EconomyFinancialOffice Depot, stationery or supermarket, where should you buy...

Office Depot, stationery or supermarket, where should you buy the supply list?

The return to classes is just around the corner (August 29 at the basic education level) and parents go to different places to stock the list of school supplies. In many schools they have already delivered the material that will be needed for the 2022-2023 school year. But how much does it cost in total?

Expansión carried out an exercise based on a list of basic school supplies in order to identify the places where they can go to have the complete materials for next August 29, we reviewed traditional stationery stores and specialized places.

Material’s list

– A small box professional notebook.
– A number 2 pencil.
– An eraser.
– A two-tone.
– A sharpener.
– Blunt tip scissors.
– A box with 12 colors.
– An adhesive pencil (pritt).
– A pen (red ink and black ink).
– A basic geometry game (ruler, set square, protractor and compass).

Where do we buy the cheapest list?

With this list, it was detected that the amount allocated to school expenses is higher in an Office Depot store, located in the DM Nacional neighborhood of the Gustavo A. Madero mayor’s office, while in Plaza Mesones in the center of Mexico City the price was minor.

Stationery in the State of Mexico

At the stationery store, located in the Impulsora neighborhood of the Nezahualcóyotl municipality, the outlay for the list of supplies was 190 pesos, and the clerk, named Teresa, explained that there are different prices for the materials depending on the brand.

“I can sell you various qualities and prices, for example, for the colored box there are from 35 pesos to 122 pesos.”

Almost two weeks after the children return to school, clients come more frequently to the place, according to what the worker explained.

“Although more are beginning to come to make copies of official papers, they are asking about the prices of the notebooks,” he explained.


At the main entrance of a supermarket, located at Calzada de las Águilas #820, the shelves are ready for back to school. In this area, customers can find a wide variety of products, from pencils to backpacks.

The day of the tour there were not so many customers; however, people who already visit the supermarket begin to compare the prices and quality of the products. “I think the prices are reasonable depending on the quality you are looking for. One of the advantages offered by this supermarket is that you can find good quality items at affordable prices,” said Aranza Figueroa, a high school student.

Another benefit that this place provides are the sets, which range from three pieces onwards, such as pencils, erasers, sharpeners, pens and even good-brand markers.

“I like to take the sets that contain the inks of the most used colors (blue, red and black) because I use the red one for the titles, the black ink for the body of the text and the blue one to underline important things of my tasks,” added Aranza.

We also note the wide variety of notebooks, one of the star items on supply lists, with affordable prices, but with basic designs, as well as those that are classified as “rough use”, with thick cover and varied designs of different characters. .

The list of supplies for this exercise was taken in a unitary manner despite the fact that some items come in sets, giving a value of 291.96 pesos.

Plaza Mesons

“Parents who come to stock their children’s supplies are already taking the most expensive things and they don’t pay attention to the price. Because they are the ones that come on the list,” says Diana Karina, who runs the ‘Quintero’ stationery store, inside Plaza Mesones in Mexico City.

Both Diana and Josep Vázquez, another merchant, affirm that the suppliers are not supplying them with enough booklets. “They are scarce because of the paper,” she says, referring to the scarcity and price increases in the paper industry.

But it is not the only product with reduced inventories. Foamy sheets are also scarce, because, according to Diana Karina, it is very difficult to find them in all colors.

When they ask her how much it costs, she answers that 39 pesos, wholesale with 10 pieces and loose at 5 pesos each. Affordable price compared to shopping malls. On the Walmart website, a package of Barrilito brand foam sheets costs 35 pesos with only 5 letter-size sheets.

According to Josep Vázquez, his customers do save up to half of what they would spend in a shopping center by buying at Plaza Mesones, in the center of CDMX. And he was close to being right, because the Expansión Supply List cost 175.58 pesos in total, while in the supermarket the bill was 291.96 pesos.

Office Depot

In the store specializing in office products and stationery, everything is ready for back to school. The first thing shoppers can find upon entering are notebooks, pencils, pens, erasers, pencil sharpeners, and even backpacks and lunch boxes, which are usually placed at the back of the store.

The day of the visit there were not many people, but one of the vendors commented that the influx of people is expected for the week before school returns. In addition, Guadalupe Solar, one of the buyers in the place, commented that she was there to compare prices and take some specialized materials that are not so easy to get in stationery.

“My girl goes to high school and runs her workshop. Now they asked him for a block of white sheets to draw and pastel chalk, it’s easier to find them here, it’s quick,” he said.

Except for the notebooks, sticky pencil, scissors, color box and markers, the rest of the supplies included in the list are found in packages of three or more in this store.

“You already do the division and see if it is better for you to buy the package here or one by one at the stationery store. There are some that use a lot and that the children lose all the time, so sometimes it is convenient to pay for the package because in the long run it works out better,” says the buyer.

For the purposes of this exercise, the products that came in a package were considered with a unit price, so the total value for this list of supplies was 339.29 pesos.

Comparison table

Methodological note:

To carry out this survey, a list of mid-range products was drawn up. However, it was not possible to find all the presentations in all the establishments that were visited. In these cases, it was decided to choose a quality product and approximate prices. For these reasons, the total price of each basket of goods in this note is purely informative.

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