You probably know all of the conventional places to look for discount school supplies like Target, Walmart, etc. But what about going the non-traditional route?

Here are a few places you might be overlooking as you’re checking off that back-to-school supplies list.

(Pssst! But don’t do a thing before you bookmark KCL’s Back-to-School Deals page! We’re ready to hook you up with savings galore.)


1. Shop discount school supplies with coupons at Michaels and JOANN Fabrics.

Craft stores like Michaels and JOANN are your best bet for cheap school supplies in the art category.

These stores have MAD coupons and discounts every week. I’ve seen weekly coupons for 25% off an entire purchase and for 40% off one regular-priced item.

TIP: Looking to buy online? Shop, because they allow unlimited promo codes for single items. JOANN only allows one promo code to be used per item.


RELATED: These Retailers Allow Coupon Stacking Online


2. Use Walgreens and CVS rewards to buy notebooks and pencils.

You most likely have that one drugstore you use for your personal care items, but you should also be checking out their school and office supplies section!

Drugstores usually have all of the basics your child will need like notebooks, pencils, pens, and folders. Use your Walgreens Balance Rewards or CVS ExtraCare Rewards points to get discount school supplies. The best way to earn these is by doing moneymaker deals at KCL.

Moneymakers are deeply-discounted items you’ll use coupons to buy. And since you’ll also earn rewards points that act like store cash, it’s like you’re making money. (And in some stores, like Walgreens, they will actually give you money back!) Keep your KCL app notifications on so you don’t miss a deal.

Then use the “store cash” — Register Rewards (Walgreens) or ExtraBucks (CVS) — to buy your back-to-school supplies!


RELATED: How to Coupon at Walgreens


3. Grab cheap school supplies like pens and glue from Five Below.

Five Below puts some school supplies sales to shame. They’ve got all the standards like glue, notebooks, pens, and erasers for between $1 and $5.

But their absolute best deal? $5 backpacks. Definitely check them out online before you go back-to-school shopping.


4. Go secondhand and get discount school supplies from your local thrift store.

Thrift stores usually have an aisle for office supplies — binders, markers, calculators, you name it. Your local Goodwill is a great place to check out discount school supplies. In addition to the basics like notebooks and planners, keep an eye out for backpacks and art supplies.

Learn more thrift store shopping hacks here.


5. Keep an eye on Craigslist and Freecycle for free school supplies and bundle deals.

Craigslist can be a bit of a mess to navigate, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some cheap school supplies. Closing stores, retiring teachers, and garage sales that didn’t sell everything were all trying to get rid of their excess stock last time I checked. I even saw someone selling a collection of staplers, notebooks, calculators, and a paper shredder for just $5. But don’t forget to check the “free stuff” section first.

Freecycle shows you all free items people are giving away for no cost in your area. You might have to do a bit of digging, but it’s totally worth it for free school supplies (and plenty of other goodies too).



6. Dollar Tree is the best place for school supplies like $1 calculators.

Ah, Dollar Tree, how we love you — especially when it comes to discount school supplies.

This is where you should be buying your scientific calculators, clipboards, planners, and the items that you think your kids will lose — the dollar store will save you big in the long run.


RELATED: Brand-Name School Supplies at the Dollar Store


7. Buy cheap school supplies in bulk from websites like Oriental Trading.

If you have multiple children or want to buy cheap school supplies to have for the future, consider buying your back-to-school supplies in bulk online.

Use websites like Oriental Trading and Discount School Supply for your bulk buying. I even saw 48 boxes of 6 color crayons for $10 at Oriental Trading. Buying in bulk is an excellent way to save on notebooks, folders, glue, binders — all of the items you know you’ll use this year or down the road.

TIP: Partner up with another parent or two, buy in bulk, and split the items (and cost)!


8. Use eBay to get bundles of school and office supplies for less.

eBay might be best known for bidding on items, but they also offer quite a few “Buy It Now” deals. If you’re looking to get all your back-to-school shopping done in one click, I’ve also seen plenty of “essential school supply” bundles on eBay for just $25. Best of all, those bundles come with free shipping.



9. Save on your kid’s new backpack when you shop with eBags.

When you’re on the hunt for school supplies sales, you’ll want the best deal possible on a new backpack. eBags offers backpacks for all ages, with great savings at every level. They’ve offered an elementary school High Sierra Mini Loop backpack for just $12.99. You can also get 6% back on your order if you’re an Ibotta user.

The entire site commonly holds sales up to 75% off, and even provides promo codes under their items for additional savings. You’ll definitely want to take advantage of this site if you’re buying multiple bags, as orders under $99 have an additional $5.95 shipping.

Don’t see what you like on eBags? Check our backpack deals!


9 Places to Find Discount School Supplies You Haven't Thought Of Before