every other store in most categories.
Some things that I really love getting at Walmart
- Sharpies – they have all kinds of different varieties
- Crayola crayons – in years past Walmart has had a Crayola end cap with different packs that are inexpensive
Target School Supplies
Target is the store that I shop at most often. While Walmart has the better deals, I can usually find the cutest stuff at Target.
Here are the few things that Target beats Walmart on price:
- Dry erase markers
- Filler paper
- Construction Paper
- Flashcards of all kinds
Note: I also look at Amazon every day for the Deals of the Day. They have a lot of cool stuff majorly marked down. Since I know the average price of these items, I can tell if they are a good deal or not.
I recently got a 24 pack of fine Sharpies (Ultra Fine are usually on sale but fine are harder to find on sale!) for $10.
I also have seen my favorite laminator for an amazing deal. So keep an eye out over there for additional deals!
Tips for buying essential school supplies
Whether the back-to-school season is near or you re looking to complete your little one s supplies during the year, the wide selection of school supplies at Every Day Low Prices from Walmart makes it easy to find the items you need without the high price tag. We offer individual supplies and value bundles so you can supply your kids with the exact items they need. From fresh inks and pens to notebooks and binders, your kids will have everything to get off on the right foot.
Notebooks and binders
The type of notebooks your kids need depends on the grade they’re in and the requirements of the school. Common choices include spiral notebooks and writing pads. Notebooks may feature college ruling marking and many of them are also three-hole punched so your kids can store them easily in their favorite binder. You can usually save more money by purchasing packs of notebooks or writing pads than going for individual items.
Pens and ink
Pens are essential school supplies for pupils of all ages, so it’s important to consider the various types available and choose a type that suits your child. Gel, ballpoint and felt-tip are just some of the types you can find.
- Fountain pens work with ink from a bottle, or most commonly with disposable cartridges that are less messy. This type of pen is great for creating a classic look and enhancing handwriting.
- Ballpoint pens are ideal if you don t want constant ink smudges. These low-maintenance pens are generally disposable, but in some cases, you may refill them.
- Gel pens use a water-based ink and they’re available in multiple shades. they’re a good choice for those who don t want to replace their pen every week.
- Felt-tip pens are an easy way to produce attractive, colored handwriting, but you need to remember to put the lid back on immediately or else you ll be left with a dried up pen.
Older children generally need a scientific or graphing calculator for their complicated math classes. These calculators are useful when it comes to geometry or algebraic equations because they help students visualize various concepts.
- When shopping for a graphing calculator, make sure you purchase a model that’s the permitted for the tests your child is going to take, such as SATs, AP, ACT or others, as not all calculators are allowed on all tests.
- Some key features to look for in a graphing calculator include a rechargeable battery, ability to use images, color display, user available memory and availability of computer software.
- Courses that your child may need a graphing calculator for are Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Trigonometry, Precalculus, Earth science and more.
highlighters and markers
Using a highlighter for calling attention to specific information is a great habit, so make sure you purchase the right highlighters for school. Highlighters and markers are also useful additions to your child’s art supply collection.
- The tip size is an important feature to consider when shopping for highlighters, as small texts require a highlighter with a small tip, while highlighters with wider tips work well with larger fonts.
- Some highlighters are erasable, which may come in handy for those moments you make an accidental mark on the desk.
- Look for fast drying highlighters to avoid smearing the ink and getting spots on the back of the pages.
Besides basic supplies, children of all ages can benefit from various learning tools that come in the form of dictionaries, atlases, learning books, learning software and microscope kits.
- Learning tools for preschoolers and children up to age 7 generally come in the form of learning toys and play sets that range from touch and teach books for learning new words to problem-solving software.
- Science and education learning tools include microscope kits that allow children to learn more about things such as the botanical world, geology, geography and more. A political globe is useful for children to learn the capital states of countries around the world, while a lab kit makes a great introduction into the world of chemistry.
- Dictionaries come in all sizes for children to take with them to school or consult at home, and they’re valuable tools when it comes to polishing English skills or learning a new language.
We Took Our School Shopping List to 5 Stores. This Store Was Cheapest by 43%
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Let’s cut to it: Back-to-school shopping can be quite the challenge.
First, it’s expensive. Parents budgeted an average of $122.13 on back-to-school supplies per kid last year, according to the National Retail Federation.
Second, it’s time-consuming. And if the kids are in tow, conditions can quickly deteriorate. And those classroom supply lists? Dang, they’re specific. Of course, you can never find everything you need at one store.
That’s why we’re here to help you out. We spent an entire day trekking to five different stores with a real school-supply list to find the cheapest back-to-school essentials.
Walmart is known for offering low prices, so we put it to the test against four other popular stores for back-to-school shopping.
Our Back-to-School Shopping List
I used a school supply list for a fourth grade class in my town near Washington, D.C.
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder
1. Walmart: Does It Really Have Low Prices?
Walmart is notorious for having low prices on, well, everything, so I started here — even if it meant driving 30 minutes and navigating the most confusing traffic circles I ever did see. (D.C. traffic, am I right?)
Although I was back-to-school shopping in July — before those in-your-face displays were set up — I still easily found everything I needed (which I can’t say for any of the other stores).
Walmart offers a variety of each item, with various brands and quantities. If you want to go cheap, you could opt for generic store brands. If your kids’ teacher requested a specific brand, you can find all those, too, including Crayola, Elmer’s and Five Star.
Walmart was the most affordable option out of all five stores, even when it came to name brands. I found 24-packs of Ticonderoga pencils at Walmart for $1.95. Target only had 12-packs — half as many — for $2.39 each.
Total price: $70.07
2.Target: Will Its Store Brand Help You Save?
I’ve always liked Target, but I was a bit disappointed in its back-to-school selection. In fact, I had to go to two Targets to find every item on the list — the Targets in my area are small, and they didn’t have back-to-school displays up yet.
When available, I priced its store brand of supplies, which sometimes proved cheaper than the other stores.
For example, Target’s copy paper was cheaper than Walmart’s selection. But I could get a 24-pack of name-brand Ticonderoga pencils for $1.95 at Walmart; whereas a generic 24-pack of pencils cost $1.99 at Target. Why pay four cents more for generic?
Other items were just plain overpriced. Composition books cost 10 cents more than at Walmart. More dramatically, plastic Five Star folders, which cost 97 cents each at Walmart, were $1.99 each at Target. If you’re buying multiples, which you’ll probably have to, the difference adds up quickly.
Total price: $87.25
3. Dollar Tree: Is $1 Actually a Good Deal?
Can I admit something? When I started pricing items at Dollar Tree, I was like, “Where the heck are the prices?!”
Welp, I kinda forgot… everything’s $1. Which you’d think would make this our most affordable option on the list, but don’t let it fool you.
Some items, like composition notebooks, were extremely overpriced — at $1 they were double Walmart’s price. Some items were cheaper than at Target and Walmart, but there was good reason. For example, colored pencils were $1. Great! But you only got eight pencils per pack, and they were all neon.
Oh, and the school supplies were mixed in with the toys, which is a nightmare if you want to bring your kids along.
The most frustrating thing was not being able to find everything on my list. I was missing seven items when I left the store. And if I’d purchased the items that were available? I’d be sending my kid off to school with neon pencils.
Although Dollar Tree might lure you in with the promise of low prices, I don’t recommend doing your back-to-school shopping here. You’ll just wind up driving across town to Walmart.
Total price: n/a
4. Staples: Will You Pay More Just to Avoid the Toy Aisle?
Staples is an obvious choice when it comes to back-to-school shopping, right? After all, this is its speciality. And here’s a perk: You won’t have worry about herding your kids away from the toy aisle.
Unfortunately, Staples turned out to be the second most expensive option on our list — despite some of its stellar sales.
I felt giddy when I found 97-cent colored pencils and $3.99 packs of copy paper. However, my subtotal started skyrocketing when I added in the household supplies (disinfectant, paper products and baggies).
Disinfectant wipes cost a full dollar more at Staples than at Walmart. Same with tissues. Even hand sanitizer — a smaller bottle — cost more. If you’re buying multiples, your total will add up fast.
Total price: $101.18 (excluding gallon baggies)
5. CVS: How Much Will You Pay for Convenience?
I remember, as a child, running into a CVS or Walgreens for last-minute back-to-school items my mom and I had somehow overlooked. After all, there’s basically one on every corner.
I was hoping to tell you that CVS is a convenient option for back-to-school shopping, but… I can’t.
I can’t encourage you to spend $2.79 on a composition notebook when you can get it for 50 cents at Walmart. And I can’t tell you to spend $7.79 on a container of Clorox disinfecting wipes when you can get the same thing at Walmart for almost $3 less.
Even with BOGO 50% deals for CVS members, you’ll likely wind up paying more. Plus, you might not need two pairs of scissors or two packs of dry-erase markers.
I suppose if you’re super desperate at the last minute, pop into CVS for an item or two. But go armed with some extra cash.
Total price: $124.95 (excluding big erasers)
Where to Go for Back-to-School Supplies
Y’all. When I got home, I was exhausted. I kicked off my shoes, popped open a beer and started crunching numbers (don’t worry, my editors checked them for me), and honestly, I was a little surprised when one option so clearly came out on top.
In terms of pricing, Walmart beat out the other stores by up to 43%. That’s a savings of nearly half built in — no coupons, no sales, no cash-back apps.
Here are the totals:
- Walmart: $70.07
- Target: $87.25
- Dollar Tree: Disqualified for missing too many items
- Staples: $101.18
- CVS: $124.95
That means Walmart was:
- $17.18 cheaper than Target.
- $26.62 cheaper than Staples.
- $54.68 cheaper than CVS.
Oh, and it was the only store that carried all the items on this list (unlike, ahem, Dollar Tree).
So if you’re taking your kid(s) back-to-school shopping, Walmart’s the place to go to save some money.
At the end of the day, all I can say is… Kudos to the parents who are embarking on back-to-school shopping adventures this year. I’m thankful I have a little more time to practice.
Note: I shopped on July 1, 2019 at these stores:
Prices and availability will vary by location and may have changed since my shopping trip.
Carson Kohler () is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She used to love back-to-school shopping. *pushes glasses up the bridge of her nose, flashes a smile full of braces* Now, as an adult, it just makes her all sweaty feeling.
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Kids suiting up for the first day of kindergarten and college students with severe senoritis are ready to get this show on the road, and teachers across the country are already starting a countdown to next summer vacation.
But there’s one thing that students and teachers can agree on, and that’s how lit back-to-school shopping is. New laptops? New graphing calculators? New MECHANICAL PENCILS? Hell yeah.
Once August hits, stores like Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, and more started dropping their prices on must-haves for students of all ages, from clothing and school uniforms, to tech, to craft supplies. You can’t buy motivation, but some new stuff can at least make studying a little more exciting.
We’ve tracked down the best deals from some of your favorite retailers below, but be sure to check back regularly, as more and more stores will kick off their sales as the start of school continues to creep up. (If you’re looking for a new TV for a dorm or apartment, check out our list of best smart 4K TV deals for the week here.)
Walmart — Save on laptops, kids’ clothing, and school supplies
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Best Buy — Save on MacBooks, iPads, small appliances, and more
Many laptop deals are only available through Best Buy’s Student Deals program (for an extra extra discount), which is super easy to sign up for — you can do that here.
Image: best buy
Save up to $300 on select MacBook models (plus an extra $150 with Student Deals)
Save $50 on select iPad Pro models
Save up to $200 on an iPhone 6, 6s, 7, or 7 Plus
Save up to $200 on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 preorder and get free AKG Headphones with $150 purchase in Fortnite credits
Save up to $150 on HP computers
Save up to $200 on select Microsoft Surface laptops (plus an extra $100 with Student Deals)
Save up to $100 on select gaming laptops and PCs (plus an extra $100 with Student Deals)
Save $30 on Microsoft Office with a qualifying device and Student Deals
Save 20% on small appliances with code SAVEONSMALLNOW
Rocketfish Ultra Thin HDTV Antenna — $39.99 (list price $49.99)
Target — Find deals on kids clothes, school uniforms, and backpacks
Tees starting at $4
Leggings starting at $5
Jeans starting at $8
Save an extra 20% on school uniforms
Save an extra 25% on backpacks (Jansport, American Tourister, and more)
BOGO 30% off FUNtainers and lunch storage for kids
Save up to 25% on home and dorm items
Save up to $50 on select Acer and HP Chromebooks
Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition — $79.99 (list price $99.99)
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition — $99.99 (list price $129.99)
Amazon — Save on laptops, noise-cancelling headphones, and more
Bed Bath & Beyond — Save on storage, bedding, and more with a .edu email
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Save 20% on your entire purchase every time until December 31, 2019 with the College Savings Pass (just enter a valid .edu school email)
Free shipping on all orders over $29
Save in categories like storage, bedding, dorm furniture, and more
JCPenney — Deals on school uniforms, premium backpacks, and athletic wear
Save $10 on kids’ clothing purchases of $50 or more with code UNIFORM6
Save $10 on kids’ haircuts at the JCP Salon
Save 25% on select backpacks (Jansport, Nike, Adidas)
Save 25% on Nike
Save 25% on Adidas
Save 25% on Converse
Foot Locker — Save on Nike, Reebok, Under Armor, and more
Save 20% on any purchase of $99 or more with code SAVINGS
ThinkGeek — Save on themed notebooks, bedding, and more
Save up to 78% on select Star Wars bedding
Save up to 25% on notebooks, stationary, and more study gear
Save up to 67% on select backpacks