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Back to school supplies list: Where to find the best, cheap school supplies

Including deals on fancy calculators, school uniforms and huge Crayola sets.
by Sara Nachlis /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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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 mode as seamless and easy as possible. We're bringing you the best back-to-school supplies, tips and tricks — all in one place.

Before becoming a parent, you probably heard about the skyrocketing cost of raising a child. It's no surprise, then, that back-to-school shopping can get pricey.

Luckily, when it comes to outfitting your student with everything he or she may need, it is possible to save money if you know where to look. With that in mind, we've found nine places to shop for affordable school supplies. (And if you need more help, we also wrote about bargain backpacks and first-day worthy outfits!)

1. Amazon

If we're talking deals, of course, Amazon makes the list. The online retail giant sells almost everything —including school supplies, electronics and teacher school supplies. Be sure to bookmark the dedicated Back-to-School deal page to keep an eye on newly added items.

30 pack of Elmer's All Purpose School Glue Sticks, $10 (normally $15), Amazon

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

Uni-ball Retractable Colored Gel Pens, $7 (normally $18), Amazon

Brother Compact Laser Printer, $130 (normally $170), Amazon

Shop by grade:

2. Michaels

When it comes to saving money, coupons are a big help and Michaels offers some of the best (check out their Back to School section here). Find out what coupons are offered in your area by plugging in your zip code here, and don't be surprised if you find upwards of 50 percent off single items. Plus, you can use more than one coupon/promo code for a single transaction, so start shopping.

Super Important Planner Book by Recollection, $1, Michaels

Crayola Crayon 16-Color Classpack of 800, $87 (normally $145), Michaels

3. Walmart

Walmart has an entire section of their site dedicated to back to school uniforms: The Uniform Shop. They also have an area on the site where you can search for your school's shopping list and buy all the items in one place at one time - now that's one-stop shopping!

TI-84 Plus Programmable Graphing Calculator, $88 (normally $115), Walmart

Eastsport Backpack with Multiple Storage Compartments, $15, Walmart

Shop by grade:

4. Oriental Trading Company

Buy in bulk! Sites like Oriental Trading Company are a great place to stock up on the fun and useful items you're going to need now and in the future. Since you'll use these items eventually, buying them up front can save you some serious money. As an added bonus, the options available are much more fun than the average school item.

First Day of School Pencils, $5, Oriental Trading Company

First Day of School Pencils

$5Oriental Trading Company

Planet-Shaped Erasers, $5, Oriental Trading Company

Planet-Shaped Erasers

$5Oriental Trading Company

5. Jet

Like its main competition, Amazon, and parent company Walmart, Jet pretty much sells everything, including cheap school supplies. And right now they have supplies at great prices.

Crayola Twistables Colored Pencils and Paper, $8 (normally $13), Jet

Acme United 10425 Wood Yardstick, $5, Jet

Apple iPad (5th Generation) Wi-Fi, $349 (normally $429), Jet

6. CVS

The CVS school and office supply section has some pretty great deals — so great that you can get everything you need and still have enough left over to buy some lotion to soothe the rough skin on your spending hands. Your best bet is to look for deals in your local store since there are likely a lot more items there than are available online. Save 20 percent off select regularly priced items with the code FRIEND20.

Sharpie Accent Highlighters, $5, CVS

Right now they're offering a buy one get one half off deal on this item.

Caliber Poly Binder Index Dividers 5 Tabs, $2, CVS

7. Discount School Supply

Looking for discount school supplies for kindergarten through collage? The obvious discountschoolsupply.com might be your best bet. According to their 110 percent guarantee, if you find the same product for cheaper somewhere else, they'll match the price and refund you 10 percent of the difference.

12 Colorations No. 2 Pencils, $2, Discount School Supply

Colorations No. 2 Pencils

$2Discount School Supply

Washable School Glue, $1, Discount School Supply

Washable School Glue

$1Discount School Supply

8. Sam's Club

A Sam's Club membership can save a lot of money year-round, but it's especially true during back-to-school season when you're looking for cheap school supplies.

Mead Spiral Bound Notebook, $2, Sam's Club

Texas Instruments TI-30XA Scientific Calculator 10-Digit LCD, $10, Sam's Club

This article was originally published on Aug. 10, 2017 on TODAY.com. It was updated on July 31, 2018.

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