All your school supplies for under $35

With school starting up again, parents are beginning the Migration to the Super Center.  Typically travelling in packs, this migratory species of human is often startled when they see the notorious fat price tag.  Even at cheaper stores, you’ll usually end up paying upwards of $50 per child (or more if you need a graphing calculator)!  And in today’s economy, a penny saved is most definitely a penny earned.

But lucky for you, we’ve done all the heavy lifting!  We’ve scored the stores and cyberspace to find where the cheapest items were so you can make your dollar stretch like never before!

1) Backpacks: As far as backpacks go, Wal-Mart is the heavy hitter.  While Amazon does have some lower prices than them, when you factor in shipping, you’re paying a good bit more.  A backpack that’s large enough to fit everything (and still look cool) is around $9.00.

2) Spiral Notebooks: Now remember – the reason you need spiral notebook paper is to write down what the teacher is writing down.  This is one of the most missed concepts in schools and could give you the classroom edge to getting that A!  Now, on the subject of notebooks, whether you’re getting a 1-subject notebook or a 3-subject notebook, dollartree is the place to go – $1.00 per book.  The 1-subject has 80 pages in it and the 3-subject has 120 pages in it.  Depending on how much your child writes, this could be a great solution for you.

3) Pencils: Pencils seem to be the #1 most lost item in school – and nobody ever seems to have extras!  So, if you’re the type of person who doesn’t have this problem, then Wal-Mart would be best for you – 24 pencils for $3.77.  However, if you do lose a lot of pencils or just enjoy the taste of chewing on them, Amazon may be better – 144 pencils for $11.44.

4) Pens: If pencils are the #1 most lost item, pens are definitely #2.  Now, you’re teacher may have certain qualifications on the pens or may not need them at all, so I would hold off on buying them until after school starts (unless you know the answer to that before school starts).  Target offers a fantastic 4-pack (including black, red, and blue) for $2.74, where as Amazon or Dollartree would be better if you’re buying in bulk.

5) Calculator: Calculators are tricky because it really depends on what subject you’re taking.  If you’re in Algebra or Geometry, a scientific calculator should be enough.  You can get by with a scientific calculator in Algebra II, however I wouldn’t recommend it.  Graphing calculators for Algebra II and up are a must because the computations tend to build upon each other (plus they’re allowed on the ACT and SAT).  Good, scientific calculators are available at Wal-Mart for $10.88 and, for graphing calculators, you can buy a used one on Amazon for around $40.00.


I hope this little breakdown has helped you out!  If there are other great deals you’ve seen or if there are any topics you’d like to hear more about, leave it in the comments below!


Stay Smart.

Dominick Cooper, Director and Lead Creative Tutor of Launch Academy, Winner of the DaVinci Scholar Award, and University Guest Speaker



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