There are a few essential school supplies that are needed for every classroom. Most teachers or schools create supply lists to make sure all students have what they need in the classroom.
During my first few years of teaching, I spent a good portion of my paycheck purchasing said school supplies for my students. Yes, my school sent out supply lists and collected fees, but some of my students’ families struggled to make ends meet which made getting school supplies difficult.
So, like any good teacher would do, I ended up purchasing school supplies for students who couldn’t afford them. I tried to keep my tight budget in mind when buying supplies because…well…teachers don’t get paid much.
Yeah, I said it.
If you are finding yourself in a similar situation or if you just want extra supplies for your classroom, I have found a few school supplies that you can buy in bulk while saving a few bucks.
Some of these are perfect for your students but some of them are geared towards you, the teacher. As an added bonus, remember that you can use classroom purchases as a tax write off up to a certain dollar amount.
Some of the links below are affiliate links from Amazon. When you purchase items after clicking on a link or picture, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please read my full disclosure for more information. As an Amazon affiliate, I am not allowed to list the prices, so I have listed the school supplies from the lowest price to the highest price. Please note that prices can fluctuate at any time, but all of the prices were under 20 dollars when this post was originally written.
How This Can Be Used in the Classroom: I like using construction paper to print activities. I copied the pieces for the Pizza Fractions Craftivity on construction paper and then let me students put it together. When I taught first grade, I used construction paper for so many projects, especially during the holidays. I’ve also used construction paper to print interactive notebook materials. | Purchase Pacon Tru-Ray Construction Paper
BIC Mechanical Pencils, 24 Count
How This Can Be Used in the Classroom: Two truths right now: I still record grades in a grade book (gasp, oh my digital stars) and I hate writing in pen. Yes, I have an online grade book but I also use my good old-fashioned grade book too. I love using mechanical pencils to write, but I especially love using them in my grade book. I lose them a lot too…what’s wrong with me? I rarely use ink pens in the classroom unless I’m signing something. Some teachers also allow their students to use mechanical pencils in lieu of standard #2 pencils. | Purchase BIC Mechanical Pencils
Paper Mate Arrowhead Pink Cap Erasers, 144 Count
How This Can Be Used in the Classroom: There’s a lot of writing and erasing that goes on in the classroom, so erasers are a must; however, I am convinced that my second graders are on a personal mission to destroy them. I can’t tell you how many of these I saw broken in half and chewed on a daily basis. Yes, you are going to buy them and they might get destroyed. Here’s my plan to eliminate that. I will give each student a handful and tell them that they are responsible for keeping up with them, kind of like Winning the Pencil War from The Wise Owl. They won’t get new ones until a specified time (maybe two weeks or a month later) or they’ll have to pay for them using their class bucks. Fingers crossed that it will work! | Purchase Paper Mate Cap Erasers
Astrobrights Color Paper, 500 Sheets
Clorox Disinfecting Wipes Value Pack, 225 Count
How This Can Be Used in the Classroom: Classrooms are germ city, baby! During my first year of teaching, I got sick so much. You don’t need to waste precious sick days due to getting sick. Our school is gracious enough to give us a pack of these every year, but you definitely want this in your room. I use these to wipe down student desks and computer areas. Before purchasing these wipes, be mindful of students who may have skin issues or allergies related to the wipes themselves and/or the cleaning products on the wipes. | Purchase Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
Fiskars 5 inch Pointed Kids Scissors, 3 pack
How This Can Be Used in the Classroom: I like to keep extra scissors in the classroom when students lose their own. Most elementary classrooms use scissors on a regular basis, so it’s a good idea to have a few spare pairs. | Purchase Fiskars Kids Scissors
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Mead Spiral Notebooks, 6 Pack
How This Can Be Used in the Classroom: Spiral notebooks are good for daily journal writing or center work. My students use them to do their Word Work activities in Daily 5. | Purchase Mead Spiral Notebooks
Elmer’s All Purpose School Glue Sticks, 60 Pack
How This Can Be Used in the Classroom: Students’ interactive notebooks and crafts throughout the year. | Purchase Elmer’s All Purpose Glue Sticks
Crayola Ultimate Crayon Collection, 152 Count
How This Can Be Used in the Classroom: In my classroom, I put crayons in a few of my desk caddies. Like many of the other school supplies listed, crayons will get broken, worn, and lost. It’s a good idea to have extra ones in the classroom. | Purchase Crayola Ultimate Crayon Collection
Kleenex Ultra Soft Tissues, 6 Pack
How This Can Be Used in the Classroom: Even if every kid in your classroom brings tissues, IT WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH. Trust me on this new teachers. Veteran teachers know what I’m talking about. These kids have bought stock in tissues and they just want to increase their revenue by making me buy more. Their plan is working, because nothing is scarier than a child searching for a tissue with a snot bubble in their nose. Ugh. Buy all the tissues, teacher friend. | Purchase Kleenex Ultra Soft Tissues
Scotch Thermal Laminating Pouches, 200 pack
How This Can Be Used in the Classroom: I use these all year for things that I want to last in the classroom. I laminate student login cards, Daily 5 center materials, and classroom labels and signs. I laminated the labels for my DIY Teacher Toolbox using these pouches. The only other place where I’ve seen a price this good for laminating pouches was at Sam’s Club. | Purchase Scotch Laminating Pouches
RELATED: Classroom DIY-Teacher Toolbox
Dixon Ticonderoga Wood#2 Pencils-96 Count
How This Can Be Used in the Classroom: Yes, there are other pencils that I could have put on this list, but I seriously love Ticonderoga pencils. They just sharpen and write so well! As we know, students can go through pencils like nobody’s business, so pencils are in high demand. | Purchase Dixon Ticonderoga Wood Pencils
What do you think of these bulk school supplies under 20 bucks? What would you add to the list of classroom essentials? Tell me in the comments below.
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