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Often Overlooked Back-to-School Essentials You Won’t Want to Forget

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Calling all stressed out parents feeling that summer fatigue (yes, it’s a thing). While summer can be fun, two months of hearing “I’m bored” and “Can I have a snack?” can really start to wear on us.  When the sun is finally setting on summer, most of us are ready for our precious darlings to return to school

But with that triumphant return to school, comes shopping for school supplies, clothing, lunches and more. With inflation at its highest in decades, that can get expensive. Take it from me, a mom of four school-aged children.  According to a survey by Deloitte, parents will spend an average of more than $600 per kid this year, an increase of 8%. If you’re a parent of multiple kids, like me, that means you can plan on spending thousands of dollars before you snap that first day pic at the bus stop.

Walmart Overlooked School Supplies Image 2
Image: Getty Images

But there’s relief in sight. In order to alleviate the upcoming late summer cash-squeeze, I consulted experts to find out the best way to save this year, and they all agreed, one-stop shopping is the way to go. According to Oswego, New York-based frugal living expert and mom of four, Lauren Greutman, shopping at retailers like Walmart can save you up to $500 a year! 

Walmart is also my go-to for my big family because it literally offers everything I need, from clothes and supplies to toiletries and other essentials! Plus, I get the lowest prices on name brands and the convenience of shopping online and doing Walmart FREE store pickup which saves time, too. 

Ways to Save at Walmart During Back to School Season

Walmart Overlooked School Supplies Image 3
Image: Getty Images
  • Keep an eye on sales! Did you know Walmart has weekly flash sales for up to 65% off? Be sure to check this page each and every time you shop! The Walmart app also has a weekly ads section highlighting local sales and in-store specials for nearby Walmarts, so be sure to download that to your smartphone. 
  • Go to the store armed with a list! Having a strategy — which includes making a list and setting a budget before you go shopping — is a smart move. You can even easily create a shopping list right in the Walmart app! 
  • Buy more, save more. Walmart offers many items in bulk or bigger packages than other stores. If you don’t have a need for that many, reach out to other parents who might be shopping from the same list, and see if they want to split the costs. 
  • Save on shipping! offers free two-day shipping on orders of $35 or more, so take advantage of it! 
  • Sign up for Walmart+ : The subscription service offers a FREE 30-day trial and memberships are just $12.95 a month to let you take advantage of free delivery, free shipping and exclusive sales and more.
  • Don’t forget to check Walmart’s clearance section! You might find exactly what you’re looking for at an even bigger discount! 

Back-to-School Essentials You Can Find at Walmart

Walmart Overlooked School Supplies Image 2
Image: Getty Images

These are items that are on almost everyone’s list, and lucky for us, we can find them all at Walmart!

  • Index cards
  • Lunch box
  • Sharpie pens
  • Pencils and Erasers
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Ballpoint pens
  • Pencil pouch
  • Glue sticks
  • Notebooks
  • Calculator
  • Folders
  • Sneakers
  • Clothes

Plus, Don’t Forget These Often Overlooked Essentials

One way to bust a well-intended budget is to panic-shop at the eleventh hour because you forgot some important essentials. Here’s a list to keep in mind — on top of what’s listed on the teacher’s requests.

Swingline Precision Pro Desktop Punch

Swingline Precision Pro Desktop Punch
Image: Walmart

Loose worksheets, permission slips, and more are a disaster during back to school season. Equip your child with this portable hole punch, so they can add all important paperwork to a binder right away.

Price: $9.84

Post-it Notes

Post-it Notes
Image: Walmart

My family often jokes about my post-it-note obsession, but they are so handy for displaying important reminders for yourself or anyone else in your house! And the bright colors allow them to be easily seen wherever you stick ‘em! For tweens, I recommend sticking them on a bedroom mirror! Office supply stores tend to charge more, so I grab mine at Walmart where I save by buying a 16-pack that’ll last me a little while. You can also color-code by giving each family member their own color (so that way they notice when the note is intended for them!)

Price: $12.24

Pilot FriXion Light Pastel Collection Erasable Highlighters

Pilot FriXion Light Pastel Collection Erasable Highlighters
Image: Walmart

Highlighters might not make the official school list but can be super helpful for tweens and teens when studying for tests! These highlighters are even erasable in case of mistakes.

Price: $5.22

Pen+Gear Copy Paper

Pen+Gear Copy Paper
Image: Walmart

I can’t say this enough: DON’T FORGET TO BUY THE COPY/PRINTER PAPER. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to print something for work, and the kids have used up all my copy paper! Always keep an extra pack on hand, so you never run out.

Price: $5.27

Master Lock Padlock

Master Lock 1500D, Preset Combination Padlock
Image: Walmart

Kids entering middle or high school may be thinking about mirrors, magnetic photo frames and other fun ways to decorate their first locker, but may not consider what they actually need to keep their stuff safe. You can grab this handy padlock at Walmart, and teach them how to make a combination to lock and unlock it, so they’re super prepared on that first day.

Price: $4.64

12-Ounce Insulated Kids’ Thermos

Walmart Thermos
Image: Walmart

Let’s be honest, it’s hard enough getting kids to drink water and when they’re in school, it’s out of our hands — and lukewarm water fountains just don’t do the trick. Getting them a fun Thermos they will be excited about will not only encourage water drinking, hopefully they’ll remember to bring it home at the end of the day too (but buy a spare, just in case!) Walmart offers lots of options for fun prints and even their favorite characters!

Price: $13.48

OLIKA Ultra Hydrating Hand Sanitizer

OLIKA Ultra Hydrating Hand Sanitizer
Image: Walmart

Germs are aplenty in a school setting and with Covid still prevalent, you want to keep your little protected. This hydrating hand sanitizer can clip on to backpacks, water bottles or lunch boxes for on-the-go sanitization.

Price: $4.97

JLab Audio On-Ear Headphones

JLab Audio JBuddies Studio Children's On-Ear Headphones & Over-Ear Headphone
Image: Walmart

With most kids now working in schools on chrome books and iPads, headphones are often needed. But you don’t have to spend a lot on a high-quality pair when you grab some from Walmart!

Price: $14.88

Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes Canister

Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes Canister
Image: Walmart

Teachers have been feeling the pinch, as they struggle to not only shop for their own kids, but their classrooms as well. Don’t forget to donate one or two items to your kids’ classroom including sanitizer wipes (a 6-pack is under $20!!) and tissue boxes

Price: $17.88

The post Often Overlooked Back-to-School Essentials You Won’t Want to Forget appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.

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