Summer is in full swing now, which means Back to School season will be here soon. The Apple Back to School promotion has already begun, but the bulk of these events are still in the future — think mid-July through August. The good news is you have plenty of time to shop all the essentials before your kids head back to class in person, or virtually.
Check out our guide below to learn what to expect from the best Back to School sales in 2020. And if you're lucky enough to live in a state hosting a sales tax holiday, shop during your tax free weekend to score extra savings this season.
Your Guide to Back to School Sales in 2020
Snag School Supplies for Less Than $1
One of the best ways to save on school supplies is to opt for in-store pickup when you can, especially at stores like Walmart. Last year, the retailer offered deals as low as 33 cents during its Back to School event. Some of the top picks included a 2-pack of 24 Crayola crayons for $1, an 18-pack of Paper Mate pens for $3, and even a 24-pack of BIC Gel-ocity pens for free after rebate.
If you can't make it to a store to pick up your items, or if you don't feel comfortable going in-store, you should be able to earn free shipping. Typically, Walmart requires orders to meet a $35 minimum threshold to receive free shipping, and if you're stocking up for the school year, reaching that amount shouldn't be difficult.
Shopping on Amazon? We expect the online megaretailer to have a fair amount of affordable school supplies, too. Last year, it took up to 40% off select Crayola pencils, gel pens, paints, and other items. Plus, a 12-pack of Sharpie highlighters cost only $5 on the site. Amazon also offered a 12-pack of BIC gel pens similar to Walmart's for free, after you redeemed a mail-in rebate.
The deals didn't stop at writing utensils, either — Amazon also had items like Avery binder dividers, which went for 65 cents for an 8-pack. You could snag a 24-pad pack of Post-it notes for only $7, too.
Not interested in shopping at Walmart or Amazon? Be sure to check out Office Depot and OfficeMax, as they should have top-notch deals, as well. Last year, the chain offered a 5-pack of BIC highlighters for 37 cents.
Buy Backpacks Priced as Low as $7
Back to School sales can be a great time to buy a new bag — whether you're a student or not — and we expect excellent backpack discounts once again this year.
Stores like Proozy will probably knock an extra 40% off, while Lands' End will likely offer up to 53% off kids' bags. Individual deals should also be strong, with backpacks of various sizes dropping as low as $7. And if you need a more-complete option for the younger kids, be sure to check out Macy's — last year, the department store chain sold 5-piece backpack and lunch kits for $16 each.
Take Hundreds Off Laptops
These days, it seems like even young kids are using laptops for schoolwork. If your school system doesn't provide kids with a device, the good news is you can find a solid laptop for hundreds of dollars off during Back to School sales.
Last year, Lenovo cut up to 50% off during its Back to School sale, and took an extra 5% off via a coupon code. Dell Home, meanwhile, knocked up to 40% off laptops during its sale, and Sam's Club offered HP laptops from just $499.
Get Kids' Clothing That's up to 75% Off
If the kids need a new wardrobe, consider stocking up for the school year during Back to School sales. Last year, The Children's Place took up to 60% off during its sitewide sale, while Walmart knocked up to 75% off kids' clearance clothing. Macy's will likely offer free shipping on orders of $75, while Target could have discounts like $10 off kids' clothes orders of $40.
Watch for T-shirts to fall to as little as $2 at The Children's Place, and for graphic tees to go for $5 at stores like Target and Macy's. Uniform pants and jeans alike could both cost $10 per pair, while dresses, blouses, and polo shirts will likely be $20 or less each.
Save Up to 70% on Kids' Shoes
Once again, look to Walmart for deep discounts on Back to School essentials. Last year, the retailer knocked up to 70% off shoes for the whole family, including kids. And check out Crocs for $17 kicks. Looking for athletic footwear? Last year, Reebok had kids' sneakers that dropped by 50% to $35.
Find More Back to School Deals Online
States are reacting differently to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with some rolling back their reopenings and others surging ahead. Regardless, retailers are likely to offer more online deals this year, so consumers can shop without having to worry about physical distancing in-store. If you can, opt for in-store or curbside pickup instead, and go at less popular times, when fewer people should be shopping.
Other Ways to Save
If you're focusing on saving extra money during this Back to School season, know that there are a variety of ways to do so. For example, United School Supplies is an excellent resource that offers name brands at typically lower prices. However, there's a catch: your school has to be partnered with them. Once they are, you just input the special 6-digit code and shop online. Then items are shipped to the school. If you could see USS being useful to your school, consider having a conversation with your principal or representative about joining this program.
Readers, have you started Back to School shopping yet? What kinds of deals are you seeing? Let us know in the comments below!