It’s almost that time of year again when students across the US head back to school! With the excitement of starting a new grade or semester, and meeting new teachers and friends, comes the fun (and sometimes stress) of back-to-school shopping. If you are looking for the best places to shop as well as the best back-to-school hacks for moms, plus the allure of free gift cards, we have you covered!
Our guide will detail the best places to shop for school supplies, and back-to-school clothes, where to shop for dorm room décor, and more.
The Best Places to Shop for School Supplies
One of the most important things for back to school is a mountain of school supplies. Everything from notebooks, books, pencils, and pens are needed, so make sure you start shopping early. For extra savings, look for coupons or snap receipts on Fetch to earn free gift cards to your favorite retailers.
The retailers on this list offer free gift cards for your Fetch points, so be sure to snap those receipts, and get points, to fund your back-to-school shopping spree.
Target is known for its fun, fashionable items, at a decent price, and school supplies are no exception. Shop online or in-store for a catalog of over 30,000 office and school supplies from brands like Five Star, Crayola, and Yoobi Marvel Supplies. If you download the Target app, you will not only be able to get access to Target Circle offers, but you will also get back 1% on everything you buy. If you have a TargetRed card, you automatically get 5% back!
With a click of a button, all your school supplies can be delivered right to your door. Get free shipping with Amazon Prime and choose from over 90,000 different items.
Known for everyday low prices, you can shop in-store or online, and with Walmart’s NextDay Delivery service, all of your back-to-school items will be delivered right to your door, free of charge, with a purchase of $35.00 or more. Walmart not only offers several coupons to save money, but you can also use gift cards to save even more.
Maybe not your first thought for back-to-school shopping, but Joann offers weekly coupons, as well as multiple coupons per transaction to save big on back-to-school items like notebooks, markers, glue, construction paper, pens, stickers, and more. Joann also takes care of teachers by offering 15% savings on every order by signing up for the teacher rewards program.
You will be amazed at the amount of back-to-school supplies you can find at the local dollar store. You can often find pens, paper, calculators, and planners at dollar store locations for a fraction of the price of big chain retailers.
The Best Places to Shop for Back-to-School Clothes
Shopping for back-to-school clothes can be stressful, so make sure you start with a plan. Making a back-to-school shopping list will make sure you get the right pieces while staying within budget. Clothes are always going on sale, so make sure to shop during the off-season. Online shopping can take a lot of stress out of the chaos of outfitting several small children in a mall.
Check out some of our favorite retailers below:
Known for stylish, affordable clothing, Old Navy wins for back-to-school sales. Look online for Old Navy deals, and right now you can score $12 jeans, $8 sweatshirts, and daily online sales for additional savings.
This classic department store has everything from clothing for all ages to lunch box accessories to dorm room decor and everything in between and celebrates sales both online and with mailers. JCPenney also carries favorite brands like Nike, Adidas, Champion, Reebok, and more.
Kohl’s is the largest department store in the United States and operates in every state except Hawaii. With thousands of items to choose from both in-store and online, Kohl’s has something for everyone on your shopping list. For back-to-school 2022, be sure to check out Kohl’s promo/coupon code page, to get even more savings.
Get designer discounts on everything from clothing, shoes, and accessories at Nordstrom Rack, and online we found deals like $5 BP tank tops, Doc Martens at 20% off, and Nike sandals for $8.38.
The Best Places to Shop for Dorm Room Décor
Shopping for dorm decor should be fun. Check out our list of suggested retailers to make dorm decorating fun and affordable for the 2022 semester.
Macy’s is a one-stop shop to make your dorm chic yet practical and can work with anything from sleek modern to boho vibes. A great place to shop for compact appliances, organizational storage, furniture, bedding, bath, tech, and more. If you don’t have a Macy’s profile, sign up to receive 25% of your order.
Did you know that Pottery Barn Dorm carries everything you need for a sophisticated, put-together dorm room? Pottery Barn makes shopping for dorm room essentials a cinch by showing dorm room inspiration, shopping whole dorm rooms and even offering free design services. Back-to-school sale items include bedding, pillows, décor, and more.
5 Backpack Must Haves, What To Buy For The Back To School Backpack
#1 Hand Sanitizer
Being back in the classroom and around all your classmates can also mean being around a lot of germs! Besides making sure to always wash your hands, carrying hand sanitizer is a great way and convenient way to help you stay healthy this fall.
#2: Quick Healthy Snacks
Having a few small snacks stashed in your backpack is essential to help curb that pre or post-lunchtime hunger!
There is nothing worse than needing a tissue and not having one. Keeping a small pack of Kleenex tissues in your backpack is the perfect way to be prepared, and they can also double as a napkin if needed!
#4: Reusable Water Bottle
Carrying a reusable water bottle makes it easy for students to fill up their water bottles before heading to school and allows them to refill throughout the day, while also being environmentally friendly!
It never hurts to carry a small deodorant stick in your backpack, especially for after gym class!
5 Back To School Snacks You Must Try
#1: Hummus-Based Snack Ideas
One of the most nutritious snacks to pack for your kids is hummus. This famous Middle Eastern dip is made of simple ingredients; it’s delicious, contains zero sugar, and adds flavor to any vegetable you are trying to make your child eat while at school.
Grab your favorite hummus flavor (mine is Sabra’s Classic Hummus) to create these quick and fun-to-eat snacks for a back-to-school lunchbox:
- Hummus avocado toast is not only for Millennials: kids love it too! You can get creative by adding different toppings to the toast, from Everything The Bagel Seasoning from Amazon to lox and eggs or even salsa.
- Hummus is a perfect substitute if you want to pack healthier deviled eggs. Instead of mayo, mix hummus with the yolk and combine two halves for ease of transportation.
- Pitas and hummus are a classy snack combo that you could easily make more fun for kids by shaping pitas with a cookie cutter. Go for hearts, rounds, and stars. Pre-spread some hummus in the middle, making the snack easy to grab and enjoy.
- Hummus “pizza” is a thing, and it’s super easy to make! Cut pitas in quarters and spread some hummus on top. Add goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes to make the snack look like pizzas — your kids would love this fun-looking and yummy-tasting snack.
- “Sushi” rolls with hummus are snacks where you can hide some veggies and protein for your picky eaters. Grab flour or corn tortilla and spread hummus on top of it. Add protein like oven-roasted turkey breast and some greens. Roll your “sushi” and cut it into small easy-to-grab pieces.
#2: Yogurt-Based Snack Ideas
When it comes to snacking at school, high-protein snacks are the way to go as they provide energy and keep your children full for a long time. Yogurts are high in protein and taste delicious: everyone can find a flavor they enjoy. And if you get creative with how you prepare and serve your kids’ favorite yogurt, it might become their favorite back-to-school snack option.
These are just some of the ideas on how to bring a new twist to a yogurt-based snack:
- Parfait cups are cute and highly customizable. Put your kid’s favorite Yoplait yogurt flavor as a base, add fruits and berries on top, and sprinkle with some granola. Here comes a fresh and nutritious mid-day snack!
- Yogurt is an excellent base for a nutritious smoothie. If your children prefer liquid snacks, consider mixing fruits, vegetables, and berries with yogurt.
- Frozen yogurt bites taste exactly like ice cream but with less sugar and more protein. Use cupcake liners or ice cream jars with lids from Amazon to mix your yogurt with berries and fruits. Keep in the refrigerator for a few hours, and your yogurt-based “ice cream” is ready.
- Yogurt chia pudding is a fun twist to a milk-based option. This version contains more protein and has a thicker, richer texture your kids would love.
#3: Totino’s Pizza Rolls
Sometimes none of the food decoration and meal-prepping works, and all your children would eat is pizza. While a variety of snack options is what parents typically aim for, there is nothing terrible about kids loving a particular snack option. Frequently I hear from my friends with kids that Totinos Pizza Rolls are the only snacks their kids would finish at school. These bite-sized snacks come with different fillings: from cheese to pepperoni.
These are some of the ideas on how to make your children’s favorite pizza rolls even more exciting to snack on:
- Nacho pizza roll snacks are an excellent option for snackers who would only eat nachos for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With this quick recipe, you are serving 15 grams of protein per portion!
- Salsa bean dip is a low-fat vegetarian option for kids that love dip-based snacks. Most importantly, you could pull this recipe off in ten minutes with just a few simple ingredients.
- Pizza roll casserole takes more time to prepare, but you could meal-prep it as a snack or lunch option for the entire family. Various recipes are available online, but the idea is to put Totinos Pizza Rolls on the bottom, add veggies and pasta sauce on top, and bake the dish with some cheese. It tastes so delicious — your little snackers would love the idea!
#4: Protein Bar Snack Ideas
A protein bar is a great snacking option when you are short on time, or your child won’t agree to bring a lunchbox to school (parents of teenagers would understand!).
Nature Valley is a kids-favorite protein bar brand because it offers many crunchy and chewy protein options children love. Packed with protein, these are some of the yummiest gluten-free snack options to check out:
- Salted Caramel Nut Protein Chewy Bars are so decadently flavored that your kids won’t believe it’s a protein bar and not a candy. These granola bars are made with whole grain oats, caramel, and roasted peanuts and offer 10 grams of protein per serving.
- Oat N Honey Crunchy Granola Bars have been a kids-favorite snack for years and still are. Something about this sweet and crunchy snack tastes so good that you can’t get enough of it. Most importantly, it’s a good source of energy: 22 grams of whole grain per serving.
If choosing organic products for your family, consider Cascadian Farm protein bars. The brand has many organic plant protein bar options that taste delicious and provide hours of energy for young snackers.
- Organic Oat and Honey Granola Bars are ideal for snackers allergic to peanuts. These delicious snacks are made in a peanut-free facility. They are gluten-free and made with organic whole grain oats.
- Organic Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars offer 12 grams of organic plant protein per serving and taste so addictively delicious.
Larabar is a brand known for its 100%-natural approach to snacking. Larabar snacks are delicious and suitable for snackers who follow gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan diets.
- Larabar Banana Bread contains just three ingredients and tastes like a real dessert with zero added sugar.
- Larabar Chocolate Chip Minis take no space in a backpack; these are healthy 100-calorie dessert options your kids would love.
#5: Last-Minute Snack Ideas
Running late and having no time to pack a snack for your kids? Keep a few of these options on hand for when you need to pack that last-minute snack:
- Sargento Balanced Breaks pre-packaged cheese snack options offer a variety of dried fruit, cheese, and nuts options are a balanced snack in between main meals that taste yummy and don’t take up too much space in a bag.
- Naked Juice Smoothies are full of nutrients and vitamins your children would need throughout the day. From classic all-fruits-and-veggies recipes to the newest protein blends, everyone will find the Naked Juice flavor they enjoy.
Save More While Shopping for Back To School with These Tips!
Everyone wants to look good when they head back to the classroom, which is why school clothes shopping is such a big deal. Students want to look their best, while parents are also looking to save money, as clothes can get pricey.
Our tips for how to save money on back-to-school clothes will help to keep your kids and your budget happy.
Look for Coupons
From online stores to mailers, coupons can be found everywhere to save you some cash. Most retailers will offer a coupon for first-time purchases or when signing up for email or text notifications. Using a browser extension to automatically scan the internet for the best prices can be a big money saver too.
Download Shopping Apps
By downloading apps for stores like Walmart and Target, you get some serious savings for back-to-school shopping, as well as special offers only available in the app. For Target, you can sign up for the Target Red Card, which gives back 5% of every single purchase you make online or in person.
Use your Fetch points to get free gift cards to huge retailers like Walmart, Target, Amazon, and more!
Shop Online for School Clothes
Shopping online can often save you money by being able to quickly price match or check out online sales. These sales tend to happen before in-store sales, ensuring that you get the best deal possible. Shopping online will also give you more options and the ability to check reviews.
Look for Price Matching
If you are looking to save even more, look for stores that price match, if you happened to find a better deal elsewhere. Target, Kohl’s Office Depot, and Michael’s are some of the many stores that offer price matching. Depending on the retailer, if something goes on sale after you buy it, you also may be able to get some money back.
How to Save Money on Back to School Supplies
The average family is projected to spend a whopping $864 in 2022 on back-to-school supplies according to The National Retail Federation. Here are a few easy ways to cut costs and reconcile your back-to-school budget:
Use Discounted Gift Cards
Did you know that you can easily get free gift cards to places like Target, Best Buy, Office Depot, and Walmart? Snap your receipts with the Fetch app, and earn increments of $5, $10, $25- and $50-dollar gift cards for school supplies, and more.
Earn major bonus points by shopping partner brands like the world’s best pencil, Ticonderoga.
Inventory Your Past School Supplies
The new school year seems like a time to start fresh, but be sure to take inventory of any leftover supplies from last year to see if it is possible to use last year’s supplies, before purchasing all new stuff. Clothes, backpacks, and lunch boxes can last a few years, and you may even find some unused notebooks or pens that can be used.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle for the environment and your bank account.
Make a Back-to-School Budget
Make a clear shopping list, and make sure to stick to it without giving in to impulse buys or things you don’t really need. Start shopping early, and plan to look at different retailers. Make sure to bring the supply list given out by teachers, and prioritize what is needed right away, and what can wait until later. After Labor Day, most back-to-school items will be on clearance for big money-saving opportunities.
Buy in Bulk
Back to school means new notebooks, pens, pencils, paper, and more. Get a price break by buying in bulk at stores like Sam’s Club or BJ’s and splitting the cost with neighbors, friends, or groups that may also be trying to save money. If you are looking to get a BJ’s Perks Rewards membership, Fetch runs a Special Offer of 30,000 bonus points, getting you a free gift card at any participating retailer. You can also use your Fetch points for free gift cards to bulk retailers like BJ’s and Sam’s Club.
Buy Generic School Supply Brands
Most stores will have a generic store version of a name-brand item, always at a lower cost. Choose things that probably won’t matter in the long run, like notebook paper, pens, and crayons. No matter if you buy name-brand or generic school supplies, you will get points on all of your receipts with Fetch.
Shop “Dollar” Stores
Dollar stores can offer a goldmine of savings for basic school supplies like pens, paper, planners, and folders. You never know what you might find, but it will be a fraction of the cost of big retailers.
Start Getting Free Gift Cards
We hope you found some useful back-to-school tips and hacks on this list, and don’t forget to cash in on even more savings by snapping receipts on Fetch and getting free gift cards to all your favorite places on this list.
Get started by downloading the Fetch app, by clicking the buttons, or scanning the QR code below.
Have a great school year and happy snapping!
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