Whatever happens with school this year it looks like most of the school supply sales will go on. If nothing else, use these sales to stock up on office supplies for around the house. You won’t find better prices all year.
This list of the best school supply sales only includes what I see as the really good deals.
For comparison when you’re shopping the sales, use my School Supply Price List as a reference. It lists prices I expect to see, as well as prices I hope to see when there’s a really good sale or coupon.
I recently updated my Tips for Saving on School Supplies. The tips are an accumulation of things I’ve learned by experience and from other smart people. But here are two really basic tips:
TIP 1: The key to saving the most money on school supplies is to just buy what’s on sale each week (or what’s cheapest at each different store). In Wichita, most of us have all of the major stores conveniently located within a few miles of each other, so you’re not really having to trek all over town and waste gas. When school is about to start, you can go finish off your list at the big blue discount store.
TIP 2: Some stores you might not even think to shop will occasionally have very good deals on school supplies. Keep an eye out for school supply sales at Menards and Walgreens, for example. Their sale prices might beat other stores’ “regular low prices.”
TIP 3: Plan ahead for stocking stuffers. Markers, crayons, paper, etc. are terrific little gifts for little kids! Buy extras now while they are on sale and keep them hidden away for the holidays.
Note about brand-name supplies: Many teachers these days specifically request Crayola crayons, Expo markers and sometimes Ticonderoga pencils because the generic versions don’t work as well. But other supplies- like loose leaf paper, plastic school boxes, disinfecting wipes, etc. – are probably just as good in most cases.
Top school supply deals this week
This is the short list. It’s either what I am buying this week or would buy if I still had young kids or if I need to stock up:
- ibotta FREE school supplies (pink erasers, Ticonderoga pencils, Kleenex tissues, and a Five Star 3-subject notebook)
- BIC Cristal pens w/coupon for $1 off 2 at Dillons
- Use Dillons’ Spend $20, Save $5 deal on school supplies
- If you’re a teacher, ask for your extra 10% off on Wednesday at Dillons
- Crayola washable paint set, .99 at Walgreens
- This week, a couple of ~$5 backpacks are available.
Shopping School Supplies Online
You can find good prices on school supplies online, although sometimes it means buying bigger boxes (fine if you have multiple kids in school). And/or you can use the free ship-to-store option for many brick-and-mortar stores, then pick them up at your convenience.
Here are some of the online deals I’ve found on school supplies that are worth getting. These links are affiliate links, meaning I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through them. There’s no extra cost to you, though.
Online prices can change at any time.
- Expo dry-erase markers, 6-piece starter kit at Amazon
- Scotch brand scissors (various types/sizes) at Amazon
- Sharpie markers and highlighters, 12-pk at Amazon
- Member’s Mark copy paper, 10-ream case at Sam’s Club (pick up in store)
Amazon Back to School Deals
An obvious benefit of shopping for school supplies at Amazon is free 2-day shipping right to your door (if you have Prime). But you can also find some deals at Amazon. (The deals change frequently, so keep checking back.)
Amazon prices are subject to change at any time.
- Dixon Ticonderoga #2 pencils, 96-ct $10.28
- Expo dry-erase markers, 6-piece starter set with eraser and cleaning liquid
- Expo fine tip dry erase markers, multi, 4-pack
- Sharpie highlighters, 12-ct
- Kids character backpacks (Disney, Star Wars, Hello Kitty, etc.)
- Scotch Magic Tape, 6 rolls
- 20-ct BPA-free plastic meal containers
Sam’s Club Back to School Deals
If you have a Sam’s Club membership, you can get a few good school supply deals there this week. But you want to pay attention to unit price; not every bulk buy is a better bargain.
- Ticonderoga pencils, 96-ct $10.28
- BIC Round Stic Xtra Life medium point ball point pens, 96 ct $7.48
- Member’s Mark multipurpose copy paper, 10-ream case (500 sheets per ream) $29.98 if you pick up in store
- Sharpie 12-ct $8.48
Dillon’s School Supply Deals
Dillon’s is a local brand of Kroger grocery store.
If you shop at a Dillons Marketplace that has clothing, keep an eye out for their coupons in the weekly ad and their CLEARANCE racks! We’ve found some good deals on shoes, tops, etc. for teens and adults.
Plus, this time of year grocery stores have sales on lunch meat and other school-lunch items. Stock up and freeze lunch meat, cheese sticks, and more to have inexpensive lunches for the next few months!
Also, shopping for school supplies at Dillons comes with the extra perk of getting fuel points. Remember to check your app for digital coupons before you shop.
Dillons deals beginning 7/21/2021
All of these sales/sale prices are with Dillons card only. This section includes special savings, digital coupons, extra discounts this week, etc.
- $5 off $20 or more in School and Office Supplies (exclusions apply)
- BIC Cristal $1 off 2 (This is a great coupon!)
- To find this coupon select the Office School & Crafts Category
- Teachers, shop on Wednesday to get an extra 10% off (see Extra Credit Wednesdays at Dillons)
- 2x fuel point weekends through July (digital coupon)
Dillons School Supply Prices
Dillons’ has been very competitive on school supplies in recent years. It’s now the first place I check. Generally, Dillon’s has switched to “season long prices” rather than weekly school supply sales. I will be adding to this list as I gather more prices.
- spiral notebooks, 70 sheets, .25
- Elmer’s school glue, 4 oz, .59
- Ticonderoga pencils, 18-pack sharpened or 24-pack unsharpened $3.49
- Sharpie marker, 2-pack, black, $1
- Crayola crayons, 24-pack, .50
- pencil case $1
Menards Back to School Sales
11% off this week (with mail-in rebate). Prices below are after rebate – i.e. if you don’t mail it in, you don’t actually get the discount. The rebate is in the form of a merchant credit – i.e. you have to spend it at Menards.
- Pro Sport backpack $5.33
Walgreens School Supply Deals
It won’t surprise regular readers here that Walgreens is one of the best places to get school supplies at a discount – but only when there is a sale. Each week they have something on sale for a crazy low price, and occasionally you may be able to match a coupon with the sale to get a super deal.
Like Dillons, Walgreens has coupons you can load to your card.
Walgreens ad starting 7/21/2021
For most/all of these deals, you will need to get a Walgreens card; it’s free, and you’ll earn points on purchases so it’s worth using it. These are Wexford brand unless otherwise noted.
- Wexford Basics backpack $5
- Crayola washable watercolor paint set, 8-tank, .99
- index cards, 100 ct, .49 ea
- BOGO free Emer’s glue (check original prices to see if this is a deal)
- Crayola art supplies, select varieties, .99
- BOGO free binders, select varieties (this might be a good deal)
- 5 for $1: highlighters or 2-pocket folders, select varieties (You do need to buy 5 items – mix and match – in order to get that price. Otherwise it’s 29-cents each.)
- digital coupon: earn $3 cash reward when you spend $15 (availability of this coupon may vary)
- digital coupon: $3 off 2 BIC stationery products
Office Depot School Supply Deals
Office Depot/Office Max will match competitor’s prices in-store and online as long as the brand, size, quantity, etc. are all equal.
Office Depot school supply deals beginning 7/21/2021
- composition notebooks .50 (limit 12)
Target School Supply Deals
I like Target for deals on basic kids’ clothes, because they usually have some t-shirts for $4 and jeans for $8 at least once during the school-shopping season.
And they usually have a good deal on scientific calculators; sometimes the lowest price of all the stores on that specific model.
As far as school supplies, you’ll pay more if you don’t comparison shop carefully. You could easily spend up your savings with one wrong purchase. (Example: their 1-subject spiral notebooks are “on sale” for .99 each; Dillons has 1-subject notebooks for .25 ea. Both are the store brand.)
Target has price-matched some school supply deals, so bring the competitor’s ad with you (either paper or on your phone).
- Crayola colored pencils, 12-count – 99 cents
- Crayola broad-line markers, 10-count – 99 cents
- Ticonderoga pencils, 24 count, $3.99
Walmart Back to School Sales
The current Walmart school supply prices are going on throughout summer, although they may do special deals or rollbacks from time to time.
- 2-pocket paper portfolio 15 cents
- plastic folder .32
- Ticonderoga pencils, 24-ct
- Pen + Gear pencils, 8 ct, .47
- Crayola markers, 10-ct .97
- Crayola washable markers, 10-ct $2.47
- Crayola colored pencils, 12-pk .97
- Crayola colored pencils, 24-pk $2.97
- Crayola crayons, .50
- Crayola watercolors, 16-pan $3.46
- BIC Cristal pens, 10-ct
- Elmer’s glue, 4 oz., .50
- Elmer’s glue sticks, 2-pk, .50
- 1-subject notebook, 70 sheets, .35
- filler paper, 150 sheets, .82
- index cards, 100 ct, .48
- Fiskars 5″ scissors $1.88
- kids scissors, 2-pk, .97
- Expo dry erase markers, black, 6 pk, $4.46
- Expo multi-color, 8 ct, $7.38
- pencil box (aka school box) .97
- binder pouch .97
- binder, 1″ poly, .96
- binder, 1″ standard, $1.47
- Bactive disinfectant wipes, 80 pk, $2
(Following is a list with last year’s prices. I haven’t had time to check and update these yet.)
composition book, 100 sheets 88 cents copy paper (500-sheet ream) $3.97 Pen + Gear mechanical pencils 50-ct $5.44 Bic mechanical pencils, 24-ct $3.7 Papermate mechanical pencils 12-ct $1.97 Expo dry-erase starter kit with 5 pens, cleaning fluid, eraser $6.88 Expo dry-erase markers, 2-ct $3.97 Expo dry-erase fine tip multi-colored, 5-ct $4.74 Papermate felt tip pens, multi-colored, 6-ct $5.43 Pen + Gear felt tip pens, multi, 10-ct $4.97 BIC Briteliner highlighters, 5-ct $1.47 Sharpie highlighters, 4-ct $2.47 Sharpie markers, 5-ct $4.46 Mead Five Star plastic folder with prongs $1.92 Mead Five Star paper pocket folder 97 cents Mead Five Star 2″ binder $10.84
Coupons for School Supplies
So many coupons for school supplies are store-dependent now – meaning you have to go to the store website and load them onto a shoppers card. Coupons that you print or clip are still out there, of course, and you can usually use them at any store that accepts coupons.
Coupons are great for matching up with a sale, and school supply sales + coupons sometimes = FREE merchandise. (I like that math.)
More Back to School Savings Tips
Lunch tip: Walmart has 16″ Supreme Super Subs in the deli for about $6. They’re big! If you need to save time, buy one and cut it into sections to send as school lunches. That could be lunch for a week, depending on how big your family is.
Also see Back to School Consignment Sales to help you save even more money this school year.
I am currently updating a school supplies price list that will include what I consider a decent deal on the most common school supplies. How this can help you: You’ll get an idea of what is really a sale and what’s just being advertised as a “sale.”
Feel free to use it while you shop. (This is not adorned with cute fonts and clipart! I love those too, but this one is just an all-business price comparison list for school supplies.)
TIP: Plan ahead for stocking stuffers. Markers, crayons, paper, etc. are terrific little gifts for little kids! Buy extras now while they are on sale and keep them hidden away for the holidays.