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Target school supplies are the talk of the town every back-to-school season. And with tons of sale prices, Circle offers, and $1 school finds, they deserve all the hype.
As always, we’re keeping a close eye on back-to-school deals and Target is at the top of our list. What do we always look forward to most? Kids’ clothing for as low as $1.90; pens, pencils, and notebooks for $0.50; and free school supplies with cashback from the Ibotta app. And don’t forget, you can ask for a Target price match if you see a lower price at Target within 14 days of your purchase.
We rounded up all of our best tips for saving on Target school supplies, like exactly when to shop for the best deals, which sale prices to look out for, and how to stack coupons and cashback for even bigger savings on your back-to-school shopping haul.
Target School Supplies on Sale Now:
Check your store for these back-to-school clearance deals:
As of Sept. 7, we’re finding school supplies on clearance at our Target store. Here’s what to look for.
1. Target back-to-school sales first pop up in late June, but the best deals are in July and August.
When many of us are just starting summer, Target’s busy prepping for the next back-to-school season. They’ll drop a few scattered deals on school supplies around the last week of June (similar to how Walmart back-to-school sales start early).
However, you’ll find the biggest selection of Target school supplies (and the most items on sale) in July and August, when the upcoming school year is truly top of mind.
Not all of the best deals on Target school supplies are in stores — you’ll find a good chunk of them on Target.com, too.
2. Find the items you need for your specific school with Target’s “School Supplies List Assist.”
Target has a nifty little tool to help you find exactly what you need for the upcoming school year. Instead of putting out a general list of common items (like, duh we need pencils), Target’s “School Supplies List Assist” helps you find specific lists from the schools in your city. All you have to do is type in your ZIP code to see if they have your schools’ lists.
3. Use Krazy Coupon Lady’s Back-to-School Stock-Up Price List to get the absolute lowest prices.
It’s impossible to get the lowest prices on school supplies without knowing what everything should cost. But at KCL, that’s our specialty.
Our Back-to-School Stock-Up Price List shows you the lowest prices for all your school supply needs. We analyzed 2023 pricing for nearly a hundred items — binders, backpacks, notebooks, paper, pens, pencils, and more — so you don’t have to settle for anything less than the best deals.
You can even download a printable version of our stock-up list to take with you as you shop for school supplies in-store.
4. Stock up when you see BOGO deals on pens, pencils, shoes, clothing, and more.
You’ll want to pay close attention to the Target weekly ad during the back-to-school season.
Every Sunday, Target releases an ad with all the promos, deals, and sales coming that week. In July and August, back-to-school deals basically take over the first half of the ad. Among those deals are “Buy One Get One” offers on school uniforms, shoes, backpacks, pens, pencils, and more.
If you’re shopping for multiple students (or just want to stock up for the whole year), these BOGO deals, especially when combined with sale prices, will help you strike gold.
We’ve seen a few BOGO deals on Target school supplies so far in 2023: back-to-school books and workbooks were Buy One Get One 40% off July 16 – 22; Bic supplies were Buy One Get One 25% off Aug. 1 – 5; Paper Mate school supplies were Buy One Get One 25% off Aug. 20 – 26; and Cat & Jack shirts were Buy One Get One 50% off Aug. 20 – 26.
5. Look for Target Circle offers to save up to 30% on school supplies and clothes.
Target releases Target Circle offers along with their weekly ad. They usually give you a percentage off a certain product, brand, or category, like 30% off select school supplies or 20% off Bic Mechanical Pencils. These offers are key to locking in more savings on your back-to-school shopping haul. You can even stack Circle offers with Target sale prices, manufacturer coupons, and your 5% RedCard savings.
In 2023, we saw some of the best back-to-school offers drop during Target Circle Week (which happened July 9 – 15). This is when we saw the big Target school supplies coupon, aka Target’s annual Circle offer for a percentage off select school supplies. They offered 30% off select school supplies with Target Circle during the sale, which was the highest discount we’ve seen for this coupon.
Other back-to-school Circle offers we’ve seen in 2023 include:
- Kids’ & Toddler Clothing — 30% off select items with Target Circle (July 9 – 15)
- Kids & Toddler School Uniforms — 30% off select items with Target Circle (July 9 – 15)
- Lenovo 15.6″ Touchscreen IdeaPad 3 Chromebook — $350 off with Target Circle (July 9 – 15)
- Pentel School Supplies — 20% off select items with Target Circle (July 16 – 22)
6. Load up on coupons for top school supply brands and stack them with Target sale prices.
Target couponing pays off big during the back-to-school season. Keep an eye out for paper and printable coupons you can use on top brands for school, like Bic, Five Star, Paper Mate, Kleenex, and more. The Target coupon policy lets you use up to four identical manufacturer coupons per day, as long as they have a scannable barcode and match up to their verified list of coupons. You can even stack one Target Circle offer, one store coupon, and one manufacturer coupon on a single item.
KCL keeps a hefty collection of back-to-school coupons, all of which you can grab before your next Target run. Here are a few of the big ones for school supplies:
School Supplies Coupons:
- Bic Coupons
- Crayola Coupons
- Expo Coupons
- Five Star Coupons
- Kleenex Coupons
- Paper Mate Coupons
- Post-It Coupons
- Scotch Coupons
- Sharpie Coupons
School Lunch Coupons:
- Applesauce Coupons
- Chips Coupons
- Juice Coupons
- Lunchables Coupons
- Peanut Butter Coupons
- Snacks Coupons
7. You won’t have to hunt long for Target school supplies under $1 — even without coupons.
It doesn’t take a Target treasure hunt to find $1 school supplies.
Items from Target-owned brands tend to be the cheapest even without a sale, Circle offer, or coupon to stack. For example, prices for school supplies from Target brands like Mondo Llama and up & up start as low as $0.24, and you can grab glue, erasers, notebooks, folders, and multi-count pencil packs for under $1.
Target will also drop a few brand-specific sales, like on Crayola crayons, markers, and colored pencils. You’ll be able to grab a 24-count pack of crayons and a 10-count pack of markers or colored pencils for $0.50 – $0.99 each.
8. Check the Target Dollar Spot for $0.50 back-to-school finds.
Don’t limit your deal search to the designated back-to-school aisles. The Target Dollar Spot is a great place to check for cheap school supplies among the other $1 knick-knacks and novelty items.
We’ve seen assorted flashcards, preschool workbooks, erasers, pencil grips, and small storage accessories for as low as $0.50. I even found a First Day of School Chalkboard for just $1.50 last year.
When you head into the store, stop by the Target Dollar Spot first to check for cheap school supplies, then head over to the larger back-to-school section.
9. Teachers can save an extra 15% on school supplies during the Target Teacher Prep Event in July.
If you’re a teacher stocking up on supplies for a whole classroom, you deserve all the savings you can get.
The Target Teacher Prep Event gives teachers the chance to save 15% on one purchase with a Target Circle coupon. In 2023, the event started on July 16 and ran for six weeks (through Aug. 26). Eligible teachers got the 15% off coupon in their Target Circle account after verifying their teacher status online. For 2024, we expect the event to start on July 14, 2024.
The 15% off coupon for teachers is typically valid on almost anything at Target, with a few exceptions — like electronics, backpacks, swimwear, clearance items, and items sold and shipped by Target Plus Partners. Otherwise, you can stock up on all the classroom supplies you need — charts, wall decor, desk accessories, arts and crafts, and so much more.
10. Use the Ibotta app for cash back on Target school supplies.
There’s a way around Target coupon limitations that can help you stack bigger savings on school supplies, and that’s by using the Ibotta app.
Ibotta gives you cash back on certain Target store purchases when you upload your receipt to the app. Cash-back offers can range anywhere from $1 to $5 on basics like pens, pencils, folders, and more. Sometimes the offers are so good they can have you walking out of Target with free school supplies.
For example, Target dropped a $1.99 sale price on 20-count packs of Paper Mate Ballpoint Pens in July 2023. At the same time, we found an Ibotta deal for $1.25 cash back on Paper Mate Ballpoint Pens. When you combined this with a Fetch Rewards rebate for $0.75 off Paper Mate products, you’d score a whole pack of pens for free. And even end up with $0.11 more in your wallet:
Related: How to Use Ibotta at Target
11. Grab kids’ tees, jeans, leggings, khakis, and polos at Target — you’ll find prices under $3.
Even if new clothes aren’t on your school shopping list, it’s worth stocking up during Target’s back-to-school season. Why? Because sales are frequent and prices on tees, tanks, shorts, jeans, dresses, and shoes are extremely low. We’ve found tanks and tees for $1.90 and leggings for $2.37. Even polos and khakis for school uniforms get sale prices under $5.
Kids’ clothes from Cat & Jack (a Target-owned brand) are by far the best items to buy. You’ll see more Cat & Jack sale prices and BOGO offers in the weekly ad than other kids’ clothing brands.
We’ve seen a solid mix of Target clothing deals online and in stores, so check for sales online and in stores, or ask for a Target price match.
TIP: The Target return policy gives you 365 days to return Target brands. So, if your kids somehow grow out of all the Cat & Jack clothing you bought less than a year ago, you can still return them for a refund or exchange them for bigger sizes. Just be sure to hold onto your receipt.
12. Buy Target backpacks when they’re at least 30% off.
You won’t be disappointed by the selection of Target backpacks in different colors, shapes, sizes, and themes. The key to saving is to wait for a sale price or Target Circle offer to save 30% – 50% on regular prices.
And don’t forget about Target Circle offers and BOGO deals on backpacks — last year, Target offered Buy One, Get One 50% off character backpacks and lunch boxes.
Check your store for these backpack clearance deals:
13. Score low prices on college dorm supplies like storage, small appliances, towels, and Twin XL bedding.
Sending a student off to college? Target’s back-to-school sales don’t end at notebooks, pens, and pencils. You’ll find plenty of sale prices on sheets, comforters, bath essentials, small-space furniture, and other top dorm items.
Look for these low prices on Target dorm gear during back-to-school season:
- Storage Trays — as low as $0.71
- Shower Caddies — as low as $2.14
- Microfiber Sheet Sets — as low as $6.76
- Sherpa Bed Rest Pillows — as low as $12.82
- Reversible Microfiber Comforters — as low as $14.25
- Butterfly Accent Chairs — as low as $24.94
- Shag Rugs — as low as $24.94
- Microwave Ovens — as low as $42.74
- Mini Fridges — as low as $80.74
14. Pay with your Target RedCard to save an extra 5% on your back-to-school shopping haul.
Only RedCard members get to save an extra 5% on Target purchases, including school supplies. Basically, the more Target school supplies you stock up on, the more your RedCard discount pays off. Even 5% off your small purchases makes a difference, and those differences add up.
Once everything on your back-to-school shopping list is loaded into your cart, don’t forget to pay with your Target RedCard for that extra 5% discount.
Remember, RedCard members also get free shipping online and an extra 30 days for returns.
15. Buy cheap last-minute supplies during Target’s back-to-school clearance in September.
If you end up needing more items after school starts — or just want to stock up for years to come — Target’s back-to-school clearance is a must-shop for stellar deals.
I’m talking about notebooks, folders, erasers, and pencil sets for $0.20 or less!
Target school supplies officially hit clearance at 50% off on Sept. 7, and the discounts will climb to 70% off. Here’s what we’re finding in our stores: