Jenna McMahon | 

Target Back-to-School Sale: How to Get the Best Deals Under $1

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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.

Don’t forget to download The Krazy Coupon Lady app to stay on top of the best Target deals for back-to-school and beyond.

KCL predicts the next Target Back-to-School Sale will begin Sunday, July 14, 2024.

Target-Back-to-School-Sale-Week (1)

Target hasn’t officially announced the date for their next Back-to-School Sale, but based on what they've done in recent years, we here at KCL predict that it’ll take place starting Sunday, July 14, 2024.

How do we make our prediction?

Target doesn’t have much of a pattern when it comes to the start date of their Back-to-School Sale. So how’d we guess? Target usually releases new ads on Sundays for their sales, and they honor the prices/deals immediately. So, based on last year’s sale starting the second week of July, that’s how we get to Sunday, July 14, 2024.

1. Target back-to-school sales first pop up in late June, but the best deals are in July and August.

A woman pushing a target shopping cart and holding a five star notebook in her hand

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, too.

2. Find the items you need for your specific school with Target’s “School Supplies List Assist.”

A cell phone with the Target School List Assist page open on the Target app, held by someone sitting in their vehicle in the parking lot ...

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.

A woman looking at Five Star folders and the Krazy coupon lady app.

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 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.

Paper Mate pens hanging in the school supplies aisle at Target with signs that say buy 1, get 1 25% off

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.

5. Look for Target Circle offers to save up to 30% on school supplies and clothes.

A person's hands holding a phone above a Target shopping cart with the Target app's back to school page open on the screen.

If you don’t already have a Target Circle account, you’re gonna want to sign up ASAP for the best savings on Target school supplies.

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% Circle Card savings.

In 2024, look for some of the best back-to-school offers to drop during Target Circle Week (which happens in July). This is when we've seen the big Target school supplies coupon, aka Target’s annual Circle offer for 30% off select school supplies.

You can browse Target Circle offers to your account on or in the Target app.

6. Load up on coupons for top school supply brands and stack them with Target sale prices.

A manufacturer coupon for $1.50 off any 2 BIC Stationary Items being held above a shelf of BIC pens inside Target.

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:

School Lunch Coupons:

Related: How to Coupon at Target (The Easy Way)

7. You won’t have to hunt long for Target school supplies under $1 — even without coupons.

a woman's hand holding up a two-pack of up & up smudge-free erasers in front of a $0.49 sale sign

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.

A woman's hand holding up a 36-pack of Alphabet flashcards at Target

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.

A person holding their iPhone, filling out the Teacher Verification form on the Target circle app.

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 2024, look for the event to start July 14 (predicted) and run for six weeks. Eligible teachers get the 15% off coupon in their Target Circle account after verifying their teacher status online.

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.

A person's hand holding a phone displaying the ibotta app main page above a shopping cart with the basket filled with 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, last July, Target dropped a $1.99 sale price on 20-count packs of Paper Mate Ballpoint Pens. 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.

Three Trans Jansport backpacks in a shopping cart at Target.

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.

13. Score low prices on college dorm supplies like storage, small appliances, towels, and Twin XL bedding.

A Target shopping cart filled with items, parked in the College Shop section in Target.

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.

And don’t forget about the Target College Student Discount. Eligible students can save 20% on a ton of college and dorm gear with Target Circle!

14. Pay with your Target Circle Card to save an extra 5% on your back-to-school shopping haul.

a woman's hand holding a target redcard in front of elmers glue, crayola markers, and notebooks on the checkout belt

Only Circle Card 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 Circle Card 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 Circle Card for that extra 5% discount.

Remember, Circle Card 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.

a woman's hand holding two school notebooks in front of a 50% off clearance sign on various notebooks and binders

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!

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