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.
Academy Sports + Outdoors: Deals on apparel, school supplies, backpacks, tech and more.
Featured deal: They’re offering school uniforms starting at $7.99, lunch boxes starting at $19.99 and lots more deals. 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.
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 all online-only styles, including jeans and shorts from $24.99. Plus, take an extra 10% off everything right now!
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 4% cash back on laptops, computers, TVs, projectors and more. Plus, get $60 off select Apple AirPods.
BJ’s: Deals on electronics, furniture, clothing, food, campus basics, laundry supplies and more.
Featured deal: Buy one, get on free deal! When you purchase one advanced or ultimate eyewear package, you’ll get one basic eyewear package for free.
Carter’s: Deals on children’s clothes, shoes, school supplies, fun backpacks and more.
Featured deal: Free shipping on orders of $35+ and graphic tees, tops, shorts and more from just $5. They also have select faves for $5 and under.
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.
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 up to $1,350 off mattresses right now.
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 up to 70% off select products and you can save $15 off orders of $75+ with code SAVE15. Plus, free shipping!
HP: They’re offering deep discounts on laptops, monitors, printers and more tech.
Featured deal: They are having Black Friday in July! Get 30% off your order with code BFJULY. Plus, get an extra 15% off with our exclusive code RMN15.
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: Kids uniforms up to 30% off, backpacks starting at 20% 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 25-40% off all activewear to get ready for gym class and school sports.
Madewell: Take 15% off sitewide for college students and teachers.
Featured Deal: Teachers and college students can get 15% off, and everyone can get 70% off select style with code CLASSIFIED right now.
Minted: They offer back-to-school essentials for their return to school, from notebooks and calendars to pencils and decor.
Featured Deal: Get 15% off back-to-school essentials with code SCHOOL2022. Plus, use RetailMeNot’s exclusive code RMN20 to get 20% off sitewide.
Nike: Shop sneakers, athleisure, clothing and more.
Featured Deal: Save up to 40% off shoes and apparel for men, women and kids.
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 now through Sept. 24 can also give back to a school of their choice through Office Depot’s Give Back to Schools program. 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!
Old Navy: Deals on kids’ jeans, clothing, shirts, socks and more.
Featured deal: They are offering up to 50% off kids sale items and locking in prices for kids apparel, like dresses from $10, sweatshirts and sweatshirts from $15, leggings from $5 and tees and tank from $5.
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.
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 Deal Days sale, you can get up to $90 off with code DEALDAYS 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.
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 ogf SOUL headphones with code SOUL10.
Staples: Let’s go forward 2 school with Staples! They are offering deals on school supplies starting as low as 50 cents. So many deals!
Featured deal: Save up to 30% off select Zebra school supplies and select binders as low as $1.99.
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. Plus, lunchboxes from just $5!
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.
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 and organization items.
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!
Einstein Bros. Bagels: Order catering and receive up to a $50 Amazon gift card.
Macaroni Grill: Enjoy their Feast for 5 for just $30, including you choice of many entrees, sides and desert. Available online only for delivery or takeout.
Metro Diner: Last year, Metro Diner extended their National Fried Chicken & Waffle Day celebrations all month long by offering guests the chance to experience the newest twist on this well-known dish – the Sticky Chicken & Waffles – at a special price of $12.79 every Wednesday throughout the month (originally $15.99). They may do this deal again!
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 $0 delivery fee in July when you order through their app. Also, when you buy a footlong sub you can get any of their 12 new subs with code SERIES.