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Last updated Jun. 22, 2024 by Peter Jakes

With the summer winding down and the new school year just around the corner, now is the perfect time to take advantage of school supplies on clearance. As retailers switch their focus to autumn essentials and holiday items, you can find incredible deals on everything your student needs for a successful school year. From backpacks to notebooks, clearance sales offer a fantastic opportunity to save money while stocking up on quality supplies. This article will explore why now is the best time to shop, what to look for, and how to maximize your savings.

Why Now?

Seasonal Transition

Retailers typically offer deep discounts on school supplies toward the end of summer to make room for new merchandise. As the back-to-school season closes, stores need shelf space for fall and holiday inventory. This urgency works in your favor, as prices drop significantly.

Economic Benefits

Buying school supplies on clearance allows you to stretch your budget further. Instead of paying full price at the start of the season, you can now buy the same items at a fraction of the cost. This is particularly beneficial for families with multiple children, as the savings can add up quickly.

Quality and Variety

You might assume that clearance items are limited in variety or lower in quality, but this is generally not the case. Retailers often have substantial stock leftover from their initial back-to-school sales, including high-quality, brand-name products. You’ll find a variety of supplies that meet your needs without compromising on quality.

What to Look For


Start by focusing on essential items such as notebooks, pens, pencils, and erasers. These staples are always in demand and are often the first items to receive hefty markdowns.

Backpacks and Lunchboxes: Once you’ve tackled the basics, look for larger items like backpacks and lunchboxes. These can be more expensive at full price but are frequently reduced in end-of-season clearance sales.

Technology: If your student needs a new calculator, laptop, or tablet, now is an excellent time to look for deals on these items. Many retailers will discount technology as part of their back-to-school clearance.

Clothing and Accessories: School uniforms, gym clothes, and accessories like hats and gloves often go on sale as the season transitions. Look for bundled deals to get the most bang for your buck.

Tips to Maximize Savings

Plan Ahead

Before hitting the stores or browsing online, make a list of the items you need. Check your home inventory to avoid duplicating purchases. Having a clear plan will help you stay focused and avoid impulse buys.

Compare Prices

Don’t settle for the first deal you find. Compare prices across different retailers to ensure you’re getting the best possible bargain. Use price comparison websites and apps to make this process easier.

Combine Discounts

Many retailers offer additional discounts, coupons, or rewards for clearance items. Look for opportunities to stack these savings. Sign up for newsletters, loyalty programs, or follow your favorite stores on social media to stay informed about extra discounts.

✓ Short Answer

Now is the optimal time to shop for school supplies on clearance, as retailers offer significant discounts to make room for fall merchandise. Focus on essentials like notebooks and pens, look out for deals on larger items like backpacks and technology, and combine additional discounts for maximum savings.

Buy in Bulk

If you find unbeatable deals, consider buying items in bulk. This strategy works particularly well for supplies that your student will need throughout the school year, such as notebooks, pens, and pencils. Just make sure you have adequate storage at home.

Shop Online

While local stores can offer great deals, don’t overlook online retailers. Websites like Amazon, Walmart, and Target often have extensive clearance sections with competitive prices. Plus, online shopping allows you to easily compare prices and read reviews before making a purchase.

Think Beyond the School Year

Clearance sales are a great time to stock up on office supplies or even gifts for future occasions. Use this opportunity to prepare for future needs beyond the immediate school term.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Waiting Too Long

While it’s tempting to wait for even lower prices, clearance items can sell out quickly. If you see a fantastic deal, don’t hesitate, as it may not be available later.

Ignoring Returns and Warranties

Always check the return policy and warranty information for clearance items. Ensure that you can return or exchange items if they’re defective or if you change your mind.

Overlooking Quality

Bargain prices are great, but not at the expense of quality. Make sure you’re buying items that will last the entire school year. Sometimes it’s worth paying a little more for durability and functionality.

Forgetting the Extras

Don’t just focus on the basics. Clearance sales can also offer great deals on less essential but still useful items like art supplies, planners, and organizers. These can enhance your student’s school experience and help them stay organized.

The Environmental Aspect

Shopping clearance sales is also an environmentally responsible choice. By purchasing items that might otherwise be discarded, you’re reducing waste and promoting a more sustainable consumer culture. Many clearance items are perfectly good products that just haven’t sold yet, and buying them helps ensure they don’t end up in a landfill.


Taking advantage of school supplies on clearance is an excellent way to save money, stock up on quality items, and prepare your student for a successful school year. With careful planning, comparison shopping, and a strategic approach, you can maximize your savings and get everything you need. Don’t wait too long—start shopping now to take full advantage of these fantastic deals.


When is the best time to shop for school supplies on clearance?

Late summer and early fall are the best times to find school supplies on clearance. This is when retailers are making room for new inventory and offering deep discounts on leftover stock.

Can I find quality items on clearance?

Absolutely. Clearance items are often high-quality products that just haven’t sold yet. Retailers aim to clear shelf space, so you can find brand-name items at significantly reduced prices.

Are online retailers a good option for clearance shopping?

Yes. Online retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target have extensive clearance sections and often offer competitive prices. Shopping online allows you to easily compare prices and read reviews.

How can I maximize my savings when shopping for school supplies on clearance?

Plan ahead, compare prices, combine discounts, buy in bulk, and consider shopping online to maximize your savings. Sign up for newsletters, loyalty programs, and follow stores on social media to stay informed about additional discounts.

Is buying in bulk a good idea?

Yes, buying in bulk can be a great way to save money, especially for items that will be used throughout the school year. Just ensure you have adequate storage space at home.

What should I avoid when shopping for school supplies on clearance?

Avoid waiting too long, ignoring return policies and warranties, overlooking quality, and forgetting to look for deals on less essential but useful items like art supplies and organizers.

Is shopping for clearance items an environmentally friendly choice?

Yes, buying clearance items helps reduce waste by ensuring that products don’t end up in a landfill. It’s a more sustainable choice that supports a more responsible consumer culture.

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