Back to School Supplies

Back-to-school supplies involves shopping either online or in stores. It is much more than choosing some new clothes or picking up a new pair of sneakers. Most school districts post their required school supply lists well in advance of the first day of school to give individuals time to scope out sales or take advantage of special tax-free savings opportunities. Buying school supplies does not have to be challenging or costly. Do your homework, and see how easy and fun the learning process can be.

Back to School Essentials

While the specific items on these lists varies according to grade levels and teacher preferences, some traditional items appear year after year. Here are eight essentials for back to school.

Art and Schoolwork Supplies

Writing utensils, paper products, and art media supplies run the gamut from No. 2 pencils to markers to scissors. Expect items like pens, pencils, paper and notebooks, and crayons and markers to be at the top of any school supply list.

  • CrayolaStore: Free shipping on qualifying orders, free printables for the kids, and top quality art supplies are all available from Crayola.
  • Save money on a wide range of Crayola brand products, as well as art supplies for back to school.
  • Discount School Supply: Shop until you drop from the convenience of your couch with prices that start as low as a dollar on a full-range of art and craft supplies.
  • Office Depot: Get everything you need for back to school at discounted prices.
  • Staples: Sign up for a Staples Reward card, and save 10 percent on back to school necessities.
  • Lakeshore Learning Materials: Shop online or patronize one of their 54 locations for all your school supply needs.
  • Max L. Cowen’s Student Stores, Inc.: Buy at wholesale prices, and save on everything your student needs for back to school.
  • U.S. School Supply: Find writing tools, student accessories, art supplies and so much more.

Organizational Aids

Binders, pocket folders, and assignment notebooks are just a few of the organizing tools students need. Try some of these to help your kids keep everything in order.

  • First Day School Supplies: By clicking on your school’s name and purchasing your supplies, the school earns a rebate.
  • School Kidz: Build your own custom school supply package online.
  • Avery: Enjoy free shipping on qualifying orders when you purchase school binders from Avery.
  • Teacher Store House: Shop securely for back to school needs like construction paper, crayons, and modeling clay.
  • EZ School Supplies: Find out how your school can earn a ten percent rebate on all supplies purchased from EZ School Supplies.
  • Amazon: Choose from brand names like Mead, Avery, or Oxford index cards and other office supply items.
  • Target: From folders to book covers to mini paper trimmers, find all your school needs here.
  • The Betty Mills Company: Shop and save on a wide range of supply items like file folders and binders.

Health and Hygiene Supplies

Hand sanitizers, facial tissues, and paper towels are the most common consumables found on school supply lists. The benefits of these health supplies are essential for preventing the spreading of germs. Shop some or all these sources.

  • Dollar Tree: Buy hand sanitizers, cleansing wipes, and other hygienic needs, and buy in bulk to save money.
  • iBuyOfficeSupply: Choose from different sizes and types of hand sanitizer at discounted prices.
  • Food Service Direct: Get together with some other parents, and buy paper towels in bulk to save money.
  • Office Max: Buy by the case for the best prices on paper towels.

School Backpacks

Backpacks make hauling books and projects easier. Many schools are banning the type with rollers, so be aware of your school’s requirements before making your purchase.

  • Ebags: Shop from a variety of name brand products, and save off retail price.
  • Walmart: Discount school supplies including backpacks, or visit your local store to save on shipping.
  • School Backpack Store: With so many designs and styles from which to choose, you may have trouble selecting just one.
  • Zappos: Shop top-name brands, and save on school backpacks.
  • Disney Store: Here is your one-stop shop for licensed backpacks featuring cartoon characters like Perry the Platypus or Iron Man.
  • Sears: Browse their extensive collection of kids’ backpacks for most ages.

Lunch and Snack Totes

  • Lunch Boxes: Choose from lunch boxes, water bottles, and other accessories to make school lunch a breeze.
  • Easy Lunch Boxes: A bento lunch box may be just the thing to get that picky eater interested in lunch.
  • ToysRUs: Stock up on lunch kits of all types for any age.
  • Land of Nod: Why settle for boring when you can purchase a statement making frog or zebra lunch tote instead?
  • Laptop Lunches: Try an American twist on the traditional bento box lunch.
  • Keep Your Cooler: Prices start at just $1 and range to approximately $100, so there is bound to be the perfect lunchbox somewhere in those price points.
  • Best Price Toys: From preschool to high school, there are plenty of kid-pleasing styles from which to choose.
  • Bag King: Keep hot foods hot and cold foods and beverages cold with one of these kid-friendly lunch bags or thermos.

Additional Resources

Follow these tips for guaranteed success. Get copies of the school supply list, and start shopping around your home. Look for extra items like pencils and pens that you purchased last year but did not need. Collect all your treasures, and mark them off the lists. Transfer the remaining items to a master list, and try some of these techniques to save money:

Look for the items at local discount and outlet stores. Stores that feature items for a dollar can be a good source, however, it is important to be a well-informed shopper and know the regular price of items like writing utensils, art media, and paper products to make sure you are really getting a bargain. Take advantage of online discount coupons on brand name products like Crayola or Elmer’s to making buying supplies less expensive.