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Choice Ranks The Stores With The Cheapest Back To School Supplies

If you're a parent, you know back to school shopping can break the bank.

Especially if you're still recovering from the cost of Christmas. Add pricey school lists to the mix and it's enough to send you broke.

YouGov’s Annual Back to School Research Report, commissioned by Big W, found that parents spend an average of $538 per child in 2020 to get them ready to return to school.

Sending kids back to school is usually costly. Image: Getty

So where is the best place to shop to ensure you stay on budget? According to consumer watchdog Choice, the cheapest store to get your supplies is Officeworks.

They put together a shopping basket of 17 items that were a mixture of stationary and back-to-school essentials and compared the cost across a number of retailers to see which stores' receipt came up the cheapest.

The results were as follows:

  • Officeworks: $26.87
  • Big W: $29.69
  • Kmart: $30

The items on the list included:

  • 5-pack HB pencils
  • 12-pack coloured pencils
  • Pencil sharpener with receptacle to hold shavings
  • 10-pack ballpoint pens
  • 10 pack colouring pens
  • Pencil case – the kind where you cut out letters to slip into the slots
  • 4-pack highlighter pens
  • 2-pack erasers
  • 2 glue sticks
  • 64-page exercise book
  • Roll of adhesive book covering (2m)
  • A4 spiral-bound notebook (120 pages)
  • 2-ring binder (25mm)
  • Water bottle (stainless steel)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Correction tape

To ensure the research was as fair as possible, the shopping was conducted on the same day in mid-January and the prices were also double checked online.

But if back to school shopping is enough to send shivers up your spine as a parent, a bit of support might help.

On Tuesday, the NSW Government announced a new online hub containing reliable back to school information.

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There is no doubt that back to school is yet another time of year where it can be easy to succumb to emotional (over) spending -- even if it adds to our post-Christmas financial stress.

“As a mother myself, I know I had a lot of questions before my daughter started kindergarten, so I wanted to make sure we had advice available on every aspect of school preparation for parents like me right across the State,” Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said.

“We have information ranging from practical things like stationery, uniforms and lunches, to advice about what is expected in terms of study and behaviour, and how to prepare students to be safe online."

There is also a section that is tailored for families impacted by the recent bushfires.

Featured image: Getty