This year, back-to-school prep may feels a bit daunting with many school districts opening up with safety precautions in place, which means that it’s time to get ready for returning to classrooms. Even if your kids are still learning online, families need to get new school supplies, children’s clothing, electronics and more to start the school year off right. (Tip: See if your state is offering a back-to-school tax-free shopping weekend this year to help your wallet).
The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates families will spend a total of $864 on school supplies, and college students and their families plan to spend $1,199 on average to get ready for the new semester. Plus, as inflation continues to rise, one-third of consumers (38%) said they are cutting back in other spending areas to cover the cost of items for the upcoming school year.
That’s why we’re here to help you save and maximize your dollar!
Parent & Teacher Resources for the 2022 Back-to-School Year
To get some insights into what school supply lists even look like this year, we reached out to TeacherLists, a great free resource that empowers parents and teachers to easily share and access school supply lists. “As the season has gone along, we are now seeing more supply lists specifically for kids who will be learning from home,” says Dyanne Griffin of TeacherLists. “The items on the lists are mostly the same as a traditional list for students heading back to a classroom, but we are seeing some differences.”
Here are some of the ways Dyanne says the back-to-school lists schools and districts are sharing have changed for the past few years:
- Schools and districts are publishing lists for students in the classroom as well as students learning remotely. Here is an example of one district’s lists.
- The most-popular items continue to be notebooks, pocket folders, crayons, scissors, glue sticks, markers, filler paper, pencils, colored pencils, dry erase markers, highlighters, erasers, pens and sticky notes. But TeacherLists is seeing more requests for these items because students can’t share supplies. “Whereas before they may have had a bucket of dry erase markers a group of students would share, now each child must have their own supplies,” Dyanne says.
- There’s an increase in hygiene and cleaning items to help ensure a healthy classroom. Facial tissues, hand wipes, disinfecting wipes and more PPE products (like face masks) are also popular on the in-school lists.
It’s important to note that the in-school lists are getting more specific. For example, plastic folders are suggested over paper because they are easier to wipe down, and pre-sharpened pencils are recommended, so that the kids don’t need to use the pencil sharpeners.
For the virtual-learning lists, Dyanne says they’re seeing requests for small whiteboards, headphones, earbuds and pencil sharpeners. Check out TeacherLists for more information.
Retailers Offering Back-to-School Deals
To help you easily prepare, I’ve rounded up a list of the best deals on back-to-school shopping from retailers we love.
— Editors’ Top Deal —
Kohl’s: Deals on school uniforms, basics, backpacks and more!
Featured deals: Now through August 28, save up to 50% off back-to-school uniforms — including polos, skorts and khakis — and 25% off basics like socks and undergarments. Looking for a new backpack for your little one? Kohl’s has the coolest character backpacks for up to 40% off, too.
Academy Sports + Outdoors: Deals on apparel, school supplies, backpacks, tech and more.
Featured deal: They’re offering up to 30% off Nike clothing and football gear starting at $14.99. Plus, Academy Sports + Outdoors is giving back to teachers and school employees by offering 10% off their entire purchase from August 1 to September 6 both in-store and online.
Amazon: Deals on school supplies, disinfecting wipes, calculators, backpacks, lunch boxes, headphones, laptops, AirPods and lots more. From August 15 to September 1 Amazon Prime members can get up to 25% off many models of headphones, including the BonoBuds and Bolt BT 700 wireless earbuds.
Featured deal: Amazon Prime Student gives college students free two-day shipping on millions of items, referral bonuses, unlimited photo storage, discounts on newly released video games and other special offers.
American Eagle: Stock up on women’s and men’s tops, bottoms, shoes and accessories.
Featured deal: Get 25% off sitewide when you order via their app with code GETAPPY and get 16% cash back for purchases sitewide with RetailMeNot. Plus, they are offering up to 70% off clearance styles.
Apple: Deals on accessories and save 20% on AppleCare+.
Bed Bath & Beyond: Deals on college decor, pillows, bedding, storage, kitchen appliances and college essentials.
Featured deal Get 20% off your entire purchase every time when you sign up for their College Savings Pass through September 30. Plus, free shipping on orders over $39!
Featured deal: Get 8% cash back on laptops, computers, TVs, projectors and more. Plus, get $40 off select Apple AirPods and up to $300 off laptops..
Big Lots: They have modified their store space to include a “back-to-campus center,” where students and families can find deals on everything needed for their dorm room or apartment, including furniture, décor, bedding, food and snacks, laundry and cleaning products, beauty and personal care items, school supplies and more.
Featured deal: Get up to 20% off dorm furniture, including desks, chairs, bookcases, rolling carts, mattresses and more.
BJ’s: Deals on electronics, furniture, clothing, food, campus basics, laundry supplies and more.
Featured deal: Earn a $10 award when you spend $40 on qualifying dorm essentials and save up to $150 off.
Buffy: Refresh your bed with a new comforter, sheets and lots more from Buffy. Perfect for outfitting a dorm room or off-campus apartment!
Featured deal: Save up to 15% off during their Back-to-School sale.
Carter’s: Deals on children’s clothes, shoes, school supplies, fun backpacks and more.
Featured deal: They are offering a buy one, get one free doorbuster sale on shoes, socks and undies. You can also shop their faves from $5 and under and score up to 50% off dresses, active, tops, bottoms and more.
CASETiFY: Shop up to 20% off the latest tech accessories including iPhone 13 cases,
AirPod Cases, Laptop Sleeves, Snap Cases, Apple Watch Bands and so much more!
Featured deal: They are offering a buy one, get 10% off deal and a buy two, get 20% off deal with code BTS22. This sale will last from Aug. 11-16.
The Children’s Place: Leading children’s apparel brand The Children’s Place has uniforms for boys and girls to get them looking their best for the first day of school. From long sleeve and short sleeve polos, slacks, shorts, skorts, cardigans and more, The Children’s Place has uniforms in every color you can imagine.
Featured deal: Their entire site is up to 70% off for back-to-school shopping!
Clibot: This innovative company creates intelligent STEAM robots for kids – perfect for supporting their education!
Featured deal: They’re offering 10% (up to $140 off) on select standard kits from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, which will be your child’s new study buddy this year.
The Container Store: Shop everything you need to get the home, or dorm room, organized, like shoe storage, carts, baskets and more storage.
Featured deal: Get 15% off or 25% off when you spend $200. Just text CLASS to 22922 to save on college essentials.
CVS: CVS is kicking off the school year with a brand-new line up of the latest and trendiest products to prep for school days ahead. As CVS continues to expand their mission of delivering healthy skin options that are accessible for everyone, they are proud to announce the launch of cult favs Starface, Bubble, and no b.s, where they will be merchandised within a Back-to-School display through September 10.
Featured deal: Get 30% off your order with code NEXT30.
Dollar General: They are offering a multi-use, 30% off back-to-school discount for teachers, special DG Digital Coupons on supplies for everyone and more.
Featured deal: Shoppers can save even more with their DG Digital Coupon savings of $3 off any qualifying $15+ supply purchase, including cleaning, office supplies and housewares for the college bound students.
Essentia: They are the world’s only natural memory foam mattress that are all certified in their organic factory. They’ve been rated the top foam mattress by consumer reports 6 years in a row!
Featured deal: You can get 20% off mattresses and 25% off select accessories right now.
Eyemart Express: This eyewear company is here to help all teachers and school employees save money this school year. All year long they give teachers a 20% discount on all prescription eyewear. The savings can be used on more than 2,000 frames, lens upgrades and accessories. The offer also extends to school administrators and school district employees such as janitors, counselors and bus drivers. Simply present a valid school ID badge to take advantage of these savings.
Featured deal: They are offering two for $79 glasses to help get kids back to class!
GNC: Get ready for school with their latest health products including protein powders, smart bars, workout powder and superfruit gummies.
Featured deal: They are offering 20% off pre-workout products and buy one, get one half off select products. Plus, free shipping!
HP: They’re offering deep discounts on laptops, monitors, printers and more tech.
Featured deal: Activate up to 15% cash back with RetailMeNot and get 30% off select items + an extra 10% off with code SCHOOL27.
Kmart: Deals on kids’ shoes, school uniforms, backpacks, school supplies, electronics, headphones and more.
Featured deal: Save on tablets and iPads for at-home learning.
Kohl’s: Deals on kids’ clothing, shoes, backpacks, lunchboxes, school uniforms and more.
Featured deal: Use the code BTS20 to get 20% off Back-to-School essentials. You can find kids uniforms up to 30% off, backpacks starting at 30% off and 25% off socks and underwear for kids.
Featured deal: Teachers and students can save up to an extra $100 off PCs and top tech with the code BTS2022. Pus, get up to 68% off!
Macy’s: Deals on kids’ clothing, backpacks, shoes, bedding, school uniforms, beauty, college essentials and more.
Featured Deal: Take up to 70% ooff select clearance styles. Plus, get 10% cash back with RetailMeNot!
Madewell: Take 15% off sitewide for college students and teachers.
Featured Deal: Teachers and college students can get 15% off, and everyone can get 20% off sale items with code SALEONSALE and $25 off your purchase of $150+ with code RMN25. Plus, get 16% cash back wit RetailMeNot!
Minted: They offer back-to-school essentials for their return to school, from notebooks and calendars to pencils and decor.
Featured Deal: Use RetailMeNot’s exclusive code RMN20 to get 20% off sitewide. You can also get 1% cash back with RetailMeNot and free shipping on all orders.
Nike: Shop sneakers, athleisure, clothing and more.
Featured Deal: Save up to 60% off shoes and apparel for men, women and kids with code SCORE20. Plus, get 50% off bras with code BRA50 while shopping for the kiddos.
Office Depot & OfficeMax: You can get savings up to 60% on Office Depot’s best-selling school supplies through Sept. 10, including 25% off backpacks and additional in-store savings for teachers with a free Office Depot OfficeMax Rewards membership.
Those who shop all year-round can also give back to a school of their choice through Office Depot’s Give Back to Schools program. Shoppers can provide the name or ID number of the school of their choice at checkout (in-store or online) and their designated school will receive 5% back in credits for free supplies. Check out Office Depot’s Back to School Shopping Headquarters for helpful shopping tips.
Featured deal: Get 5% cash back when you shop with RetailMeNot! Plus, for math class, the Texas Instruments® TI-84 Plus CE Color Graphing Calculator is on sale for $139.99. And for art class, the Office Depot® Brand Kids’ Scissors (2 Pack) is on sale for $1.99.
Old Navy: Deals on kids’ jeans, clothing, shirts, socks and more.
Featured deal: They are offering up to 60% off kids sale items and locking in prices for kids apparel from $5, like dresses from $12, jeans from $12 and sale styles from as little as $4.
Overstock: So many deals on rugs, home decor, furniture, art and more. Perfect for outfitting a dorm room!
Featured Deal: Overstock’s End of Summer Super Sale is kicking off at the begging of August and there will be major offerings of up to 70% off across all categories and free shipping on everything. There will also be a major sub-sale on rugs, offering heavy discounts and an extra 25% off select items like lamps. Plus, get 15% cash back with RetailMeNot!
RENPHO’s: Using AI technology, RENPHO products track performance and distill not only feedback, but also generate workout routines tailored to the user – making for a truly personalized workout comparable to one with a personal trainer. RENPHO’s AI-Powered Bike is your one-size-fits-all solution, combining enhanced precision with training courses and technological features native to their complementary RENPHO app, and allowing you to connect your favorite devices and programs as well.
Featured deal: During their sale, you can get up to 50% off with code SUMMER at checkout.
Featured deal: Get a free Galaxy Buds Live, with the purchase of Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. Plus, score a free Galaxy Buds Live or Buds2 with a purchase of a Galaxy S22 Ultra and up to $1,000 enhanced trade-in credit with the Education Offers Program membership.
Sony: This popular electronics company is having lots of deals for Back-to-School season, including deals on cameras, headphones and TVs.
Featured deal: The Sony LinkBuds S is on sale and are great for the high schooler or college student to help cancel out the noise while studying for the first big test of the school year.
SOUL: The global leader in affordable high-quality audio, noise cancelling and wireless products.
Featured deal: They are currently offering 10% off all your order of SOUL headphones with code SOUL10.
Staples: Let’s go forward 2 school with Staples! They are offering deals on school supplies for under a dollar. So many deals!
Featured deal: Get select school supplies as low as 50 cents and save up to 50% on select Pentel school supplies.
Target: Deals on school supplies, furniture, electronics, clothing, backpacks and more.
Featured deal: Get school supplies starting at just 25 cents and backpacks from $14.99. You can also get 20% cash back with the code SAVE20. Plus, furniture up to 25% off and up to 30$ off laptops, tablets, calculators and more.
Uber Eats: This popular service is offer school supplies delivered right to your door. Get all the notebooks, crayons and pencils they need to succeed this year and save.
Featured deal: Get your students’ whole list of supplies delivered and save 50% off (max. $15) on $20 or more.
Walmart: Deals on school supplies for all ages, electronics, teacher supplies, clothing, shoes and more.
Featured deal: With RetailMeNot you can get 10% cash back on select back-to-school purchases. They are also offering lots of deals on dorm bedding essentials and back-to-school tech!
Wayfair: Get all your home decor, furniture and everything needed for a comfortable dorm room.
Featured deal: Get up to 50% off on college essentials like storage, bedding and organization items.
Woot!: Find deals on electronics, backpacks, computers, sports gear, apparel, grocery and lots more.
Featured deal: They are offering 50% off back-to-school backpacks and up to 40% off laptops through August 15.
Bonus: Back-to-School Food Deals!
Aside from our favorite retailers, many restaurants are offering special food deals and freebies to make sure everyone is well fed heading back into the classroom. Bon appétit!
Chipotle: All teachers can reply to @ChipotleTweets on Twitter , on August 10 with a receipt showing they’ve purchased school supplies for the opportunity to get reimbursed by Chipotle through Venmo (up to $599). Learn more here.
Einstein Bros. Bagels: Guests can buy a half dozen bagels and get another half dozen for just $1! This deal lasts for seven days starting on August 10 and running until August 16 in-bakery and online only.
Additionally, customers can keep the rewards coming by signing up for the Einstein Bros. Bagels Rewards Program to receive a free bagel and shmear on their next visit.
Macaroni Grill: They are offering a deal that allows guests to buy a half dozen bagels and get another half dozen for just $1! This deal lasts for seven days starting on August 10 and running until August 16 in-bakery and online only.
Metro Diner: Get $5 off on fried chicken and waffle day on August 8. Enjoy with your entire family!
Moe’s Southwest Grill: Moe’s has you covered this back-to-school season! For a limited time only, you can get GOAT (Guacamoliest of All Time!) status just for being a Moe Rewards member and all rewards members earn double rewards points on any purchase that includes guac. Plus, new members will get a free cup of their new guac upon signup!
At Moe’s Southwest Grill, everyone can always customize their meal to their exact preference, so it’s the perfect place to take the whole family to celebrate back to school and to ensure everyone will have something they love.
Subway: Subway is offering a buy one, get one 50% off footlong deal with code BOGO50. Plus, get a free cookie when you buy $15 in gift cards through September 31.