The beginning of school is right around the corner and there is always a long list of to-dos that need to be accomplished before you take that first-day picture. One of the most time-consuming is to hunt down the school supplies you need for each of your precious little ones.
To help you find those items, moms from all over have shared their favorite brands, sites, and stores. Read on to find the best deals on the top brands of school supplies and where to shop.
Where to Shop
Everyone has a favorite spot, but our polls turned up some clear winners for the best deals.
Target is hard to beat when it comes to ease with in-store, online, and curbside options available, and its prices are often lower than the competitors.
Office Depot is another winner. It’s a one-stop option that is likely to have any specialty items your list might have and for a good price, too.
As always, Wal-Mart will give you a big selection at great prices. You know you’ll be able to find all your standard supplies and have the added bonus of some uniform options as well.
Locally, Mardel’s and Teacher’s Tools are also great options that might have some unique school supply colors and patterns. These two are also likely to have supplies the homeschooling family might need.
The Tarrant County Back To School RoundUp is also a great opportunity to get what you need for the school year. Check out the website to register your family for the drive-through event this year.
Pottery Barn Kids is a standard go-to for many moms. Parents of early childhood students, as well as some of the early elementary grades, will have lots of options, including monogramming, to choose from.
Jansport is an oldie but a goodie. With its lifetime guarantee and more patterns than you can count, this is an easy choice for elementary kids that can be carried on into middle school.
L.L. Bean and other sporty backpacks are the most popular options for your older students. With solid colors and crazy patterns, these are likely to make it through many fads and have multiple pockets for better organization.
There’s a reason Crayola is the preferred brand. When it comes to crayons, markers, or colored pencils, these are always your best bet. They last longer and create smoother lines than some of the other options, and the washable factor should never be overlooked.
As your kids get older, they’re going to want Sharpies. A teacher myself, they really are the best permanent marker. Go ahead and invest in that multipack if you feel the need, but be prepared for every other school supply they own to be covered in doodles and squiggles before the year is out.
Many teachers have strong personal preferences when it comes to pencils. All brands are not created equal, especially when it comes to how they react to the pencil sharpener. I know the patterned ones are cute and fun, but please take pity on your child’s teacher and stick with your classic No. 2s by Ticonderoga.
If the teacher doesn’t mind mechanical pencils, try the SumoGrip ones by Sakuro. It comes with a lead that is slightly thicker and less prone to breaking, and it’s a No. 2 grade.
Of course, Pottery Barn offers matching lunch boxes to go with its backpacks, but if you have a younger student, consider using the Yumbox Bento Boxes to put inside his or her lunchbox. It gives you sealed compartments and lots of options, so in case your child doesn’t want any of the cucumbers and carrots you cut into stars, they can still eat the Goldfish crackers.
As your kids get older, consider moving to the PackIt lunch boxes. These stay in the freezer and reduce the need for a cold pack to keep food cool in the hot Texas sun. Ideal for sandwiches, or leftovers and they come in lots of great patterns.
For the older kids who are too cool for school and too environmentally conscious for a paper bag, try the L.L. Bean lunch boxes for a sleek and sporty look that is mature without being adult. Every teen’s dream, right?
Organization is a learned skill for students and as they get older, many schools require binders to help them keep their things together.
If your child uses a laptop as part of their daily supplies, try the Case It Universal Binder. It’s a traditional three-ring binder with a zipper to keep everything inside and a separate laptop pocket. Everything the modern kid needs!
With zippers and colors being less of a draw as kids get older, your high schooler might enjoy something simple, like the Staples Better Binder. It comes in multiple sizes so he or she can choose to get one for each class or keep everything together.
Notebooks and Folders
The choices here are too legion to list, but veteran moms (and teachers) passed on the tip that composition notebooks tend to last longer than their spiral counterparts. If your student tends to rip out pages of notebooks, make sure you get the type that has the perforated edge so it doesn’t look messy.
For folders, the plastic ones are everywhere, but try to get the heavy-duty ones if you want them to make it past Christmas. A few teachers mentioned they have found the paper or leatherette ones are worth the investment because they tend to last.
Before this year, no one would ever have predicted this addition to the school supply list, yet here we are. Everyone seems to have a favorite (or least annoying) mask, and your kids are likely to have strong opinions too. Luckily, there are tons to choose from.
In our North Texas climate, masks made for exercise and such come in handy because they tend to be cooler than their plain cloth counterparts. Athleta also has great mask options for kids and adults.
Your typical back-to-school clothing shops are also getting in on the action. The Cat & Jack masks from Target seems to be a favorite among a lot of kids. The price of those, as well as some super cute ones from Old Navy, is budget-friendly, which can play a big factor in your mask-making decision as your child will probably need several masks. I suspect masks might replace lunchboxes this year as the most lost item.
You Can Do It
No matter what your school plan is for the fall, it’s time to gear up and get ready. Grab your list and a big cup of coffee and hit the ground running. Don’t forget to share any fantastic deals you find with us!