Just weeks before the kids go back to class, Consumer Reports' secret shoppers did the homework on school supplies to find which stores have the bargains.
"Stores lure you in with great deals like pencils for a penny, but you have to be careful or you could wind up paying too much for the other items on your list," said Jody Rohlena with Consumer Reports' ShopSmart.
Secret shoppers took their lists to Office Depot, Staples, Target and Walmart.
The two office stores tied for the highest prices on most items.
Store-brand, two-pocket folders at Staples cost $1.01, compared to Walmart's price of 48 cents.
Mead, Five-Star, one-subject notebooks at Staples were $6.02. Walmart had them for $2.76.
And Norcom brand packages of loose-leaf paper priced at $3.01 at Office Depot, were 82 cents at Walmart.
Walmart had the least expensive prices on most items, followed closely by Target.
One way to save about 75 percent is to buy store brands, according to Consumer Reports.