7 Things You Should Wait to Buy for Back to School

You may be tempted to finish your shopping now, but you're better off buying jeans, backpacks, and more after school starts.
school backpack

It can pay to get a head start on back-to-school sales if you want to avoid crowds and save money. But sometimes it's better to hold off until the rush dies down.

Here are seven back-to-school staples you should probably wait to buy.


If you're searching for the best deals on jeans, wait for fall. By then, retailers should have tons of denim remaining from back-to-school inventory. Expect to see discounts of up to 75% at department stores and discount retailers. Some online retailers also offer free shipping. If you're lucky, you could run across buy one, get one deals on jeans from labels like Levi's, American Eagle Outfitters, and Lucky Brand.

SEE ALSO: 4 Reasons Non-Parents Should Shop Back-to-School Sales

Winter Clothes

Have you taken a moment to sort through the apparel that's in your children's closets? You may find that they're well-stocked with what they'll need when the cooler temperatures surface. But if not, wait until January to score the best deals on winter clothing.

Extra-Curricular Supplies

How about all the miscellaneous supplies your students may need later on in the school year? You may already have what they need tucked away somewhere in your home, or perhaps the school will provide any specialized equipment. But even if that's not the case, it's much wiser to buy accessories for after-school activities on an as-needed basis.

iPhones and Other Gadgets

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming! Historically, cell phone providers have rolled out the red carpet on iPhone deals during these shopping holidays. Last year, Target offered a Black Friday iPhone 7 deal that came with a $250 gift card and cost $0 down.

'Schools are changing their classroom experience to include more technology, including laptops and tablets.'

Furthermore, "schools are changing their classroom experience to include more technology, including laptops and tablets," Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow told the National Retail Federation. There's a possibility that all the technology your student will need is already on campus or in the classroom.


College textbooks often cost more than $200 each and sometimes go as high as $400, according to the Student Public Interest Research Groups. For students heading off to college, it's definitely not in their best interest to buy textbooks ahead of time, unless they're certain they won't be dropping any classes.

As for elementary, middle, and high school students, it's worth having a conversation with the teacher to find out when a kid will need the requested titles in the classroom. Doing so gives you an ample amount of time to search for the best deals. And don't forget to check out Amazon, as the price of a Prime membership could save you hundreds if your books are accessible online.


Once school's back in session, the demand for backpacks plummets, and retailers will want to clear excess inventory. Some may argue that the August deals on backpacks are stellar, but it pays to use last year's backpack if you can and wait until mid-to-late September to take advantage of clearance markdowns.

SEE ALSO: 9 Ways to Avoid Falling for Back-to-School Shopping Tricks

Lunch Boxes

Similar to backpacks, you won't see lunch boxes flying off the shelves after the dust has settled from the back-to-school rush. And if you can wait until late August or early September, you're guaranteed to find good deals at both big-box and discount retailers on clearance lunch bags.

Readers, which school items do you wait to buy, if any? Let us know in the comments below!

Allison Martin
Contributing Writer

After spending several years as a governmental accountant, Allison transitioned into the world of freelance writing. Her work has appeared on on a number of reputable sites, including The Wall Street Journal, Investopedia, Daily Finance, MSN Money, and Credit.com.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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