Back to School Supplies Price Comparison Chart

As kids get ready to head back to school, one thing on the minds of thrifty parents is how to get the best deal on back-to-school supplies. But not all stores are created equal when it comes to savings.

Yahoo! Finance columnist Laura Rowley shopped around for 20 common school supplies at five Connecticut stores -- a local "dollar" store, two big-box stores, an office supply store and a drug store -- to find out where you can get the best savings this season.

CLICK HERE for digital ways to save on back-to-school supplies online

School Supplies Price Comparison

Loose leaf paper (150 sheets)

Xpect Discount: $0.50

Target: $0.75

Wal-Mart: $0.75

Staples: $0.79 (120 sheets)

CVS: $2.99

4 Blue gel pens (Pilot G2)

Xpect Discount: $4.79

Target: $3.14

Wal-Mart: $4.00

Staples: $6.79 (1 free)

CVS: $3.29

1 box #2 pencils (10 count)

Xpect Discount: $0.33

Target: $1.00

Wal-Mart: $0.50

Staples: $ 0.99 (2 free)

CVS: $1.43

Eraser (2 pack)

Xpect Discount: $1.00 (1 free)

Target: $0.97

Wal-Mart: $1.00

Staples: $1.79 (1 free)

CVS: $1.99

8 pack Crayola markers

Xpect Discount: $1.39

Target: $2.00

Wal-Mart: $2.00

Staples: $3.99

CVS: $5.29

Highlighters (2 pack)

Xpect Discount: $0.99

Target: $1.17

Wal-Mart: $1.50 (2 free)

Staples: $2.00 (4 free)

CVS: $2.59

Pencil case (flat canvas with zipper)

Xpect Discount: $0.79

Target: $1.99

Wal-Mart: $1.00

Staples: $2.99

CVS: $4.39

Crayola crayons (24 ct)

Xpect Discount: $0.49

Target: $0.25

Wal-Mart: $0.25

Staples: $0.99

CVS: $0.99

School Supplies Price Comparison

Crayola Colored pencils (12 count)

Xpect Discount: $1.39

Target: $0.88

Wal-Mart: $1.00

Staples: $1.79

CVS: $4.39

Scissors

Xpect Discount: $0.89

Target: $0.72

Wal-Mart: $1.50

Staples: $4.00

CVS: $6.59

2 glue sticks

Xpect Discount: $0.48 (sold out)

Target: $1.00

Wal-Mart: $2.88 (1 free)

Staples: $2.99

CVS: $2.99

Whiteout

Xpect Discount: $0.99

Target: $1.24

Wal-Mart: $0.50

Staples: $3.99 (1 free)

CVS: $2.59

1-subject spiral notebook (Five Star brand)

Xpect Discount: $0.25

Target: $0.15

Wal-Mart: $2.00

Staples: $0.39

CVS: $4.19

3-subject spiral notebook (Five Star brand)

Xpect Discount: $0.99

Target: $3.00

Wal-Mart: $3.00

Staples: $3.99

CVS: $5.29

Ruler

Xpect Discount: $0.29

Target: $1.14

Wal-Mart: $0.50

Staples: $1.49

CVS: $1.39

Protractor

Xpect Discount: $0.49

Target: $0.99

Wal-Mart: $1.97

Staples: $1.99

CVS: $2.19

3 x 5 index cards

Xpect Discount: $0.48 (sold out)

Target: $0.44

Wal-Mart: $0.44

Staples: $1.99

CVS: $2.19 (1 free)

2-pocket folder (5) Oxford laminated

Xpect Discount: $0.49

Target: $0.97

Wal-Mart: $0.97

Staples: $1.79

CVS: $0.89

1" Binder Avery brand

Xpect Discount: $1.49

Target: $2.74

Wal-Mart: $2.50

Staples: $7.99

CVS: $5.99

Scientific Calculator Texas Instruments TI-30

Xpect Discount: $8.49

Target: $9.00

Wal-Mart: $8.44

Staples: $13.99

CVS: $21.99

Total

Xpect Discount: $27.20

2 items sold out: glue sticks, 3 x 5 cards

Target: $31.54

Wal-Mart: $36.70

1 free glue stick

Staples: $66.72

Free items: 1 pen, 2 pencils, 1 eraser, 1 whiteout, 4 highlighters; short 30 pieces of loose leaf

CVS: $83.44

Free items: pack of 3x5 cards; 2 glue sticks

Back-to-School Shopping Test Results

The local "dollar" store offered the best deal, but the selection is fairly narrow and two of the items on our list were already sold out. Be prepared to shop early!

The big-box stores like Target and Wal-Mart are fairly competitive with each other -- just a $4 difference and we found everything we needed at both stores. But Target was the easiest and fastest to shop, as all of the back-to-school supplies were located in one central area, while Wal-Mart had about four aisles devoted to back to school and they were crowded and noisy.

Office supply stores have been trying to get more of the back-to-school market share in recent years, but our shopping test shows the prices are still fairly high and the package sizes tend to be larger than standard – so you pay a little more and get a lot of "free" extras that you don't need. If you see an item for a penny at an office supply store, buy it and bail out.

Drug stores: Forget it! This is the most expensive place to shop for back to school. They will occasionally offer special items to get shoppers in the door, but with a basket price more than three times the price of our most affordable store, don't take the bait.

Click here for more back to school saving tips from "Good Morning America."

Click here to return to the "Good Morning America" website.

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