Skip to content   Skip to footer navigation 

Top of the class: CHOICE Back-to-School Basket Challenge reveals Officeworks is cheapest for school supplies

BIG W loses top place.

The CHOICE Back-to-School Basket Challenge of 17 school essentials from Big W, Kmart, and Officeworks has revealed that Officeworks is the cheapest place to shop for school supplies this year. 

The full results are:


Infogram available for embedding:

The Officeworks basket cost $26.87, which was more than 10% cheaper than the most expensive basket from Kmart.

Big W has fallen slightly behind this year, pushed from first place by Officeworks.

CHOICE conducted the comparison by putting together a list of 17 items Australians typically need when their kids are heading back to school, including pencils, pens, scissors, and water bottles. We then compared prices for these items across Officeworks, Kmart and Big W on the same day. 

"Back to school supplies can quickly add up," says CHOICE's Managing Editor, Marg Rafferty. 

"Uniforms, shoes, backpacks, lunchboxes, and stationery amount to quite a lot of money, especially if you have more than one child at school." 

"It's important to shop around so that you can get the best deal possible." 

"We've already done some of the work for you with our price comparison, and we've found that Officeworks is the cheapest place to shop for school supplies. Now parents can have a better understanding of what they should expect to pay." 

CHOICE parents have also provided their top tips for sending kids back to school. 

Full list of items included in shopping basket:

5-pack HB pencils

12-pack coloured pencils

Pencil sharpener with receptacle to hold shavings

10-pack ballpoint pens

10 pack colouring pens

Pencil case - the kind where you cut out letters to slip into the slots

4-pack highlighter pens


Glue stick

64-page exercise book

Roll of adhesive book covering (2m)

A4 spiral-bound notebook (120 pages)

2-ring binder (25mm)

Water bottle (stainless steel)



Correction tape

For more back-to-school reviews and advice, you can visit

Media available via Dropbox:

Media contact: Katelyn Cameron, 0430 172 669,