Affordable Back to School Supplies
(Shopping Instore or Purchasing Pre- Packaged Supplies)

School starts in exactly one week for my kiddos. Everyone is a bit bummed about it myself including. I should be glad that they're heading back to school, but to be honest I love hanging out with my kids during the summer. 

It seems like summer flew right by, so it's time to put up the swim suits and pull out the back packs again. A new school year means new school clothes and of course new supplies to start off the school year. When it comes to back to school shopping I'm definitely a early bird.  

As soon as I see school supplies on store shelves I immediately start shopping. I make a point to start early to be sure we will have everything needed for the entire school year. The kids always tag along for supplies, because it gets them really excited about their first day back.   

As a Walmart Mom, I was asked to go shopping and see how many school supplies I could  purchase for $50. The supply listing above is for my sons 5th grade class. My goal was to see which was cheaper? Purchasing Carson's supplies in store or paying a flat fee of $65 for the schools pre-packaged supply box

With our list in hand we headed off to Walmart to purchase all of the needed supplies. As we entered the store I noticed Walmart has printed local school supply listings located in the front of the store. This really comes comes in handy if you misplace your list.  

You can also access Classrooms by Walmart which is a new feature to quickly find school supply lists from your child's school. Just enter your school name, city or zip code to access local schools in your area. While there you can purchase supplies on line or in store. This was very helpful for me, because I never received a listing from my daughters school.   

As I read off the items on the list Carson grabbed the supplies. Pictured above is all the supplies off Carson's list along with prices below.

  • 1 - (35 count) anti bacterial wipes  - $1.97   
  • 1 - 70 count wide rule spiral notebook - .17 
  • 1 - box Ziplock sandwich bags - $1.58   
  • 2 - packages wide rule paper - $1.64 
  • 1 - package 9 x 12 construction paper - $1.97    
  • 1 - composition notebook - .67 
  • 4 - pocket folders with brads - $2.00  (we chose plastic for durability)        
  • 1 - pkg 3x5 index cards - .48 
  • 3 - boxes of tissues - $3.19  
  • 1 - box 12 crayola map pencils - $2.97     
  • 1 - 24 count crayola crayons - .50
  • 1 - box crayola fine tip markers .97
  • 1 - 5' inch blunt tip scissors - .50 
  • 6 - large Elmer's glue sticks - $5.88
  • 1 - pkg 3 ring 5 tab dividers W/pockets $1.47 
  • 48 - #2 pencils - $1.94
  • 1 - combination locker lock - $3.77      
  • 1 - zipper pencil pouch - .97  
  • 1 - 2 inch Real Tree Camo Zipper Binder W/pockets - $19.97     
Total price for School supplies purchased at Walmart came to $52.61. Prices before binder purchase came to $32.64. I chose to purchase a more expensive and durable zipper binder compared to the large plastic binder that the school provides.  This type of binder never makes it past the first couple of month before falling apart. 

We chose the Mossy Oak Real Tree Camo Binders for $19.97, because of it's durability. I knew this binder would hold up for the entire school year. Walmart also carries a variety of zipper binders priced between $8 - $12.
Total price for pre - packaged school supplies from our local school is $65.0o. We paid a total of $52.61 for supplies purchased at Walmart making it a difference of $12.39. If I would of went with a cheaper binder I could of purchased all of the needed supplies for under $45.00. This is a huge savings from the schools pre - packaged price and the items are of better quality.  

While at Walmart I noticed they had some new trendy school supplies for older Girls. My daughter will be in the 8th grade and loves anything pink with zebra stripes, so the new Studio C line is perfect.  On my last trip to Bentonville, Arkansas I saw the new line of supplies that Walmart would be carrying this year.

I was provided with a few samples, so I only needed to get a handful of items for Mackenzie. I grabbed a few notebooks, folders, filler paper, pens, pencils, and  some of their new stylish composition books. She was so excited when she saw all the new designs and bold colors.

In fact the prices on school supplies are so awesome at the start of the school year that we always purchase extras. Every year I make a Homework School Supply Box packed with extra supplies and materials. Having a Homework Supply Box at home helps cut down on wasted time spent searching the house for necessary homework supplies. If you don't have a homework supply box I highly recommend making one. 
Currently Walmart has some great back to school sales going on for supplies, backpacks, uniforms and apparel. If you don't want to tackle the crowds you can always shop online.

The shelves are still pretty well stocked, so hurry! If you're looking for some great prices on school uniforms check out my post on Affordable Back to School Apparel. I have also included a link for Back to School Lunch Box Ideas and how to pack a healthy lunch your kids will eat. Happy Back to School Shopping!

1 comment

Amy Wentzel said…
We also have a homework school supply box and it definitely comes in handy! Also, if you do Christmas shoe boxes for charities, stock up on the school supplies to fill your boxes for less!!