37 Best Back-to-School Sales Happening Right Now
Back-to-school sales are officially in full swing, and you're about to save big. Funnel your newfound cash into your kids’ college funds and thank us later.
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A crash course on back-to-school savings
Pop quiz: When is the best time to get the biggest discounts on everything your kids need? Answer: Right now! Even though summer’s still very much here, back-to-school sales have already started, whether you’re looking for everyday learning gear or dorm essentials, and you won’t want to miss them. After all, kids are expensive, so parents need to save where they can!
“Back-to-school is the second busiest and most expensive shopping season of the year, following the winter holidays,” says family finance expert Andrea Woroch. “Parents often feel stressed about affording everything their kids need. Between pricey tech items like tablets and laptops (and the best laptop backpacks) on today’s school supply list and inflation that is causing everything from clothing to supplies to even groceries for your kids’ lunches to go up, spending can quickly add up.”
Whatever you do, don’t put off back-to-school shopping until the last minute. The longer you wait, the less selection there will be; you might also miss the prime times for the steepest discounts. Scroll through to find exactly what you need for the kids, and pick up a few things for yourself while you’re at it—after all, many of these items aren’t just for the pint-sized set! Then check out this handy guide to the best Labor Day sales for even more smart savings.
Clothing and shoes
It may seem too hot to even think about denim, sweatshirts, and other cooler-weather essentials, but now is the time to stock up. Trust us—you can get up to 80 percent off regular retail pricing right now. And even though you might be in denial, you’ll need these items in just a few weeks, when the air starts to turn crisp in most parts of the country.
- Kohl’s: Shop Kohl’s Price Event August 18 through 22 and see markdowns on back-to-school categories like tees, shirts, denim, shoes, active essentials, backpacks, uniforms, and intimates. Savings will be as much as 60 percent off with some doorbuster items. You can also count on the store’s famous $10/$50 Kohl’s Cash during that time (you’ll get a $10 Kohl’s Cash coupon for every $50 spent), so you can hold onto more of your hard-earned cash for those PTA bake sales.
- Old Navy: Take advantage of not one but two epic sales at Old Navy over the next few weeks. Get up to 50 percent off select kids and sale styles from $6 between July 26 and August 9, and then come back for another round of slashed prices at the store’s Back to School Stock Up event from August 10 through 19, with hundreds of styles for every age group starting at just $8. This family-favorite store is known for its incredible deals on leggings and loungewear sets, so make sure to check out those sections while you shop.
- Kidpik: Take 50 percent off your first Kidpik clothing subscription box when you keep the entire box using code “SCHOOL50” at checkout in August. We’re betting you’ll be back for a second box because, in many instances, these personally styled fashion boxes actually work out cheaper than deal-hunting in stores—and you’ll find unique items your kids will truly love.
- AND1: If your kids always seem to grow out of their shoes way too fast, this is the sale for you. You’ll find stylish AND1 basketball sneakers for girls at Walmart at prices well below $20 throughout the month of August and possibly beyond (assuming they don’t sell out). A variety of similar boys’ styles will also be at under-$20 price points, so you can mark cool kicks off your back-to-school checklist.
- Tea Collection: Take an extra 25 percent off fashionable sale and clearance finds at this adorable kids’ brand right now. Shirts, shorts, swimwear, leggings, and more are up to 70 percent off their usual prices. FYI, even when this sale isn’t going on, the site’s clearance section is a treasure trove of high-end children’s gear at bargain-basement prices, so make sure to check back regularly.
- The Children’s Place: Take up to 60 percent off usual prices at this always-affordable store that has fashionable finds for babies all the way up to teens. Starting August 5 and running through the entire month, you’ll find various promotions, all with one thing in common—savings of up to 60 percent off, and sometimes more.
- LoneCone: These boots were made for splashing! Pick up these colorful Amazon best sellers that parents can’t seem to get enough of. They’re currently selling for less than $15 in a variety of prints and sizes, and Prime members can get them shipped fast and free, too.
- Naot at 6pm: Remember when we said that back-to-school sales weren’t just for kids? Treat yourself to some of the best walking shoes for women, and pick up a few pairs for your teen, too. The brand’s entire lineup will be offered at up to 80 percent off throughout August. Score some new sandals at rock-bottom prices if you live in a warm climate, or stick to the brand’s always-popular booties and sneaker-style shoes.
- French Toast: From August 1 through August 10, uniform basics and wardrobe staples like polos and khakis will be 25 percent off at French Toast, one of the major official retailers of school uniforms. No code is necessary, and the discount will apply to just about everything, so be sure to scoop up some extra dress code–approved hoodies and long-sleeve shirts while you’re at it.
- Rocksbox: Get ready to make your fashion-forward teen or young adult very happy. Rocksbox is offering 50 percent off jewelry-rental memberships for three months with code “BTW50” at checkout. The code will be valid for all of August, making this one of the best back-to-school sales for the gal who always needs something new to wear.
Regardless of what school looks like in the fall, the kids will still need all the usual pens, paper, glue, and other learning gear. You’ll find the essentials at up to 75 percent off throughout August if you know where to look. Also, while August is a prime time for these sorts of sales, here’s when you’ll find other cheap finds in every category throughout the year.
- Target: Everyone’s favorite affordable retailer has announced that more than 80 percent of its back-to-school sales and collection will be made up of products under $10 this year, and that’s welcome news to frugal shoppers. The deals will include 99-cent up&up notebooks, $5 Cat & Jack graphic tees, and 50-cent Crayola crayon packs. College students will also see bold discounts on everything they need, from 50-cent Room Essentials plastic bowls and $4 pillows to $8 jeans.
- Fenrici: For truly out-of-this-world minds, the Fenrici Purple Galaxy Backpack will be marked down on Amazon throughout August with an additional 10 percent off clippable coupon. It ships fast and free for Amazon Prime members, so you don’t have to panic if you waited till the last minute but still want to save on back-to-school shopping.
- Staples.com: Well, this is bright! Shoppers can take 50 percent off TRU RED Tank Highlighters with chisel tips now through September 18 at Staples.com. Other must-have sale items include marble notebooks under $1, number two pencils, loose-leaf paper, and more.
- Dollar General: Making the most of the Dollar General Teacher Appreciation Event is one of the teacher shopping tricks you absolutely need to know if you’re an educator. From now through September 6, teachers can sign up for a 30 percent off discount on almost anything from the store. Glue sticks, poster board, pencils, face masks, snacks, and even socks are all fair game. The retailer is asking teachers to verify their credentials online before doling out a series of DG digital coupons. And don’t worry—they don’t mind if you use your discount on a few extra packages of your favorite coffee.
- Walmart: Get a 50-count set of Crayola’s beloved colored pencils now for less than $7, and then check back for loads of other back-to-school discounts during the first two weeks of August. It’s all very hush-hush, but you’ll find the deals soon enough! Better yet, Walmart Plus members get fast, free shipping, and products often arrive the very same day.
- Joann: Load up on crafting supplies and art-class essentials at the JOANNiversary sale running August 5 through 7, both in stores and online. Everything from scrapbooking materials to brightly printed fabrics will be marked down, with a whopping 70 percent off print and cardstock paper.
Whether the brainiac in your life is heading back to in-person learning or spending a good portion of their time learning from home, they’ll need to right electronics to keep them up to speed with their lessons and their classmates. All set for the start of the school year? Stock up early for the holidays—these items make great tech gifts that kids (and parents) will love!
- JLAB: Take 20 percent off a variety of JLAB’s school-friendly earbuds and headphones—including these JBuddies foldable headphones for kids—during the week of August 15 on the brand’s Amazon storefront. The brand’s popular Rewind vintage-style headphones, which have more than 2,700 five-star reviews, will also be included in the sale.
- Walmart: This Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 is now just $179 at Walmart, making it an extremely attractive laptop choice for learners of all ages and stages. It boasts a touchscreen function, an Intel Celeron processor, and easy setup.
- Ocushield: Worry less about blue light and the dangers of excess screen time with Ocushield’s collection of screen-filtering protectors for smartphones, laptops, and more. From August 25 through September 1, you can take 15 percent off everything Ocushield sells by using code “BACKTOSCHOOL” at checkout. Don’t worry—these blockers are totally clear, so you can still take and view some seriously hilarious back-to-school photos.
- FOCI: Can’t get the kids to focus? Meet FOCI, a focus-tracking gadget for students that is catching on with overwhelmed parents and students who really want to succeed. It’s a thumb-size wearable that clips to a waistband and reads emotions, productivity, and distractions; that data is then analyzed through biofeedback technology to help steer and encourage more streamlined learning. Work smarter, not harder, right? For the entire month of August, FOCI will be offering 15 percent off with the code “BACKTOSCHOOL” at checkout.
Personal care items
Don’t forget about hygiene and beauty essentials! During August’s back-to-school sales, you can get a refill on your favorites or upgrade your child’s products to help them embrace their new, mature selves. Major brands are doing their best to keep their most popular products within reach for back-to-school season, with discounts up to 60 percent off and some items priced as low as $1.
- Masque Bar: Fun printed face masks and other well-loved formulas from Masque Bar have been secretly added to a $1-only section that will be live through the entire back-to-school season. The company is calling this section its site the Masque Bar Dollar Store, and it’s filled with animal-themed printed masks for teens, acne-clearing clay masks, charcoal masks with antiseptic properties, and more. We won’t judge if you buy some for your personal collection, too. By the way, you should always buy these beauty items at the dollar store.
- Stryke Club: Treat the teen boy in your life to everything he’ll need to feel confident, handsome, and well-groomed with no-fuss skin care and hygiene essentials from Stryke Club. The products fight acne, don’t use harsh ingredients, and feature sleek packaging he’ll proudly show off in his gym bag. Take an additional 20 percent off already-discounted bundles this August 16 through August 31 with the code “BTS20” at checkout.
- Rae Wellness: Take 20 percent off all Rae Wellness supplements throughout the month of August when you use the code “BACKTOSCHOOL20” at checkout. The deal is good on even the brand’s most popular products like Focus, a drop-formula supplement that supports cognition and—you guessed it—focus.
- C’est Moi: From August 1 through August 14, receive 25 percent off all of C’est Moi Beauty products on Amazon. The line’s EWG-verified, cruelty-free skin care, body products, and cosmetics are a perennial favorite for teens and young adults.
- Viteyes: Health is always top of mind when it comes to our kids, which is why you’ll want to stock up on Viteyes’ Blue Light Defender supplements when they’re 15 percent off from August 15 through September 15 on Amazon. These supplements protect against blue light exposure through ingestible vitamins that help reduce eye strain and headaches caused by too much screen time (although the best plan is still to reduce screen time if possible). Both capsules and gummies will be part of the back-to-school sales, so there’s something for every age group.
- Fairy Tales Hair Care: Keep lice far, far away from your family with this brand’s Rosemary Repel Shampoo for kids, which will be $2 off at Walgreens starting on August 1. The already-affordable suds work for every hair type and this specific formula is created with real rosemary, citronella, and tea tree oil to help naturally repel lice and other creepy crawlies. If you need a new go-to for yourself, check out this list of the best shampoos for every hair type.
Dorm and home office essentials
Decking out a new dorm room can be a daunting task—and also expensive. Since August is when most young adults head back to college campuses around the country, stores do their best to offer dorm essentials at low prices to push volume. We’re talking up to 60 percent off, so you might want to pick up some of these items for your home office, too.
- Cozy Earth: Get 30 percent off all sustainable bamboo sheet sets from eco-friendly brand Cozy Earth between August 2 and August 25 using the code “SUMMERSHEETS” at checkout. Bamboo, by the way, ranks high among cooling bed sheets, so if you’ve got a hot sleeper, this is the set you’ll want to get. While you’re at it, treat yourself or a loved one to $30 off all short-sleeve pajamas from the brand using “PAJAMA30” during the same dates.
- Plants.com: Make the dorm feel like home or spruce up your own desk area with a new colorful plant while Plants.com is offering 20 percent off its entire collection of office plants in August. Use code “OFFICE20” at checkout to grab the deal. Shopping for someone who doesn’t have a green thumb? Check out these hard-to-kill houseplants anyone can grow. (Really, anyone!)
- Wayfair: Shop Wayfair’s desk closeouts section for a wide selection of high-end desks that are either open stock, clearance, or on sale now through Labor Day. Most are well under $100 and look like expensive designer pieces.
- Sijo: Take 15 percent off all luxury sustainable bedding and loungewear from covet-worthy brand Sijo this August 16 through August 22 with code “REFRESH” at checkout. Helpful tip: You may also want to stock up on household essentials and Christmas gifts while the code is active.
- Marshalls: Grab towels, plates, and decor for a steal at Marshalls’ end-of-summer clearance event, happening right now. High-quality, ultra-soft bath towels start at just $4.99, matching bath mats and washcloths are cheaper than a cup of coffee, and happiness-inspiring art and signs are all marked down by up to 80 percent off retail prices. Stock is constantly changing, but if you play your cards right, this popular retailer may even have desks, chairs, and bedding for less than you’ll find anywhere else.
- Allswell: Need a new mattress? Buy one at Allswell between August 3 and August 12, using promo code “BTS15” at checkout, and you’ll get 15 percent off the brand’s entire line of mattresses, as well as bedding and bath products. They’re incredibly affordable even without the discount, so this is definitely one of the best back-to-school sales to shop if you want to save a bundle.
- QVC: Popular brands from QVC will be on sale for up to 60 percent off this August during the Living for Giving sale. The event, which runs the entire month, benefits Feeding America, and 70 percent of already-reduced prices on homewares for the office, dorm, and more will be donated directly to the charity. It’s a great way to stock up on the essentials you need while also giving back.
Lunch supplies and snacks
Back-to-school sales aren’t just for notebooks and dorm bedding. You’ll also find snack-time favorites, lunch-making equipment, food, drinks, and other yummy finds for up to half off their usual retail prices. They’re great for school, of course, but they also make terrific road trip snacks for an end-of-summer vacation or a drive to drop off your college student.
- Rubbermaid: You’ll be able to buy a complete set of 25 Rubbermaid TakeAlongs food storage and meal-prep containers for under $20 during the entire month of August. That works out to less than $1 per piece!
- Tate’s Bake Shop: Everyone’s favorite gourmet cookie brand recently introduced a new line called Tiny Tate’s that’s quickly become a fan favorite. From August 1 through August 31, this line of smaller, on-the-go cookies will have a clippable coupon on Amazon for significant savings, as well as fast, free shipping for Prime members.
- Walgreens: Check Walgreens’ paperless coupons section for near steals on favorite snack foods. The coupons work in-store and online, and current offerings include $3 off Kellogg’s breakfast cereals, $1 off Flipz pretzels, and more.
- Sam’s Club: If your kids love snack packs, you’ve found nirvana. Nabisco snack packs are just 25 cents each (yes, you read that correctly) when you shop 40-packs from Sam’s Club now through August. Frito-Lay 50-packs are under $14 right now, too.
Do you have a few other things on your to-buy list right now? Check out these Labor Day sales on appliances that will also save you a bundle.
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- Andrea Woroch, family finance expert