This Week’s Best Deals on 3 Back-to-School Essentials

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

It’s about that time. No more summer camp, kids complaining about how bored they are (well, at least less complaining), and no more weekday sleepovers. It’s back-to-school time. For us parents, this means around 35 hours per week of kid-free time, which, unfortunately, most of us have to spend at work. For college students, this means back to work as well — waking up early and completing course work.

Back-to-school time also means we have to get out our wallets and shell out cash for school supplies, technology, school clothing, book bags, shoes, and potentially school uniforms. These costs can really add up if you don’t plan accordingly, or neglect to take advantage of all of those wonderful discounts out there.

Last year, we spent $72.5 billion on back-to-school shopping and families with school-aged children spent an average of $634.78 each, according to data published on Adobe’s CMO.  You can reduce this number substantially using our back-to-school shopping deals guide, which provides info on the best online deals of the week.

1. School Supply Price Comparisons — Winner: Staples

We’ve found that for online shopping, Staples has some of the lowest prices on many of the common items on school supplies lists. Of course, there may be seasonal or weekly specials in your area, but for online prices, Staples’ back-to-school deals are tough to beat. Depending on your college or your child’s school and grade, you may even be able to purchase an entire school supply list for under $10. This is a huge break considering last year, 83 percent of back-to-school shoppers said they’d spend between $100 and $200 on school supplies.

Staples (Online Prices):

  • Wide rule composition book: 50 cents
  • 100 Count white index cards 3×5 : 48 cents
  • 12 pack of #2 pencils: 68 cents
  • 4 ounces school glue: 48 cents
  • 4 pack of glue sticks: $1.25
  • 24 pack of Crayola Crayons: 50 cents
  • 12 pack Crayola colored pencils or 10 pack Crayola markers: 97 cents
  • Filler paper: 82 cents
  • 1 subject notebooks: 17 cents
  • 10 pack BIC ballpoint pens: $1
  • Cannon PIXMA MG 3520 Wireless All-in-One Printer: $49.99
  • Kindle Fire 7 inch HD 16GB Tablet, Wifi: $129.99
  • Asus X551MA 15.6 inch Laptop: $289.90
  • Free shipping when you spend $39.99
  • 110 percent price match
Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

2. School Uniforms — Winners: Walmart.com and Oldnavy.com

When it comes to prices on school uniforms, Walmart.com provides excellent deals for those on a budget. You can purchase a week of uniforms for your child for under $80, which is less than half of the amount you’d pay at some of the other retailers.

Old Navy’s current online prices are right there in-line with Walmart’s, with uniform polos priced at four for $24. For shorts and skirts, you can buy a tw0-pack of either for between $20 and $24.

The infamous holes in the knee and grass stains are a big problem with younger children who play in their uniforms during recess. It’s a good idea to search for uniform pants that have internal knee reinforcement to help them last a bit longer.

Walmart.com Uniform Prices:

  • 4-pack short sleeve polo shirts in assorted colors: $18.50-$21 (single shirt for $5.50)
  • Girls polo uniform dress: $8.50
  • 2-pack of approved uniform Bermuda shorts: from $14.25
  • Boys uniform shorts: $7.50
  • Boys and girls uniform pants: $9-$10

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

3. School Clothing: Online Back-to-School sales

  • JC Penney: Enter the code SUPRSAVN and take $10 off when you spend $50 or $25 off when you spend $100. Also, 10 percent off select items and you can print an in-store coupon on the website for $10 off $25 or more.
  • Target: Save up to 60 percent on clearance items.
  • Kohl’s: Use promo code CARNIVAL for 15 percent off, also get 60 to 80 percent off gold star clearance items.
  • Amazon: College-bound students get free 2-day shipping. Save up to 90 percent on textbooks, 80 percent on textbook rentals.
  • Macy’s: Extra 20 percent off sale. Use promo code LUCKYU to get 15 percent off select departments. Get free shipping when you spend $50.

As children get older, their clothing becomes a bit more important to them. A large portion of parents — 42 percent, in fact — say their children influence at least half of their back-to-school shopping purchases. Shopping for deals allows you to let your children pick out some of their favorite clothing without breaking the bank. That $634.78 is a lot of money. A back-to-school shopping budget of $200 to $300 is completely manageable.

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