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All Your Elementary Back-to-School Supplies for Under $50

Aug. 16, 2016
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All Your Elementary Back-to-School Supplies for Under $50
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Back-to-school shopping can be hectic — and expensive. Parents of students in kindergarten through 12th grade will spend an average of $107.76 on school supplies during the 2016 back-to-school shopping season, according to the National Retail Federation.

To make your own shopping trip easy, we found everything you’ll need for your elementary school student for less than $50.

Check out these items we hand-picked from discount retailer Wal-Mart, in order from least to most expensive:

Crayons: 50 cents

Crayons are a school staple, and if you pick the right pack, you can get them for less than a dollar. We found a 24-pack of Crayolas in all of the traditional colors for only 50 cents.

Notebooks: 51 cents

Your kids will need paper for writing and drawing, and these notebooks fit the bill. They’re wide-ruled, hold 70 sheets and are sold in assorted colors for 17 cents each. We added three to our list for a total of 51 cents.

Pencils: 97 cents

Pencils are another must-have supply. This 20-pack of No. 2 pencils from Dixon rings up for less than a dollar at 97 cents.

Glue: $1

A 4-ounce bottle of Elmer’s washable school glue will run you just 50 cents. We threw in two for a total of $1. After all, your child will have more than a few arts and crafts projects.

Markers: $1.97

Sometimes crayons just don’t do the job, so we added these classic Crayola ultra-clean markers to the cart. You’ll pay $1.97 for a 10-pack.

» MORE: The do’s and don’ts of back-to-school shopping

Ruler: $2

Teaching your little one to measure or draw a straight line doesn’t have to be expensive. The Acme Westcott 12-inch plastic ruler with finger grip costs just $2.

Highlighters: $2.24

Crayons? Check. Pencils? Check. But what about highlighters for note-taking? Buy a pack of four yellow Sharpies for $2.24.

Scissors: $3.49

Fiskars children’s safety scissors are 5 inches long and feature a comfortable grip and a blunt tip. Pick up a pair for $3.49.

Pencil pouch: $4

Your child needs some way to keep all these supplies organized. This black and clear binder pencil pouch from Advantus will run you $4.

Folders: $4.28

Loose-leaf papers are a recipe for disorganization, but folders will keep your child’s homework assignments in one place. You can buy a 10-pack of two-pocket folders in assorted colors for $4.28.

Pens: $4.79

Buying some supplies in bulk — including pens — will save you money in the long run. This 60-pack of black ballpoint pens from Bic will support all of the writing your child does this year. It’s sold for $4.79.

Binder: $5.43

For a place to put those folders and the pencil pouch, we found this $5.43 white, 3-inch Avery binder. It can hold up to 600 sheets and contains four interior pockets.

» MORE: What to splurge (and skimp) on for back-to-school

Backpack: $14.88

These days, you can find backpacks for around $5, but they won’t have many frills. Instead, we opted for the Absolute Sport backpack from Eastsport, which costs $14.88. It combines a colorful look with plenty of pocket space.

Total: $46.06

Our total bill? $46.06 before tax.

Note that many of these products are available for in-store purchase or store pickup only, not ship-to-home. Wal-Mart offers free store pickup on qualifying online orders.

Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: courtney@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @courtneynerd.