Best cheap office supplies

Stefanie Hammond

Where to buy cheap office supplies

It’s easy to get excited when buying new office supplies. New notebooks, pens, sticky notes and calendars often signify new beginnings, making it a fun endeavor for most shoppers. While office supplies seem like small purchases, those little items still add up, and it can be hard to stay under budget. 

Because office supplies are meant to be used, you don’t want to spend a ton of money if you’ll have to keep making the same purchases. High-quality office supplies can be affordable, long-lasting and stylish as more expensive models, making it easy to stock up on sophisticated supplies for all of your work needs.

Most popular office supplies


Planners allow you to keep track of your appointments and obligations and can be both dated, like a calendar, or dateless for maximum flexibility. They often include pages for you to keep track of numbers and addresses and generally have some blank notepaper for additional notes. Some planners come with extra pockets, goal or productivity pages, stickers and to-do lists.


A great pen provides a smooth writing experience without leaking or running out of ink quickly. For more professional tasks, you can buy traditional black and blue pens. For fun and creative tasks, gel pens are a great option. Store pens in a decorative pen holder that can liven up your workspace. Pens can’t be erased, so consider having decorative tape and white-out on hand. 


If your work requires you to correct mistakes often, you may want to consider using pencils instead of pens. Mechanical pencils are easy to use and sustainable if you have replaceable lead available. For a more traditional writer, #2 pencils are widely available, but you’ll need a pencil sharpener. For both options, it’s a good idea to have an eraser to make correcting mistakes easy. 

Desk accessories

Most people will have scissors, tape dispensers and staplers as a part of their office supply arsenals in order to cut and attach various documents. It is important to get high-quality versions of these items because dull scissors can cause injury and poor-quality tape dispensers and staplers can easily break. You might want to consider having paper clips if your stapler doesn’t work. 

Desk organizers

In order to keep all of your desk items organized, a desk organizer with plenty of drawers is helpful, especially if you work with a lot of loose documents. A desktop smaller accessory holder that can fit just your scissors, pens, pencils, and paperclips would better suit your needs.

Paper organization

If you have too many loose documents, it can be hard to keep track of all of your papers. Binders and folders both allow you to create an easy organizational system, especially with the addition of tabs and dividers. If you want to keep everything all in one place, notebooks are a better option than loose-leaf paper. 

Markers and highlighters

Markers and highlighters are helpful organizational tools, especially if you need to have eye-catching markings. They are often available in multiple different colors, styles and line weights, so they suit different needs. Make sure that your highlighter or markers are made with non-toxic ink.

Wall organization

You can use wall hangings to help organize your desk area and keep track of different documents. A dry erase calendar can be used to keep track of your monthly activities, and a cork board can hold concert tickets, receipts and other items you don’t want to use.

Desk novelties

Desks do not need to be only utilitarian. You can spruce up your desk space with something that showcases your personality. A funny memo pad or sloth sticky notes are examples of ways to make your desk your own. If you want to have an activity, a small desktop arcade game or a zen garden with sand is a great choice. 

Office supply cost

Smaller office supplies, like pens, pencils, scissors and push pins, are generally below $10. A planner can run between $10-$30 depending on what features you choose, and cork boards or other wall organizers will start at around $20-$40.

Best cheap office supplies of 2021

Best of the best overall desk kit

KIDMEN Rosegold Desk Accessory Kit: available at Amazon

Our take: This modern, clear acrylic set includes a stapler, tape dispenser, staples and staple remover with rose gold metal accents. A rose gold and diamond ballpoint pen and 10 binder clips round out this clip. 

What we like: The set is a great value for a number of office essentials. The pen is refillable, which makes it not only gorgeous, but environmentally friendly.

What we dislike: Some users say that some items are fragile.

Best desk pad

French Koko Desk Pad Protector, Large 31" x 15": available at Amazon

Our take: This jungle-inspired laptop mat/writing desk pad is perfectly sized for almost any workspace. It’s large enough to accommodate a keyboard, mouse, coffee cup and your laptop.

What we like: The laptop mat protects the area underneath your work area, preventing your tables from getting scratches and other damage. The rubber backing keeps the laptop in place while providing a smooth surface for the mouse.

What we dislike: The surface is hard to write on directly, so you may need to place a notebook or folder underneath the paper to write smoothly.

Best planner

Legend Planner Deluxe Weekly & Monthly Life Planner: available at Amazon

Our take: This deluxe planner has everything you need to keep your life organized and it has tools and accessories to help you streamline.

What we like: The planner is not dated, so you can start anytime. It includes bookmarks, several pages of stickers, monthly and weekly calendars, blank notepaper, goal-setting exercises and pockets to help you organize.

What we dislike: There are no tabs separating the sections, so you’ll have to create your own.

Best desk organizer

Acrylic Office Desk Organizer by My Space Organizers Store: available at Amazon

Our take: This nine-compartment, marble desk organizer is big enough to organize any of your items, including full-size folders and notebooks.

What we like: This desk organizer is sturdy and has compartments to hold different office supplies. The Lucite acrylic base with rubber grips has anti-slip protection, making this organizer one of the best options available under $30. It’s also available in eight colors.

What we dislike: The colors are a little lighter than pictured.

Best bang for your buck

Mr. Pen Sticky Notes Set: available at Amazon

Our take: There are 410 sticky notes for under $8, which makes this a great bang for your buck set of office supplies.

What we like: This set contains several different sizes and shapes of sticky notes, including ruled sticky notes, divider and index tabs. 

What we dislike: The adhesive is a little weak.


Stefanie Hammond is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.


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