GOING BACK IN BULK
Don't forget Costco when you're tackling that back-to-school list: The warehouse club carries more school supplies than you might expect, with prices that are often lower than Amazon, Walmart, Target, and other major retailers — especially if you can divvy up that bulk pack of pencils among several kids. While you're at it, don't forget pantry staples that will help fill out your child's lunchbox: We've found food prices to be as much as 63 percent cheaper at Costco compared with Kroger. Here are 25 deals that recently caught our eye at Costco.
(Note: Prices and availability are subject to change.)
HIGH SIERRA RIPRAP BACKPACK
Price: $16 in store and online | Buy it
The well-reviewed High Sierra RipRap is a great backpack for older kids: It has a padded laptop or tablet sleeve and an amply-padded back and straps to help with those heavy textbooks. We also spotted the Ogio Prospect Utility Backpack for $40 —it includes a crush-resistant tech pocket, padded tech sleeve, and TSA-friendly laptop compartment.
TOPS 1-INCH ROUND RING CLEAR VIEW BINDERS, 6 CT.
Price: $9 in store, $9.49 online | Buy it
Basic binders with clear front pockets are a back-to-school-list staple for a lot of kids, so stocking up can be a smart move. High-school students who might want more feature-filled binders will find a two pack of durable 1-inch Five Star Flex Hybrid Notebinders for $10 in store and $16 online.
REDUCE HYDRO FURRY FRIENDS WATER BOTTLES, 2 CT.
Price: $13 in store, $17 online | Buy it
Vacuum-insulated to keep drinks cold, these adorable bottles are leak-proof and sweat-proof, and include a silicone carrying strap. We also spotted two Contigo Kids' Snack Hero water bottles for $14 in store, and $17 online — they include a 4-ounce snack container in the top of the bottle.
TICONDEROGA PENCILS, 96 CT.
Price: $9.49 in store, $10.49 online | Buy it
This is the brand of pencils every teacher is clamoring for, so buy them in bulk on the cheap at Costco — you may even have enough for next year, too. Prefer mechanical? Costco has a six-pack of Pentel Twist-Erase Clicks including extra erasers and lead in-store for $6.99 and $8.49 online.
ACER 14 CHROMEBOOK BUNDLE
Price: $300 in store, $290 online | Buy it
Older kids who need to type reports and do research online will appreciate their own inexpensive laptop. This one includes an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB memory, 32GB internal storage, and a high-definition 14-inch screen. Though cheaper online, this one's a wash once you include shipping and handling.
ZEBRA RETRACTABLE BALLPOINT PENS, 40 CT.
KIDS' CHARACTER HOODIES
Price: $10 in store, $13 online | Buy it
With chilly fall weather on the way, a full-zip hoodie featuring Batman, Spiderman, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, or Skye from Paw Patrol is a good bet for the younger set — you'll get the best deal in store, though. Sizes range from 3T to 7.
SHARPIE CLEARVIEW HIGHLIGHTERS, 18 CT.
Price: $8 in store
An especially good buy for college kids who will be slogging their way through thicker-than-ever textbooks, this 18-pack of Sharpie highlighters includes six traditional tank highlighters, six slimmer pocket highlighters, three gel highlighters, and three tank highlighters with a clear-view cap and reservoir.
BOYS' AND GIRLS' LEVIS
Price: $13 in store
Costco often carries brand-name kids' (and adults') clothes far below what other retailers charge. We spotted Levis in store in sizes 5 to 14 for boys and 6 to 14 for girls, with plenty of colors and styles to choose from. Boys' jeans are also available online (members only) for a buck more.
FRITO-LAY VARIETY PACK, 54 CT.
Price: $12.89 in store, $15 online | Buy it
If one kid likes Cheetos and the other can't get enough Fritos, this bulk Frito-Lay buy is the secret to lunchbox harmony. Also included: three varieties of Lay's (classic, barbecue, sour cream and onion) and two kinds of Doritos (nacho cheese and cool ranch).
TOP FLIGHT COMPOSITION NOTEBOOKS, 8 CT.
CALIFORNIA INNOVATIONS EXPANDABLE LUNCH PACK
Price: $10 in store
This fully featured lunch box is a steal in store at Costco: It comes with two icepacks and a leak-proof bento box that separates into four stand-alone containers. It also has a removable shoulder strap, padded handles, and an antimicrobial lining.
SEAGATE ULTRA SLIM EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE
Price: $85 in store and online | Buy it
It's never too early to start backing up your work. This Seagate drive has a roomy 2TB of storage and fast USB 3.0 connection – simply drag and drop files you want to save. Kids on the go may also find a 32GB SanDisk Cruzer Glide 3.0 Flash Drive handy — they're available in a three pack for $19 in store and online.
K. BELL KIDS' SOCKS, 12 CT.
Price: $10 in store and online | Buy it
It's time to bulk up those sock drawers, and Costco lets you do it on the cheap with a variety of combed cotton boys' and girls' socks. No-show, crew, and quarter socks are available in a variety of patterns in store and online.
EXPO DRY ERASE MARKERS, 18 CT.
Price: $11 in store, $12 online | Buy it
Off-brand dry erase markers rarely seem to make it onto those school-supply lists, so snap up some teacher-approved, low-odor Expos for less. This pack includes 14 chisel-tip markers and four fine-tip markers in a variety of colors.
SMUCKERS UNCRUSTABLES, 18 CT.
Price: $11 in store
Sometimes you're just too tired to get up early and make a PB&J for the lunch box. Smuckers Uncrustables are individually packaged and will thaw out without any microwaving by your kid's lunchtime. They also have 10 grams of protein each.
LA CROSSE MOOD LIGHT COLOR LCD ALARM CLOCK
Price: $20 in store, $25 online | Buy it
Help your grumpy kid wake up in a better mood with this color-changing alarm clock, which also includes soothing nature sounds, a one-touch nap timer, and a USB port that's a convenient place to charge phones and other gadgets.
ELMER'S GLUE SCHOOL STARTER PACK
Price: $7.49 in store
On many school-supply lists, off-brand glue is a no-go. Snag six full-size Elmer's glue sticks and two 4-ounce squeezable Elmer's glue containers for a low price in store at Costco.
CASIO SCIENTIFIC CALCULATOR, 2 CT.
Price: $15 in store, $18 online | Buy it
This two-pack of calculators means your kid can keep one in their locker and one at home. It has a textbook-format display and 249 built-in functions that can take students through classes including general math, algebra, trigonometry, and statistics.
KIRKLAND ORGANIC APPLE SAUCE, 24 CT.
Price: $10 in store, $12 online | Buy it
A healthier snack alternative that's exceedingly lunch-box friendly, Kirkland applesauce pouches are organic and free of added sugar. They're also way cheaper than pouches from name brands like GoGo Squeez and Mott's.
WESTCOTT IPOINT PENCIL SHARPENER
Price: $15 in store
Dull pencils will never be a homework-time annoyance again with this titanium-bonded sharpener, which has blades that resist buildup and a sensor that stops the blades once your pencil is sharp enough.
CLOROX DISINFECTANT WIPES, 5 CT.
Price: $14.49 in store, $16.49 online | Buy it
A common request on younger kids' school-supply lists, anti-bacterial wipes help ward off those pesky germs. If you can find them, a cheaper alternative is Kirkland Signature wipes, which have a passionate following that means they often sell out in store. A 304-wipe pack is usually around $10.
STONYFIELD YOKIDS ORGANIC YOGURT SQUEEZERS, 24 CT.
Price: $6 in store Whether you keep them in the refrigerator or freeze them, these yogurt squeezers are a kid-friendly staple you can feel good about. They have no high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors; they're also kosher, gluten-free, and non-GMO.
HEAD YOUTH ATHLETIC SHORTS, 2 CT.
Price: $13 in store, $15 online | Buy it
Kids who spend their entire summer in athletic shorts will appreciate having some fresh pairs to add to the drawer, especially for gym class and after-school sports. Available in three colors, these inexpensive shorts have comfy elastic waists and mesh-lined pockets.