Where you go to school can impact school supply bill

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- It's the school supply scramble - last minute shopping on everything kids need for class.

"We're actually trying to get a backpack for Lina for middle school," said Trista Mattson, who was shopping with her kids at Target on Friday.

Her kids go to school in Eau Claire, where depending on what elementary school you are in, your supply list will have some differences.

So just how big of a difference are we talking? We put two second grade lists side-by-side, one for Longfellow Elementary and the other for Sherman Elementary.

We shopped for the specific brands and sizes listed. If no brand was listed, we bought generic. The lists had roughly the same number of items but two different totals.

The cost of supplies for Sherman Elementary was $47.44. The cost of supplies for Longfellow Elementary was $27.74.

Sherman's list had far more brand name items than Longfellow.

"I think it's just a suggestion," said Dr. Mary Ann Hardebeck, the Eau Claire Area School District Superintendent.

She says teachers try to keep the lists generic in nature and what is specifically listed are suggestions.

"I think students bring in generic brands that are fine, but I don't think it's necessarily a very specific brand, sometimes it just kind of gives them an idea of the kind of product they're looking for," she said.

Trista Mattson says she understands individual classroom needs.

"But a more generic school list would be easier on people all around," Mattson said.

And if you are shopping for more than one like Trista, there is one more ultimate goal.

"To be able to save a little money here and there would be great," she said.

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