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It’s that time of year again: back-to-school season. While it’s unclear what impact COVID-19 will have on the upcoming year, for many families—especially those on a tight budget—it’s important to start thinking about how to get classroom essentials before the new semester officially arrives.
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Now here’s the good news: You can save a ton of money right now on back-to-school supplies, provided you know where to look. From discounts on the best backpacks to scoring free Apple AirPods (seriously, it’s true!), the best deals for students can help them secure everything they need to get the school year off to a stellar start, and it’ll help your family save a little extra money, too. Here are the discounts you don’t want to miss.
1. Get a free set of AirPods with select purchases at Apple
Apple is running all kinds of back-to-school deals right now for college students and parents, as well as faculty and homeschool teachers. For a limited time, you can get a free pair of AirPods ($159 value) when you buy most iPads and MacBooks, many of which are on sale for up to $200 off. Along with huge savings on everything from MacBook Airs starting at $899 to the iMac Pro starting at $4,599, you can also save 20% on AppleCare+ if you add it to your Mac or iPad purchase, so this really is a wonderful time to shop and save the brand.
Shop Apple’s Back-to-School Promotion
2. Save up to 28%: These stylish backpacks from L.L.Bean
From textbooks to binders, school supplies can be tough to lug around without a resilient backpack. Regardless of whether your kids are headed straight back to the classroom this fall, the best backpacks offer plenty of storage while also looking cute in the process. At L.L.Bean, you can save on two of their most versatile selections, the Quad Pack and Deluxe Book Pack. The Quad Pack, our pick for the overall best backpack, is on sale for $64.99, so you’re saving nearly $25, as it usually goes for $89.95. In our testing, we had zero complaints about the Quad Pack and loved it for its roominess and waterproof material. While we haven’t tested it, the Deluxe Book Pack has over 200 positive reviews and is on sale in dark plum for $39.99, saving you $10.
3. Save over $200 on our favorite Herman Miller office chairs
For a limited time on Amazon, you can buy the Herman Miller Aeron Office Chair—our choice for the overall best office chair out there—for $209.25 off its standard retail price of $1,395.00, so you’ll pay $1,185.75. It may sound like a lot, but something that made this chair stand out was its fully adjustable armrests, which our testers raved about. The firmness of these armrests made them feel more durable and supportive, plus the chair seat and back offered a tremendous degree of ergonomic support. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, the Herman Miller Sayl Task Chair is another one of our favorites and it’s on sale for $463.25, which is $134.75 off its usual price of $598. In testing, we liked that this comes with fully configurable arms, a gorgeous backrest and offered a lot of adjustability for different body sizes.
4. Snag a free pair of Sony WH-CH700N headphones with select Chromebook purchases
You can take advantage of some exceptionally good back-to-school deals at Best Buy if you shop right now. One deal in particular gets you the celebrated Sony WH-CH700N headphones in black or grey for free (a $199 value) with the purchase of select Chromebooks with a price tag of $299 or more. This includes the HP x360 Convertible 2-in-1 Chromebook, which is currently retailing for $399, and the Chromebook Asus Flip ($569.99), which is one of our favorite laptop for students. This deal is like getting two for the price of one, and all you have to do is add a laptop to your cart, then add the headphones. The discount will automatically apply to your order and you’ll be good to go!
Get a free pair of Sony headphones with a Chromebook purchase at Best Buy (Save $199)
5. Save $5: The best water bottle we’ve ever tried
It’s important to stay hydrated every day, and this is especially true for kids. Keeping a water bottle around—like our all-time favorite, the Brita Stainless Steel Filtering Water Bottle—means having extra incentive to sip throughout the day. Right now, you can get the Brita on Amazon for $24.99, or $5 off its usual $29.99 price. In testing, this water bottle seemed flawless, as it keeps water incredible cold, comes with a filter that keeps odors out and you can open it with one-hand, which is ideal for students in particular who, more often than not, have their hands full in general.
Get the Brita 20-Ounce Premium Filtering Water Bottle with Filter on Amazon for $24.99 (Save $5)
6. Nearly $53 off: This alarm clock that makes waking up less annoying
For gentler, hassle-free wake-ups every school morning, the Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Alarm Clock can work wonders. In our review, we found that this smart alarm clock not only made the whole process of getting out of bed easier, but it also functioned as a great reading lamp, too. It simulates both sunsets and sunrises, and our tester found that the night mode helped her fall asleep faster. An alarm clock like this can be especially useful for students who often have to be up before the actual sun is, and right now on Amazon, you can get it for $87.50, which is a huge $52.49 off its original $139.99 price.
Get the Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Alarm Clock on Amazon for $87.50 (Save $52.49)
7. Under $25: This durable dry-erase board
For students who need a little extra help staying on top of assignments, this dry-erase board from Staples will be very useful—and it’s on sale for $9.27 off right now. That means instead of paying $32.20, you’ll pay only $22.93. It comes with a marker tray and dry-erase marker, and shoppers say it’s not difficult to mount in place. One reviewer noted: “This was the least expensive dry-erase board I could find online so my expectations were low, but I am actually SO pleased! The board quality itself is great.” And right now, you can get it for a steal.
Get the Staples Standard Dry-Erase Whiteboard for $22.93 (Save $9.27)
8. Get huge savings on pens and pencils
Even though students increasingly rely on laptops and tablets to get work done, there’s no underestimating the value of writing things down by hand. This back-to-school season, you can stock up on pens and pencils and save money in the process. There are tons of deals, like on the Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens Assorted Colors, 14 Count (on sale for $12.44 from $19.93 at Walmart), the Paper Mate SharpWriter Mechanical Pencils, 36 Count (on sale for $6.45 from $18.14 on Amazon) and the BIC Xtra-Precision Mechanical Pencil Set, 24-Count (on sale for $3.78 from $12.80 on Amazon).
9. Under $30: This handy laptop stand
Designed to fit most laptops, this adjustable Nulaxy stand makes it easy to work from any area, including a couch or bed. With over 700 ratings, it has a perfect five-star rating and is on sale right now for just under $30, a savings of $3 off its regular price. “I was pleasantly surprised to find that the back part of the stand is very tightly and sturdily put together. It takes a little effort to adjust it, but I actually appreciate that feature, because the thing would probably be falling all over the place if it was easy to adjust,” wrote one reviewer.
Get the Nulaxy Adjustable Laptop Stand on Amazon for $29.99 (Save $3)
10. 30% off: This budget-friendly fitness tracker
When it comes to being a successful student, staying on top of coursework is just one part of the equation. Maintaining health and wellness can also be essential for students, and a fitness tracker can help. Right now, you can get the Fitbit Inspire HR—one of the famed brand’s more simplistic models—on sale for $30 off at Target, so you’re paying $69.95 instead of $99.95. Initially designed for Fitbit’s partnerships and corporate wellness programs, the Inspire HR is basic compared to our favorite fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge 4, but for kids or anyone in need of a gentle reminder to move, it’s a solid choice.
Get the Fitbit Inspire HR Activity Tracker with Small and Large Band at Target for $69.95 (Save $30)
11. $10 off: This 5-star rated bedside shelf
When it comes to study space, students need all the extra room they can get, and sometimes a desk just isn’t enough. That’s what’s great about the BedShelfie, the cult-favorite bedside shelf that offers extra room for drinks, phone chargers, books and any other thing that student in your life desires. Boasting a perfect five-star rating on Amazon, this drops from it’s usual $39.99 to $29.99, so you’re saving $10. “I had been searching for a good bed shelf that would fit the design of my bedroom for a while,” wrote one reviewer. “I give it a solid five stars because the quality of the bed shelf is a top notch. Extremely easy to assemble.”
Get the BedShelfie The Original Bedside Shelf on Amazon for $29.99 (Save $10)
12. Under $1: This classic washable glue for kids
Most of us remember using Elmer’s Washable Glue, and this arts-and-crafts essential is as much a staple in today’s classrooms as it was back in our formative years. Regardless of whether you’re sending the kids back into the classroom, this washable glue is great to have around for all kinds of fun, child-friendly projects. At Target, you can get it for a ridiculously low price—just $0.50. This is almost a dollar off its usual retail value, and when was the last time you could say you bought something this useful for under a buck?
Get Elmer’s 4 oz Washable School Glue at Target for $0.50 (Save $0.95)
13. Save up to 18% on this best-selling desk with an almost-perfect rating
Home-schooling the kids this fall? To make the most of their study time, they’ll need a desk of their own. While you could spend hundreds of dollars on some of the fanciest desks out now, this budget-friendly pick from Convenience Concepts is just as good, say shoppers. With over 2,100 positive reviews on Amazon, this desk is starting at as low as $85.10 and happens to be one of the most popular on the site. Even better, you don’t need any tools to assemble it and you can get up to 18% off select colors, including blue, charcoal gray, black and more. You’ll be spending less than $105 as a result, which is sensational given how expensive furniture can be these days. One shopper raved: “It’s a perfect sized desk for a student or small home office, and for the price it can’t be beat. It looks very nice and semi modern.”
Save up to 18% on select Convenience Concepts Designs2Go No Tools Student Desk on Amazon
14. Under $10: This 40-piece storage container set from Rubbermaid
From brownies to last night’s leftovers and more, food is easy to store using containers from this 40-piece Rubbermaid TakeAlongs set. When we tested them, we felt that they weren’t ideal for long-term food containment but were great for picnics and the perfect size for nonperishable snacks, such as trail mix or popcorn. Right now, you can save a little over $2 and nab this massive set for under $10 at Walmart, which is cheaper than the $11.98 price tag at Target.
Get the Rubbermaid TakeAlongs 40-Piece Set at Walmart for $9.98 (Save $2.01)
15. 30% off: This reading pillow with over 3,000 reviews
Extra pillow support is huge, especially for students who intend to do a lot of late-night studying. With over 3,000 glowing reviews on Amazon, the Milliard 18-Inch Reading Pillow is a stellar option that can give the aspiring scholar in your life a much-needed boost. Ordinarily priced at $49.99, it drops to $34.99, so you’re saving $15. “I’ve been looking for a pillow that my son could take to college. He is over 6 feet tall and most backrest pillows are pretty short and don’t have much support for the head and neck. This pillow fits him great,” described one reviewer.
Get the Milliard 18-Inch Reading Pillow on Amazon for $34.99 (Save $15)
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed.com: Back-to-school deals: Get huge savings on backpacks, tablets and more