By the end of the last school year, my kid's backpack looked like a bear had mauled it. While I may never understand how a nine-year-old can wreak so much havoc on a canvas sack, I’ve definitely concluded that spending big bucks on a book bag just isn't worth it.

Here’s how to score a great new backpack for less than $15! And trust me, at that price, you probably won't even flinch when you find last week's peanut butter and jelly sandwich smashed in the bottom of it.

1. Shop at drugstores and get backpacks for less than $5.

We’ve started seeing nearly-free backpack deals at CVS and Walgreens. Depending on when school starts in your region, you should start seeing Buy One, Get One deals or promotions that require you to buy at an already low price and receive rewards dollars like this one from CVS.

2. Go to 6pm.com for cheap name-brand backpacks.

Shop online at 6pm.com and get free shipping and huge deals on brands like Vans, Crocs, Dakine, Roxy, Burton, and Jansport. While you’re there, check out the apparel deals for back-to-school clothes—I just bought my son New Balances for less than $25!

Related: 9 Retailers That Will Price Match Amazon

3. Skip department stores.

Retailers like Walmart, Tanga.com, The Children's Place, and Target offer cute and trendy options that will get the job done, and won't break the bank. You can usually find an even bigger selection, and sometimes better prices, when you visit the store's website, so don't be discouraged if you don't see the bag of your dreams right off the bat.

4. Watch for office supply store promotions.

 

 

Staples and other office supply stores run great promotions on backpacks right before school starts. If you time it right, and take advantage of their rewards programs, you can get a nice new backpack for super cheap.

 

5. Play the waiting game and buy in September.

[caption id="attachment_1325467" align="aligncenter" width="670"]
Via Frugality Is Free[/caption]

The early bird may get the worm, but the backpack shopper who waits to buy until after school starts gets a steal of a deal. Sure, you may not have first pick of styles, but there will undoubtedly still be great options, and your fat wallet will remind you why you waited.

 Related: 10 Aha Back-to-School Savings Hacks

 

5 Easy Ways to Get a Backpack for Less Than $15