Back-to-school stationery

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

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Stationery can make or break a kid’s status in school. Fact. Well, at least in a child’s eye. Kids love trendy stationery, and finding the right back-to-school set is sure to put a smile on their faces. (You’ll be the coolest mom or dad, if you do).

If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford a designer satchel, that’s OK. There are loads of deals out there that offer impressive value and will catch the eye of their friends, in a good way.

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 need.

And even if you do have that list, take some inspiration from these products.

Stationery sets

Pencils and pens

Top retailers for back-to-school stationery

These retailers all sell cool and trendy stationery sure to please.

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 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:

Item Amount Store Cost per unit (USD) Total cost per required items Go to store
Backpack 1 Walmart $32.90 $32.90 Shop now
3-Ring Binder (500 sheets) 1 Staples or Amazon $7.99 $7.99 Shop now
Composition Notebook 3 Walmart $1.91 $5.73 Shop now
Binder Divider (1 pack, 8 tabs) 1 Walmart $3.07 $3.07 Shop now
2 Pocket Folders (6 pack) 1 Staples $12.09 $12.09 Shop now
Highlighters (6 pack) 1 Staples $5.79 $5.79 Shop now
#2 Pencils (18 pack) 1 Staples $5.69 $5.69 Shop now
Pencil Sharpener 1 Walmart $1.19 $1.19 Shop now
Pens (24 pack blue, black, and red) 1 Amazon $10.23 $10.23 Shop now
Loose Leaf Paper – College Ruled 200 sheets 2 Amazon $7.09 $14.18 Shop now
Ruler 1 Amazon $3.91 $3.91 Shop now
Glue Stick (3 pack) 1 Staples $4.49 $4.49 Shop now
Colored Pencils 12 pack 1 Walmart $1.84 $1.84 Shop now
Colored Markers 1 Walmart of Amazon $5.32 $5.32 Shop now
Kleenex Tissues (4 boxes) 1 Walmart $5.97 $5.97 Shop now
Calculator 1 Amazon $3.99 $3.99 Shop now
Pencil Case 1 Staples $2.99 $2.99 Shop now
Combination Lock 1 Walmart $3.64 $3.64 Shop now
Scissors 1 Staples $2.39 $2.39 Shop now
Post Its (12 pack) 1 Walmart $9.97 $9.97 Shop now
Erasers (3 pack) 1 Walmart $1.85 $1.85 Shop now
Dry Erase Marker (4 pack) 1 Walmart $4.46 $4.46 Shop now
Earbuds 1 Amazon $11.93 $11.93 Shop 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. Hey, it might even encourage them to open their notebooks to do their homework.
  2. Get quality items. Purchase products that will last at least a year. This will ensure your child’s learning time won’t be interrupted by 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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