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Back to school shopping: Best deals and sales

Whether kids are going back to school in-person or online, they’ll likely need new notebooks, backpacks and clothing before their first day of class. This year, tech accessories are also important, as many schools across the country are establishing remote learning models due to the coronavirus. Computers, headphones and Wi-Fi routers may be essential for attending classes, doing homework and connecting with teachers and peers. Face masks are also at the top of many back-to-school shopping lists, with states across the country mandating face coverings in public spaces. Brands like Disney and Lands’ End make face masks for kids in fun designs that adhere to the CDC’s recommended criteria. Crayola also recently launched packs of five reusable kids face masks in partnership with SchoolMaskPack — they're color-coded for each day of the week. Additionally, retailers like Staples sell cleaning products such as hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray, which helps quickly wipe down high-touch surfaces like desks. To help guide your shopping, we rounded up the best back to school sales of the season from retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Office Depot. Shop for kids in kindergarten — and even those entering college — online and in stores while sales last.

Back-to-school sales to shop now

  • All Modern is offering sales on office furniture, like up to 20 percent off select desks, and deals on chairs and storage accessories.
  • Amazon is offering up to 20 percent off AmazonBasics education products, like office supplies, backpacks and desks.
  • Apple is offering a free pair of AirPods when you purchase a Mac or iPad with education pricing. Those eligible can also upgrade to AirPods Pro for $90 and get discounts on accessories and AppleCare+.
  • Best Buy is offering student discounts on laptops, tablets and headphones.
  • B&H Photo is offering deals on Apple products like AirPods, iPads and Mac laptops.
  • The Children’s Place is offering 50 to 60 percent off store wide, including kids school uniforms and backpacks.
  • Claire’s is offering sales on back to school items like backpacks, water bottles, pencil cases, notebooks and more.
  • Dell is offering discounts on desktop computers, laptops and tech accessories.
  • The Disney Store is offering discounts on backpacks, lunchboxes and notebook sets.
  • The Happy Planner is offering sales on journals, planners and accessories like stickers.
  • H&M is offering low prices on back to school styles, school uniforms and backpacks.
  • HP is offering deals on printers, computers, laptops and backpacks.
  • Lenovo is offering up to 65 percent off select laptops, and verified college students and teachers can receive an additional 8 percent off sitewide.
  • Macy’s is offering deals on back to school clothing, supplies for at-home learning, kids backpack sets and dorm decor.
  • Michaels is offering low prices on kids back to school essentials like pens and markers, as well as items to decorate at-home workstations like dry erase boards and chalkboards.
  • Microsoft is offering sales on products like the Surface Pro 7 and the Surface Pro X, as well as accessories like Surface bags and sleeves.
  • Newegg is offering discounts on monitors, desktops and notebooks.
  • Nordstrom is offering low prices on kids clothing, home decor and more during its 2020 Anniversary Sale. The sale opens to the public on August 19.
  • Nordstrom Rack is offering sales on backpacks from designers like Marc Jacobs, Herschel Supply Co, and Champion. Select kids school uniform pieces are also discounted.
  • Office Depot is offering up to 60 percent on its best-selling school supplies, up to 25 percent off select backpacks, and up to $250 off select printers.
  • Old Navy is offering discounts on girls and boys clothing and school uniforms.
  • Staples is offering low prices on back-to-school supplies like notebooks, pens and pencils, binders, backpacks and lunchboxes. Staples is also selling reusable and disposable face masks.
  • Pottery Barn Kids is offering 30 to 60 percent off new backpacks and lunchboxes.
  • Pottery Barn Teen is offering 30 to 60 percent off backpacks, lunch boxes and water bottles. Decor for dorms like bedding, bedroom furniture and accessories are also on sale.
  • Rifle Paper Co. is offering discounts on select notebooks, water bottles, phone cases and other accessories.
  • Target is offering low prices on back-to-school essentials like notebooks and pencils, as well as items necessary for remote learning like WiFi routers and kids’ desks.
  • Walmart is offering low prices on kids’ fashion, dorm room essentials, office supplies and tech.
  • Wayfair is offering discounts on office furniture like desks and chairs.

Back to school sales and deals to shop now

A tech expert named this laptop one of the best models for college students due to its hinge design, front-facing speakers and full HD screen. It comes with a stylus for annotating or sketching on the touch-display, which can come in handy while completing homework. A privacy shutter covers the webcam when not in use, and the computer weighs less than three pounds, making it easy to walk to the library or travel with. This laptop has a memory capacity of up to 16GB, offering plenty of space to store all your files.

When you’re not using this desk, it easily folds flat and can be stored under a bed or behind a door. It requires minimal assembly and its neutral colors match with any decor. The desk can hold up to 100 pounds and its tabletop is about 40-inches in length, so your computer, printer and office supplies will all fit. It’s lightweight, too, which allows you to carry it between rooms if you work in different areas of your home.

The Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition has Alexa assistant built-in, which allows children to ask questions while doing homework, call friends and family, play music and set timers. Kids can also ask Alexa to read them a story or play a game with them. Echo Dot Kids Edition is built with privacy protection and controls, such as a microphone off button and the ability for parents to set daily time usage limits. Echo Dot also automatically filters explicit songs from select music services and comes in two colors: Kids Blue and Kids Rainbow.

This backpack has a padded laptop pocket that protects your computer while walking through the hallways or while traveling. It also has a dedicated media pocket that allows you to connect your headphones through an external port. The backpack has adjustable shoulder straps and a small exterior pocket that can hold your phone, pens and pencils.

These headphones are designed to deliver high-quality, balanced sound whether you’re listening to music or lectures, or on a phone call. They’re made from lightweight stainless steel and have adjustable vertical sliders, making for a comfortable, customized fit. These headphones are battery-free, and their RemoteTalk cable has a built-in microphone that can be used with Apple or Android devices to take calls and control audio. Beats Ep Wired On-Ear Headphones come in four colors: Black, Blue, Red and White.

Keep your appointments, assignments and to-do lists organized by writing them down in this planner. It has lined pages to write notes, a two-page calendar spread for each month, and weekly pages for the entire year. The agenda has a pocket folder on the front and back with enough room to hold receipts, envelopes, stickers and index cards. It also comes with an elastic band closure to keep your planner secure. The planner has a blue faux leather cover and is spiral-bound.

This office chair comes with a mesh back and a thick mesh seat cushion, offering ergonomic support while you type at your desk all day. It was included in NBC News Shopping’s roundup of the best ergonomic office chairs, partly due to being height-adjustable and having 360-degree swivel for great mobility. This office chair comes in six colors, from neutral Black and Brown, to more bold Green and Red.

The Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebooks offers an alternative to using pages of paper to write notes. When you write using any pen from the Pilot Frixion line, your writing sticks to the device’s pages like regular paper. However, you can erase writing with a drop of water and then reuse the page. To save notes, use Rocketbook’s app for iOS and Android to scan them into cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneNote, Slack, iCloud, email and more.

More shopping guides and recommendations

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