We can hear the wallets groaning from here, not yet recovered from the festive season and now staring down the barrel of new uniforms, devices, school shoes and stationery.
While there's little we can do about the often fixed price of uniforms, iPads and computers, there are certainly ways of saving on the school supplies your kids need to start the year with.
CHOICE has done the hard work for us, comparing four of the biggest retailers in Australia where people commonly shop for school supplies - Target, Big W, Kmart and Officeworks.
Making a list of 15 back-to-school essentials, CHOICE then compared the advertised prices of like-for-like products, revealing a clear winner, and a substantial $13.03 difference between the most expensive and least expensive retailer.
Big W was the cheapest, coming in at $24.82, followed by Officeworks, which was 62 cents more expensive and Kmart which came in at $1.52 more expensive.
Target was the most expensive by a long shot at $37.85 and while some may not find a $13 difference a problem, it is significant for those under financial strain, and those with many children.
For example, a family with four children would be paying more than $52 more in Target for the same items, as they would at Big W.
Here's the list of items CHOICE compared across the retailers. Prices were obtained online and in store and do not include any delivery fees.
- 5-pack HB pencils
- 12-pack coloured pencils
- Pencil sharpener
- 10-pack ballpoint pens
- 10 or 12-pack colouring pens
- Pencil case
- 4-pack highlighter pens
- Glue stick
- 64-page exercise book
- Roll of adhesive book covering
- A4 spiral-bound notebook
- 2-ring binder
- Water bottle
- Lunch box