According to tradition and/or television commercials, as a work-at-home mom, I’m supposed to be counting down the days until my kids go back to school. Instead, I’m dreading it. I adore the break from school and all the stress that comes with standardized tests, homework, research reports, social drama.
And I love spending time with my kids. Trying to get my work done around their swim lessons is challenging, but I actually love having my kids home with me. I adore seeing what they want to learn and do when freed from the constraints of school. Yesterday my younger two built themselves a TARDIS; one of my older girls learned how to mow the lawn; and the other one mastered flip turns at the pool.
So when I start seeing ads for back-to-school supplies, I don’t get that giddy “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” feeling. I just feel bummed out. And now that I’ve started seeing those ads earlier and earlier, I just feel irritated. Stop trying to steal my summer, retailers!
AdvertisingAge reports that back-to-school ads and sales have started “jarringly early” this year. Walmart, Apple, Office Max, and clothing store Justice are already pushing back-to-school sales in an effort to beat the competition for consumers’ precious dollars. Other retailers aren’t necessarily calling it a “back-to-school sale,” but they’re offering super-deep discounts nonetheless.
Historically, parents (who are obviously way more organized than me) begin their back-to-school in early to mid-August, AdAge says. Retailers traditionally followed that lead and starting sales in mid to late July. This year, however, many retailers jumped to before Independence Day to start their promotions.
“In seven and a half years, I’ve never once seen so much emphasis put on back-to-school before July 4,” National Retail Federation spokeswoman Kathy Grannis told AdAge.
Uggghhhhh. With back-to-school starting before the Fourth of July, that can only mean that if you don’t buy your Halloween costumes by August, they’ll all be gone. Before school even starts, the stores will start vomiting up tinsel.
Can we please slow down? We’re just barely getting good corn on the cob; it is not time to think about school supplies. If stores keep moving everything up, we’ll have to buy bathing suits in December and Christmas tress in July and then seriously, we might as well move to Australia or something because everything will be upside down anyway.
But as it is, I’ll end up buying the stuff earlier than I want to, because I know full well that if I wait until the end of August, the only things in stock will be snowsuits, Santa hats, and a torn spiral notebook with a picture of Scott Baio on it.
In that spirit, for those of you who are hyper-organized, love a bargain, or are now terrified that if you don’t shop right this very second, the stuff will be gone, here are the best deals out there right now!
Yes, already. 1 of 11
Click the arrows to scroll through some of the best discounts and back-to-school savings available there right now.
Staples 2 of 11
Staples is already in back-to-school mode, with some in-store deals as low as a penny right now. Check out their back-to-school deals here.
OfficeMax 3 of 11
OfficeMax has sales, coupon codes, and more for back-to-school supplies and technology here.
Target 4 of 11
Besides highlighting various "looks" for dorm rooms, Target wins the prize for freaking me out by promoting a Black Friday sneak preview. Yes, they're talking about Black Friday already. Check it out here.
Walmart 5 of 11
Walmart is already running deals on virtually everything, including school supplies, backpacks, lunchboxes, clothes, and school uniforms. Find the sales here.
Justice / Brothers 6 of 11
Tween clothing store Justice and its sibling store Brothers are offering sales on clothes, uniforms, backpacks, and supplies. Note the coupon code at the top of the shop's main webpage, here.
Aeropostale 7 of 11
Thank you Aeropostale for running a sale that doesn't freak me out about school. The teen clothing store is calling it the "Summer Blues" sale, but I'm including it here because the polos are down to 9 bucks. School uniform clothes are also on sale, but the polos are a dollar more than the non-uniform polos. Aero's children's line, p.s. kids, is running sales of up to 70% off. Find the deals here.
Apple 8 of 11
If you're in the market for student technology, Apple is running sales on Macs and other gear. Apple is also offering significant App Store gift cards with certain purchases. Find the deals here.
Office Depot 9 of 11
Office Depot is running sales on school supplies, furniture, organization supplies, and technology, but note that the retailer is offering some deals in-store only. Find the details here.
JC Penney 10 of 11
JCPenney is running sales on clothing for teens and kids, as well as 20-50 percent off select backpacks. If you're looking for backpacks on sale, click on backpacks, and then sort by price, lowest to highest. Find the savings here.
Sears 11 of 11
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