Where can you save the most money this tax-free holiday?

Where can you save the most money this tax-free holiday?

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Back to school shopping can be a real hassle for some families. The first thing you can do before going shopping, get organized and understand what you need to buy.

WAFF 48 News Reporter Shelia O'Connor took 8 items off a real school supply list given to her by a WAFF 48 Producer who has a 7th grader at Buckhorn Middle School.


We went to four stores, Target on University Drive, Walmart on University Drive, Office Depot on University Drive, and Staples on North Memorial Parkway. She purchased these items to find out where you would more than likely save the most money.

The items purchased include:

  • 1 Avery durable binder
  • 4 pack of Paper Mate black ballpoint pens
  • 2 pack of Paper Mate Clearpoint mechanical pencils
  • Texas Instrument scientific calculator
  • 12-inch ruler
  • 3 pack of Elmer's Giant Glue Sticks
  • 24 count of the Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable Crayons in Color Max
  • Composition notebook.

The final price tag at Staples came out to be $36.50. Staying in the same five-mile radius for all the stores, Shelia then went on to the next store, Office Depot on University Drive. She purchased the same 8 items and made sure they were all the exact same brand. The total at Office Depot came out $8 higher than Staples, with a final price tag of $44.62. Leaving Office Dept, Shelia ventured to the next store, the Walmart on University Drive. With the same eight items and exact same brands, the total at Walmart came out to be $29.94, $14 dollars less than Office Depot and $6 less than Staples.

So, what were the final results? Walmart takes the top honors while Office Depot comes in as the most expensive.

What about Target? Shelia went into the Target on University Drive on the same day she bought all of the other items but ran into a problem. Target had most of what she needed, but one item was not on the shelf.

Plus, two other items were only available in slightly different package quantities. For example, at the other three stores, pens were in a four pack, but at Target they were in a two-pack. To keep the same item quantity, Shelia bought two, but that changes this from being an exact price comparison. Making the best comparison we could, we found that Target came in below Walmart but ahead of Staples.

Another thing to keep in mind, these prices will vary based on the store's location, specific sales going on, or discount cards you may have. These prices will also be different this weekend because of the tax-free holiday. All of the prices in this story include sales tax.

Also, all these stores offer some kind of price matching guarantee.

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