We've already noted that back-to-school sales are a good opportunity to pick up cheap office stationery. If you're a parent actually picking up supplies for students and feel a bit pressed for time, Officeworks offers a service where you can drop off a list of requirements and have it assembled for pickup 48 hours later.
The service (which runs from mid-November through until the end of February) doesn't attract any additional charges. The obvious disadvantage of this approach is that you won't be able to shop around for the best prices on particular items.
You could do some comparison shopping online while assembling your list, but if you've done that then it would seem easier to actually place an online order (which you can then have delivered to a store or your home address). Anyone tempted?