Back To School Supplies Shopping Guide

Aug 18, 2017Reading Time: 3 min

What on earth can you get for $5 these days? It turns out that you can get quite a lot! School supplies are expensive, but the retailers we've highlighted below are sweetening the deal with a lot of high-quality coupons.

But before we get to the savings, let's start with the basics. Sometimes, you’re better off waiting until you get supply lists from teachers, and here’s why: it can radically shift your shopping experience. Unlike some school basics, each classroom requests different things from students. Why fritter away hard-earned cash when you don’t need to?

If you feel like you need to do something to start getting ready for school, try these tips that require more time than money:

Start with a clear-out

You probably have a lot of stuff hidden away that can be put to good use, like never-used Composition notebooks, reams of three-hole-punched paper, and pencils galore. But here’s the kicker: mix that stuff in with items purchased this year (it can really bother some kids, and do you really want to have that conversation?).

Go to a thrift store

Binders, books, and old file folders are always jammed up in the back of the book section in a giant jumble. You don’t need to get a lot, but aim for the stuff that’s actually quite expensive at supply stores, like satchels, binders, and leather carry-alls.

Get yourself to a dollar store

Dollar stores are a great place to get the things that teachers put on classroom lists that make you go -- huh? From disinfectant, to toilet paper, to tissues, to… you name it, there’s no reason why you need to spend a mint.

Use coupons 

Is this too obvious, given where you are right now? If you shop for school supplies online (and you should, at least for some), take advantage of free shipping deals, dollars off your purchase, BOGOs, and more. You’ll find some deals that are far better than they would be in stores, and you’ll save a significant amount of time, too. (And need we remind you? That’s money, too!)


Do you have a play group, a mom’s club, a camp group, or a church group? You can find ways to pool your resources dramatically. And, if you are very adventurous, you can even do a swap with lightly used backpacks, lunch bags, and more (and, if you’re looking at a multi-school pool, nobody will be the wiser!).

Featured Deals


  • Get $25 off a $50 order
  • Score free shipping (minimum order amount required)

Office Depot

  • Get 30% off all office supplies
  • Claim a sweet free shipping deal
  • Get deals on larger home items, too

Discount School Supply

  • Get $10 off your order of $100 or more
  • Score $20 off your purchase of $150 or more


  • Get up to 90% off electronics
  • Look for free shipping deals on special items

Happy Back-to-School!