Save big on back to school supplies

Seven On Your Side
August 22, 2012 11:02:21 AM PDT
The dreaded back to school list gets longer each year, which means between clothes and supplies parents are spending more than ever on back to school shopping.

"Probably talking between $600-$700," a parent said.

So where's the best place to save?

Eyewitness News took a Kindergarten supply list to several different stores to see how they stack up.

Eyewitness News bought similar, not the same brand, items at a major drug store, a dollar store and a national office supply store.

Our list cost $40.88 at the drug store in Yonkers; across the street at the dollar store the supplies were much less, just $16.53.

Cheaper means "cheap" said one mother of two who feels the off brand names at the dollar store sacrifice quality.

"They don't last or they don't work, I don't want to send my kids to school with those kinds of things," a mother said.

She was filling her daughter's backpacks at Staples, where our supply list rang up at $38.76, but Wendy Maldonado was going to stack her way to big savings.

"I'm a teacher so I get a discount from the city, I got $5 off from an email, plus I got a rewards cards from Staples," Maldonado said.

Surprisingly office supply chains had some of the best deals and are offering all sorts of incentives for school shopping.

Not surprisingly, Target and Wal-Mart were both less expensive; it was around $4 cheaper at Target the day Eyewitness News did our comparison shopping.

Shopping experts suggest scanning circulars, looking for coupon codes, and asking retailers to price match.

"So if you've got that circular or your phone and you see something cheaper, you can say, 'Hey can you price match this?' Their policies that say they will," said Jody Rohlena, Shop Smart Senior Editor.

Grocery stores generally won't price match and have some of the most expensive prices.

Also, don't forget online shopping, if you order with a bunch of other parents' bulk discounts can be huge, and you can share the cost of shipping if it's not free.

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