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Back to school stationery

Fill your children's backpacks with cool and colorful gear this school year.

Kids love trendy stationery, and finding the right set for back to school is sure to put a smile on their faces (and earn you serious brownie points). If you’re on a budget, find deals that offer impressive value and eye-catching style.

Shopping for back to school stationery

You’ve probably already got a checklist of all the items your child needs to be ready for the new school year. If not, here are some essentials they’ll likely need.

Stationery sets

Pencils and pens

Top retailers for back to school stationery

These retailers all sell stationery in every color of the rainbow and style that’s sure to please any kid.

Where to find the best deals

It pays to compare retailers and shop around. We found total costs for an eighth grader’s back-to-school supply list in 2019 were $220.64 at Staples, $220.78 at Walmart, and $197.66 at Amazon. But by strategically shopping around at all three, you could save up to $59:

ItemAmountStoreCost per unit (USD)Total cost per required itemsGo to store
Backpack1Walmart$32.90$32.90Shop now
3-Ring Binder (500 sheets)1Staples or Amazon$7.99$7.99Shop now
Composition Notebook3Walmart$1.91$5.73Shop now
Binder Divider (1 pack, 8 tabs)1Walmart$3.07$3.07Shop now
2 Pocket Folders (6 pack)1Staples$12.09$12.09Shop now
Highlighters (6 pack)1Staples$5.79$5.79Shop now
#2 Pencils (18 pack)1Staples$5.69$5.69Shop now
Pencil Sharpener1Walmart$1.19$1.19Shop now
Pens (24 pack blue, black, and red)1Amazon$10.23$10.23Shop now
Loose Leaf Paper – College Ruled 200 sheets2Amazon$7.09$14.18Shop now
Ruler1Amazon$3.91$3.91Shop now
Glue Stick (3 pack)1Staples$4.49$4.49Shop now
Colored Pencils 12 pack1Walmart$1.84$1.84Shop now
Colored Markers1Walmart of Amazon$5.32$5.32Shop now
Kleenex Tissues (4 boxes)1Walmart$5.97$5.97Shop now
Calculator1Amazon$3.99$3.99Shop now
Pencil Case1Staples$2.99$2.99Shop now
Combination Lock1Walmart$3.64$3.64Shop now
Scissors1Staples$2.39$2.39Shop now
Post Its (12 pack)1Walmart$9.97$9.97Shop now
Erasers (3 pack)1Walmart$1.85$1.85Shop now
Dry Erase Marker (4 pack)1Walmart$4.46$4.46Shop now
Earbuds1Amazon$11.93$11.93Shop now

Price data obtained August 2019 and is subject to change.

How we compared retailers

We compared the cost of an average eighth grade school supply list at three major retailers: Walmart , Staples and Amazon. Prices were obtained from store websites on Aug. 2, 2019.

Where prices were on sale, we used the original list price. Where there were multiple products available at the same retailer at different price points, we chose the mid-priced item or best match across retailers.

We based our stationery list on back-to-school lists from five public schools in the West, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast and Southwest.

Stationery buying guide

Follow these three simple steps to find stationery your kids will love:

  1. Choose colorful items. Kids are attracted to bright colors, so choose stationery that features cartoon characters or their favorite color — it might even encourage them to open their notebooks to do their homework.
  2. Get quality items. Purchase products that will last, so you don’t have to replace any broken spiral notebooks or misaligned binders.
  3. Find a reputable shop. Countless retailers sell stationery, so look for one that provides a combination of affordability, style and quality. The amount you need to shell out for pencils, pencil cases, notebooks and staplers adds up, so you want items that will withstand everyday use.

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