Price check: back-to-school supplies

WELCOME SAVINGS: Some stores have specials on various stationery items
WELCOME SAVINGS: Some stores have specials on various stationery items
Image: Devon Koen

While the festive season draws to an end and the ever-present onslaught of back-to-school advertising bombards parents feeling the financial pinch after splurging their hard-earned money over the past two weeks, Weekend Post conducted a flash price comparison on a number of school supplies to help ease the anxiety.

With most retail shops dropping their prices of school stationery staples drastically in the days leading to the start of the first term on January 15, items on the shelves at selected shops may change in the coming days.

Major shops visited by Weekend Post this week included Pick n Pay Hypermarket at William Moffett Park, Game at The Bridge, and Shoprite and Checkers at Greenacres.

All the shops visited have specials and promotions on various school stationery items, including those listed below.

Eight generic items listed on most schools’ stationery supply lists issued to parents were selected.

All four retailers showed a high number of parents already shopping for the best prices, with some saying the financial strain of having to buy the necessary supplies was back-breaking.


BIG SELECTION: Many parents are battling to buy all the stationery items needed for school.
BIG SELECTION: Many parents are battling to buy all the stationery items needed for school.
Image: Devon Koen

Carol Visser, 36, of Kabega Park, said buying school supplies for her two primary school children had become more and more expensive over the past few years.

“It is a very expensive time of year. School supplies are becoming more and more expensive and having two kids at school makes it twice as expensive,” Visser said.

Single mum of one Chantel Fourie, 38, of Kensington, said school supplies were becoming too expensive to afford.

“As a single parent I have to save money throughout the year not only for Christmas and New Year, but for back-to-school supplies too,” Fourie said.

A Motherwell resident and mother of three who only identified herself as Thandeka said it was becoming a financial burden on her to ensure her children had what they needed for school.

“It is the school fees, school clothes and the stationery which makes it so expensive,” Thandeka said.

While you can expect to pay almost R500 for the items priced, Game shows a marginally cheaper offering with a basket full of basic stationery adding up to R475.99, while the most pricey of the shops is Pick n Pay at R506.92.

Below is a breakdown of the selected items and their pricing at the various retailers:


Staedtler HB Tradition pencils (3 pack)

Pick n Pay R15,99

Shoprite R15,99

Checkers R29,99

Game R17,00


Pritt glue stick (43g)

Pick n Pay R34,99

Shoprite R29,99

Checkers R29,99

Game R30,00 (Simple Choice 40g)


Butterfly A4 pocket file (30 pages)

Pick n Pay R39.99

Shoprite R33,99

Checkers R22,99

Game R25,00

Staedtler retractable wax crayons (12 pack)

Pick n Pay R34,99

Shoprite R35,99

Checkers R35,99 (pack of 14)

Game R40,00

A4 Office Paper White (box of five reams)

Pick n Pay R299,99 (Rototrim)

Shoprite R299,99 (Typek)

Checkers R264,99 (Typek)

Game R269,00 (Typek)

BIC ballpoint pens

Pick n Pay R23,99 (3+2 free)

Shoprite R12,99 (2 pack)

Checkers R12,99 (2 pack)

Game R25,00 (4+3 free)

Staedtler colour pencils (24)

Pick n Pay R45,99

Shoprite R44,99

Checkers R79,99

Game R50,00 (BIC)

A4 hardcover books (192pg  each)

Pick n Pay R10,99

Shoprite R11,49

Checkers R11,49

Game R19,99


Pick n Pay: R506,92

Shoprite: R485.42

Checkers: R488.42

Game: R475.99