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The 2022-23 school year is fast approaching, and one thing has stayed the same — the need for cheap school supplies. When you think of inexpensive supplies, Dollar Tree may immediately come to mind. But the cost of supplies at places like Walmart, Staples, Old Navy, Office Depot, and Target are competitive if you know the best time to buy.

Don’t forget to check out our back-to-school deals to find sales, coupons, and discounts on all sorts of school gear. Plus, use our KCL back-to-school shopping hacks to get the best deals.

 

1. Stock up on Ticonderoga pencils at Amazon for $0.07 each (just $7.06 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 at $7.06 for 96 pencils, making them just $0.07 each. You’ll save nearly 40% since the regular price was $17.98.

I saw this deal in June 2021, 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. In 2021, we saw 24-count boxes of Crayola crayons drop to $0.50 when you bought three!

ONLINE or In-Store Deal
Buy 3 Crayola Classic Crayons, 24-count, $0.50 sale price, $1.37 reg. price
Shipping: Free with Walmart+ or on orders of $35+
Deal expires Jun 3, 2023
Text WALMART to 57299 and be the first to know about the best Walmart deals.

 

3. Look for rulers at Staples when they reach $0.25 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. We saw this deal in July 2021, so get your money ready for 2022.

ONLINE or In-Store Deal
Buy 1 Staples 12-inch Wood Ruler, $0.25 sale price, $1.79 reg. price
Shipping: Free Shipping on orders $25+
Deal expires Jun 3, 2023
Follow our Staples deals page, and we’ll let you know when to head in and stock up.

 

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 2021, Elmer’s 4-ounce school glue bottles were only $0.50. Their everyday low price is $0.92, 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 10-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 $0.97 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. In 2021, Staples marked Crayola colored pencils down to $0.97 per 12-pack. 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 and pencil sharpeners at Office Depot when they cost just $0.50 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! You can find Office Depot brand eraser caps and a pencil sharpener for as low as $0.50 each during the back-to-school shopping season. Watch for sales prices to pop up in July and early August.

ONLINE or In-Store Deal
Buy 1 Office Depot Neon Erase Caps, 12-count, $0.50 sale price, $2.19 reg. price
Shipping: Free shipping on orders $45+
Deal expires Jun 3, 2023
ONLINE or In-Store Deal
Buy 1 Office Depot Brand Pencil Sharpener, $0.50 sale price, $1.39 reg. price
Shipping: Free shipping on orders $45+
Deal expires Jun 3, 2023
 

8. Scoop up 96-count ballpoint pens at Staples for less than $4 (that’s just $0.04 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.

In July 2021 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 2021, I saw college-ruled composition notebooks for as low as $.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 $0.24 each.

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

In December 2021, I saw a 12-count box of Paper Mate Pink Pearl Erasers on sale for just $2.86 (regularly $10.92) on Amazon. That’s just $0.24 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 $17.99 on sale at Amazon.

Bentgo kids lunch box being pulled from an amazon box

Normally $27.99, Bentgo Kids lunch boxes went on sale in 2021 for as low as $19.99 on Amazon. Be on the lookout for similar deals in 2022. The Bento-inspired boxes make preparing lunch easier for you — and lunchtime is more fun for your kid.

Here’s 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, in 2021, 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 2021, 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 February 2021, 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. Old Navy will honor OldNavy.com coupon codes at the store too!

For reference, in July 2020 we saw another price drop in uniform polos, with them hitting as low as $3.50 each. Mark your calendar!

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:

14 Best Places to Buy Cheap School Supplies