What Teaching Supplies You Should (and Should Not) Purchase from a Dollar Store

Mar 29, 2017Reading Time: 4 min

When shopping for new teaching supplies, I always start at the local dollar store. It’s amazing what you can find at these stores. They have all sorts of useful products, and everything only costs $1. It can’t be beat. However, along with the cheap price tag, comes cheap quality. And other items, upon further research, turn out to not be such a great deal after all. Teachers, when shopping for school supplies at the dollar store, here are some things that you should or should not buy there.

Do Purchase

Some of the items that you should consider purchasing from the dollar store include:

  • Tab dividers
  • Clipboards
  • Rulers
  • Paper clips
  • Rubber bands
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Poster boards
  • Construction paper
  • Stickers and Stamps

These items tend to cost less her than at other places, and the quality is about the same no matter where you purchase them.

If you’re looking for items to organize your supplies, create art projects with your students, or clean your classroom, the dollar store has plenty of items to help you. For example, check out the baskets and containers to help you get organized. Purchase pipe cleaners, glitter, cotton swabs, pompoms, clothespins, and popsicle sticks for art projects that you can do with your students. To clean your classroom, grab a pack of sponges and various cleaning solutions (I love L.A. Totally Awesome).  

Don’t Purchase

It’s important to note the items that you should refrain from purchasing at a dollar store. Why shouldn’t you buy these things here? Because these items are better deals at other locations. You’ll also find that the quality is less than stellar. These items include:

  • Binders. If you want binders that are going to last throughout the school year, it’s best to look elsewhere.
  • Dollar store pencils have some of the worst erasers. It seems like the entire eraser disappears the first time students use them. Also, the lead doesn’t last as long. Students constantly need to sharpen these pencils, which will slowly drive you up on the wall.
  • Pens can be a good thing to purchase from the dollar store. If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly losing them anyway. On the other hand, the ink doesn’t tend to last as long.
  • Notebooks and loose leaf paper. Wait until back-to-school season, and you can find great notebooks, composition books, and packages of paper for less than a dollar.
  • With the amount of cutting that teachers do, they need quality scissors. Scissors from the local dollar store just don’t cut it.
  • It’s not the quality of the tape that I struggle with; it’s the quality of the tape dispenser. I find that I struggle to cut the pieces of tape that I need. When children use the dispenser, they end up taking way more than needed, too.
  • Crayons, colored pencils, and markers. The quality of these art supplies is subpar at best. I found myself replacing these items far too often. Do yourself the favor, and spend a little more money for quality supplies. (You can save money by using promo codes at the Crayola website, too.)
  • Glue sticks. These glue sticks dry up way too fast, and the glue doesn’t stick well enough to do much of anything.

If you’re looking for savings deals on teaching supplies, know what products you should get at the dollar store and what products should be purchased elsewhere. You can still save money on these school supplies on online sites such as Discount School Supply. Stock up and save on products that you need to support your students and better meet their learning needs.