The 14 Best Back-to-School Sales for Fall 2021

Experts share their tips for making the most of these deals

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Family Back-to-School Sales Crayola Fjallraven Disney

Verywell / Chloe Jeong

Now that the academic season is underway, we’ve stopped updating this post with back-to-school sales and can’t promise the ones below are still available. Check back later for updated deals.

As we approach the dog days of summer, that could only mean one thing, back-to-school sales are well underway. Stores everywhere are teeming with aisle after aisle of notebooks, glue, lunch boxes, and crayons galore. But while schools across the nation are returning to in-person instruction and retailers are resuming normal operations, this year might present a few more challenges.  

No matter what items you still need for your kids (and yourself!), we searched for the best deals for you. We’ve pulled some of the best deals to get you started. Be sure to bookmark this page as we'll continue to update through Labor Day weekend.

JCPenny

Champion Kids' Embroidered Script Logo T-Shirt

Courtesy of Nordstrom

JCPenny is running quite a few sales sitewide. There's the retailer's end-of-the-summer sale where shoppers can take an extra 30 percent off select apparel, shoes, accessories, and home goods on purchases of $75 or more until September 6. Be sure to use the code INSTYLE8 at checkout. Plus, there's currently a 40 percent discount on Champion activewear.

Kohl's

Levi's Wedgie Fit Ankle Jeans

Levi's

Are your favorite pair of jeans a little worse for wear? Now's the perfect time to refresh your supply of this wardrobe staple. Now through September 6, take up to 40 percent off Levi's denim and 50 percent off select kid styles at Kohl's.

Madewell

Madewell Daisy Embroidered Banded-Collar Tiered Dress

Madewell

College students and teachers can take 15 percent off their order at Madewell, no promo code necessary. All you need to do is verify that you are a teacher or college student older than 16 with a valid ID.

Casper

Casper Sleep Element

Courtesy of Amazon

Now through September 7, take 25 percent off mattress bundles, 15 percent off select mattresses, pillows, and sheets, as well as 10 percent off everything else on Casper.

Under Armour

Women's UA Play Up Shorts 3.0

Courtesy of Under Armour

If you’re shopping for backpacks, Under Armor has a nice selection on sale for 25 percent off until September 5.  

Gap

GapKids Space Jam Graphic T-Shirt

Courtesy of Gap

Right now, shoppers can get 30 percent off their entire order. In addition to that, take 50 percent off on sale items with the code SALE.

Amazon

Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WHCH710N

Courtesy of Amazon

Moving into a dorm room or new apartment? Amazon has you covered. The online retailer is currently running discounts on all back-to-college essentials. From smart TVs and wireless headphones to coffee makers and bath towels, there's no shortage of options. Start the school season year off on the right foot.

Walmart

Apple Watch Series 5 White

Courtesy: Amazon

Teachers and students alike can save big on electronic devices and accessories. Right now, shoppers can score discounts on TVs, laptops, smartwatches, and more from top brands like Apple, Samsung, and HP. Plus, shipping is free for orders over $35.

J. Crew

J.Crew Chambray Shift Dress

J.Crew

Whether you're shopping for the kids or for work clothes, J. Crew is the place for finding wardrobe essentials. From now until September 6, shoppers can take an extra 50 percent of items on sale. Plus, there's a 40 percent discount on select full-price items. Be sure to use the code HELLOFALL at checkout.

Bed Bath & Beyond

Student Faves Set

Courtesy of Bed, Bath, and Beyond

Bed Bath & Beyond seems to be dorm and college central, and with good reason. Even a quick scroll through their website shows bedding starting at $60, pillows from $5, and, of course, the site is peppered with great sales on dorm-friendly appliances. If that weren’t enough, students can sign up for a college savings pass offering a 20 percent discount with unlimited use through September 30.

Zappos

Crocs Kids Crocband Chevron Beaded Clog

Courtesy of Zappos

Through September 6, buy three or more eligible kids’ items and save 20 percent on those select styles at checkout. Plus, with credential verification, students and teachers will receive 10 percent off their orders for an entire year.

Nordstrom

Steve Madden Tory Boot

Courtesy of Nordstrom

While the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale just wrapped up on August 8, you can still find discounts on all your back-to-school shopping. Think jeans, tees, coats, and footwear.

Old Navy

Powersoft V-Back Sports Bra for Girls

Courtesy of Old Navy

Old Navy has sitewide deals for back-to-school. From their everyday magic styles that start at $5 to 25 percent off select items to their clearance and sale tabs, there’s plenty going on.

Hunter

Hunter Davison Rain Boot (Toddler/Kids)

Courtesy of Nordstrom

If boots for the family are on your list, head over to Hunter to score some good deals for everyone. Don’t forget to check the sale tab, where there are tons of deals for the littles ranging from 30 percent to 50 percent off. And finally, students can register to receive a 15 percent off discount.

When Do Back-to-School Sales Start in 2021? 

Typically, back-to-school sales begin in early July, so you can bet they’re in full swing right now. 

Kimberly Palmer, personal finance expert at NerdWallet advises parents to shop early and be aware that back-to-school shopping lists could look a little different this year. “The main difference for this year is that many retailers are facing supply chain shortages. That means [that while] we’re seeing earlier deals, the looming possibility of stock shortages should be taken into consideration,” says Palmer.

Plus, many teachers are restocking their classrooms, so it's up to parents to provide more supplies than normal. "New items are also on the list; many students now need to bring their own water bottle every day, for example.” 

How Long Do Back-to-School Sales Last?

Back-to-school sales tend to run into late August or early September.

When Do School Supplies Go on Sale? 

School supplies are on sale right now. And while you’ll certainly find plenty of notebooks, pens, and highlighters on sale, there’s no shortage of retailers running deals on clothing and footwear as well. 

Does Best Buy offer Student Discounts? 

Yes, Best Buy has a robust student discount program where students enrolled in any accredited college or university in the U.S. are eligible. This discount program requires signup, but once you’re in, you have access to deep discounts on everything you need for college life—as far as tech and appliances go, that is. From laptops and tablets to microwaves and mini-fridges, you’ll be set up for success. 

When are Apple's Back-to-School Sales? 

Apple kicked off its back-to-school sale earlier than most: this year’s sale began on June 17, and it runs through September 27. Currently, if you purchase a Mac or iPad for college, you’ll receive complimentary AirPods and 20 percent of AppleCare+. 

To qualify for the Apple education pricing, you must be:

  • Currently enrolled (or accepted into) in a college or university
  • A teacher or homeschool teacher at any grade level 
  • A member of the faculty or staff for a school

Editor’s Note: Making a purchase on Apple is as easy as navigating to the Education Store, choosing your product, and checking out. It’s important to note, though, that while Apple does not verify your student or education affiliation at the time of purchase, they have been known to conduct random audits. If you cannot verify your school affiliation when requested to do so, you may be required to pay the difference. 

What Back-to-School Sales Can I Shop Now? 

Back-to-school sales started early this year. Below you’ll find some of the best deals for clothing, footwear, and backpacks, not to mention plenty of options for back-to-college supplies, too.

Looking for more sales? We've pulled together all our top deals stories below:

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