School Supplies on a Budget

Going back to school means stocking up on pencils, paper and Trapper Keepers.

Okay, so maybe you haven’t purchased a Trapper Keeper since the third grade when Lisa Frank was the hippest artist around, but you still need a place to store your schoolwork and other supplies. Here are some ideas on how you can save money when stocking up for school.


Save money by going through your school supplies from last year and figuring out what will still work for you this year. Binders don’t have an expiration date and mechanical pencils can be refilled with lead. I reused the same silver glitter folder for my entire college career. I love that thing! Not only is it good for your wallet to reuse your old things, but it is also good for the planet.

Browse Online

I used to buy my school supplies through Amazon. With a college student e-mail account you may be eligible for a free year of an Amazon Prime membership. That means you’ll get free two day shipping on eligible orders. You can pick up cheap pencils, staplers, loose leaf paper and things like printer ink at a cheaper cost than in stores and you don’t have to worry about an extra charge for shipping.

Buy Used

Chances are a used or refurbished scientific calculator will get the same answer as a brand new machine. Search your school’s classified ads or online auction sites like eBay for good deals on used school supplies.

Buying used textbooks are also a great way to save money. Just make sure you’re purchasing the same edition required for class.


When it comes to textbooks, it’s also good to see what options are available for renting the required readings. If you don’t plan on keeping the book and it’s likely that you won’t be able to resell it for a good price, renting is the best way to get the books you need for class.

Wait to Buy

Just like Halloween candy on November 1st, school supplies usually drop in price the week after school starts. If you have enough pencils and paper left over from last year, wait a week to get the rest of your items and you’ll save big.

Have you found any good deals on school supplies this year? Share them!

Kylie K.