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The Best Stores for Shopping the Back to School Sales

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In the first part of the series, I had discussed what parents need to know before beginning their shopping.  Here in the second part of the four part series, we’re focusing on which stores parents should be shopping at for the best back to school deals.

There are so many stores with flashy back to school sales but how do you know which sale is best? Just because a price is advertised as a “sale” price doesn’t mean that it’s the best price available. 

The Low Down on Back to School Sales

Every big box store flashes the “Back to School” sale in their ads and all around their stores. It’s easy to get caught up in the big ado with all the posters, signs, and come-ons. What you need to remember though just because it’s advertised as a “sale” price doesn’t mean it’s a good price. I have shopped at Staples and seen several items advertised as a sale price but when comparing the sale price to the regular price item at Target it’s not such a great deal.

It’s really important to know that every store’s sale prices are not equal. What is considered a sale price at one store may be overpriced compared to another store’s regular price. It’s so important to know the base price of items you’re shopping for if you want to get the best deal!

The Best Stores for Shopping the Back to School Sales


I will say that when shopping at Target wait for the items to go on sale. Don’t pay full price for any item at Target. There are several opportunities to save a little extra money by using Cartwheel, manufacturer coupons, a gift card with purchase as well as the occasional Target coupons.

In the upcoming weeks, there will be even more sales focused on school supplies in preparation for back to school.

All the while they will price match other store’s prices, be sure to have the ad to show them the competitors prices or use your phone to pull it up to show a team member. When price matching you will have to head to customer service so plan ahead before going to the checkout counters.


Walmart has very competitive prices. Even though they no longer price match it’s still possible to save money while shopping for school supplies. You can use manufacturer’s coupons plus a favorite of mine is using Walmart’s Savings Catcher. (I’ll go into more detail in the third installment of the four-part series when I discuss the best ways to save money while shopping during back to school sales).

Office Depot/Office Max

Office Depot/Office Max has great weekly sales for select items. Those select items are at a deep discount but the amount is limited usually to three per customer. A word of advice if an item you need is part of the select items then grab them early in the week. If you wait too long, sometimes midweek, the items can be sold out and are often not restocked before the sale ends.


There are some great deals to be found at Staples. There are highlighted items in the weekly ad that can be purchased for 50 cents or a  $1. Those are the items to snag up, other advertised “sale” items aren’t always the great deals that they lead customers to believe. Staples’ prices are normally higher than competitors so knowing the base prices for these items is very helpful.


Walgreens will have some unbeatable sales on items for back to school. Keep an eye out for their weekly ad in the upcoming weeks. Their in-ad coupons can lead to some great deals on pencils, erasers, page protectors, dividers, etc.

The Worst Place to Shop for Back to School Supplies

99¢ Store

Ordinarily, the store provides great bargains for household and school supplies EXCEPT when it comes to back to school. Example: items such as notebook paper sell for 99¢ but during the back to school sales you can find it for only 50¢ elsewhere, composition books that are sold for 99¢ at the 99¢ store can be as low as 25¢ at other stores during the back to school sales. Stay away from the 99¢ store during this time of year, it won’t save you money on school supplies.

Next up in the series, is the 8 best ways to save money while shopping the back to school sales.

What are your favorite stores to shop at during the back to school sales? Comment below what your go-to stores are for back to school shopping.

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