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The Comprehensive Back-To-School Shopping Checklist for 2024
Table of Contents🎁

The Comprehensive Back-To-School Shopping Checklist for 2024

Table of Contents🎁

We all know that back-to-school shopping can be a daunting task. It involves purchasing a wide range of essential supplies and items, and there's always that one last-minute thing that's easy to forget. To make your shopping experience stress-free, check out our comprehensive school supplies list, which covers everything from kindergarten to college necessities. We've compiled a thorough shopping guide that includes school supplies for all stages, from stationery, uniforms, and lunch boxes to electronics and more. This list is a great accompaniment to the materials list your school often provides.

Back-To-School Shopping Essentials: The Simple Shopping Checklist

For Kindergarten

Getting ready for kindergarten can be both exciting and a bit overwhelming. Here’s a simple checklist to help you prepare for your child’s first year of school!

School supplies shopping checklist for kindergarten


A sturdy backpack to hold wet wipes, a water bottle, and a change of clothes. It should be comfortable and easy for your child’s to manage.


Durable and comfortable white sneakers for daily activities. Many schools require sneakers for physical education and playtime.

Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is important for health.

Sun Hat

A wide-brimmed sun hat to protect your child from the sun during outdoor play.

Organizing Pouches

Small, labeled pouches for organizing clothes and personal items. This helps keep everything in order and makes it easier for teachers to find what they need.

Sanitizing Supplies

A pack of masks, a mask holder, and hand wipes or tissues for daily hygiene.

Rain Gear

A simple raincoat and waterproof rain boots for rainy days.

Extra Change of Clothes

One or two sets of comfortable clothes for emergencies.

Name Tags

Waterproof name stickers for kids’ water bottles, lunch boxes, and other belongings. 

Clothes Labels

Use a clothing label maker to create labels for your child's clothes, ensuring they won't get mixed up with others.

Picture Books

Books like “The Kissing Hand” to help your child understand and alleviate any anxiety about starting school.

Lunch Box

A durable lunch box to keep snacks and meals fresh. Choose one that’s easy for your child to open and close.

口Lunch Box Bag

A dedicated bag to keep the lunch box, making it easy to carry and keep track of.

Lunchbox Ice Packs

Small ice packs to keep lunch and snacks fresh until mealtime.

Crayons and Markers

Basic art supplies like crayons and washable markers for creative projects.

Nap Mat

A comfortable nap mat for rest time. Look for one that’s easy to roll up and store.


Comfortable and well-fitting underwear for all-day wear. Look for options that don't pinch.

For Elementary School

A one-stop school supplies shopping list for all your back to school needs

School supplies shopping checklist for elementary school

A sturdy and stylish backpack to carry all your child’s supplies. Look for one with ample space and compartments for organization.


It's important for children to have notebooks they like. It's recommended to have one for each subject, with a size and thickness that are easy to manage. Choose from glued, sewn, or spiral-bound based on personal preference.

口Sticky Notes

Plain sticky notes are best, as overly decorative ones can be distracting during class.

口Memo Pads

Memo pads are great for jotting down quick notes, tracking daily tasks, or writing down homework assignments.

口Ballpoint Pens

A good quality ballpoint pen is essential for everyday writing tasks. It's better to have a few colors available, such as blue, black, and red, for note-taking, correcting work, and marking important points.


Highlighters are perfect for marking important information in textbooks or notes. Two or three highlighters in colors your child enjoys will suffice. Bright colors like yellow, pink, and blue are often the most effective.

口Compass and Protractor

For geometry classes, a compass and protractor set will be necessary for drawing circles and measuring angles. Look for a set with clear markings and a comfortable grip for small hands.


For subjects like math, a ruler is a must-have. Look for a clear or wooden ruler with both inches and centimeters marked.

口Number 2 pencils

Number 2 pencils are essential for standardized tests and a variety of classroom tasks. Choose pencils that are easy to sharpen and have a comfortable grip.


High-quality erasers are essential for any student. Look for erasers that don’t leave smudges and are easy to use.

口Pencil Sharpener

A good pencil sharpener is necessary to keep pencils in top condition. Look for one that sharpens without breaking the pencil and has a safe design to prevent injuries.

口Pencil Case

A pencil case helps keep all of your child’s stationery organized and easily accessible. Look for one that has multiple compartments to separate pencils, pens, erasers, and other supplies.


A stapler is useful for keeping papers together. Look for a compact, easy-to-use stapler and include a box of staples.


Paper clip or binder clips are handy for organizing loose papers, test papers, and other documents. A small assortment of different sizes can be useful for various organizing tasks.

PHOMEMO star clips

口Glue Sticks

Glue sticks are less messy than liquid glue and are easier for young students to handle. Look for high-quality glue sticks that adhere well and don’t dry out quickly.


A basic calculator might be needed for math classes. Choose one that is simple and easy to use, with basic functions for arithmetic operations.


A USB flash drive is useful for saving and transferring digital materials shared by teachers. A small, reliable USB drive with sufficient storage space will be enough for most elementary school needs.

口Eye Drops

If your child’s eyes get tired from reading or using screens, having eye drops on hand can help. Be sure to use drops recommended by a doctor.


An umbrella is a practical item to have in the backpack for unexpected weather changes. A compact, sturdy umbrella is easy to carry and store in a backpack.


Many schools restrict the use of phones, so a simple watch can help your child keep track of time during the school day without distractions.


For gym class and other physical activities, a pair of comfortable, supportive sneakers is essential. Look for shoes with good arch support and a durable, non-slip sole.

口Lunch Box and Lunch Bag

A sturdy lunch box for packing meals and a matching lunch bag to carry it to school. Opt for a lunch box with compartments to keep different foods separated and a lunch bag with insulation to keep food fresh.

For Middle & High School

School supplies shopping checklist for middle and school

A sturdy and stylish backpack to carry all your child’s supplies. Look for one with ample space and compartments for organization.

口 Three-Ring Binder with Colored Dividers
A binder helps keep your child’s subjects organized. Use colored dividers for different classes to easily access notes and assignments.

口Number 2 Pencils
Essential for standardized tests and everyday assignments. A pack of HB 2 wooden pencils plus a sharpener is recommended for exams like the SAT and AP tests.

Good erasers are essential for fixing mistakes. Brands like Staedtler are known for their quality.

口 Ballpoint Pens
Black ink pens are reliable for taking notes and completing assignments. Consider also having pens in blue and red for marking and corrections.

To emphasize key information in notes and textbooks. A variety of colors can help with organizing information.


A solar-powered calculator is essential for math and science classes. Look for one with functions needed for your kid’s current math level.

口Compass and Protractor
Necessary for geometry classes. A good compass and protractor set will help with drawing accurate shapes and measuring angles.

A ruler is useful for drawing straight lines and measuring in math or science classes. Choose one that includes both inches and centimeters and is made of sturdy material like metal or clear plastic.

口Liquid Paper (Roll-On is Preferable)
For correcting mistakes on assignments or tests, liquid paper is very useful. Roll-on versions are often cleaner and easier to use than liquid versions, reducing the risk of mess.

Scissors are handy for cutting paper or other materials for projects. Choose a pair with a comfortable grip and sharp blades for clean cuts.

Glue is necessary for various school projects and crafts. Glue sticks are less messy and easier to control than liquid glue, but having both types on hand can be useful.

口Sticky Notes
Sticky notes are great for adding reminders, marking important pages, or organizing study materials. Different sizes and colors can help keep your child’s thoughts organized and easily accessible.

口Pencil Case
A pencil case helps store all of your child’s writing utensils and small supplies. Look for one with multiple compartments to keep everything organized and easy to find.


Notebooks are essential for taking notes in each class. Choose between spiral notebooks or bound ones based on child’s preference. Some students prefer using a single notebook with dividers for multiple subjects, while others prefer having a separate notebook for each class.

口Line Paper
Lined paper is necessary for extra practice or to use in class for assignments and notes. Keep a stock of loose-leaf paper in your child’s  binder for easy access.

口Graph Paper
Graph paper is essential for math classes and scientific calculations. Make sure to have a good supply on hand for assignments and projects that require precise measurements and plotting.


A USB flash drive is useful for backing up assignments, projects, and other important files.

口Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is important for concentration and health. Choose a durable, leak-proof water bottle that can be easily refilled throughout the day.

Keep an umbrella handy for unexpected rain showers. A compact, foldable umbrella can easily fit in the backpack or locker.

口Hair Ties (For Girls)
Hair ties are useful for gym class or managing hair during hot days. Keep a few extra in your girl’s backpack or locker for convenience.

口Lunch Box and Lunch Bag

A sturdy lunch box for packing meals and a matching lunch bag to carry it to school. Opt for a lunch box with compartments to keep different foods separated and a lunch bag with insulation to keep food fresh.

口Hoodies and Sneakers

Comfortable hoodies and sneakers are essential for gym class and casual wear. Hoodies are great for layering and staying warm, while supportive sneakers are important for physical activities and everyday comfort. Look for styles that are both functional and fashionable to suit your kid’s personal style.

口Study Printer

A thermal study printer can be very useful for printing study notes and other important information. These small printers connect to the smartphone and can quickly print custom labels or notes.

Use a M04S Mini Thermal Printer to print study notes

For College:

School supplies shopping checklist for college

1. Dorm Room Essentials

口Bedding Set

Sheets + Comforter + Mattress Pad + Pillow.

Eye Mask and Earplugs

For students who have trouble sleeping, these can be very helpful in blocking out light and noise.

Seasonal Clothing

Although the semester starts with warm weather, it will gradually get cooler. Be prepared with fall and winter clothes and shoes.


It's good to have some basic medicines on hand, such as cold medicine, fever reducers, anti-diarrheal, and stomach remedies.

Other Essentials

Items like hangers, adhesive hooks, an umbrella, a lock with a key, and tissues can be bought as needed based on personal preferences.

2. Essential Study Supplies

口Backpack or Tote Bag

Essential for carrying books, laptops, and other supplies around campus.

口Notebooks, Scratch Paper, and Sticky Notes

Necessary for taking notes and organizing thoughts.

口Black Pens, Number 2 Pencils, Highlighters, Erasers, and a Pen Holder

Basic stationery to cover all your writing needs.

口Glue, Clear Tape, and Double-Sided Tape

Useful for various projects and repairs.

口Folders, Stapler with Staples, and Paper Clips

Keep your papers organized and tidy.

3. Personal Care Items

口Shampoo/Conditioner, Face Wash, Body Wash, Laundry Detergent, and Hand Soap

Travel-sized bottles are convenient for packing light; you can also buy these upon arrival.

口Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Toothbrush Holder, Comb, and Mirror

Essential daily hygiene items.

Towels, Bath Towels, Cleaning Cloths, Brushes, Soap (with Soap Dish), and Hair Ties

For personal and room cleaning needs.

Face Masks and Skincare Products

Important for maintaining a skincare routine.


Essential for male students.

4. Essential Electronics

口Phone, Charger, Power Bank, and Earphones

Must-haves for staying connected and entertained.

口Laptop, USB Drive, Data Cables, and Mouse

Essential for studying, assignments, and digital storage.

口Desk Lamp

A rechargeable lamp is handy for studying late at night or during power outages.

口Hair Dryer

Useful for grooming.

A4 Portable Printer

Great for printing study notes easily in A4 thermal paper, which requires no ink or toner. And the A4 thermal printer even allow you to print personalized tattoos, adding a touch of individuality.

Use a tattoo printer to print temporary tattoos

Ways to Save Money on Back-to-School Shopping

Shop Online: Online shopping is not just convenient; it's a smart way to save money. Phomemo store has everything a student needs, from top-notch printers to a wide range of stationery. Plus, we have a special treat for you: use the discount code TIPS8 to get an 8% discount! Whether you're gearing up with school supplies or adding a personal touch to your dorm, now is the perfect time to shop. Don't miss out on these fabulous savings!

Phomemo discount code

Swap Items with Friends: Organize a swap meet with friends where you can exchange items that your children no longer need. This way, you can save money and find useful supplies for free.

Use Last Year’s Supplies: Before buying new supplies, check what is left over from last year. Items like notebooks, pens, and folders can often be reused.

Check Existing Supplies: Make a list of what you already have at home to avoid buying duplicates. This simple step can help you save significantly.

Look for Sales and Coupons: Keep an eye on weekly ads in newspapers and online to find the best deals. Clip coupons and follow your favorite stores on social media to stay updated on the latest discounts and promotions.

Shop During Tax-Free Weekends: Many states offer tax-free weekends, allowing you to purchase school supplies without paying sales tax. Research your state’s tax-free holiday dates to take advantage of this opportunity.

Stock Up During Off-Season: Many retailers start discounting school supplies a few weeks after the back-to-school rush. Purchase popular items and stock up on essentials like glue and paper for next year when prices drop.

Invest in Quality Supplies: Consider buying high-quality backpacks, lunch boxes, or other items that come with warranties. This can prevent the need for replacements during the school year. Reusable lunch boxes are also a great eco-friendly option.

Ready to Shop?

Preparing for the new school year doesn't have to be stressful or break the bank. By planning ahead, taking advantage of sales, and making smart purchasing decisions, you can ensure your child has everything they need to succeed. Whether you shop online or in-store, remember to check what you already have, look for deals, and invest in quality items that will last. With these tips, you'll be well-prepared for a successful and budget-friendly back-to-school season.

To make things even easier, we're offering an 8% discount for the back-to-school season! Use our discount code TIPS8 at checkout and start saving today. Don't miss out on this opportunity to get everything you need at a great price!

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