Buy Smart: School Supplies


Back-to-school sales are out in force. We compared prices* at Staples, Target, and Office Depot for a short list of essential supplies:

1-subject spiral bound notebook (college ruled): Who would have guessed that Target would have a 8″ x 10.5″ college ruled spiral bound notebook for just 17 cents? Though they’re only 70 pages each, a few of these are an easy investment.

1-subject spiral bound notebook (wide ruled): Target again wins the prize for cheapest notebook, though if you’re looking for a few different colors (both college- and wide-ruled), check out Staples’ TOPS® Wirebound 1-subject notebooks that sell for a mere 75 cents each.

3″ x 5″ ruled index cards: For a pack of 100-count ruled index cards, who would want to pay more than 50 cents? Staples and Target patrons certainly won’t have to. Even if you can’t make it to these sales, Office Depot also has index cards for less than $1.

Sharpie fine point markers and Sharpie ultra fine point markers: If you’re shopping Sharpie, bypass other stores and head to Office Max. Though the quantity is higher and technically you’ll be spending a little more, for the equivalent of 72 cents per fine point marker and 73 cents per ultra fine point marker, this is the best deal around.

#2 pencils: Oh, #2 pencils. You will never go out of style. Get this back-to-school staple at Target for about 5 cents each ($1.29 for a pack of 24 Up & Up #2s).

Black ballpoint pens (10-12 count): If they aren’t already, black ballpoint pens should probably be synonymous with BIC at Staples, where you can pick up a pack of 10 for $1.

3″ x 3″ Post-It Notes: Staples, once again, boasts the best price. This time, it’s for sticky notes. For $5, you can pick up a pack of five 3″ x 3″ Jaipur colored Post-It® notes.

*Prices were compiled using stores’ websites, and are based on the lowest-cost items found in stores (some can’t be purchased online). Your costs may vary depending on the exact items you choose to purchase.

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