IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

22 cheap school supplies for every kid in 2021

We found some major deals — all under $25!
Amazon; Getty Images

Our editors independently selected these deals and items because we think you will enjoy them at these prices. If you purchase something through our links, we may earn a commission. Pricing and availability are accurate as of publish time. Learn more about Shop TODAY.

Shopping for school supplies is an exciting time for kids eager to update their gear. But it can be a bit stressful for parents, especially when you’re on a budget. With many students heading back to school either full-time or part-time this year, school supply lists are in full swing and there’s a lot to check off before September arrives. You might feel like you have to spend top dollar to get durable and long-lasting school essentials, but there are several affordable options that will work just as well.

Making sure that you save money and stay on budget this school year is Shop TODAY’s goal, and we’ve found the best affordable school supplies that will help get your kids ready for the new year. From budget-friendly notebooks to insulated lunch boxes, you'll find options below for no more than $25!

1. Tops/Oxford One-Subject Notebooks

This set of six one-subject spiral notebooks from Oxford come in different colors to help your children quickly identify their subjects at a glance with color-coding efficiency. Each notebook has 70 double-sided sheets with red margin lines.

2. Five Star Two-Pocket Stay-Put Plastic Folder

This folder has two horizontal pockets and prong fasteners to keep track of loose-leaf paper or hole-punched sheets. It's also water-resistant, which is helpful in case liquid accidentally spills in your child's backpack.

3. Texas Instruments TI-30XS MultiView Scientific Calculator

Depending on what grade your child is in, a quality calculator is always good to have on hand. This one from Texas Instruments is designed with unique features to allow you to enter more than one calculation, compare results and explore patterns — all on the same screen!

4. EastHill Storage Pencil Cases Zip Bag

Store up to 50 pencils, pens, glue sticks and other supplies in this nifty, multi-slot pencil case from EastHill. It's also available in five other colors.

5. AmazonBasics Pre-Sharpened No. 2 HB Pencils, 30-Pack

A new batch of pencils is a necessity when it comes to back-to-school shopping. This 30-pack of pencils comes pre-sharpened and ready to use!

6. Paper Mate SharpWriter Mechanical Pencils

Mechanical pencils are the way to go if your student is all about convenience. This set of 36 from Paper Mate has over 9,000 five-star reviews on Amazon and is on sale for 50% off at $8.99.

7. Paper Mate Gel Pens

For a fun and more permanent option that dries three times faster than the average gel pen, consider this large array of colorful pens from Paper Mate.

8. Crayola Silly Scents Scented Markers

What's better than magic markers? Scented magic markers! This Crayola set comes with all the colors of the rainbow and is sure to get your child's creative juices flowing.

9. Crayola Washable Crayons

These giant washable crayons are another fun way to add some excitement to their arts and crafts projects. Parents can also rest easier knowing that these crayons are nontoxic and wipe off most surfaces with warm water and a sponge.

10. Maalbok Academic Planner 2021-2022

A planner is the key to staying on top of assignments and keeping organized. This option from Amazon is good through June 2022 and includes a weekly and monthly calendar with reference pages, contacts and space for notes. Plus, it has over 8,700 verified Amazon reviews.

11. BIC Clean Wite-Out

These Wite-Out tape dispensers are ideal for silly mistakes that your kid may make when writing in their notes or planner.

12. Elmer's All-Purpose Glue Sticks

If you've ever helped your child with arts and crafts projects, then you know you can never have too many glue sticks. This set of three is available for just $5!

13. Paper Mate Pink Pearl Erasers

Does your student quickly wear out the eraser on the end of their pencil? Try keeping a few of these large pink erasers on hand whenever they're hard at work or studying away. These Paper Mate erasers are an Amazon No. 1 bestseller and come in a pack of 12 for less than $6.

14. AmazonBasics Three-Ring Binder

As your child gets older and has more schoolwork to carry around, these spacious binders will definitely come in handy and help them stay organized.

15. Cardinal 1.5-Inch Three-Ring Binder

For a pop of color and a little bit more space, consider this set of 1.5-inch three-ring binders, which comes in black, red, blue and green.

16. Avery Big Tab Write and Erase Durable Plastic Dividers

These budget-friendly dividers are a great way to organize each subject. Each pack comes with eight erasable plastic dividers for your child to reuse every semester.

17. Vaschy Lightweight Backpack

Backpacks are basically a necessity for keeping school supplies in one place. This cost-effective option from Vaschy is durable and comes in lots of fun colors like light purple and turquoise.

18. MazForce Insulated Lunch Bag

Whether they’re learning from home or going back to school, a healthy diet is a necessity. One way you can get your child excited about eating well is with a fun kids' lunch box. This insulated option from Mazforce comes in 12 different colors and costs less than $15!

19. CamelBak Eddy Kids BPA-Free Water Bottle

If you have a small child, this spill proof and easy to clean CamelBak kids water bottle will definitely come in handy. It's available in fun patterns with sharks, flowers, unicorns and more.

20. AmazonBasics Urban Backpack

This Urban Backpack from AmazonBasics is designed to be a quality school bag at a great price. It includes a padded compartment for laptops and has a spacious main compartment, front pocket and two side pockets.

21. Modoker Travel Laptop Backpack

This travel laptop backpack is another great pick. It has a variety of pockets to keep all of your child's belongings organized and also comes in black, gray and yellow.

22. FlowFly Kids Insulated Lunch Box

The FlowFly Kids Insulated Lunch Box has plenty of room to hold your children's favorite lunches and snacks. It comes in fun prints like blue camo, mermaids and dinosaurs.

For more back to school content, check out:

To discover more deals, shopping tips and budget-friendly product recommendations, download the new TODAY app and subscribe to our Stuff We Love newsletter!