For many families, getting ready to go back to school is not only a time-consuming process—it’s an expensive one.
The National Retail Federation’s 2015 Back-to-School Spending Survey found that families were planning to spend an average of $630.36 on clothing, electronics and school supplies for students grades K-12, with an average $103.92 spent solely on supplies like notebooks, folders, pencils, backpacks and lunchboxes.
Thanks to Passionate Penny Pincher, families looking to cut down their back-to-school costs now have a handy guide for where to get the best deals on school supplies. Overall? WalMart seems to be leading with the lowest prices. Take an 8-count box of Crayola crayons, for example. At WalMart, you’ll pay 87 cents compared to $3.49 at Target, $1.00 at Staples and $3.29 at Office Depot/Max.
WalMart’s pricing does lose out to the other retailers on some items. Mechanical pencils, for example. You can get a 12-count pack at Staples for 75 cents versus $1.46 at WalMart or $1.17 at Target for a 10-count box.
If you’re wondering how Amazon stacks up, I did a little digging and that 8-count box of Crayola crayons is currently $2.60, and the cheapest pack of 10-count mechanical pencils I could find currently cost $2.94—so in both cases, the offline retailers still win.