© Nathan Liewicki
Doris Brown checks out a notebook at Wal-Mart on Tuesday afternoon. Brown is one parent who waited until school supplies went on sale in late August before purchasing them. Times-Herald photo by Nathan Liewicki
By Nathan Liewicki
Parents, get those credit cards primed for spending because it's time to scoop up those last few items on your child's back-to-school supply list.
If you haven't taken your ever-growing bundles of joy to a store that sells school supplies, don't worry, the Times-Herald has already done the work for you.
Whether you are looking for a handful of coiled notebooks, a French-English dictionary or a USB memory stick, we have tabulated what it costs to purchase all the school supplies your child will need when he or she heads back to school that first week of September.
Using school supply lists from a Grade 2 class in the Prairie South School Division (PSSD) and a Grade 2 class in the Holy Trinity Catholic School Division (HTCSD), the Times-Herald compared costs at two different stores - Staples and Wal-Mart. The same was also done for Grade 7 students.
While many items were similar in price at both locations, for example 30-centimetre rulers were $0.99 at Staples and $1 at Wal-Mart, that is not the case for other items.
A backpack is obviously necessary for all kids attending school. However, the cost of a backpack at Wal-Mart is as low as $5, whereas the least expensive backpack at Staples sells for $24.97.
Another mandatory item for Grade 7 students, in both school divisions, with a significant difference in price is a USB memory stick. At Wal-Mart, parents can expect to pay $6 for a stick with 4 GB of memory. Conversely, Staples will charge you $14.93 for an 8 GB memory stick.
Nevertheless, parents with children in the PSSD will by and large shell out more money on school supplies than parents with children in the HTCSD.
Tallied together and averaged between the two stores, supplies on the list for a Grade 2 HTCSD student should cost parents $46.36. Supplies for a Grade 7 HTCSD student will cost approximately $111.15. Meanwhile, a Grade 2 PSSD student's supplies will cost about $83.50. Parents of PSSD Grade 7 students will pay roughly $138.13 for all their child's supplies.
Regardless of the prices parents are slapped with at the checkout till, Doris Brown is one parent who doesn't seem to mind the long list of items she has to buy for her foster kids.
"It's not that long. It's actually quite short compared to the lists when I was in school," Brown said. "There's also lots of noteworthy bargains on right now."
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks.