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/ Source: TODAY
By Donna Freydkin

At TODAY we take care to recommend items we hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, TODAY may get a small share of the revenue.Using interviews with specialists, online reviews and personal experience, TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! TODAY does have affiliate relationships with various online retailers. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.

It's back-to-school time ... again! This year, the TODAY Parenting and Shop TODAY teams came together to make the transition from summer vacation to schoolwork as seamless as possible. We're bringing you the best back-to-school supplies, tips and tricks — all in one place.

Back to school shopping doesn't have to be synonymous with boring or tedious. In fact, if you're looking for a notable notebook, or a saucy snack bag, we've got the definitive list of what your kid needs to have in his or her backpack this year.

Of course, given the flood of items in stores and online, everyone could use a little guidance on where to spend, and what to skip.

"Be it saving time, reducing waste, clearing clutter — there is so much innovation to be found this season! As far as where to spend and where to save, I like to think of it as an equation of sorts: the frequency an item will be used plus the time and energy to be saved by using it equals how much more I am willing to spend on a better basic for back to school," said Jenn Falik, lifestyle blogger and fashion expert.

Here are her picks!

Rocketboot Everlast Notebook

This very cool notebook features 36 reusable pages that wipe clean with a damp cloth, and can be reused forever and ever.

Rocketbook Wave Notebook

Both of these work like a traditional pen and paper version; this one has 80 pages. When they are full, you can scan them with the app and send the contents to the cloud. Meaning, no more crumpled papers or lost notes. Genius!

PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure

The original PackIt lunch bag cooling technology is built into the walls of the bag so you'll never waste money on ice packs again.

PackIt Freezable Grocery Bag

This is a very cool freezable bag that keeps your grub fresh and chilled.

rezip Stand-Up Leakproof Reusable Storage Bag

These bags are food-safe, lead-free and BPA-free. The lightweight bags can be used for snacks, sandwiches, travel, home organization and more. Most importantly, they're a great solution for those of us who worry about all that plastic we're dumping out every day.

Beeswax Reusable Sandwich Wrap

We love these cute wraps for adorable, eco-friendly lunches.

Scratch-off Lunchbox Notes

Such a fun way to let little ones know you love them (or remind them to eat their veggies)! These interactive scratch off notes are perfect lunch box surprises.

PLAE Sneakers

These kids shoes are fun, functional and fashion-forward. Plus, you can customize them with easy-to-swap velcro straps!

DIY Decorative Tape Decal Dispensers

Such a fun way to personalize papers and notebooks. These mini stickers easily roll off the pen and onto paper to add a unique touch to all your school supplies!

Mineral Laundry Egg

This is an all-natural, long-lasting laundry alternative ideal for kids going off to college. One egg can handle up to 720 loads of laundry, and you can choose from a variety of scents! One TODAY writer loves these laundry eggs so much she wrote an entire article about them!