The 2021-22 school year is fast approaching, and while it may have been a while since your kids were in the classroom, one thing has stayed the same — the need for cheap school supplies.

Psst…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 KCL Back-to-School 2021 Stock-up List to determine if you’re getting the best deal.


1. Stock up on pencils at Staples for $0.25 a box.

In the past, I’ve seen a 12-count box of #2 pencils on sale for as little as $0.25 at Staples.

If you want name-brand pencils, then watch for Amazon to price their Ticonderoga #2 pencils at $10.28 for 96 pencils, making them just $0.11 each. This is one of my favorite deals for buying pencils in bulk.


2. Buy Crayola products for as low as $0.50 per pack at Walmart.

Walmart consistently has great specials on Crayola products (these prices may fluctuate):

Buy 1 Crayola Classic Crayons featuring, 24-count (reg. $1.37) $0.50
Final Price: $0.50
Buy 2 Crayola Markers, 10-count (reg. $2.99) $0.97 each
Free shipping on orders of $35+ or free store pickup (1-43 days)
Final Price: $0.97 each
Buy 1 Crayola Markers, 10-count (reg. $2.99) $0.50
Final Price: $0.50


3. Look for rulers at Office Depot when they reach $0.25 each.

Office Depot always drops prices on 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.

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


RELATED: Back-to-School Shopping Hacks That’ll Save You All the Money


4. Buy glue sticks at Walmart when they’re $0.25 each.

You can find Elmer’s brand glue — both liquid and glue sticks — for cheaper than the generic version at Walmart for back-to-school shopping.

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.



Download the KCL Back to School 2021 Stock-Up List!


5. Grab cheap school supplies like calculators at Dollar Tree for $1.

The Dollar Tree sells basic calculators — like Jot 10-Digit Scientific Calculators — for just $1 plus tax. By way of comparison, the same or similar models are $7 or more on Amazon, K-Mart, and eBay.


6. Get colored pencils at Family Dollar when they’re $1 per pack.

Stock up on colored pencils when they reach $1 or less for a 12-pack. In years past, Family Dollar marked Crayola colored pencils down to $1/12-pack. This is a must-have for your back-to-school supplies list!

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


7. Stock up on facial tissue from the Dollar Tree for $0.75 per box.

I’ve scored a 96-count box of Puffs Facial Tissue for just $0.75 when I used a $0.25/1 manufacturer coupon from Procter & Gamble.

That’s less than $0.01 per tissue. Pretty sweet, if you ask me.

See more Dollar Tree deals.


8. Get folders at Office Depot when they cost just $0.15 each.

Talk about cheap school supplies! You can find 2-pocket folders with prongs at Office Depot for as low as $0.15 each during the back-to-school shopping season.


9. Scoop up 12-count ballpoint pens at Staples for less than a dollar.

Aim to spend no more than $0.07 per pen anywhere you shop, and keep an eye out for Bic coupons because in 2019 there was a $1 off Bic coupon.

In July 2020 at Staples, a 12-count package of Bic Round Grip Stic Ballpoint Pens went on sale for $0.97. That’s just $0.08 per pen.


10. Buy scissors at Walmart for $0.25 each.

In 2020, we saw 2-count packs of SchoolWorks Kids Scissors for $0.50 at Walmart.

That’s legit a quarter each. And don’t forget to bookmark our Walmart coupons page to be the first to hear about specials.


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

Never underestimate Target for cheap school supplies! In 2021, I’ve seen college ruled composition notebooks for as low as $.50 at Target. Not bad!

PRO TIP: If you wait until seasonal clearance, you can find notebooks and other school supplies for 50% to 90% off at Target. I’ve found notebooks for as little as $0.09 each in September!


RELATED: Stop Shopping at Target Unless You Know These 31 Ways to Save


12. Look out for erasers from Amazon when they’re just $0.36 each.

In the past, we’ve seen one box of 12 Paper Mate Pink Pearl Erasers on sale for just $4.29 during back-to-school season on Amazon. That’s just $0.36 per eraser. Whether you’re a teacher, a busy mom, or a student, this deal should not be missed.



13. Stock up on highlighters at Walgreens when they’re $0.25 each.

Watch for a Sharpie coupon to show up. In the past, we’ve used Sharpie coupons to get highlighters for just $0.11 each — compared to a quarter each, which is still a good stock-up price.


14. Grab a Bentgo lunch box for just $17.99 on sale at Amazon.

Normally $27.99, Bentgo Kids lunch boxes have gone on sale for $17.99 through Amazon in the past. The Bento-inspired boxes make preparing lunch easier for you — and lunchtime is more fun for your kid.


15. Scoop up 60% off backpacks from Kohl’s.

Year after year, I see backpacks go on major sale at Kohl’s. For instance, in 2020, you could get a FILA backpack regularly priced at $40 for as low as $13 when you used a 20% off coupon code at checkout.

See current backpack deals.


16. Buy school uniforms at Old Navy when they go on sale for just $4.

In the past, we’ve seen kids’ uniform polos go on sale for as little as $4!

Follow our Old Navy deals page for the down low on when the best deals drop for back-to-school sales.


16 Best Places to Buy Cheap School Supplies