Comparing the cost of school supplies at Walmart, Safeway and Dollar General

Problem Solvers
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DENVER — The National Retail Federation predicts parents will spend about $80 billion on school supplies this fall. The FOX31 Problem Solvers did some comparison shopping based on a local district’s school list and found some great deals.

The following items are featured on the elementary school shopping list for Jefferson County:

  • 1 pair of Fiskars scissors (rounded-tip safety scissors – all metal blades)
  • 2 glue sticks
  • 1 pack of #2 pencils
  • 2 composition or spiral notebooks (teacher’s choice)
  • 1 binder (teacher’s choice)
  • 1 pack of wide-ruled paper
  • Up to 6 colored folders (teacher’s choice)
  • 1 box of Crayola crayons (24 count – regular size)
  • 1 pencil box/pencil pouch
  • 1 box of tissues
  • 1 bottle of liquid hand soap

The Problem Solvers shopped for the items at Walmart, Safeway and Dollar General:


Walmart featured an enormous selection in a special section right at the front of the store. We had no problem finding the items and getting to a checkout lane fast. The total amount came to $19.74.


Safeway’s school supplies section had more of a selection than some may expect at a grocery store. All of the items on the list were easy to find and fully stocked in a convenient location. The total bill came to $23.58.

Dollar General

It’s important to note that not everything at the store is exactly $1. Some items are a little more, others are a little less. The store’s “Back To School” section is near the front and had all of the items on our list. There was no sticker shock at the counter; the total was $14.41. Dollar General is also offering teachers who need supplies 20 percent off.

The Problem Solvers found while Dollar General offered the cheapest prices for the items on the list by about $5, the other stores offered the convenience of one-stop shopping for several other items, with Walmart providing the greatest variety of everything from groceries to clothing and shoes.

Backpacks were on the list but we excluded them since they have such a huge price range.

The Problem Solvers will donate all of the items we purchased to kids in need.

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