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.
But don’t let the word “cheap” scare you off. (Like it ever would!) These products are actually highly-rated and most of them are 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.
HIGHEST RATED, LEAST EXPENSIVE
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.
COMPARTMENTS GALORE FOR ALL THAT NEEDS STORAGE
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!
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!
STAY ORGANIZED WITH THESE THREE-RING BINDERS
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.
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.
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!
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!
CUT THINGS IN GOOD CONSCIENCE
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.
Our mom experts only recommend picks they really love. We may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site, but if we love it, we know you’ll love it. And we Scary Mommies gotta stick together.