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4 of the Best Places to Search for School Supplies

When it comes to August, school starting is on the forefront of everyone’s mind. And ours is no different. Since the COVID pandemic hit, some things have changed regarding the beginning of the school year. But hunting for school supplies isn’t one of them. So, here are 4 of the best places to search for school supplies and not break the bank.

#1 Dollar Tree

Dollar Tree is is one of my favorite places to search for school supplies first. While everything used to be only $1, they have changed their business model recently. Now things are more along the lines of $1.25 each. Still nothing to sneeze at, but that also means some products aren’t built for long-term use. The things we’ve found to fit into that category typically include: crayons, markers, glue and tape.

Ultimately, this is a pretty good place to try first. Some of my favorite purchases from Dollar Tree include:

  • Calculators
  • Composition notebooks
  • Erasers
  • Glue sticks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lined paper
  • Plastic folders
  • Post-it notes
  • Scientific calculators
  • Scissors
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Spiral notebooks
  • Tape
  • Tissues
  • Whiteboard erasers

#2 Drug stores

Some of the drugstores, such as CVS and Walgreens, tend to have fairly competitive sales during the back-to-school season. In order to get the really good deals, you should use your store loyalty card or app though. Typically, this will either give you extra discounts or a coupon off a future purchase.

Some of the best items I have found to get at the drugstores are:

  • Backpacks
  • Glue sticks
  • Highlighters
  • Lunchboxes
  • Notebooks
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Water bottles

#3 five below

Five Below is another fantastic place to check out. They are similar to Dollar Tree in that everything used to be $5 or below. But, in the past couple of years they have changed their business model. Now it is more along the lines of $10 and below. Their back to school supplies aren’t usually as vast a selection as Dollar Tree, but sometimes they are higher quality products.

One good example of this is that they carry Crayola brand crayons, instead of the off brand ones. And usually these will end up being on sale for $1 during back to school season.

Some of the best deals I’ve found here are to date are:

  • Backpacks
  • Crayons
  • Glue sticks
  • Headphones/earbuds
  • Lunchboxes
  • Markers

#4 online

Lastly, for an increasingly larger percentage of us who don’t like to run around from store to store, online shopping is the way to go. Some of the aforementioned stores will even have similar deals online and ship your purchases directly to your house! While they can sometimes add a shipping cost to do so, most of the time it’s waived. So, it might actually end up saving you more money in the long run due to less wear and tear and gas for your car. Bonus!

Some of the best places to get cheap school supplies online are:

  • Amazon: Pretty much any and all school supplies can be found here
  • Hollar.com: Character backpacks and lunchboxes, and a $1 section with a lot of school supplies
  • Freecycle: This site is a place for people giving away things instead of selling them, so nothing is a guarantee here
  • Facebook Marketplace: Similar to Freecycle, plus there are some special groups just for parents. This site can be to purchase or give things away, so a great place to check if you’re really trying to stick to a budget.
  • Oriental Trading Company: Not just for party supplies, they also have school supplies in bulk. Plus there is usually an Ebates rebate that you can use with this site. Extra bonus!
  • Discount School Supply: Pretty much everything you can think of, plus they have free 3-day shipping

These are great sites to keep in mind year-round because you never know what you are going to find. One of the best ways I’ve found to cut costs is by keeping my back-to-school supply stocked throughout the year.

School supplies summary

Overall, there are a ton of places you might be able to find great deals on school supplies. But some of my favorite go-to options just happen to be: Dollar Tree, Drug Stores and Five Below. And when I’ve exhausted those, I go straight to the online platforms to see what hidden gems I might be able to find for my kids. The options these days are fairly endless, so now’s the time to begin the search for your kids school supplies.

Where are some of the best places you’ve found great deals on back to school supplies for your kids?