Once again, it’s time for everyone between the ages of five and eighteen to get ready to go back to school. It’s also time to stock up on gaming supplies, thanks to the back to school sales and tax-free weekends across the country.

(If you’re not stateside, my apologies at pointing out this annual semi-event. We’ll get back to our regularly scheduled innuendos, GMing advice, and Halfling jokes shortly.)

Even if your state is not on the list linked above, take a moment or two and scan the local ads for back to school specials. Many stores will have ‘loss leaders’ to draw in the customers. I’ve seen notebooks for a nickel, and lined paper for pennies.

Some common school supplies that are also great for gaming: pencils, map colors, dry-erase markers, notebooks, index cards, graph paper, boxes for pencils (or dice, minis, whatever), folders, binders, and the all-powerful Trapper Keeper.

Got any other sources for cheap gaming materials (besides stealing from the office stash)? Sound off in the comments and let us know!