Caution — school days ahead! Here are the best back-to-class deals and promos on supplies, books, electronics and more!
It feels like summer just began, but in just a few weeks the back-to-school shopping will begin. Students will start scrambling from store to store looking for the newest and latest technology, clothing, backpacks, and even pencils. And, before we know it, summer will be gone and school will start up once again.
Even though the end of the summer still seems so far away, back-to-school specials are in season. In fact, the BTS shopping season is eight weeks long, starting the last week of June and ending the first week of September. Whether your child is four and going into preschool or a 20-year-old college student, the fact remains: a new school year requires new “stuff.”
So, in the spirit of the impending shopping season–and to help you prepare your budget in advance–we’ve compiled a variety of deals to save you money. No matter how lengthy your supply list may be, you’re sure to get everything you need and save some cash in the process.
PC or Mac
We live in a technology-centered world now. When I was growing up, we looked forward to the one or two days a month that we were allowed to work on the computer at school. Now, kids work on computers daily, and are expected to practice or complete their homework on a computer at home. Whether your child is in second grade or going off to college, a reliable computer is a necessity.
Whether you’re a PC family or a Mac one, you can score some great deals this summer before school begins. Apple offers discounts to both students and educators, saving hundreds of dollars on devices like the MacBook Air (a $150 savings at only $849). If you prefer a PC, you can check out all of the available back-to-school deals from Windows. For instance, if you’re really on a budget (or don’t want to spend $1,000 on a device that your child might break), check out the Trekstor Primebook. It’s a laptop and tablet in one, and is available for BTS for only $199.
Fire HD tablet + Echo Dot Deal
If a tablet is more your style and you enjoy a smart device with Alexa capability, Amazon has an amazing offer for you. For a limited time, you can score both the Fire HD tablet and an Echo Dot home device (both are Alexa-enabled) for only $149, a savings of $50.
With the Fire HD, you can browse the internet, check email, stream shows and movies, and more wirelessly. The model included in the package comes with 32GB of memory, which is more than enough for your day-to-day use.
The Echo Dot is a device that transforms your kitchen (or living room, bedroom, or wherever you put it) into a smart home. This little black circle can play music on-demand, answer questions, place orders through Amazon Prime, set timers and reminders, and even make phone calls. If that isn’t enough, Alexa can even control your lights, thermostat, locks, sprinklers, garage doors, television, and any other smart devices you may have that are Alexa-enabled.
If your desk needs a bit of an upgrade, you’re in luck. Logitech is offering a number of great discounts on select computer accessories, such as a wireless keyboard with a matching mouse. I personally use their wireless mouse/keyboard combination for my kids’ home computer and would highly recommend it to anyone in need of either.
Some of the products available at a discount include:
- Digital Office Pro Bundle (wireless keyboard, mouse, and USB headset) – $89.99 (marked down from $129.97)
- Digital Office Casual Bundle – $39.99 (marked down from $54.97)
- Digital Office Portable Bundle – $64.99 (marked down from $89.97)
- Wireless Solar Bundle – $99.98 (marked down from $109.98)
Whether walking to class, exercising after school, or quietly enjoying music while finishing homework, a pair of good headphones is a must for students today (especially high school or college-age ones). Luckily, there are options for any budget and need.
My personal favorite go-to wireless earbuds are from Jaybird Sport. They are excellent whether I’m watching Netflix, listening to music while I write, or running a few miles before starting my day. They hold up to serious abuse (and are even water-resistant), making them a great choice for older student/athletes or those who don’t always take the best care of their belongings. The Freedom 2 style is only $99 right now, too.
Looking for something for a younger child? Check out this deal on Puro Sound-Limiting Headphones, ideal for children. They eliminate the worry of too-loud music or sounds and the hearing damage it can cause. The optional cord (they’re Bluetooth-enabled) is also detachable and choke-free/stumble-free. Plus, the materials are all non-toxic. These are available for only $79.99 for back-to-school, compared to the normal price of $99.99.
From now until the end of August, Staples is discounting many of their school supplies for parents and students. When shopping online, you’ll see red circular stickers showing the full discount available (as high as 95% for some supplies). From binders to markers to Microsoft Surface Pro tablets, I’m willing to bet you can find something necessary for the 2018 school year. For an added discount, you can shop Staples.com specific product line.
Their BTS sale prices were listed beginning on June 24, so you can expect the prices to drop even further throughout July and August. If you purchase an item and the price drops within two weeks, bring your receipt back to Staples for a price adjustment. Find a cheaper advertised price elsewhere? Staples will not only match it, they’ll give you an extra 10% off!
Barnes and Noble
I can remember it like it was yesterday. Going to my first round of college courses each semester, learning which textbooks I needed, then trying to be as cheap as possible in buying them. I always ended up at the school bookstore for the last few and dreaded buying new books in plastic wrap because the ones I always seemed to need were $150 or more. Luckily, Barnes and Noble is kind enough to offer a wide variety of used textbooks that are discounted up to 90% off.
In addition to buying new or used textbooks, Barnes and Noble offers a rental option. You can rent for 130 days (and extend if needed) and can also purchase the book anytime you want. Barnes and Noble will pay for your return shipping when it’s time to send the book back. If you end up dropping the course early, you can return your book within the first 21 days for a miniscule $5 rental fee charge. (The campus bookstore likely only allows you to return books without penalty for the first week or two.)
This is less of a sale or promotion and more of a hack. When I was in college, though, I easily spent upwards of $500 a semester on books–which killed my budget each time. Luckily, there were a few ways to get my hands on the materials I needed without buying the books new. One of those, was buying secondhand outside of the school’s bookstore.
Sites like UsedTextbooks.net are book price aggregators, searching the web for the best prices on new and used copies of the books you need. You can also find used books on Amazon, clicking the “new and used offers from ____” link under the item’s retail price.
Lastly, look into digital copies of your books, which are also available for rent in many cases. Through sites like Amazon or Chegg.com, you can rent an online version of your book for the semester and pay as little as 10% of the retail price. No, you won’t be able to resell that book at the end of the semester, but it will save your budget in the process. Plus, if you have a professor who demands you purchase a certain textbook only to completely ignore it all semester, you can turn in your digital copy early–or at least walk away knowing that you saved a lot more money than your classmates.
If you’re looking to furnish your student’s dorm room or even add educational tech to the home, Best Buy is a great place to start. Not only do they typically have back-to-school sales each August that include big deals on small appliances and electronics, but they also cater to the college crowd.
If you’re a college student, for instance, you can sign up for Student Deals. These exclusive promotions require signing up for an account in order to access the deals. Once you do, however, you’ll be able to purchase a variety of appliances, accessories, and electronics at discounts ranging from 10-60% off.
If you’re not familiar with Best Buy, they also offer a rewards program called My Best Buy. Points are earned on store purchases for every dollar spent. Depending on your status level (basic, elite, eliteplus), you can qualify for perks like free 2-day shipping, extended returns, and more. All service levels include year-round perks, like set-up from the Geek Squad and a 24/7 customer service line (dedicated lines for higher status).
Beginning in late July, Wayfair holds a back-to-school sale on many necessities store-wide. While we don’t yet know the specifics of the 2018 sale, in years past we have seen dorm bedding at discounts up to 80% off, accessories up to 90% off, and kitchen essentials for up to 75% off. Be sure to check the site from July to August to snag your best deals.
No matter what your back-to-school list looks like this year, there’s one rule that rings true across the board: don’t buy anything at full-price. With all of the sales, promotions, and price matching that goes on from July through the beginning of September, you are sure to be able to find incredible deals on everything you need, from computers and televisions to crayons and composition notebooks. Be sure to utilize price matching offers and even price adjustments (if a sale hits the weekend after you shop), and keep in mind that exciting new promotions will be added each week.
Remember to use a cash-back credit card to earn money while you spend. Here’s our list of best cash-back cards. Also, if you have teen heading off to college, check out our best starter credit cards to help them build their credit and take a look at our guide to graduating college with amazing credit.
While you’re planning for back-to-school, though, don’t forget to enjoy your weeks of summer. It’ll be over before you know it!Topics: Promo Codes