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):
Final Price: $0.50
Free shipping on orders of $35+ or free store pickup (1-43 days)
Final Price: $0.97 each
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.
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!
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.