Buying school supplies: Online or in store?

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) There are plenty of options for school supplies at a local Target, and our goal was to figure out if buying online was cheaper than buying in store.

Running down a typical second-grade list, we started with a standard wide-rule composition notebook, as well as a regular spiral notebook, binder, filler paper, and index cards.

No back-to-school list is complete without pencils, including the colored variety.

Those pencils will need sharpening, erasing, and a box to put them in.
Glue and glue sticks were also on the list, as well as 5-inch scissors.
We then went to the Crayola section for the crayons, markers, and washable water colors. That's an area where 6th grade teacher Jamie Garaventa says she would recommend saving money.

“I like to go name brand on colored pencils,” she says. "But for markers, usually the store brand is just as good.”

For the water bottle requirement, we opted to the metallic variety. Then finally, there was the most expensive item on the list – a backpack. We went with the “Trans” by Jansport, bringing the total to $84.09.

We then headed to Amazon dot com for a comparison.

The most expensive item on the list, the backpack, was actually slightly cheaper online, but not much else was. And it was the cheaper items, like the binders, pens, and spiral notebooks, that were responsible for the highest price jump online.

When you factor in shipping - it takes the total to $210, though if you have Amazon Prime, that knocks it down to $157.97.

Your results may vary, but it’s clear that brick and mortar is still the way to go over online for back to school shopping.