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Shopping back-to-school 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 that you’ll have to decide if the deeper markdowns are worth chancing that 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 over 80% 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 clearance and get up to 70% off.

A person's hand holding Crayola markers and Elmer's glue above a Target shopping cart basket filled with other school supplies.

Target usually clears out back-to-school shelves to make room for Halloween items by the end of August. In fact, with many school supplies under $1.

The first week of September, look for sales starting at 30% off. By mid-September, back-to-school clearance prices should reach 50 – 70% off.

Use your RedCard for 5% off on top of everything else.

Learn more secrets for saving on Target back-to-school.


2. Save over 80% savings on Walgreens back-to-school clearance like glue sticks and markers.

A person's hand holding a package of pink erasers above a shopping cart filled with more school supplies.

During the last week of August, back-to-school clearance at Walgreens goes from 50% off to over 80% off. Ideally, you’d wait until prices reach 80% or more off, but the selection can be slimmer. Recently, I saw Elmer’s Washable School Glue Sticks on sale for $0.49, reg. priced $3.79 (87% savings!), with Sharpie markers, and more still hanging around on the shelves 50% – 80% off.

Learn more about the cheapest places to buy school supplies.


3. Score Old Navy clearance apparel for under $2.

Old Navy clearance racks with sales signs indicating price points of $5.99 to $9.99.

The Old Navy back-to-school clearance deals happen at the start of August when you can get kids’ clothes for up to 60% off. Recently, I found a camo tank top regularly priced $5 on sale for $1.96 and t-shirts regularly priced $6 on sale for $3.97 each.

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.

Crayola, BIC, CraZArt, Pen+Gear, and Elmer's school supplies in a Walmart shopping cart.

Watch for up to 50% off Texas Instruments calculators and $10 backpacks in August.

Also, Walmart consistently offers school supplies at stock-up prices, based on KCL’s 2022 School Supply Stock-Up Price List. Year over year, Walmart offers items at these prices around mid-August and into September, no coupons needed. Take a look:

How to save money on Walmart back-to-school.



5. Get college dorm bedding and clearance kid’s clothes at Kohl’s.

Great deals on bedding at Kohl’s happen in August. For instance, you can get The Big One comforters, BOGO 1/2 off. I recently found some clearance bargains; Jumping Beans Kids’ Tees on sale for $7.68, regularly priced $16, and SO kid’s denim shorts on sale at $9, regularly priced $25.


6. Shop JCPenney for kids’ school clothes when you see the extra 40% off back-to-school clearance.

In August, JCPenney has clearance for 50% off apparel and shoe purchases. I recently found a couple of clearance bargains; Thereabouts Little & Big Girls Round Neck Long Sleeve T-Shirt for $4.99, regularly priced $26 and New Balance Nitrel Boys Running Shoes for $27.49, regularly priced $55.

Sign up for JCPenney Rewards to earn a $10 reward for every $100 you spend.


7. Find over 60% off graphic tees and cheap uniform shirts at The Children’s Place.

A clearance rack of kids clothing at The Childrens Place.

The Children’s Place offers deals worth your time on back-to-school clearance items in August. Kids graphic tees are marked down to an insane $2.99 (regularly $10.50), that’s 72% off, and short-sleeved polo uniform shirts are on sale for $4.99 (regularly $10.95). Stock up for the whole year when you see prices this low!


8. Buy your kids 50% off Chuck Taylors at Kohl’s.

Big Kohl's store location

Converse shoes aren’t cheap and sales can be skimpy. Of course, these are the shoes your kids want. Watch Kohl’s deals in August; I snatched up $65 regularly priced Chuck Taylor High-Top Sneakers for $31.20, that’s 50% less than the retail price.

8 Back-to-School Clearance Sales for Smart Parents on a Tight Budget