The Best, Cheapest School Supplies Of 2020

You Don’t Need To Buy Crazy Expensive School Supplies — This Year Has Been Enough Of A Nightmare

July 25, 2019 Updated August 10, 2020


Hey, mamas, we hear you. School supplies can be so expensive, and if you have more than one child that’s in school, it becomes even harder to cough up that dough for innocuous things like pens and pencils. We want to make sure your wallet isn’t crying over back-to-school season. A new backpack and some glue shouldn’t be the things that topple your budget this back to school season, so we compiled this cheap school supply checklist, all of which are available on Amazon.

Also, we know that this year will be different,  no matter what. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic might be holding your little ones from going back to physical school (for a good reason!), they’ll still need school supplies to get through the year (and we will need many glasses of wine).

Where are the best back to school deals?

We’re finding a ton on Amazon. You can search things like “school supplies under $2” or “school supplies under $10” to pull up a variety of back to school essentials that won’t drain your bank account.

And don’t let the word “cheap” scare you off. (Like it ever would!) There are plenty of products that are highly-rated and we found ones that are even made from decent materials. Plus, if you save serious cash during back-to-school shopping, you can spend more money pampering yourself. You deserve it after the fresh hell you survived prepping your kids for a year of success. Keep reading for cheap school supplies you can justify spending on this year.


The Superbreak JanSport is the JanSport that started it all. Made in the USA and ideal for everything from school to after-school sports, this backpack is one of JanSport’s best-selling backpacks. It features padded shoulder straps and a front zipper pocket. The best part? It’s under $30 and available in over 30 colors.

$31.15 AT AMAZON


You know that thing teachers do when they shame your kid for not having a pen or pencil? “You wouldn’t come to class without your textbook, so why would you come to class without a pen?” Ugh. Make sure that never happens again with this two-pack of canvas black pencil pouches. A backup is always nice.

There’s plenty of space a la two compartments for storing every writing utensil your kid could possibly need (as well as scissors, erasers, and anything else). Not to mention each pouch features three rings for snapping into a binder. That way, your kid will never be writing-utensil-shamed again!


Faber-Castell Beeswax Crayons - FOR YOUR LITTLE ARTIST

For many elementary school classes, bringing your own crayons is a syllabus staple. We love these because they’re made from beeswax and completely non-toxic. The best part is you don’t have to sacrifice any of the pigment and vibrancy of traditional crayons. For just $5.50, you get 12 vibrant colors that are hard to break, easy to grip, and even work on black construction paper!



This four-pack of binders comes in at just under $10 and the pack available in black, white, or bright blue. They’re PVC-free and non-stick, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to reuse them again and again. Ink and images don’t cling to the binders’ covers and there’s also a back-mounted ring feature that leaves the spine of the binders free from annoying rivets. 

Pro tip: Stack the binders by flipping every other one the opposite way. They’ll be much easier to carry and store this way.


Twone Three-Pack Soft Cover Notebooks - NO INK BLEEDING THROUGH THE PAPER HERE

Can’t find a quality notebook that won’t break the bank? We feel your pain. Nowadays, it’s like notebooks just keep getting more and more expensive unless you buy a bunch in bulk from Costco or something. These soft cover notebooks are the best of both worlds: Just $13.98 (available for Amazon Prime!) and made of quality materials. Perfect for sketching, drawing, or taking notes, the Twone notebooks are lined and fit in most handbags, school bags, and backpacks. Plus, they’re lightweight.

$15.98 AT AMAZON

Sprout Plantable Graphite Pencils - PENCILS THAT TURN INTO PLANTS

Yeah, it kind of looks like drugs, but it’s just a plant-to-be. We’re not saying traditional pencils aren’t cool, but these graphite pencils turn into basil or lavender once their tips can no longer be sharpened. A pack of eight goes for about $15.00 and each writing utensil is made from 100% eco-friendly material. Available in eight different colors and nine seed types that range from herbs, vegetables, or flowers, these pencils are lead-free, non-toxic, and biodegradable. Not to mention they’re pretty damn cool and will prob score your kid some major points with the science teacher. That’s why this is actually a bang for your back-to-school buck.

Here’s how it works: When your Sprout pencil becomes too short to use, plant it, and watch it blossom. The tip of the pencil features a small seed capsule that activates when stuck in the dirt. And in case you’re wondering, yes, you have to water your pencil once planted!

$15.50 AT AMAZON

Gorilla Kids Disappearing Purple Glue Sticks - SAFE, NONTOXIC, AND STRONG

Gorilla Glue now makes school glue for kids and it won’t break your budget. A 1-pack costs $5.49 and this disappearing purple formula works on nearly every material: Paper, construction paper, felt, card stock, fabric, foam boards, photos, display boards, wood, sequins, googly eyes, and even some kinds of plastic. This glue is ideal for crafting, art projects, and the inevitable elementary school diorama. Not to mention, that purple formula helps kids use the right amount and not miss their target. It goes on purple and dries clear!



These 5″ scissors cost just $3.99. They’re sustainable and biodegradable, thanks to handles made from corn plastic and blades of stainless steel. That might not seem like a big deal, but it’s an added benefit because at the end of its shelf-life, you don’t have to worry about it doing bad to the environment.



This Post-it weekly planner will help you and your students keep track of homework assignments, tests, and project due dates. And, ya know, other stuff, like life! This makes everything easier for everyone, since all tasks are in one place and they’re easy to see.

$12.99 AT AMAZON

Fiskars Non-Stick Pointed Kids Scissors - NON-POINTED SCISSORS

Who wants standard ‘ole scissors? These non-pointed sports-themed scissors are just as safe as they are useful. And it helps to have a pack of three, since we all know how scissors magically seem to disappear.


Post-it Note Dispenser - EASY NOTE-TAKING

Raise your hand if you have 500,000 Post-it notes hanging around the house in all your nooks and crannies and when you actually need to use one you can never find it! Yup, that’s like, all of us. Get yourself this cute dispenser. Probably parents will use it more than their kids, TBH, but boy does it make life so much easier.


Check out more of our Back to School roundups!

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.
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JanSport SuperBreak Backpack - HIGHEST R...
Canvas Black Pencil Pouch - COMPARTMENTS...
Faber-Castell Beeswax Crayons - FOR YOUR...
Cardinal Economy 1'' Round Ring Binder -...
Twone Three-Pack Soft Cover Notebooks - ...
Sprout Plantable Graphite Pencils - PENC...
Gorilla Kids Disappearing Purple Glue St...
Onyx and Green Scissors - CUT THINGS IN ...
Post-it Weekly Planner - KEEPING THINGS ...
Fiskars Non-Stick Pointed Kids Scissors ...
Post-it Note Dispenser - EASY NOTE-TAKIN...