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Dollar Tree, Dollar General or Amazon: Where can you save on school supplies?

Posted: 11:57 AM, Aug 07, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-07 14:57:49-04

Are your kids already back to school, and you just realized they need something? Or, maybe you waited until the last minute, and you're thinking about running to a dollar store or ordering from Amazon to save on supplies. Well, pump the breaks!

A few weeks ago, I went to Target, Walmart and Staples to compare prices on back-to-school supplies. Walmart was the winner for the lowest total. Click here to see that full breakdown.

Then, curiosity set in. Many of you asked me about comparing prices to dollar stores or Amazon. So, I went to Dollar Tree, Dollar General and Amazon for three identical items to see how they compare!

For 3x5 100-ruled index cards, it was $1 each at Dollar Tree, but if you order online, it must be in bulk. Amazon is much more expensive at $2.31, but Prime members can get it the same day. Dollar General was the cheapest at 50 cents! From our previous comparison though, Walmart still beat that price at 48 cents.

Here are the three items listed below with specific details. Walmart, Staples and Target are included from the previous comparison to give you an idea on the savings compared to Dollar Tree, Amazon and Dollar General. Those three stores are underlined because those are the three compared. The bolded and underlined store and description means it's the lowest price from the latest comparison between Dollar Tree, Amazon and Dollar General:

3x5 100-Ruled Index Cards:
WALMART: 48 cents (LOWEST IN FIRST COMPARISON)
TARGET: 49 cents
STAPLES: 50 cents
DOLLAR GENERAL: 50 cents (LOWEST IN SECOND COMPARISON)
DOLLAR TREE: $1 each in store. Online, each pack comes in assorted colors, and it states, "Minimum you can buy: 36 (one case)." So, that would be $36.
AMAZON: $2.31, get it same day with Prime

Crayola Crayons (pack of 24):
TARGET: 50 cents
WALMART: 50 cents
STAPLES: 50 cents for the first 30, then $1.79 each
DOLLAR GENERAL- 50 cents, originally $1.50 (LOWEST PRICE IN SECOND COMPARISON)
DOLLAR TREE- $1 in store, but have to buy 48 (one case) online. So, that would be about $48.
AMAZON- $1.69, though most were bundles, like a pack of two for $5.90, normally $8.99

Elmer's Glue (four fluid ounce):
TARGET: 50 cents
WALMART: 50 cents
STAPLES 50 cents
DOLLAR GENERAL: 50 cents, originally $1 (LOWEST PRICE IN SECOND COMPARISON)
DOLLAR TREE- $1 in store, but online, it's a minimum of 48 (one case). So, that would be about $48.
AMAZON- There were bundle options, like a pack of six for $11.25 with one-day shipping with Prime, breaking down to about $1.88 each. This one is best though. A 12-pack is going for $6.00, bringing it to 50 cents each.

Bottom line, if you need bulk items, Amazon is worth researching, especially if you can split costs with other parents. However, if you need only a few items and want to run to a store, go to Walmart or Dollar General to save.

Happy school supply shopping!