Great tools make a huge difference in the party planning process. You can save yourself hours of time, and countless trips to the store if you stock up on these staples before you start making clues. The following are links to products I actually own and use year after year.
I'll try to provide links to Amazon listings at the bottom of this post. They are affiliate links so I will earn a small kickback if you purchase them but they price is the same to you. If you're not a Prime buyer, you can find most of them at local shops like Walmart and Target as well.
Label Maker: Above all else, please buy one of these. I use this tool constantly when I'm making clues. It allows you to write incredibly small while maintaining legibility. I also love it because the labels are adhesive and waterproof so I can stick them inside pumpkins, in melted wax, inside ceramic statues...anywhere! You don't need a fancy one. Just a basic model like this. You'll also want to have at least one roll of white tape (the listing at the bottom is a two-pack).
Poker Chips: I like to give my ingredient tokens a little weight so they can withstand the elements a little better. We generally glue them to poker chips like those below to make them easier to mount and a little easier for teams to spot.
Mega-Awesome Glue Putty Stuff: This is my favorite glue for ingredients! We have used it for years to attach our tokens to tons of objects. It sticks tight and is totally weather proof. I love it because it has the consistency of play-doh at first so you can smoosh it (yep, I said smoosh) onto any surface...tree trunks, tunnel ceilings, stop signs, under railroad ties...anywhere. A little goes a long way. We usually use about half of a tube for every 10 tokens. Just be sure to bring some wet wipes with you when you go to place them because this stuff makes your fingers messy.
Large 2.5 Gallon Slider Bags: Your clues will be stored in packs of three. I love the extra large ziplock bags because they can fit almost anything, are water-resistant and are easy to open and close. You'll need three bags for each team. I usually buy generic bags at the dollar store in boxes of 5 but the Hefty bags linked below are much sturdier. I used them at our Valentine's party and they were much better. The listing below if for a 2 pack (24 bags).
1" Circle Punch: Each of your clues will be marked with a small number in that team's color (I call them clue tags). That's how your teams will know which ingredient to write on the correct line of their recipe card. I designed the clue tags to be small, 1" circles. You could cut these with scissors but it would be sorta awful. I definitely recommend grabbing a circle punch instead (medium size). I can whip through a whole sheet of tags in a matter of minutes. It's totally worth it since you'll be cutting around 50 of these!
The ingredient tokens were designed to be either 1" or 1.5" so you might want to pick up the 1.5" (large size) punch too. However, you'll only need to cut 9 ingredient tokens total so it's not as critical as the smaller punch.
Straight-edge Cutter: I'm guessing you all have something like this already but if you don't, you need to grab one. You'll use it to cut the recipe cards, invitations, clue packet labels and tons more stuff. I've had my fiskars cutter for over 10 years and it's still going strong. It's clear, not black like the one I link to below...but this one was cheaper and uses the same blade. I also recommend stocking up on heavy white card stock if you don't have a stash at home. The link below is a 100-sheet pack so it should be plenty.
Lanyard & Badge Holders: This one is completely optional but I love them. There's just something cool about team lanyards. It's nice to be able to identify the captains quickly and it's handy if you hide ingredient tokens at businesses because they can easily spot your players. There is an add-on printable in my shop that includes all 8 colors of lanyard badges (click here to view it). If you're planning to use that printable, these Amazon lanyards are tons cheaper than what you'll find in office supply stores.
Please remember, you don't NEED any of this. These are simply tools to help save you time or hassle. We started hosting this party when we were fresh out of college and ridiculously poor - so it is definitely doable on any budget. :) If money is tight, prioritize the cardstock, cutter, and label maker, then pick up the other items when you host next year.
Good luck out there, Wanda's! More tips to come...