All the Best Back to School Deals 2021

+Get a Free $10 Gift Card for Purchasing Your Back to School Supplies from these Stores

Did you know that the average American family spends nearly $700 on back to school shopping? Yikes!  The good news is that there are ways you can drastically cut those school expenses by shopping smarter.

From backpacks to binders to brand new clothing, there’s plenty to buy.

This article will take a look at the cheapest places to buy school supplies, comparing:

  • Office Depot & Office Max
  • Walmart
  • Walgreens
  • Staples
  • Target
  • Amazon

We’ll go over what you should buy at each store, and in a couple of glaring examples, what you absolutely shouldn’t waste your money on. And we’ll tell you how you can get a $10 gift card for making a back-to-school purchase of at least $25 or more.

Office Depot & Office Max: Selling 7 Items for 99-Cents or Less 

While Office Depot sells literally everything you need to kit out your kid with school supplies for the year ahead, some of their items are an especially good deal. Their pricing on composition notebooks is the cheapest we’ve seen anywhere.

  • Office Depot Brand Folders (2-pockets) for 45-cents
  • Pencil sharpeners for 50-cents
  • Crayola Crayons 24 pack for 50-cents
  • Composition Notebooks for 50-cents
  • Spiral One-Subject Notebooks for 50-cents
  • 12-Pack of Neon Pencil Erase Caps for 50-cents
  • 10-Pack of Crayola Classic Color Markers for 99-cents

WHAT OFFICE DEPOT OFFICE & MAX IS CHEAPEST FOR:

Composition Notebooks, Crayola Crayons, Crayola Markers, Folders

Walmart: Selling 15 Items for 97-Cents or Less

Of course, prices can vary regionally for Walmart. (Or even by metro area within some regions.) But nationwide, you can save even more money there with Walmart promo codes and cash back receipts. Right now, Walmart has some mega-cheap school supplies all for 50-cents or less so it’s a great time to hit up Walmart.com or a Walmart store to stock up.

  • Crayola Crayon 24 pack for 50-cents
  • Cra-Z-Art 24 Crayon pack for 25-cents 
  • Elmer’s Washable Glue Sticks for 50-cents
  • Pen + Gear 2-Pocket Paper Portfolio for 15-cents
  • 2-Pocket Poly Folders with Prongs for 32-cents
  • Car-Z-Art Colored Pencils (12 count) for 50-cents
  • 2-pack of Kids 5″ Scissors for 97-cents
  • Cra-Z-Art Washable School Glue for 97-cents
  • 2-pack of Cra-Z-Art Glue Sticks for 74-cents
  • 1-subject Notebooks (80 sheets) for 88-cents
  • Composition Notebooks for 88-cents
  • 10-Pack of Crayola Classic Color Markers – Thin Line for 97-cents
  • 10-Pack of Crayola Classic Color Markers – Broad Line for 98-cents
  • Pencil Box (Cra-Z-Art) for 97-cents
  • 10-Pack of BIC Ballpoints Pens for 97-cents

WHAT WALMART IS CHEAPEST FOR:

Folders, Crayola Crayons, Crayola Markers, Glue Sticks, Pens, Pencil Boxes, Off-Brand (Cra-Z-Art) Markers and Crayons

Walgreens Has 8 School Supply Items for 99-Cents or Less

Some people only visit Walgreens for prescription drugs (or a last-minute gift on Christmas Eve). But if you haven’t visited their other aisles, you’re missing out. Except furniture and hardlines, Walgreens carries just about everything for the home On top of that, they’re constantly running BOGOs and other promotions. You can find Walgreens coupons in print (Sunday paper), in store, or online.

  • 10-Pack of #2 Pencils for 99-cents
  • 10-Pack of PaperMate Mechanical Pencils for 99-cents
  • 2-Pack of Retractable Ball Point Pens for 99-cents
  • Elmer’s School Glue for 49-cents
  • Composition Notebook (Wexford 80-sheet) for 79-cents
  • Single Highlighter Marker for 20-cents
  • Single 2-Pocket Folder for 20-cents
  • Safety 5″ Scissors for 49-cents
  • Graph Sheet Notepads for $1.99

WHAT WALGREENS IS CHEAPEST FOR:

Pencils, School Glue (Liquid), Single Pocket Folders, Single Highlighter Markers, Graphing Paper, Kids (Grade K-2) Scissors 

Staples: Find School Supply Bargains Starting at 25-Cents!

Staples sells everything you need for school supplies, work centers, and your home office. They’re usually always neck and neck with Office Depot, Best Buy, and other national retailers when it comes to getting you the best price. With Staples coupons and cash back rebates, you can save even more.

  • 1-Subject Spiral Notebooks for 25-cents
  • Wooden Rulers for 25-cents
  • 3 Pocket Ply Folders for 50-cents
  • Elmer’s Liquid Glue for 50-cents
  • Composition Notebooks for 50-cents
  • 12-Pack Erasers for 50-cents
  • Pencil Sharpeners for 50-cents
  • Filler Paper (120 sheets) for 75-cents
  • 10-Pack BIC Pens for 97-cents
  • Plastic Pencil Box for 97-cents
  • 1-Inch Binders for $1.88
  • 5-Pack Sharpie Highlighters for $2.99

STAPLES IS CHEAPEST FOR:

Spiral notebooks, composition notebooks, rulers, erasers, filler paper, binders, pencil boxes, pens, pencil sharpeners, erasers, and rulers.

Target Has 16 Back-to-School Items Selling for 99-Cents or Less

Target is clearing away their Sun Squad merchandise and pulling out those back to school supply bins. You can save even more on with Target Circle, Target RedCard, or Target coupons.

  • 24 packs of Mondo Llama (Target brand) crayons for 25-cents
  • Rulers for 25-cents
  • Folders (2 pocket) for 50-cents
  • Erasers for 50-cents
  • Pencil Sharpeners for 50-cents
  • 10-Packs of Pencils for 50-cents
  • Mondo Llama Markers for 50-cents
  • Mondo Llama Colored Pencils for 50-cents
  • 1-Subject Binders for 99-cents
  • Filler Paper for 99-cents
  • Pencil Cases for 99-cents
  • Crayola Crayons (24 count) for 50-cents
  • Crayola Colored Pencils (12 count) for 99-cents
  • Crayola Markers (10 Count Broadline Classic Colors) for 99-cents
  • Crayola Markers (10 Count Broadline Bold & Bright Colors) for 99-cents
  • Crayola Markers (10 Count Fine Line Classic Colors) for 99-cents

TARGET IS CHEAPEST FOR:

Rulers, folders, erasers, pencil sharpeners, pencils, off-brand (Mondo Llama) markers and crayons, binders, pencil cases, Crayola Crayons and Crayola Markers. Target has the broadest assortment of Crayola products available, for color and style, and at the cheapest prices.

Amazon has some cheap bulk supply offerings

Amazon is offering $5 off $25 or more spent on eligible BIC items, like ballpoint pens, gel pens, highlighters,  pencils, and Wite-Out Correction Tape. On deals sites, you may find other Amazon coupons as well.

If you’re buying in bulk (to stock up or donate extra backpacks), Amazon has some particularly good per unit prices on these items:

  • Elmer’s Glue Stick (30 count for $7.45) or 25-cents per
  • Sharpie Highlighters (12-count for $4.99) or 42-cents per
  • Paper Mate Pencils (72 count for $8.47) or 12-cents per 

AMAZON HAS SOME COMPETITIVE PRICES FOR:

  • Glue sticks, highlighters, and pencils.

DO NOT BUY ON AMAZON:

  • Spiral bound notebooks (even on sale, their cheapest price is $1.42 per unit if you buy a 6-pack. Nearly 6x higher what you’d pay at Target or Staples.
  • Crayola brand crayons or markers. You’ll pay 2x to 6x higher what you’d pay at any other retailer.

How Do I Get a Free $10 Gift Card?

Swagbucks is offering a $10 gift card (for Amazon or a prepaid VISA card) when you make a purchase at one of their featured stores. This promotion is good for new Swagbucks members who sign up for Swagbucks and make a purchase of at least $25 or more at a featured store.

For school supply stores, this includes:

  • Office Depot & Office Max
  • Walmart
  • Staples
  • Walgreens

And other stores not featured in this article’s list, like:

  • Dollar General
  • CVS
  • Rite Aid
  • Best Buy
  • Land’s End (legendary backpacks!)
  • Kohl’s (backpacks reach 70% off during Back to School Season)
  • JCPenney
  • Old Navy (when school uniforms hit shelves, you can buy them from $4)
  • H&M
  • Stride Rite
  • …and 7,000+ More Stores

Again, to get this $10 gift card deal you need to join Swagbucks for free and then make a $25+ purchase at one of their featured stores.

Final Thoughts on Back to School Deals

Of course, these Back to School deals could change throughout the season – even throughout the week. And price may vary a touch by region or even by store.  But this gives you a taste of the savings out there, and where the best places are to shop for supplies and save money. Happy Back to School and Happy Savings!

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