Back to School 2020: PREPARE for the unknown with these $ales

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by | Jul 27, 2020 | Make and $ave | 0 comments

This back to school season comes with lots of uncertainty, not only in terms of where students will be learning this fall, but also in terms of what to buy to prepare for the uncertainty. So far, the back to school shopping season has been slow for retailers. Many parents are still unsure of what the fall semester will bring and in turn, are postponing their back to school shopping. Deloitte found that 40% of parents expect to buy fewer traditional school supplies, as technology will be more prevalent in class. So whether you’re gearing up to go back in person, or prepping for a semester online, here are some of the best promotions and tips to help you save money this season, with an emphasis on online shopping. 


Depending on what school district you are in or what grade you are buying for, tech may not actually be on your list. Some school districts will loan laptops or tablets to their students whether or not they decide to switch to online learning. Deloitte found that 79% of students received digital learning content in the spring. However, if you’re in college or a private school, this is most likely not the case. 

Apple is currently offering FREE airpods with any purchase of an iPad Air or iPad Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, or MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.

A more budget friendly tech deal is Google’s Chromebook. At Best Buy, you can get select Jabra wireless earbuds for $20 when you buy select Chromebooks priced $299 or more with their Student Deals.

Speaking of- if you’re enrolled in college, sign up for student deals with Best Buy and receive student-only discounts. See their full list of current student deals on headphones, laptops, tablets and more!

Another inexpensive laptop option with a 4.6 customer rating is the Lenovo Chromebook Duet, which can be found at Best Buy for just under $300. This is a great option for kids in school.


In terms of actual supplies (we’re talking notebooks, pencils, backpacks), you may want to have some in stock at home to be prepared for whatever the fall semester brings. 

Walmart offers a whole section of school supplies for under $1.00! Target has a section of School and Office Supply Deals with discount items like 25% of Papermate writing utensils and 20% on Prismacolor art supplies. 

What do we advise? For current and future school years, investing in a few binders (like this 3” one from Walmart) along with pocket dividers and theme paper will save you in the long run. Binders are sturdy, reusable and double as folders for multiple classes. (as long as they’re still in tact by the end of the year!) All you need to replenish is the theme paper which you can find in packs of 150 sheets for just $0.82. You can also purchase 1” binders from the Dollar Tree for individual subjects.


Thrift stores provide a plethora of basic items like tshirts, jeans, and jackets which are key for mixing and matching (think minimalist wardrobe). However, if you’re uncertain about purchasing used clothes during a pandemic (we totally understand!), there are plenty of other options. 

H&M is offering a large summer clearance sale with some great pieces for kids going back to school.

JCPenney is having up to 60% off new markdowns for kids on their site through August 5th with code STOCKUP4. When you go to their site, click the “coupons” tab at the bottom to see their current deals and how long they’re running for. They also offer same day pickup for select items at your local store.

Can’t forget the face masks! Crayola is selling a 5 pack of face masks (that’s one for everyday of the school week!) for kids and teachers. Even if you’re unsure about actually going back to the classroom, these are a good, reusable option @ $6.00/mask to keep in mind.

If you’re ordering clothing (or anything for that matter!) online this year, try adding browser extensions like Honey or RetailMeNot which automatically filter through coupons codes at checkout to give you the best price. RetailMeNot also gives you an updated list of the best, current clearance sales. 

CamelCamelCamel is specifically for Amazon and it tracks the price history of each product so you can be sure that you’re getting the best deal and make plans to buy certain items at their lowest price. For example, this pair of men’s Levi jeans are currently priced at $35.70, which is around the average price. At their lowest, they were $26.40 in December.

This upcoming school year is sure to be interesting, but it’s better to be safe than sorry and prepare for the unknown. Share your tips for saving money during Back to School in the comments and let us know what you’re game plan is for this upcoming shopping season.

Don’t think we forgot about college kids- check back next week for a full rundown on how to prep and what to buy for your on-campus experience. 

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