Back-to-school shopping lists look very different at each stage of your child’s education. Whether you’re shopping for pencils and rulers for elementary school students or you're sending your son or daughter off to college with a mini fridge and laptop, one thing is for certain: you want a good deal.

Our community of shopping and saving experts have been through it all, and they’re offering up their advice to help you save on school essentials.

Elementary School:

These are the back-to-school moments you’ll remember the most! Your child is full of excitement to see their friends and to spend their days learning new subjects. Your focus will be on basic school supplies, snacks and cute new outfits for their first-day photo. Consider taking your child shopping with you to get them excited about what you buy. Here are a few tricks from mom-of-four and savings extraordinaire Jordan Page to save on essential school supplies.

High School:

You’re already a back-to-school veteran! You probably have the perfect list prepared, started your shopping early, and you’re enjoying the final days of summer. Just in case you haven’t had a chance to pick everything up yet, here is the perfect list of items to grab for your high-schooler before Labor Day weekend. There’s still time to find deals on everything from clothes to snacks to electronics and to take advantage of the long weekend sales.


School equipment for college students can get expensive — you’ve moved well beyond pencils and sneakers at this point. if your son or daughter is heading to college for the first time, you also need to consider dorm room staples, laptops, small appliances and dishes, and even furniture depending on where they’ll be living. Money-saving expert Jill Cataldo shares her lists of must-haves for your college student, whether they’ll be living in a dorm or getting their own apartment. Moving out for the first time doesn’t have to be a hassle.

Worried about your son’s or daughter’s eating habits when they are fending for themselves? Just because you’re not there, doesn’t mean you can’t be there for them. The key is to show them some simple meal prep techniques and to make sure there are enough convenient and healthy snacks options available. Flavor Maven Andrea Buckett shares her strategies for setting up your child for mealtime success.

Good luck with your last minute shopping, and don't forget to check Flipp before you head to the stores!