School Supply Shopping Tips

August 3, 2010 15 Comments | Disclosure

REPOST!  Our School Supply Price Point List was featured on the front page of the Life Section of The Idaho Statesman.  It was also featured last week on MSN Money!  I thought it was worthy of a repost as we are only a few weeks away from school starting!!!  Happy Shopping!


If you’re like me, you can hardly believe it’s time to start school supply shopping! But now IS the time, because the deals are in FULL FORCE!  Here is one reason I like back to school shopping:

Teaching Opportunity!

This is a great time to teach your child to stretch their dollar.  Give them the tools and let them make the decisions!!  Here is what I did and what I am now doing…

Last year I gave my kids a set dollar amount and they were to use that money to purchase all they needed for school. Supplies, backpack, clothing… all that good stuff!   Here was the kicker:  any money they had left over was theirs to keep! They were much more selective about the supplies they picked!!  And some decided against getting a new backpack, another decided he didn’t need very many new clothes.

This summer  my kids have been earning money working for their grandpa.  They’ll use some of this money to purchase their own school supplies (everything!).  The only thing I’m giving this year is a PRICE SHEET – so they can know what a good deal is and decide how far they will stretch their dollar.

Finding the Best Deals

On Sunday we perused the ads to find the best deals. I couldn’t remember for sure if some of the deals were the best compared to last year, so what did I do? I went to my favorite deal blog and looked at the “school supplies” category!

Looking at the old posts from last year, I was able to find the lowest price points on the items we needed. I created a spreadsheet for my kids to use as they decided what supplies to purchase.

I decided it would be pretty easy for me to share my findings!

Price Sheet




#2 Pencils $0.50 Shopko
Crayons $0.20 Shopko
Glue $0.20 Shopko
glue sticks (6 pack) $1.00 Target
Paints $1.00 kmart
Tissue $0.99 Walgreens
markers $1.29 Shopko
eraser-top 0.25/$.29 Staples/Walgreens
eraser-pink $0.20 Target
spiral(wide) $.10-$0.12 ShopKo/Freds
spiral(collage) 70-100 $.10-$0.12 ShopKo/Freds
24 color pencils $0.99 Walgreens
Notebook paper (wide) $0.50 Shopko
1 pencil bag (3 hole) $0.99 Walgreens
fiskar scissors $0.99 Shopko
bic pens $0.50 Target/Freds/Walmart
composition book $.50-$.25 Target/Staples
bic pens $0.50 Shopko


Now, this is a list of items my kids need. I’m sure there are others that yours will need. If you want to figure out what the best price point is based on last years prices, you can go to the sidebar and under “categories”, click “School Supplies“.  OR you can just click right HERE!

My excel spreadsheet (fully customizable of course) is available for download here. I have a column for each child where I can list how many of each item they need.  The first row shows the total number of each item that needs to be purchased.  Just fill in the form by looking at the school supply lists provided by your child school (you can usually find these online as well), then print it off and keep it, along with the ads, in the car with you.  That way you’ll have it with you when you’re out running errands!

Have you found any great deals on school supplies this week?  Leave it in the comments!


  1. lindsey says:

    Kmart had 10 packs of #2 pencils for $.25 as well as 24 count Crayola Crayons for $.25 and two glue sticks for a $.25/

  2. Walgreens also had single highlighters (5 different colors at my store) for $0.09 which was better than the five pack unless you need the skinnier ones.

    Office Depot had hand sanitizer (some schools ask students to bring this) with a limit of 5 with full mail in rebate.

  3. Dorothy says:

    Believe it or not, Albertsons had filler paper yesterday for $.50. And I believe the sale tag on the shelf said the price was good through 9/14/10. I didn’t see it in the ad, and don’t normally bother looking at school supplies at Albies but just happened to notice it on that one. The cashier hadn’t known about the price either.

  4. Helen in Meridian says:

    Walgreens NON-SPIRAL 60 ct notebooks are included in their .29 ad. The ad just says 60-70 ct. I had them ring up one of the non spirals, and it, too was .29. I know these are hard to find on sale. These are 60 page non spirals.

    Fred Meyer has spiral notebooks for .10 this week.

  5. Becky A. says:

    I tried to download your spreadsheet, but it gave me a zipped file in which I couldn’t find a spreadsheet to download. Loved the idea and wanted to try it with my 5 children. Any other ideas?

  6. Lindsay says:

    When I tried to download the file it opened to a folder with a bunch of folder and files.

    • I believe you need to have Microsoft Excel to open the file. I tried to open it on my desktop, which doesn’t have excel and I couldnt, but I opened it on my laptop with no problems, which does have excel.

  7. Lindsay says:

    K mart also has crayola markers fat and skinny or colored pencils for 1.00 which is better than shopko by .49 cents.

  8. I was going to leave a comment about this a while back but forgot, but I guess this is the perfect spot. For couponing and for school, Costco has the clearview binders. The 2″ comes in a 4 pack for $12.99 or about that and the 3″ comes in a 2 pack for about the same price. The 3″ is not as good of a deal as the 2″, but that is about the best price I have seen on the 2″ inch, especially if you are just looking for a binder to put in your stylin binder or something like that. I may be totally wrong since I havent priced binders sinced I started couponing in feb and upgraded to my 3″ in april, and maybe there are better deals since it school supply season, but just another price thrown out there!!!

  9. richelle white says:

    Don’t forget some stores will price match if you have the full add so you don’t have to run from store to store!

  10. Michele says:

    THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!! I love any opportunity to teach my children how to budget money. What a great example!

    Thank you for posting this. I predict a TON of moms & dads will take this idea and make it thier own.

  11. this is great. it will help not only but also the other budget concerned parents. it will help me save money.

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