Shopping clearance school supplies requires loads of patience as you lie in wait all summer for markdowns to happen.
And then when markdowns finally show up, you have to pounce! The biggest challenge with waiting for prices to drop is you’ll have to decide if the deeper markdowns are worth chancing your item will disappear from the shelves. This is always the gamble with clearance shopping!
But if you time it right, you stand to save up to 90% on items from your child’s school supply list, plus clothing and more. A word to the wise — many of these examples are straight clearance prices, but if you ever have a manufacturer coupon for items on clearance, stack it with the low price and you’ll save even more!
1. Shop Target for back-to-school sales and get up to 70% off.
The first week of September, look for sales starting at 30% off. By mid-September, clearance prices should reach 50-70% off.
In 2019 I found notebooks, two-pocket folders, composition notebooks, backpacks, pens, glue sticks, pencils and more on clearance. Plus, Target offered a Circle offer for an additional 10% off clearance prices!
In fact, I had a manufacturer coupon for Five Star items and actually got them free. Otherwise, I got up to 80% savings. Check it out:
Use 10% Off – Clearance School Supplies, Target Circle Offer
And use one $1/2 – Five Star products from SS
Final Price: Free
Use 10% Off – Clearance School Supplies, Target Circle Offer
Final Price: $5.38
Final Price: $5.98
2. Get ahold of 90% savings on Walgreens school supplies like paper and pencils.
During the first week of September in 2019, back-to-school clearance at Walgreens went from 50% off to 90% off within a week. Ideally you’d wait until prices reach 90% off, but as I said, selection is much slimmer.
For example, Wexford kid scissors and Elmer’s glue sticks started at 50% off at the beginning of the week and they were still around to receive a 70% markdown, but by the end of the week, they were sold out before they could receive that big 90% markdown.
The highlighters never even saw a 70% markdown, they sold out first! But, paper and pencils made it to 90% off.
Check it out:
- Pilot FriXion Highlighters: (
reg. $3.99) $1.99, sale price — 50% savings
- Elmer’s School Glue Sticks: (
reg. $3.29) $0.49, sale price — 85% savings
- Wexford 5″ Scissors: (
reg. $2.49) $0.74, sale price — 70% savings
- Paper Mate Mechanical Pencils, 30 count: (
reg. $7.99) $0.79, sale price — 90% savings
- Wexford Filler Paper, 280 sheets: (
reg. $2.99) $0.29, sale price — 90% savings
3. Score Old Navy kids’ jeans for $7 and tees for $3.
Old Navy usually has discounts as early as mid-August, but the best back-to-school deals happen at the end of August when you can find $7 kids’ jeans and $3 tees.
- Girls’ or Boys’ Jeans (
reg. $19.99) $7, sale price
- Boys’ Softest Tee (
reg. $10.99) $3, sale price
- Girls’ Tee (
reg. $9.99-$10.99) $2.97-$3, sale price
4. Plan on Walmart back-to-school sales and everyday low prices if you’re a one-stop shopper.
Watch for up to 65% off Texas Instruments calculators and backpacks in September.
- Texas Instruments TI-30X-IIS Scientific Calculator (
reg. $12.97) $4.50, clearance price
- Spirited Away Kids’ Backpack (
reg. $9.88-$12.99) $3.50-$6.50, sale price
Also, Walmart consistently offers school supplies at stock-up prices, based on KCL’s 2020 School Supply Stock Up Price List. Year over year, Walmart offers items at these prices around mid-August, no coupons needed. Take a look:
- Crayon Box $1, regular price (KCL stock-up price: $1)
- Crayola Classic Markers 10 count $0.97, regular price (KCL stock-up price: $1)
- Crayola Colored Pencils 12 count $0.97, regular price (KCL stock-up price: $1)
- Generic No. 2 Pencils 20 count $0.97 ($0.05 per pencil), regular price (KCL stock-up price: $0.05 per pencil)
- Elmer’s School Glue 4 ounces $0.50, regular price (KCL stock-up price: $0.50)
- Crayola Crayons 24 count $0.50, regular price (KCL stock-up price: $0.50)
5. Get college dorm bedding and clearance backpacks for school at Kohl’s.
During August of 2019, Kohl’s offered a 40% off mystery code that I stacked with a sale price for deep savings on college dorm bedding. I got a $129 bedding set for $29 — 77% savings. (Nobody is looking, so go ahead and outfit your home with new bedding even if you don’t have a college student.)
Use Mystery Savings Code for up to 40% off
Final Price: as low as $27.99
In September of 2019, Fila backpacks hit as low as 80% off. How did this happen? The magic of a sale price and two extra promo codes. Check it out:
Use LABORDAY for $10 off orders of $25+
Use POPCORN20 for 20% off
Final Price: as low as $7.99 each, when you buy 2
6. Shop JCPenney for kids’ school clothes when you see the extra 25% off coupon in August.
Typically in August, JCPenney hosts a sale for 25% off apparel and shoe purchases of $100 or more. But in 2019, they went all out by offering a straight 25% off, no minimum at all. Stock up on clothes and shoes for kids when you see this!
7. Get a printer for under $20 at Walmart in August.
August is a great month to buy a clearance printer. The past two years in a row (2018 and 2019), Walmart has offered a printer for under $20. Perfect if you need an extra one for kids at home doing school, to send with your college student or just to replace the family printer.
- Canon PIXMA All-in-One Inkjet Printer (
reg. $35) $19, sale price
8. Find cheap backpacks, lunch boxes and jeans at The Children’s Place.
Backpacks, lunch boxes and jeans hit record-low prices at The Children’s Place in mid-August, according to what I saw in 2019. Here’s what you can expect to see:
- Boys’ Dino Camo Backpack (
reg. $29.95) $9.99, sale price — 67% savings
- Girls’ Rainbow Unicorn Lunch Box (
reg. $14.95) $4.99, sale price — 67% savings
- Boys’ or Girls’ Basic Jeans (
reg. $19.50) $7.99, sale price — 59% savings
9. Buy your teen Chuck Taylors for 70% off at Kohl’s.
Converse shoes aren’t cheap and sales can be skimpy. But at Kohl’s in summer 2020, thanks to a killer sale, I snatched up Chuck Taylors for my teenager for 70% less than retail price!
Final Price: as low as $16.50
Girls and boys Chuck Taylors were on sale too and I saved 40%:
Final Price: $27
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