August is a time of preparation for the new school year – and that applies to both the children and their parents. Yet for the latter, the anticipation of a new year at school is often clouded by the thought of the related expenses, which can become a real burden on the wallet. The Lithuanian supermarket chain Maxima has good news: school supplies this year will not be more expensive than last year, a press release from the retail chain states.
So how much does it cost to get your child ready for school this year?
© Shutterstock nuotr.

"We understand that for some of our customer, the process of preparing for the new school year might become a real challenge, so we did our best to make sure they could in order to buy the most common school supplies for similar or lower prices compared to last year, even without discounts. We also expanded the range of choices. The large shops have already been stocked with over 2,000 different types of school supplies, guaranteeing that our clients have plenty of options," says Vilma Drulienė, Chief Commercial Officer of Maxima.

Some prices have dropped

Based on the receipts of Maxima customers, the basic school supplies cart of 10 to 15 items consists of notebooks, pens, drawing paper, correction products (such as rubbers and correction pens), technical drawing tools, folders and binders for storing documents, protective covers, pencils and felt-tip pens. On average, a single buyer of school supplies purchases 10 notebooks, a few each of the other most popular supplies and at least one pack of felt-tip pens.

Based on the data collected by the supermarket chain, a fuller cart, usually intended for a first-grader, has 20 to 30 items in it. That includes items such as a backpack, pencil case, notebooks, pens, art supplies, glue and scissors.

Maxima's Chief Commercial Officer says that the cost of preparing your child for the new school year will depend on how much goods you will need to buy. "If you only need to restock your school supplies, the basic cart – notebooks, drawing paper, protective covers, basic art supplies and technical drawing tools should cost around €10. And if you go for essentially all of the most popular supplies, starting with the notebooks, all the way to the backpack, your cart would come in at around €30," Drulienė explains.

She added that some supplies have actually become cheaper this year compared to the last – the backpack, felt-tip pens, watercolour paints, folder for drawings and scissors. Protective covers for textbooks and a folder for notebooks are the only items that will cost more this year.

What's new: a large choice of exercise books

"Another new thing we would like to share is a notable increase in the range of exercise books. Whether buying groceries, household supplies or school supplies, our clients prefer to find everything they need in one place. So, after noticing a demand for exercise books last year, we've almost doubled the product range this year. We believe that the prices our shops offer for such school supplies, which tend to be more expensive, will pleasantly surprise our clients," said Drulienė.

She also had some tips for parents who are preparing their children for school. "Before you go shopping, it is essential to take stock of the supplies you already have. This will help you compile a shopping list of what you definitely need. We recommend buying the items you know you absolutely will need even before September, simply because we are now having our School Supplies Fair and the range is much wider than for the rest of the year. However, for items you are unsure about, it's better to wait until September 1st, when teachers will present their syllabuses and tell you which supplies, exercise books and textbooks will be required for the year," said Drulienė.

According to Maxima, during August and September last year, about 3.4 million notebooks of various types, 600,000 pens, over 250,000 pads of drawing paper and drafting paper, more than 220,000 folders for storing and organising documents, 200,000 packs of protective covers, and around 190,000 correction products were purchased.

Shopping cart of the most popular school supplies purchased at Maxima and their prices:

ItemPer packPrice in 2017Price in 2018
1.Notebooks (squared, lined)10 pcs.1.101.1
2.Drawing book (A4)1 pc.0.610.61
3.Textbook covers10 pcs.1.081.16
4.Notebook covers10 pcs.0.380.38
5.Folder for drawings1 pc.0.990.49
6.Graphite pencils1 pc.0.150.15
7.Coloured pencils12 c.0.980.98
8.Coloured felt-tip pens12 c.1.170.99
9.Folder for notebooks1 pc.0.991.99
10.Glue stick1 pc.0.190.19
11.Rubber1 pc.0.150.15
12.Pencil sharpener1 pc.0.120.12
13.Ruler1 pc.0.260.26
14.Scissors1 pc.1.190.59
15.Compass1 pc.1.491.49

Total, 15
16.Music notebook1 pc.0.280.28
17.Coloured paper (one-sided)1 pc.0.350.35
18.White card1 pc.0.780.78
19.Coloured card (8 sheets)1 pc.0.680.68
20.Ink cartridges12 pcs.0.380.38
21.Wax crayons12 c.0.590.59
22.Watercolour paints12 c.1.390.99
23.Gouache6 c.1.791.79
24.Brushes2 pcs.0.790.79
25.PVA glue2 pcs.0.290.29
26.Fountain pen with 4 ink cartridges
(no cartridges included in 2017)
1 pc.0.490.99
27.Plasticine8 c.0.990.99
28.Backpack1 pc.9.999.99
29.Pencil case1 pc.1.490.99
30.Water bottle1 pc..0.490.49

Total, 30
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