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Cheapest Holiday Supplies: Five Below, Kohl’s or Target?

Before you stock up on wrapping paper or greeting cards, check out which retailer has the lowest prices for your holiday needs.

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Making a list and checking it twice isn’t the only preparation shoppers have to do in the lead-up to the holidays. They also have to wrap the gifts and decorate their home. That can get pricey if you don’t shop around, but who has the time? Turns out we do! We looked at a basket of 12 similar items sold at Five Below, Kohl's and Target to find which retailers have the lowest prices. Five Below was the winner in most categories, but Target held its own. Kohl’s was the most expensive in almost all categories, but cardholder discounts can make it more cost-effective to shop there. 

While not every product sold at the three retailers is an exact match, and quality is subjective, here’s a look at the winners based solely on price.​

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1. Wrapping paper

Five Below $5.00 (75 square feet) 

Kohl’s $9.99 (125 square feet) 

Target $5.00 (25 square feet) 

2. Holiday bows 

Five Below $1.25 (25 count) 

Kohl’s $9.99 (26 count)  

Target $5.00 (40 count) 

3. Gift bags 

Five Below $4.00 (4 large bags)

Kohl’s $2.49 (each large bag) 

Target $2.00 (each large bag) 

4. Artificial door wreath 

Five Below $5.00 (21.25 inches) 

Kohl’s $23.99 (22 inches) 

Target $20.00 (22 inches)

5. Gift boxes (assorted sizes) 

Five Below $5.00 (8 pack) 

Kohl’s $10.99 (10 pack)

Target $3.00 (5 count)

6. Ornaments 

Five Below $3.00 (21 count) 

Kohl’s $17.54 (12 count) 

Target $15 (50 pack) 

7. Tissue paper 

Five Below  $5.00 (100 sheets)

Kohl’s $2.99 (20 sheets) 

Target $3.00 (30 sheets)

8. Holiday napkins 

Five Below $2.00 (16 count) 

Kohl’s $6.00 (10 count) 

Target $3.00 (20 count) 

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9. Scented holiday candle 

Five Below $5.55 (14 ounce)

Kohl’s $12.99 (14 ounce) 

Target $10.00 (15 ounce)

10. Holiday cards 

Five Below $0.50 (5 count) 

Kohl’s $7.99 (16 count) 

Target $14.99 (40 count) 

11. Gift card holders 

Five Below $1.25 (each) price tied with Target

Kohl’s $14.99 (8 count) 

Target $1.25 (each) price tied with Five Below

12. Gift tags

Five Below $1.25 (100 count) 

Kohl’s $2.99 (25 count) 

Target $3.00 (50 count) 

How to save beyond comparison shopping 

​Frequenting the stores with the cheapest prices is the best way to save, but you can maximize the money you don’t spend by following some general and store-specific tips, including these three. ​

1. Procrastination can pay. Savings expert Trae Bodge says the longer you wait, the more deals you can get, granted there’s inventory still left. “Retailers will be looking to clear out holiday-specific merchandise as December progresses, so it’s really a buyer’s market! If you can think ahead to next year, discounts will likely be deeper after the holidays,” says Bodge. Don’t forget to check the clearance sections. You may find deeply discounted items that were returned and are being sold again, she says.  

2. Sign up for store emails and loyalty programs. Retailers like to reward loyal customers, and those who sign up for their emails and loyalty programs can save more. Not only will you get deals from time to time, but Bodge said in some cases you can get early access to deals. “Kohl’s will have a nice selection of holiday decor, and the real trick here is to belong to their loyalty program [Kohl's Rewards] so you can take advantage of the savings,” she says. “For example, when you spend $50, you get $10 in Kohl’s Cash. Do you happen to have an Amazon return to make? Drop off your Amazon return at Kohl’s and receive a coupon, or Kohl’s Cash, just for doing so.”  The same goes for Target. If you check out with your Target RedCard credit card, you’ll earn 5 percent back on your purchases, says Bodge. ​

3. Multiuse purchases. Just because you are purchasing holiday decor doesn’t mean you can’t repurpose it throughout the year. “Opt for basic white or metallic gold or silver items that could potentially be used for a birthday, graduation, baby shower, bridal shower, etc.,” says Bodge. “Also make sure you have protective storage options for your decor. Items that are stored away carefully can be used year after year.” 

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