Comparing retailers: Back to school shopping

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE)- KRQE News 13 took supply lists from two schools, North Star and Ventana Ranch, to see where the bargains are and to figure out which items might be more challenging to find.

Ventana Ranch Supply List

North Star Supply List

The first item on the North Star list: pencils, but not just any pencils. The list requires 48 pre-sharpened Ticonderoga pencils.

In fact, both schools require brand names. At Target, it was easy to find a 30-pack of pre-sharpened Ticonderoga’s and another 18 pack to round out 48. Yet, KRQE News 13 found the Ventana Ranch list made for a cheaper buy. It still asks for 48 brand name pencils, but these didn’t have to be sharpened. That saved more than a dollar at Target.

However, it wasn’t so easy to find pre-sharpened pencils at Walmart. KRQE News 13 only found one pack of 30 pencils in the store and had to buy two ten packs, putting the total over the required 48. That cost was $1.50 more than the pre-sharpened pencils at Target.

Copy paper was another tricky item at Walmart. It didn’t have to be brand name, but there were few options left on the shelves. KRQE ended up shelling out nearly $7.50 for two reams of paper. Still, it was cheaper than Target, which cost close to $8 for two packs.

When it comes to some items, you’ll likely have to buy more than you need. That’s the case with highlighters. It’s tough to find them for individual sale.

Notebook paper is another one. The list called for 300 pieces, but at Target, KRQE could only purchase the paper in packages of 175. On the other hand, Walmart carries packages of 150 and it cost a dollar or less.

All in all, the 21 items on our North Star list cost a little more than $90. At Walmart, it cost around $75.

For the 16 Ventana Ranch items, KRQE News 13 doled out around $50 at Target and close to $33 at Walmart.

Both lists also require students to bring cash to school for extra supplies. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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