Each year brings a new high for back-to-school spending. National Retail Federation notes that the average family will spend $669.28 on supplies, electronics, apparel and shoes in 2014—a five percent increase from last year. It’s paradoxical that retailers are aggressively promoting what seem to be the deepest deals and coupons ever, and parents who pay attention will fall well below the average NRF has predicted.
Although school begins in less than one month for many, experts suggest it’s better to shop at the end of August when summer clearance sales and back-to-school promos collide. But it’s hard to believe such claims with the likes of Staples and Walmart, for example, boasting unrivaled—at least, to everyone else but each other— back-to-school offers.
Staples: When Staples announced it would price match any product 110 percent on June 29, it sent shockwaves throughout the back-to-school retail competition. If you find a lower price on any website including Amazon, Staples will beat it. Continuing through Labor Day Staples will be offering absurd deals such as 17-cent notebooks, 25-cent rulers, and glue, paper, crayons, markers and more under a dollar. In its back-to-school center one can save up to $100 on many educational essentials.
Walmart: The world’s biggest retailer released its Savings Catcher around the same time as it unveiled its back-to-school deals. Savings Catcher is a great tool to have this time of the season because you can use it to compare prices with stores in your area, ensuring Walmart is the best place to go. (Unless Staples has something to say about it.) Once you scan your receipt, Walmart will issue an e-gift card paying the difference. So, no matter what you purchase from Walmart, you are receiving the best deal.
Old Navy: As a store that always brings out the big guns come back-to-school season, this year is no different with Old Navy. Shirts and jeans start at $4 and $8, respectively, and there are many backpacks available for less than $15. Everything ships free on $50 orders. If you have children aged 8 to 12, Old Navy is definitely the place to go for clothes. Make sure to take an additional 15 percent off your order by using Old Navy coupons.
Sears: Merged with Kmart, Sears shoppers can order online at Sears.com and pick up at Kmart, and vice versa. You can also opt for in-vehicle pickup and never leave the driver’s seat. Do not miss out back to school coupons at Sears.
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Other Back-to-School Offers
- Dell: Up to 30 percent off top-selling laptops
- ESET: Up to 50 percent off back-to-school deals
- Office Depot: $40 off orders of $200 or more
- Textbooks.com: Up to 90 percent off orders
- OfficeMax: Up to 36 percent off back-to-school cleaning deals
- Apple Store: Up to $30 off iPad plus $50 gift card
- Target: Free $30 gift card with Apple iPod Touch