Clever Back to School Hacks Using Dollar Tree Items
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If you’ve been to Dollar Tree lately, summer items are clearing out and $1 back to school items are hitting the shelves! We’ve got some clever hacks for you using Dollar Tree items that’ll make back to school time a breeze!
1.) Create a portable homework station.
Be on the lookout for colorful craft caddies in the back to school section priced at just $1. These are perfect for making portable homework stations at home – just fill with pencils, pens, glue, scissors, rulers, markers, and other homework essentials. Then you can easily transport the caddy from the office to the kitchen table – or even take it in the car filled with coloring supplies for long road trips.
2.) Keep paperwork and folders organized.
If you’re looking for a way to keep all of those school folders and papers organized, grab a dish drying rack for just $1! Then stand the folders up in the slots and you’ll easily be able to see and grab the folders you need. In the flatware holder, place pens and scissors that you’ll need to sign school forms.
3.) Make packing lunches easy.
To make packing school lunches simpler and something that the kids can even help with, grab a laundry basket (or any of their awesome bins!) and create various lunch packing stations in your pantry filled with all of the essentials you’ll need – peanut butter, jelly, bread, snacks, drinks, Ziploc bags, etc. It will make those hectic mornings a little less hectic when you can find the things you need.
4.) Don’t pay too much for lunch ice packs.
If you don’t want to worry about your kids losing their lunch ice packs, consider buying a few 2-pack sponges at Dollar Tree. To keep lunches cold, soak the sponges in water, place one per Ziploc bag, and put them in the freezer. As the sponges melt, they will reabsorb the water so you can just toss them back in the freezer after school! And you won’t go crying
if when they get lost or thrown out.
5.) Keep school lunches fun.
Dollar Tree sells cute Bento-style containers that are perfect for school lunches! These boxes allow you to be creative with lunch instead of packing the same PB&J every day. You can also look for 10-pack mini containers that are useful for condiments and can be placed inside another, larger container.
6.) Rethink snack packs!
These handy Hardware Storage Cases are perfect for filling with a variety of fun and different snacks! Your kids will have fun eating the different snacks each day and you can even write a fun note with a marker on the outer bottom part of the squares so they’ll be able to read it when they eat the snack!
NOTE: Because these containers aren’t necessarily food grade plastic, please use your best judgement. Also, it is recommended you don’t heat it in a microwave or place it in the dishwasher.
7.) Add bling to school lockers on the cheap.
Dollar Tree has A LOT of items that would be great for decorating school lockers – mirrors, dry-erase boards, glam fur (can be used for locker carpet), washi tape for decorating, picture frames, colorful pencil cups, magnets, double-sided signs, and MORE that would be fun to place in the locker!
8.) Pay a buck for student planners.
If you’ve ever shopped for a student planner, you know how expensive they can be. Plus, if you’ve ever had a child lose their $30 student planner 🙋 during the first month of school, you may be hesitant to spend that much on another one again. SO, I was pretty happy to find a variety of colorful and practical Student Planners in all sorts of shapes and styles for just $1 each! Score!
9.) Store Box Tops in magnetic tins.
If you’re looking for an easy way to collect your Box Tops, consider grabbing these Magnetic Tins 2-packs with removable lids. Just place on your fridge and add to it every time you clip a Box Top!
Remember, clipping Box Tops is an easy way to earn money for your child’s school! Go here for more details on how the program works.
10.) Make a mini first aid kit.
Consider making a personalized, mini survival kit using a plastic container or sunglasses case and placing it in your child’s backpack. Fill it with band-aids, facial tissue, wet wipes, a LifeSaver mint/cough drop (if allowed), feminine products (if applicable), hair ties, and emergency contact information. You could also place an encouraging note inside!
If you’d rather not create your own kit, Dollar Tree also sells a First Aid Kit that contains an assortment of 18 bandages and two antiseptic towelettes.
11.) Create your own clothes organizer.
Mom, I don’t know what to wear! If you’re looking for a way to keep your kids’ clothes organized and planned out each week, consider grabbing five colorful bins and a bag of zip ties at Dollar Tree – $6 total. Use a couple zip ties in between each tote to hold them together and then tie them to your closet rod using zip ties or any sort of ribbon. Your kids will have their clothes ready for each day of the week!
You can also set these bins on the floor of your kids’ closet and write the day of the week on them with a dry erase marker (non-permanent) or a permanent marker. Your kids will quickly be able to grab their clothes out of the bins without any fuss!
Remember, Dollar Tree sells a TON of awesome, colorful storage bins, so you could even choose a different color for every day of the week to make things a little more fun! 🙂
12.) Make math practice more hands on.
If you’re looking for a practical way to teach basic math, grab a vegetable tray and a bag of stones/rocks, as well as flashcards. Place all of the stones in the middle of the tray and the cards in the outer compartments. Then have your child place the correct amount of stones in the correct spot(s).
If you’re looking for a fun way to teach fractions, check out this “Fractions of a Whole” Game using a veggie tray! And, you can always re-purpose your veggie tray for that next get-together or party!
13.) Stock up on supplies for projects NOW.
It’s always a great idea to grab a few Presentation Boards as you’ll never know when your kids will need these boards during the year (I hate running to the store only to find empty shelves or paying more than I should)! At just $1 each, I always grab a few and stick them in our school supply closet. By the way, similar display boards sell for over $3 at Target, so grab a few at Dollar Tree and save BIG!
Need poster board? Dollar Tree sells Poster Board 2 for $1, so grab a few for those school projects, too!
Written by Mary for Hip2Save. Mary is a proud mom to 3 kids in Austin, TX, who thrives off running long distance, bargain shopping, warm weather, a yummy latte…and a little Candy Crush from time to time. She loves quality time with family & friends and sharing great deals with others.