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.
Target is usually trying to clear out back-to-school shelves to make room for Halloween items by the end of August.
The first week of September, look for sales starting at 30% off. By mid-September, clearance prices should reach 50-70% off.
I’ve found notebooks, two-pocket folders, composition notebooks, backpacks, pens, glue sticks, pencils and more on clearance in past years. Plus, look for Target Circle offers to stack savings. You might find one for an additional 10% off clearance prices!
Toward late August, you should also check for 50% off Dollar Spot clearance. In 2020, I found organizational and school supplies like planner stickers for as low as $0.50.
2. Get ahold of 90% savings on Walgreens school supplies like paper and pencils.
During the first week of September in 2020, 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.
3. Score Old Navy clearance apparel for as low as $2.
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 deals site wide for as low as $2.
In 2019 I saw girls’ and boys’ jeans for just $7 (down from $19.99), as well as kids’ tees for only $3. In 2020, during an Old Navy flash sale around August 25, I spotted girls’ and boys’ clearance starting at $2.07 after an extra 30% off clearance clothing!
Check out these Old Navy deals now.
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.
Also, Walmart consistently offers school supplies at stock-up prices, based on KCL’s 2021 School Supply Stock-Up Price List. Year over year, Walmart offers items at these prices around mid-August, no coupons needed. Take a look:
- 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)
- 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.
I’ve already seen great deals on bedding at Kohl’s in August this year and it’s only going to get better. For instance, The Big One comforters, originally $59.99, were on sale for just $34.99. But then I used a text alert code to save an additional 15%, and only spent $30.
Text SAVE07 to 56457 (KOHLS) so you don’t miss the next great coupon at Kohl’s. (Nobody is looking, so go ahead and outfit your home with new bedding even if you don’t have a college student.)
Also, last September, Fila backpacks hit as low as 80% off. How did this happen? The magic of a clearance price stacked with a promo code. Check it out:
Use FRIENDS20 for 20% off (expired deal)
Final Price: as low as $12.80
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. 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’ve seen the past two years. Even better, in September 2020, The Children’s Place gave shoppers $20 in Place Bucks for every $20 spent.
Combine that offer with promos like the Halloween-themed matching pajamas sale we saw last year to get pj’s for you and your little for under $13 total after Place Bucks.
8. 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! I even scored kids’ Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Tops on sale for $27, regularly $45 at Kohl’s.
Shop current Kohl’s deals now.