A Comprehensive School Supply List for Every Grade K – 12

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With COVID getting better and students starting to attend school in person again, kids and parents alike need to start worrying about determining a school supply list for back-to-school shopping. It’s no longer good enough just to have a laptop where you can attend Zoom class; you need to start figuring out what to bring to school (or bring for your kids).

This post will provide a school supply list for every grade from kindergarten to college. From coloring crayons to TI-84 calculators, this post has got you covered regardless of which level of education you’re attending.

School Supply List for Kindergarteners

Kindergarten is an amazing time when kids will begin their journey into the academic world. To make the transition as easy as possible, it’s best to ensure that students are equipped with proper school supplies.

If you’re reading this post as a parent and have a child in Kindergarten, here are some school supplies you’ll want to prepare for them when they go back to school:

  • Backpack
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Water Bottle(s)
  • Baby Wipes
  • Paper Towels
  • Change of Clothes
  • Pencil Box
  • Crayola Crayons and Pencil Crayons
  • Glue Stick
  • Scissors
  • Ziploc bags (for food)
  • #2 Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Pencil Sharpeners
  • Pencil Case(s)
  • Lunchbox

School Supply List for Elementary School Students

Middle school is a big transition for most students. This is the time period when grades matter and students start to develop their own identity inside and outside of the classroom. The last thing students should worry about is whether they have enough supplies for school.

If you (or your kids) are in elementary school / middle school and are looking for a school supplies list, look no further:

  • #2 Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Sharpeners
  • Pencil Case
  • Notebooks
  • Dry erase markers
  • Highlighters
  • Crayons
  • Plastic Folders
  • Colored Pencils
  • Pens
  • Sharpies
  • Calculator
  • Earbuds or Headphones
  • Ruler
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Lunch Box
  • Construction Paper
  • Index Cards
  • Tissue Box
  • Hole Puncher
  • Loose Leaf Paper

School Supply List for High Schoolers

High school is the time when many students will gain independence. If you’re a parent reading this list, consider letting your high schooler do their school supply shopping.

High school is also the time when many students will start to branch off and develop their own specialties. Depending on which courses a student takes, they will likely have different school supply requirements. The following list aims to be comprehensive but some of the items can (and should) be omitted depending on what courses a student is taking.

  • #2 Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Sharpeners
  • Personal Calendar
  • White Out
  • Ballpoint Pens
  • Stapler
  • Lunchbox
  • Backpack
  • Watercolor Paints
  • Markers
  • Highlighters
  • Graphing Calculator
  • Loose Leaf Paper
  • Notebook
  • Drawing Paper
  • Bullet Journal
  • Lock (for Locker)
  • Locker Accessories
  • Ruler
  • 3-Ring Binders
  • Tabbed Dividers
  • Weekly Planner
  • USB Flash Drive
  • Locker Organizer
  • Scissors

School Supply List for College Students

College is genuinely when teenagers make the transition into adulthood. If you’re reading this as a college student, here are some school supplies you might find helpful to bring with you to school.

  • Ballpoint Pens
  • Pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Pencil Cases
  • Notebooks
  • Folders
  • Binders
  • Notebook Paper
  • Planners
  • Sticky Notes
  • Calculators
  • USBs
  • Flash Drives
  • Water Bottles
  • Backpack
  • Laptop
  • Earbuds
  • Headphones
  • Binder Clips
  • Stapler
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Paper Clips
  • Note Cards
  • Three Hole Puncher
  • Desk Lamp
  • Wireless Mouse
  • Power Strip

How to Save Money on School Supplies

School is expensive, and just because you have a comprehensive school supply list doesn’t mean you’ll be able to afford all of it. Here are some tips and tricks to help you make school shopping a bit more affordable.

Set a Budget

If you don’t set a hard budget for yourself, it’s highly likely that you’ll spend more than you intended on school supplies. Setting a budget ahead of time will allow you to really consider the products you’re buying and help you keep costs within a reasonable range.

Try to Get Student Discounts

Some stores will offer special discounts to high school and college students depending on where you live and which school you attend. Before heading out and buying school supplies, be sure to ask around and see if there is any way for you to get a student discount. All you need is a valid student ID and you’re good to go.

Get Deals on Technology

Some of the most expensive school supplies are technology. A laptop or iPad can easily cost up to a few hundred dollars. As such, getting a deal on these expensive items can save you a lot of money at once. Companies like Apple and Dell both have a student section on their website where you can browse around for deals and discounts. For some laptops, electronics stores like Best Buy provide up to a $150 discount!

Don’t Buy Books from the School Bookstore

Buying textbooks through the school is a surefire way to lose money. Oftentimes, you can find free textbooks online and there are even many Reddit threads that show you how to get the best deals. Before you head online to try and find a version of the textbook, just make sure that the required textbook for your class isn’t some special edition book (or has some online code that you need).

Buy in Bulk

Many times, if you go to places like Costco, you’ll be able to buy lots of school supplies in bulk. If you team up with some of your friends/siblings, you could do a group school supply shopping spree and buy a bunch of what you need all at once. This could end up saving you a lot of money in the end. Just be sure to plan out your group buy well in advance to avoid any disagreements.

Recap: A School Supply List for Every Grade

school supply list

Back-to-school shopping can be extremely stressful if you don’t have a plan for what you want to buy. This post has hopefully alleviated a bit of the stress by providing you with a comprehensive school supply list for every grade.

From kindergarten to college, it’s always good to begin your academic year ready. As always, be sure to see if you can reuse anything before going out and making a trip to the mall. Hopefully, these lists will end up saving you time, stress, and money.