Kellye Fox | 

8 Best Places to Buy Cheap School Supplies in 2024

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Summer 2023 was a great time to get the best deals on school supplies especially during July’s Amazon Prime Day. If you were hoping to avoid the notebooks, pens, and school bags, sorry to report that as deal-savings experts, this year’s deals were HOT, HOT, HOT. I’m talking about over 50% off basic supplies.

Some of the best school supply deals were a 30-count box of sharpened Ticonderoga pencils for $6.29, 12-count Elmer’s glue sticks for as low as $3.43, and a 24-count box of assorted Sharpie Permanent Markers for as low as $11.05 (74% off)

We rounded up all the best school supply deals we saw at Walmart, Amazon, and more. For 2024, we have some tips on what to look for and buy early. Don’t forget to visit our back-to-school deals page to find sales, coupons, and discounts on all sorts of school gear. Plus, use our back-to-school shopping hacks and school supplies stock up price list to get the best deals. Text HACKS to 57299 to get all our money-saving secrets.

Best School Supply Deals in 2023

Amazon School Supply Deals

In July and August, Amazon had some of the best sales on highlighters, bulk glue, pencils, pens, and markers. Some items were over 70% off! Remember, you could save up to 15% if you chose Amazon’s Subscribe & Save on select items.

Amazon 2023 School Supply Deals on Glue

Amazon 2023 School Supply Deals on Pens and Pencils

Amazon 2023 School Supply Deals on Highlighters and Markers

Walmart School Supply Deals in 2023

Like Amazon, Walmart had a ton of back-to-school deals worth grabbing. The best deals were on notebooks, colored pencils and crayons, notebook filler paper, and Walmart-brand pencils.

Walmart 2023 School Supply Deals on Crayons, Pencils, and Markers

Walmart 2023 School Supply Deals on Paper and Folders

Walmart 2023 School Supply Deals on Erasers and Glue

Deals at Discount School Supply in 2023

Teachers and parents shop on this site. You can save big bucks at Discount School Supply, but only if you actually use everything you buy. The best deal was the 800-count, 16-color Colorations Regular Crayons Value Pack for $24.99. Regularly it was $56.99, but it was 56% off from July to September.

Macy’s & Five Below School Supply Deals in 2023

As we closed in on the school year, we saw more deals on backpacks. Five Below was the best place to shop for backpacks at only $5 each. Macy’s was still higher priced, but I saw 20-50% off during the end of Aug. and Sept., especially with coupon codes.

Best Dollar Tree School Supply Deals in 2023

It was hard to beat $1.25 for your back-to-school supplies. A few notable ones we found at Dollar Tree were:

Best Buy School Supply Deals in 2023

If you were in need of headphones or a new tablet before school started, Best Buy was a good place for deals on both. There were 50% off wireless on-ear headphones and a Logitech webcam for laptops for $69.99, 30% off.

Target Deals on School Supplies in 2023

For those heading off to college, Target had some deals on small appliances and electronics that were perfect for dorm life. Check back in July and August 2024 for deals like the Sony wired on ear headphones with mic. It was 50% off at just $19.99. Mini refrigerators were on sale, too. You could save an extra 5% if you have a Target RedCard.

Our Favorite Tips on Finding The Best Back-to-School Savings

Of course, there are several other retailers that are known for their sweet back-to-school savings. However, those savings tend to show up in July and August, closer to the beginning of the school year. Don’t worry though, because when we see the savings we’ll do all the work for you and add them to our list. All you’ll have to do is decide what, size, what color, and how many items to buy.

Use the KCL 2023 Back-to-School Stock-Up List as a guide for when to buy to get the best deal.


1. Stock up on Ticonderoga pencils when they’re $0.10 each (just $10 per 96-ct box).

Ticonderoga pencils spilling out of their box on top of an Amazon mailing envelope on a table next to more boxes of Ticonderoga pencils.

For name-brand pencils in bulk, watch for Amazon to price their Ticonderoga #2 pencils below $10 for 96 pencils, making them just $0.10 each. Just be sure to sign up for Subscribe & Save to get that extra 5% off.

However, last year around June the price dropped down to just $7.06 or $0.07 per pencil so be on the lookout for similar promotions. You can save even more with your Amazon Prime membership.

Text AMAZON to 57299 and be the first to know about the best Amazon deals.


2. Buy Crayola crayons for as low as $0.50 per box at Walmart.

A person's hand holding a box of 24 count Crayola crayons next to a Walmart rollback price tag for $0.50

Walmart’s back-to-school sales (typically in July) could save you up to 65% off regular prices. We are already seeing all the deals, as outlined above!

Text WALMART to 57299 and be the first to know about the best Walmart deals.


3. Look for rulers at Staples when they reach $0.50 each.

A person's hand holding a Staples ruler in front of a shelf with more rulers on sale for $0.25 at Staples.

Staples always drops prices on wood rulers for back-to-school shopping because they know it’ll get you into the store — and let’s face it, they’re probably right. Usually, rulers are $1.39 so this is about an 82% discount. If you want a deal now, get a $0.50 ruler at Staples right now (90% off).

Follow our Staples deals page, and we’ll let you know when to head in and stock up.

$0.50$5.09(90% off)
Shipping: Free on orders of $25+

4. Buy Elmer’s glue at Walmart when it’s $0.50 per bottle.

A person's hand holding 2 bottles of Elmer's School Glue in front of a Walmart Rollback sale sign that reads, "Elmer's school glue 4oz, 2/$1" inside Walmart.

You can find Elmer’s glue for less than the generic version at Walmart when you buy them on sale. During Walmart’s back-to-school savings bonanza in July last year, Elmer’s 4-ounce school glue bottles were only $0.50. Their everyday low price is $0.97, which isn’t too shabby either.

Follow our Walmart deals page and we’ll let you know when it goes on sale, and we’ll also tell you if there’s a coupon or Ibotta rebate to make your price even lower.


5. Grab cheap school supplies like calculators at Dollar Tree for $1.25.

A person's hand holding two Pocket Calculators in front of a shelf inside Dollar Tree.

Dollar Tree sells basic calculators — like Jot 8-Digit Scientific Calculators — for just $1.25 plus tax. By comparison, the same or similar models are $4 or more on Amazon, Walmart, and Target. For simple calculations, save yourself some money and buy the most affordable option.


6. Get a 12-count of Crayola colored pencils at Staples for just $0.99 per pack.

A person's hand holding up a 12 count box of Crayola Colored pencils in front of a shelf with a sale sign that reads, "Unbeatable! $0.97 each

Stock up on colored pencils when they reach $1 or less for a 12-pack. Last year, Staples marked Crayola colored pencils down to $0.97 per 12-pack. These typically cost $3.59 so that’s over a 7% markdown. This is a must-have for your back-to-school supplies list! Be on the lookout for deals around July.

Check out our back-to-school page before you head out, and you might score them for even less.


7. Pick up eraser caps at Office Depot when they cost just $0.40 per pack.

A person's hand holding up a package of Office Depot eraser caps in an aisle at Office Depot.

Talk about cheap school supplies. In July and early August, you can find Office Depot brand eraser caps for as low as $0.40 each during the back-to-school shopping season. The list price is a whopping $1.79 so that’s a 78% savings.


8. Scoop up 12-count ballpoint pens at Staples for less than $2 (that’s just $0.10 per pen).

A person's hand holding a box of Xtra-Comfort Bic pens in front of a shelf inside Staples.

The KCL stock-up price for Bic pens is $0.10 each, but you can get them even cheaper! Keep an eye out for Bic coupons because you can likely find a coupon for up to $1 off.

Last year at Staples, a 96-count package of Bic Round Grip Stic Ballpoint Pens went on sale for $3.85. That’s just $0.04 per pen.


9. Get composition notebooks at Target for as little as $0.50 each.

A person's hand holding two Composition notebooks in front of a shelf of notebooks inside Target.

Never underestimate Target for cheap school supplies. In 2023, I saw college-ruled composition notebooks for as low as $0.50 at Target. Not bad.

If you wait until seasonal clearance, you can find notebooks and other school supplies for 50% to 90% off at Target. Need more tips on how to navigate Target clearance?


10. Look out for erasers from Amazon when they’re just $0.25 each.

Paper Mate Pink Pearl erasers on top of an Amazon prime envelope.

In the past, Amazon had a 12-count box of Paper Mate Pink Pearl Erasers on sale for just $2.86 (regularly $10.92). That’s $0.24 per eraser. Our stock-up suggestion is $0.25 per eraser. Plan to shop Amazon Prime Day in late June or early July for awesome deals on all things school-related.


11. Grab a Bentgo lunch box for just $19.99 on sale at Amazon.

Bentgo kids lunch box being pulled from an amazon box

Normally $39.99, Bentgo Kids lunch boxes went on sale last year for as low as $19.99 on Amazon. Be on the lookout for similar deals in 2023. The Bento-inspired boxes make preparing lunch easier for you — and lunchtime is more fun for your kid.

Here are a few school lunchbox tips to help you out!


12. Save 50% on brand-name backpacks on Amazon and at Kohl’s.

A person's hand holding up a FILA backpack in front of a sale display with more FILA backpacks and a SALE sign inside Kohl's.

Year after year, I see backpacks go on major sale at Kohl’s. For instance, last year, you could get a Disney or Peanuts backpack regularly priced at $40 for as low as $20. If you apply a coupon code, you can drop the price to $17.

Amazon had great deals too. In December, Amazon had a one-day, 50% off sale on faux leather backpacks and shoulder bags. The final sale price was just $17.66.

You can also save big — sometimes up to 75% off — at 6pm and Ebags. Bookmark our backpack deals page so you won’t miss out.


13. Buy school uniforms at Old Navy when they’re on sale for 50% off.

A folded kids' polo shirt being held up in front of a shelf of more kids' polo shirts and a sign that reads, "Uniforms, now $5" inside Old Navy.

In June 2023, we saw Old Navy kids’ uniform polos go on sale for 50% off. Regular prices ranged from $9.99 – $49.99, so you could pay as low as $5 for a school shirt.

Find out where to buy cheap school uniforms so you never miss a sale. Follow our Old Navy deals page for the down low on when the best deals drop for back-to-school sales.


14. Buy bulk school supplies cheap online.

A person taking multiple pairs of scissors out of a shipping box with more scissors and boxes of pencils in it.

We’ve covered the stores that offer cheap back-to-school supplies, but don’t forget about buying in bulk to save money. In my experience, some schools upload their supply lists to bulk supply websites so you know exactly what to get.

Here are a few websites to buy supplies in bulk:

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