Save Money Buying School Supplies

ABC shopped at three different stores for school supplies. Which one saved them the most money?

Posted: Aug. 8, 2018 5:49 PM
Updated: Aug. 8, 2018 5:56 PM

ABC — It's hard to believe it's back to school time. Which means it's also time to buy school supplies. We're showing you how you can save money and still get all the supplies you need for the new school year. ABC's Becky Worley shows us how.

Meet the Maxwells from San Carlos, California.

3 kids—Sam is in high school and the twins, Luke and Will are in middle school. They are helping us answer a burning back to school question, where to shop? Big box, online, or dollar store. For our challenge we use actual lists of mandated supplies. Which includes standard binders and pencils, of course—but the list also includes staples like cleaning supplies and tissues that schools now ask parents to provide.

Everyone was handed the same 20 items. Mom and one of the son's went to the "big box" store and Dad and other son went to the Dollar Store. Sam did the shopping with the same list online. Andrea and Will are doing well at the big box store. 

When everyone comes home we compared the haul, including price and availability. The online shopping group got 20 out of the 20 items needed. The final cost was $162. 

The big box shoppers got 19 out of the 20 items. Their cost was $105. 

Finally the dollar store team was much different. They only found 16 out of 20 items, but only spent $33. That's a $72 dollar difference. Even if they had to get the remaining 4 products online they would still save around $50. 

The winner? The Dollar Store. 

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