Kellye Fox | 

8 Dollar Tree School Supplies You Should Be Buying

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Back-to-school season will be here in a couple blinks, so stocking up on Dollar Tree school supplies is your best bet to save money. You can pretty much find the same basic supplies as the big-box stores but often for much cheaper.

Start early if you want to catch the good deals. You’ll probably still shop Walmart back to school and Target back to school, but there’s plenty of value in grabbing supplies from Dollar Tree too.

We’ve rounded up all of the Dollar Tree school supplies you should have on your shopping list. Be sure to bookmark the KCL back-to-school page so you don’t miss any savings opportunities.


1. Go to Dollar Tree for colorful poster boards that only cost $0.79 each.

A display of white and colorful poster boards at Dollar Tree.

If you’re shopping at Target or Walmart, you’ll pay anywhere from $0.97 – $5.50 each for a heavyweight white poster board. Schools typically require these boards for special projects, but you still shouldn’t pay a lot when you need it.

So why go buy Dollar Tree school supplies? They’ve got ALL the colors (like neon pink, green, black, and orange) for $0.79 each. Colors other than white may cost closer to a dollar and up with the competition.


2. Buy clipboards at Dollar Tree and save $0.50.

A person's hand holding an empty clipboard in front of a shelf at Dollar Tree.

Clipboards are awesome for taking notes (or doing homework in bed!) and are a must for back to school. Walmart’s lowest price is $1.50, while Target’s regular prices start at $9 each. Ouch!

With those types of competitors’ prices, I suggest sticking with Dollar Tree school supplies on this one and paying $1.25 each. Yeah, you’re only saving a quarter, but if you’re buying a lot it really adds up!


3. Grab Dollar Tree school supplies like basic calculators for just $1.25.

A person's hand holding up two calculators in front of a display of calculators for sale at Dollar Tree.

Calculators are pricey if you don’t shop smart, running between $3.99 – $14.75 for a basic model at Target. Are they nuts?

If your child is prone to losing or breaking things, you can’t go wrong with stocking up on dollar store calculators for $1.25.

Basic Walmart calculators are $0.73 cheaper than Dollar Tree, but here’s the thing: the reviews are awful, mostly about their terrible buttons. Stick to Dollar Tree back-to-school items on this one.



4. Pick up Dollar Tree back-to-school classroom decor and party supplies for cheap.

A display of classroom decor and teacher supplies for sale at Dollar Tree.

If you’re a teacher, there’s no better place for classroom decor than the dollar store. If you hit a party supply store, you’ll easily spend over $100 outfitting your classroom with decorations, calendars, reward stickers, posters, and educational aids.

The same trip to Dollar Tree will cost you $20 – $40, and you can sometimes get the exact same products. Want to learn more back-to-school sales hacks? We’ve got you covered.


5. Plan for a year of school lunches with Dollar Tree food containers.

A shelf of Betty Crocker Easy Seal tupperware containers at Dollar Tree.

Food containers get tossed with sack lunches all the time. Buying expensive glass Pyrex containers for lunches is asking for trouble.

Instead, stock up on Dollar Tree three- and four-pack plastic containers for $1.25. If you have a younger child, look for character-themed sandwich and snack containers. Some stores even have colorful containers instead of the plain clear ones.

They may not stay in pristine condition throughout the school year, but you won’t be out a few bucks either if your child accidentally throws them away or bends the lids.


6. Shop at Dollar Tree for journals, but not composition notebooks.

A person's hand holding a colorful spiral notebook in front of a shelf of more notebooks at Dollar Tree.

Dollar Tree offers some cute, colorful journals you won’t see elsewhere for just $1.25. You can stock up on journals to last through an entire year of teenage angst. Because that’s fun, right?

But if composition notebooks are on your kid’s school list, go with Walmart or Target instead, where they’re a fraction of the price. Walmart’s 80-sheet composition books start at $0.77 in an array of colors. An 80-sheet composition notebook at Target starts at $0.50. By comparison, Dollar Tree sells 100-page notebooks for $1.25 each.


7. Stock up on scissors from Dollar Tree.

A person's hand holding up a pair of scissors in front of the display of scissors for sale at Dollar Tree.

Every single classroom supply list has scissors, and you have to hope your child’s scissors don’t get lost. And just kiss your wallet goodbye if you have a left-handed child. A standard set of scissors may not grip very well if you’re left-handed.

I recommend picking up standard scissors at Dollar Tree, where they’re cheaper than the competition. Plus, Dollar Tree often carries universal scissors for right- and left-handed kids alike.


8. Add markers and pens to your Dollar Tree back-to-school shopping list.

A person's hand holding up a package of BIC pens in front of a wall displaying more pens inside Dollar Tree.

When it comes to essential school supplies, you have to include pens and markers. Dollar Tree school supplies are neck and neck with Walmart when it comes to these items. As long as you’re there, pick up a pencil case too.

Dollar Tree’s 8-pack of Inc. Clipclick Black Ballpoint Pens is only $1.25, while Walmart’s BIC Black Cristal 10-count is $1.88. Depending on the type of marker you need — dry erase, colored, or fine-point — Dollar Tree is a good choice all around at just $1.25 apiece. Target’s prices start at $1.99, while Walmart begins at $1.97.

In case you’re wondering, Walmart and Target have the lowest prices on #2 pencils at just $0.78 for a 12-count and $0.99 for a 24-count, respectively. And highlighters aren’t cheaper at Dollar Tree either.

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