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Best places to order school supplies online

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Back to school stationery and supplies

Whether your child's school is starting with NTI or in person, you'll most likely need at least some school supplies. But you also don't want to break the bank. Here are the best places for cheap yet high quality school supplies online. Different stores tend to be cheaper for different items, so it's worth shopping around if you want to get the best value. And if you're shopping online, think of all the time you'll be saving not having to trek from store to store.

Target

The 3-prong binders are often cheapest at Target, plus they have a very good range of other back-to-school items. Pre-sharpened #2 pencils in Target's Up & Up brand are also available at a cheap price point - presharpened pencils are often surprisingly expensive elsewhere.

Another thing I like about Target is that since they sell pretty much everything, it's easy to qualify for the free shipping order minimum.

Walmart

A great standby for all the back-to-school basics, Walmart has most items on a typical school supply list covered at a budget-friendly price. The only downside about online shopping at Walmart is that it allows third-party sellers to sell there also, which can make the search results confusing. To limit your search results just to Walmart.com itself and not third-party sellers, just go to "filters" and under "retailer" select "walmart.com".

Staples

It's not always everyone's first go-to when they think of school supplies, but I've always found Staples to be great for hard-to-find items, such as unusual folder colors, or items that have gone out of stock elsewhere. They're not typically cheapest for every item, but for certain items they are, so it's worth taking a good look.

Since the pandemic started, Staples has started offering much better shipping deals than in the past. In fact, at the time of writing, it's free shipping with no minimum (for a limited time). Their shipping is really fast too compared to Walmart and Target, so if you're pressed for time and need it by a certain date, Staples might be your best bet.

Amazon

Amazon is certainly an option but I don't recommend it as highly as the other options above for most of the basics. This is because many of the standard school supplies such as folders, pencils and quad paper tend to be pricier at Amazon than elsewhere.

However, electronics are another story and you can often get great value for money at Amazon for that. I recently bought this webcam with built-in microphone from Amazon to turn our old desktop computer into a Zoom-capable workstation for my child's NTI:

There are two versions of this webcam; I got the smaller cheaper option and it was great, plus it was a lot more affordable than comparable products elsewhere. The video image quality was very good and the microphone worked well, plus it installed itself on our Windows 10 machine with no mess and no fuss, there is just one cord and you plug it into USB. Done. It did a great job when we tested it on a Zoom meeting. I definitely recommend it if you're looking for a decent webcam at an affordable price point.

The webcam with microphone that I bought from Amazon.
Above: The webcam with microphone that I bought from Amazon, on top of the computer screen. My child is clearly NOT using it for a Zoom meeting at the moment!

Conclusion

If you're looking for high quality school supplies at a cheap price online, I recommend Target, Walmart, and Staples. For electronics that you might need for NTI, I recommend Amazon.

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