Summer vacation for the kids is shortly coming to an end. In less than one month we will go back to our school routines, early mornings, extra strong coffee, and becoming uber moms and dads. Because let's face it, as parent's we spend so much time driving our kiddos to and from school. With back to school comes school shopping, and with all the supplies, clothes, shoes, and essentials you need to buy, getting the best bang for your buck should be a priority. There are many stores you can get school supplies, but the top 2 places parents shop at for their school supplies are Wal-Mart and Target.
Have you wondered if you are getting the best-priced items from either store? Do you go to Wal-Mart and wonder if this is cheaper at Target or if Wal-Mart is cheaper than Target? I sure have! So what did I do? I went to both stores and checked pricing on the most commonly needed school supplies.
Let's be real, there are two kinds of people: Wal-Mart people and Target people. We seem to lean our preference towards just one of the stores. I honestly am a Target mom. I find everything and anything that I need there. But I will also give it to Wal-Mart, they have everything you may ever need. While searching for school supplies at the two, I was quite surprised with what I found out.
The prices are nearly the SAME!!
Both Target and Wal-Mart have the Crayola crayons 24 ct for $0.50 and the 10 count of Crayola markers for $0.99. Both have folders for $0.15 each. The pencils are about a $0.03 difference. Now if you are only buying for one or two kids, the price difference doesn't matter. If you are buying for multiple kids, or you're a teacher and like to stock up on stuff, I can understand squeezing every penny.
The struggle can get real and overwhelming when buying supplies. Do brands really matter? Should you get extra? Did you get enough? So many questions and in my opinion, this is the best time to get a little more than what is on the list given. You won't find $1 markers after the back to school period ends, so grab an extra pack and have a school supplies stash at home. I am quite embarassed of how much extra stuff I bought. If I showed you all of my extra supplies you would think I had 5 kids going to school.
Now, Wal-Mart backpacks beat Target prices by at least $5. Wal-Mart had some very cute unicorn backpacks for $10. While searching for backpacks at Target, I noticed they all started at $14.99. Target has a bigger selection but the prices range from $14.99 - $39.99. Elijah has so many backpacks that I am breaking tradition this year and having him reuse the one from last year. Parents, everything doesn't have to be brand new. If it is still in great condition, wait until the second half of school to get a new backpack.
School shopping can either be fun, or it can be draining. I personally love getting all of the new school supplies and labeling everything with Elijah's initials. Yep, I am that monogram/personalization mom. If it's plain, I am adding your name to it! If you don't like the crowds in the store, both Wal-Mart and Target have started a system where you can purchase your items online and you can pick them up without even getting out of your car. They will hand deliver all of your items to you in the parking lot. It really doesn't get any better than that.
Here are some quick and easy tips to make sure your shopping is stress-free
Make your shopping list. Check your school website to print out the exact list of school supplies needed.
Don't over think it. If it's on the school list, get it! There is a reason it is on the list.
Don't worry about brands. All pencils write the same, all scissors cut, and all crayons color.
Set yourself a budget, whether it's per kid or a grand total budget.
Make it fun! If you like doing the shopping, take your kiddo with you and make it a bonding time. Let them pick out some items.
If you prefer to shop at Target, you can save 5% off of your entire total by getting a Target debit card. This is linked with your checking account and all you need is a blank check to open the account. THIS IS NOT A CREDIT CARD.
If you shop at target, Download the target application. In the "cartwheel" section there is a scanner where you can scan your items and sometimes there are additional savings there!
I checked out Office Depot as well and the same thing. Prices are literally pennies in difference. Either they all got on the same page this year, or the price sales are becoming a standard thing. Here in Houston our Tax-Free weekend is August 10-12. You can also order the items online tax free!! I hope this was at least a little helpful for you! If you have any questions, always feel free to reach out to me.