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Best Back to School Supplies

Best Back to School Supplies: Take a Look at Our Checklist

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It’s the start of a new school year and that likely means you’ll need to get some supplies either for yourself or for your children. We’ve made a list of the most needed and most trending back to school items this year. In our search, we looked for high user ratings and considered cost in order to find the best deals for this academic school year. So, without further ado, let’s get this slideshow started!

If you’re going to college, check out our College Shopping List.

Anyone looking to update their devices will find help with our Best Picks in School Laptops.

Texas Instruments TI-30X IIS

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Middle schoolers and High schoolers will definitely need a decent calculator as they encounter algebra, physics, statistics and other math classes. Fortunately, functionality meets an affordable price with this scientific calculator. It even sells in seven colors so your child can find one they like better than the traditional black or gray. If you’re looking for a calculator for your elementary school student, you might want something more simple like the Casio MS-80B. The big buttons and large digital display make it easy to use and younger children won’t be confused by all of the additional buttons found on a more advanced device.

Thermos Soft Lunch Kit

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If you’re looking for an inexpensive lunchbox that features your child’s favorite cartoon characters, this is the bag for you. From Disney Princesses to Teenage Ninja Turtles you’ll find plenty of options to make your child happy. If you want even more options, check out Thermos Novelty Lunch Kits, which often come in interesting shapes like hexagons, Darth Vader’s helmet or the shape of the Scooby Doo gang’s Mystery Machine. To make the most out of the space given, you might want to consider purchasing a 7-pack Bento Lunch Box. You’ll have a clean container for each day of the week.

Matein Travel Laptop Backpack

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Middle schoolers, high schoolers and even college students would benefit by upgrading to this affordable backpack. It comes in 5 colors, so your student can choose the color they like best, and it has a well-padded laptop pocket to keep your expensive devices protected. This backpack is wide enough to carry laptops up to 15.6 inches in length. An external USB port allows your student to charge their phone or tablet directly from the backpack - a feature that is especially nice if your student has afterschool activities and needs a well-charged phone to contact you later in the day – but, you’ll need to supply your own power bank. We suggest the Anker PowerCore 10000mAh. The ability to add a power source also makes this the perfect backpack for multi-day sporting or band trips. If your student is looking for a more stylish backpack, you might be interested in JanSport or Amazonbasics Classic Backpack, which both come in a variety of color and pattern options.

Pencil Supplies

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Students will need plenty of desk supplies no matter what grade they are in. We suggest picking up a 30-count pack of inexpensive Ticonderoga #2 pencils. If you have multiple children or want to stock up for the school year, you might want to get the 96 box set of Ticonderoga pencils. As far as colored writing instruments go, we love the low price of these Crayola colored pencils. To help your child keep their pencils sharp, consider the Staedtler pencil sharpener, which catches shavings so they don’t get all over the floor or your backpack.

If your child is between Kindergarten and third grade, they’ll likely need crayons as well. The Crayola 24-count box we all grew up with is a great place to start. They produce good colors and are pretty cheap. With all of these floating supplies, you’ll likely want a container to put them in. We like the Style-Carry Pencil Case since it comes in a variety of colors, offers a lot of space and doesn’t cost much.

Erasers & Mechanical Pencils

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There are plenty of flashy mechanical pencils out there, but some of the most durable and decently priced come in this 40 pack of BIC Pencils, which sells for only $6.23 at time of writing. Oddly enough, buying an individual box saves you roughly 75% off buying two boxes, which totals $24.06.

We’re all prone to making mistakes, especially with math problems, so you might want to pick up a box of Paper Mate Pink Pearl Erasers and some Liquid White-Out. Be aware that many schools do not allow liquid white-out on campus, so this would strictly be a home-use item. Another option is Correction Tapes, which don’t spill - because there isn’t any liquid - and they can easily be stored in desks or backpacks.

Pens, Highlighters & Markers

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These Bullet Journal Planner Colored Pencils are perfectly priced and give students 18 colors in one package. Pens and supplies easily get misplaced throughout the school year, so if your student needs more, we recommend purchasing this 18-pack of Tanmit Ballpoint pens. It also comes in handy if you’re needing to supply multiple students. The same goes with highlighters. These bad boys typically are needed from about 4th grade and on, and we recommend this 5-pack Sharpie Highlighter set. Or if you’d prefer a twofer, consider these Double-Headed Roller Ball Pen and Highlighters. To keep your children’s clothing safer, Crayola Washable Markers are a good bet. They produce bright colors and come in packs of 8.

Glue & Construction Paper

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Glue is another common back to school item, but glue sticks tend to dry up and become unusable relatively quickly once they’ve been opened. To combat that, you might want to consider purchasing a 30-count pack of Elmer’s All Purpose Glue Sticks so you can replace them easily instead of running to the store frequently. Looking for liquid glue? We recommend this 3-pack Elmer’s Washable School Glue, though to be fair, you could get a 12-pack Elmer’s School Glue for the same price. If you’re needing glue, you’re likely needing construction paper too. Why not get this 96 count Assorted Crayola Construction Paper? It’s roughly $10 which is a great deal considering how much paper you get. If you’re going to need tissue paper, we recommend ArtVerse 100-Piece Tissue Paper Pack, which sells for under $10.

Scissors and Safety Scissors

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With all of this paper and glue, you can bet there will likely be some cutting involved in the school year. The best pair of safety scissors we found are Westcott Classic Kids Scissors. For older students, we liked the price-point and design of this Westcott 8-Inch Titanium 2 Pack. Although, if you’re wanting a smaller pair that will fit in your backpack easier, consider Fiskars 5-inch Scissors.

A Note for Left-Handed Students:
Many safety scissors can be used in both hands, but occasionally they are meant for right handed people. If your child happens to be left handed, make sure you purchase a pair that they will be able to use. The design of right-handed scissors can be painful and impossible to control in your left hand, which will make your child less productive and frustrated. We recommend Fiskars Left-handed Scissors for fellow middle school, high school and college-level Southpaws.

Academic Planner

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Students can stay organized with a calendar or personal organizer. If you’re wanting something cheap and efficient go for the Blue Sky Academic Planner.  If you’re wanting something a little more fun, we suggest  Global Printed Products Academic Year Planners. The covers are thicker than a nickel so they won’t get damaged as easily when mashed against school books. Additionally, the company sells many different stylish cover options so take a look around to find the one you want.

Rulers, Compasses & Protractors

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For other mathematical and artistic needs, your child will likely need a ruler and protractor. Younger children will like the colors of this bright (and inexpensive) Bazic Jeweltones Ruler. Since they come in a multipack they’re perfect if you need to stock up for more than one child. Older students might like this Westcott Stainless Steel 15” Ruler. It has a non-slip bottom so they’re less likely to make mistakes when drawing a line.

Geometry students will need protractors and compasses, so why not get both for under $5 with the Helix Universal Locking Compass and Protractor Set. It’s even offered in four different see-though colors. Looking for a more encompassing Geometry kit? Consider the Mr. Pen-15Pc Compass Set or this Maped Helix Geometry 10pc Set. The first comes with a protective pouch, while the second features a hard case to help you keep everything together. Don’t’ forget to pick up some Five Star Loose Leaf Graphing Paper while you’re at it. 

Paper, Paper, Paper

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Even though we’re in a digital age, paper is still very much needed in many schools. Get your child prepared with Mead 70-count Wide Ruled Spiral Notebooks. You might want to get a Swingline Desktop 3 Hole Punch to make it easier to add papers to your binder. Speaking of which, the best deal we found was this inexpensive 4-pack of white 3-ring Binders. To keep yourself organized consider getting Mead Pocketed Subject Dividers. They are color-coded and double as folders. When it comes time to study or give a presentation Lined Index Cards and Post-It Notes will be very helpful.

Locks & Locker Supplies

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Any student that bikes to school should use a bike lock to deter theft. We recommend the Schwinn SW77861-3Coil Key Lock as it is highly rated and affordable. If you need a combination lock for a locker, try the ORIA 4-Digit Combination Lock. It comes in a two pack, which is perfect if your child needs one for their PE locker as well as their main locker. If the school allows it, students can add some fun decor and accessories to their lockers, like this Five Star Magnetic Mirror or these locker shelves