Though stores have had their back-to-school supplies out for months, I’ve been ignoring them. But seeing a day labeled “Schedule pick up” on our giant white board calendar reminded us it was time to print off the list from the school district website — and make sure the kids were ready to go for a brand new school year.
The idea to complete our shopping popped into my wife’s head well into a Wednesday evening, so we headed off to Shopko to pick up the supplies. Shopko wouldn’t have been my first choice, but she insisted they had some good sales. We had to hustle to complete our list before walking out the doors right at closing time.
“That’s the last time we buy our supplies there,” she remarked.
Our total was more than she expected — though that might have been due to the extra things for herself that she threw in the cart in the mad dash for the checkout lane.
Nonetheless, I decided to do a comparison between the three major back-to-school retailers close to my home, so I could find out once and for all which one was the best for back-to-school shopping.
Target vs. Walmart vs. Shopko: Which Is Cheapest?
Here’s what I needed to purchase for my daughter, who’s entering the 7th grade. We had some leftover supplies, so this list only includes the items we had to buy:
- 12 spiral notebooks
- 6 folders
- 1 package wide-ruled loose leaf paper
- 1 glue stick
- 1 protractor
- Colored pencils
- 24 #2 pencils
- Highlighter pens
- Blue/black pens
I gathered the total price for all of these items (using the same brand names as often as possible) from Target, Walmart, and Shopko. Here were the totals:
- Target: $28.21
- Shopko: $26.76
- Walmart: $23.57
It turns out that my wife and I were both right. While buying school supplies from Shopko wasn’t the cheapest option, it also wasn’t the most expensive. Quite honestly, there’s not much of a difference between them. Convenience, rather than price, would likely play more of a factor in which one you’d choose. Walmart, however, is the least expensive option AND is the closest to our home — so next year, we know exactly where we’ll be picking up our supplies.
Have you done your back-to-school shopping yet? Which store did you choose?