Back to school sales are some of my favorite times to go shopping for not just classic school supplies, but many other things household items. In fact, these are some of the best sales you will find all year long for cleaning & organization supplies for the house, and a few other things that you might love (Clicky Blue Ink Pens for me!). I’ve put together a list of my top tips for making the most of a back to school sale, and am sure you’ll benefit from our own experience.
100 Ways To Make The Most Of Back To School Sales
Back to school sales begin as early as late June and usually run through September. There are tons of great deals and tips for saving more money along the way, and this list is a wonderful place to begin when trying to make the most of your local back to school sales.
1. Shop online when free shipping is offered. I LOVE Amazon for their Prime Shipping!
2. Compare online prices using a price matching toolbar to find the ultimate best price available for your purchase.
3. Search for free shipping and discount codes for all purchases made online.
4. Take advantage of free site to store shipping and pick up purchases in store.
5. Take advantage of tax free days in your state or surrounding states.
6. Shop BOGO sales.
7. Ask for discounts on floor models or items that have stains, holes, or frays.
8. Print any coupons available for stores before shopping.
9. Download store apps for in-store deals made available only to app users.
10. Use rebate apps and in store rebates to get cash back on purchases.
11. Shop at office supply stores for school supplies.
12. Shop warehouse stores for clothing.
13. Shop shoe stores for deals on backpacks and lunch boxes.
14. Ask your school district in advance for a list of provided supplies so you don’t buy unnecessary items.
15. Stock up on sale items that will be used more throughout the year.
16. Don’t forget to shop electronics during tax free days and back to school sales.
17. Buy the next size up when on sale at lowest prices and put away for growth spurts throughout the year.
18. Buy gift items for the holidays: clothing, socks, candles, jewelry, small appliances, electronics, and books are all at great discounts.
19. Don’t skip back to school sales at thrift shops or resale stores.
20. Check Goodwill, Savers, and other larger resale stores for discounted new with tags items.
21. Shop sporting goods stores for end of summer clearance on sports clothing. T-shirts, shorts, socks, and sports equipment are often at lowest prices in August and September.
22. Buy supplies in bulk for better savings.
23. Stock up on ink, paper, and other office supplies for your home business while they are on sale for back to school.
24. Inventory your home before you go shopping to make sure you don’t already have items on hand.
25. Don’t forget to ask for military or student discounts.
26. Shop with a local senior citizen on senior discount day for an extra 10% off your purchase.
27. Stack store coupons with manufacture coupons and rebates when applicable.
28. Cash in rewards gift cards from sites like Swagbucks, InstaGC, and more to pay for supplies.
29. Shop through rewards sites to earn extra money back to help pay for Christmas later in the year.
30. Don’t buy generic supplies until the last minute when they are at their lowest price.
31. Buy stationary while on sale to use for handmade cards and letters at the holidays for a fraction of the price.
32. Use back to school sales to stock upon craft supplies in teacher supply stores. Things like glitter, glue, butcher paper, craft embellishments, Cricut cartridges, ribbon, and even wrapping paper are on sale.
33. Double check prices at your local dollar store compared to retail stores or office supply stores. Dollar stores aren’t always the best deal.
34. Price match items at your favorite stores when able. Best Buy and Target often allow price matching during back to school season.
35. Check out eBay for great deals on clothing, shoes, backpacks, and electronics during the back to school season.
36. Watches and other miscellaneous jewelry are often on sale during this season along with clothing and are at great prices to put aside for Christmas.
37. Leave the kids at home when you shop so they don’t derail your budget.
38. Buy large bulk packages to split with other parents at your school for better prices for everyone overall.
39. Use coupons on Amazon for extra discounts.
40. Sign up for Amazon Student if you or a family member are a college student this year.
41. Rent textbooks for college instead of buying outright.
42. Stock up on makeup, hair styling tools, and other expensive beauty supplies during sales. They are great for your own use, as well as adding to a gift closet for the holidays.
43. Sell your old textbooks at the book fair, or online through Amazon, eBay, or other book buying sites.
44. Buy used textbooks online when possible. Just make sure they are the specified version listed in the syllabus.
45. Take advantage of rewards points offered on gift card purchases at chain stores. Many offer rewards that convert to gas points. Buy gift cards for the retail stores you plan to buy supplies at, and earn money off your gas in the process while providing yourself with a limited budget.
46. Use credit cards that offer cash back rewards at certain retailers so you earn more with your purchase. Just make sure you pay off the next month so you don’t incur interest charges.
47. Watch for free or discounted hair cut days from local salons. JCPenny often does this in mid-August.
48. Ask your doctor about free or discounted school physicals for your children. This is often a way to get a decent check up on record at half the out of pocket price.
49. Ask a teacher friend if you can shop together and share their discount on purchases.
50. Make a solid list and stick to it when you hit the stores.
51. Avoid buying clothing in current sizes. Kids grow fast. Always buy the next size up, and buy limited quantities since seasons and sizes will change fast.
52. Stock up on household goods during dorm room sales. Items like sheets, pillows, bedding, even furniture and cleaning supplies are often at a deep discount.
53. Stock your freezer with lunchbox friendly items on sale. Juice boxes, snack mix, crackers, and similar items are also great for pantry shelves.
54. Buy storage boxes and shelving during back to school sales to use for home organization.
55. Watch for sales or special releases on new or upgraded phones and plans from your cellular carrier.
56. Buy bonus phone minute cards when on sale for back to school sales. You often find cards that have bonus minutes or rewards as an incentive during this time of year.
57. Donate items that have been outgrown or no longer needed when you purge to make room for new items. Make sure to grab a receipt and use as a tax deduction for tax season next year.
58. Hit garage sales and yard sales in your area for last minute back to school sales. Many families that are short on funds will hold a yard sale to make money for new supplies. Their junk may be your treasure.
59. Follow stores on social media that you plan to shop for daily deals and coupons posted only on those accounts.
60. Sign up for email or text clubs for every store you will shop from for even better discounts on your purchases.
61. Stock up on off season items that are on final clearance during back to school sales. These often include summer outdoor furniture, grills, pools, and even swim gear that can be stored until next year.
62. Ask if school uniforms can be purchased outside the school supplier and price shop around different retailers. Many times buying in store is much cheaper than through the school program.
63. Shop mid-week for smaller crowds and better stock in stores. Weekends are busiest and usually have fewer options in stock.
64. Check out school supply areas at stores you may not consider. Drug stores, grocery stores, and even convenience stores will often have supplies at great discounts during this season as loss leaders to get you in the store.
65. Watch local gyms for back to school membership discounts and take advantage of the deal for an updated membership at a lower price.
66. Shop for a new or used car during back to school sales. Dealerships are often pushing that year model off the lot with better pricing for the new year to come on lot in September and October. Used car lots often offer discounted prices or low down payments to entice students into a new car for college.
67. Cash in rewards points from online rebate programs and credit cards to pay for purchases made at back to school sales.
68. Recycle items by updating with low cost additions like embellishments on clothing or backpacks, and fun homemade book covers.
69. Check out your favorite direct sales companies for great sales. Avon, Tupperware, Pampered Chef, LuluRoe, and even Mary Kay all have back to school sales hosted by the company or individual reps.
70. Buy extra paper book covers when on sale to use throughout the year to protect books from school, the library, or that have been given as gifts.
71. Stock up on pencil boxes to use as craft storage in your craft room.
72. Stock upon file folders and manila folders for your home office.
73. Try on clothing in store then order online for better deals and sizing or color options.
74. Buy home décor items during dorm room sales. This can include furniture as mentioned above, but also often includes lamps, rugs, pictures, picture frames, artwork, and throws. These are great for holiday gifts.
75. If a store is out of stock on a sale item, always ask for a rain check to get the price on that item even after the sale is over.
76. Shop with friends or family to take advantage of limits where the price is low for only a set number per person. Shopping in groups allows you to break up transactions to get the most savings.
77. Load your store rewards cards with coupons, rebates, and deals before you enter the store.
78. Check for lower prices on office furniture like desks, chairs, and filing cabinets.
79. Stock up on lunch box supplies like paper bags, quart and snack sized storage bags, as well as freezer containers and refrigerator storage intended for use in a lunch box. These are great for family meal planning.
80. Buy hangers, shoe racks, and other closet organizers when on sale during back to school events.
81. Contact your insurance companies for new or updated pricing on your policies.
82. Be willing to spend more on items like backpacks, laptop bags, and lunch boxes that will be used more often and will need to stand up to kids abuse for longer.
83. Skip locker décor items since many schools don’t allow them anymore.
84. Always verify if backpacks and other totes have to be certain sizes or colors before purchasing.
85. Get feet measured before buying shoes. Buy one size up for kids when possible for longer life.
86. Buy bulk quantities of solid colored t-shirts for fun crafts and projects year round.
87. Don’t forget to shop small businesses during back to school sales. They often have amazing unique items at great prices to compete with the big competitors.
88. Grab multiple pairs of ear buds on sale and tuck away for when kids lose them, or to add into gift baskets and stockings during the holidays.
89. Stock up on ice packs during sales to add to your gym bags, first aid kits, and lunch box supplies.
90. Buy extra braces, insoles, or knee pads when on sale for sports equipment needs to use throughout the year when others wear out.
91. Buy extra extension cords, power strips, and surge protectors during electronics sales to use for holiday decorating.
92. Buy a new home clipper kit for cutting hair to save money. These are often on sale during the back to school season.
93. Buy electric toothbrushes, and electric razors at lower prices during back to school sales. These make great deals to replace existing, or even nice gifts for family members.
94. Stock up on toiletries like deodorant and feminine hygiene supplies since there are often sales and coupons available during the back to school season.
95. Stock up on lanyards and other name badges for work conferences or needs since they are typically on sale at low prices during the back to school season.
96. Buy great meal plans at discounts during back to school sales. Many bloggers and larger meal planning sites have sales to offer you easy to cook meals on a budget. Recipes and shopping lists already supplied for a low fee.
97. Buy multiple sizes of basic kids underwear, socks, and undershirts. Taking advantage of these sales means you have the next size up when they outgrow them without paying full price.
98. Shop small appliances like toaster ovens, toasters, microwaves, and even miniature refrigerators during back to schools sales.
99. Make travel arrangements for the following summer when travel dates and special events are being released around back to school season. Amazing deals for mainstream destinations like Hawaii, Disneyland, or Walt Disney World are often released in August and September for the following summer months.
100. Watch for special introduction rates to favorite streaming services offered for students during the back to school season.
As you can see, this list includes a lot more than just basic school supplies. There are multiple ways to save money and make the most of back to school sales each year. What is you favorite?
Looking for some inspiration to make for lunch for your little ones to take to school? Then take a look at my other post with over 100 Lunch Ideas and Recipes!