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30+ back-to-school essentials for teens — all on sale, from $1

·7 min read
Post-its, AirPods, Fjallraven Kanken, All-Stars
Your teen will rock the new year in style with these back-to-school essentials, all on sale! (Photos, clockwise from left: Amazon (3), Nordstrom)

Back-to-school shopping sales are everywhere we turn — and your teen is in dire need of fresh sneakers, a durable backpack, new supplies and, of course, tech. But who has time to sift through it all to find best deals? We've got you!

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For starters, we've combed the back-to-school hub at Amazon and the school supply section at Walmart for the best sales on items on your essential school supplies list. Plus, these two mega-retailers' sites have a special feature this year: You can plug in your zip code to find your school supply list online!

No doubt students want to look good too, so we scoped out the best style deals from Nordstrom's "Back to School Under $50" section and our fave shoe mega-retailer Zappos. We even dropped by Ulta, with the ever-changing complexion of teenagers in mind.

And to make sure they are well-rested, how about some sleep essentials (on sale, of course) from the bedding experts at Casper? Bedding brand Pacific Coast is having a sitewide sale right now. If you have a budding artist or total art star, you'll want to swing by Blick's clearance sale, where we found art essentials for up to 65% off.

Scroll for our 30+ school supply essentials and style picks — all on sale right now. There's plenty here to outfit everyone from your middle-schooler to your high-schooler and the one that's headed off to college! (If the student in your life a grade-schooler, we have you covered with elementary school supplies. Plus we found cute stuff for kids of all ages!)


Post-it Super Sticky Notes, 3x3 in, 24 Pads

$23$42Save $20
$23 at Amazon

Reminders, bookmarks, to-dos, notes for pals — the list of uses for the Post-It is as long as your school shopping list. And these are super-standouts for being super sticky. The bright batch includes 24 pads to get you through a busy year and then some.

These megapopular Post-its have 5,200 five-star ratings. Why so beloved? "Super Sticky Post-it notes are life," writes a fan. "They stick to walls normal Post-it notes fall off of and knock off sticky notes just run from. They stay sticky after multiple re-sticks. They also are bleed-resistant, so you can use a felt tip marker on them on a wall and not write on the wall."


Apple AirPods (2nd Gen) Wireless Earbuds with Lightning Charging Case Included

$119$159Save $40
$119 at Amazon

This is the lowest price we've seen on AirPods since Prime Day — and it's unlikely to last! The beloved earbuds sync seamlessly with all Apple devices and offer crystal clear audio for up to five hours per charge. Plus they come in their own sleek charging case!

"Authentic and Beautiful, Love these way more than ever expected," writes one of the nearly 463,000 five-star reviewers. "These AirPods are amazing. They automatically play audio as soon as you put them in your ears and pause when you take them out. A simple double-tap during music listening will skip forward. To adjust the volume, change the song, make a call, or even get directions, just say "Hey Siri" to activate your favorite personal assistant...Just 15 minutes in the case gives you three hours of listening to time or up to two hours of talk time."


Converse Gender-Inclusive Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Sneaker

$50$75Save $25
$50 at Nordstrom

They'll start off on right foot with these delightful, stylish All Stars, featuring a patchwork Pride print.

Perfect for all open-hearted teens, and you might even find a hip teacher sporting a pair: "I love all my Converse and when I saw these I knew I had to have them! I am a middle school teacher, and while I am straight I love to show my pride support for my LGTBQ students! Love these!!"


HP 11.6" Chromebook, 4GB RAM, 32GB Storage

$98$225Save $127
$98 at Walmart

Get well over half off this popular HP Chromebook — a great design for busy (even clumsy) students. Boots up quick and can roll with the punches, drips and drops!

Writes a happy student: "I love it. I'm able to use it anywhere. It's light and I'm able to do all my schoolwork on it."


Sharpie Pocket Highlighters, Assorted Colors, 12-Count

$5$17Save $12
$5 at Amazon

Highlights of these highlighters: They're smudge-free with a flexible line width. Sometimes you want an underline, sometime you want to mark right over the text. These precise, chisel tip Sharpie highlighters do it all.

These pens have earned 29,000 five-star ratings. Whoa! One superfan wrote, "The chiseled tip makes it easy to highlight words with just one easy swipe, regardless of the exact size of the letters. The fluorescent colors are bright and easy to see, and none of the colors are too dark...I love them."


Apple Watch Series 7 GPS, 41mm

$319$400Save $81
$319 at Walmart

Help your student be on time and stay in touch with this majorly marked down Apple Watch — complete with a sporty band — at Walmart. All five colors are on sale right now!

We're willing to bet that your student would want and benefit from having an Apple Watch in a number of ways. Of this Series 7, a five-star reviewer writes: "I can't believe I waited so long. As is true of all the Apple products I own, my Apple Watch is superb. It integrates seamlessly with my iPhone, iMac, MacBook and iPads...I bought the Apple Watch 7 primarily to monitor my health; it does a great job of that and so much more."


Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack for Everyday, Ochre

$60$80Save $20
$60 at Amazon

This beauty will last and last. No wonder the brand's stuck with the same iconic design since 1978. It's water resistant and easy to wipe clean. The backpack has two side compartments, adjustable straps and a seat pad stashed inside (which also serves to cushion the back and protect belongings).

Adults know that backpacks need to be functional even if teens only care if they look good. Luckily there are options out there that check both boxes. (See our other backpack picks to cover every student's preferences.) "Everything I hoped it would be," wrote a happy shopper. "Very comfortable and a nice size for school or just for using as an everyday bag. Love the foam insert in the back, it protects my laptop...I really love the reflective logo patch, perfect for walking or biking at night."


Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook, Executive Size, 6x8.8

$17$30Save $13
$17 at Amazon

Help students get organized while reducing paper waste with this smart, eco-friendly notebook. They'll be able to create all the calendars, to-do lists and notes they please. Includes one pilot Frixion pen and one microfiber cloth, and a cover. Letter size also on sale.

The 47,000-plus five-star reviews speak to the usefulness of this fresh, new kind of notebook. "Excellent for school use — even for middle and high school boys!" promised one fan. "I bought one for my sixth-grader son so that he would only have to carry around one notebook...It survives being carried around in his backpack and the locker of the sixth grader...I also bought one for my high school age son, and likewise, he uses it as his only notebook for high school. He organizes his notes into his Google Drive account."


Ticonderoga Wood-Cased Pencils, Unsharpened, #2 HB Soft, 24 Count

$5$9Save $4
$5 at Amazon

Some 42,000 fans — including teachers — say these are the #2 pencils to get. And they're over 50% off! Nuff said.

Many educators profess their love for these pencils in their Amazon reviews. Here one testifies: "The best pencils that money can buy! As a teacher, I know my office supplies...These pencils sharpen well...and the eraser is great! It's not a smudgy eraser, and it doesn't break off when it is used. If you are still not sure about buying these pencils, see a teacher's eyes light up when you mention 'Ticonderoga' pencils. I guarantee these are their favorites, and they feel as passionately about these pencils as I do...So, make a teacher's day, and buy these pencils for their classroom. You will automatically be a favorite in their book."

Paper Mate

Paper Mate Pink Pearl Erasers, Large, 3 Count

$2$3Save $1
$2 at Walmart

These smear-resistant erasers leave a clean finish. Keep one at school, one in the backpack and one at their homework desk.

A five-star fan summed it up: "Paper Mate Pink Pearl erasers are the best there are! Soft and flexible, no smudging. Great price."


Bic Cristal Xtra Smooth Stic Ball Pen, 10 Pack

$1$2Save $1
$1 at Walmart

Not your mother's Bics, these are specially designed to release ink slowly and smoothly. This is what makes great pens tend to "walk away," so be sure to grab at least a 10-pack while the price is right.

"These are awesome pens!" writes a pleased shopper. "I also got the blue ones from this brand. I really like these and how smooth they write. Also even if you leave them uncapped for a while, they still work like day one. A really good and trusted pen brand. They don't disappoint."


Reeves Sketch Pencil School Pack

$48$139Save $91
$48 at Blick

Those who live to draw will geek out on this pack of 144 high-quality graphite lead pencils. They've got an easy grip and are excellent for drawing, sketching and shading. And they're 65% off!

"I love these pencils," wrote a shopper who recommends this 144-pack. "Great pencils for shading."


Conair True Glow Facial Brush

$17$21Save $4
$17 at Ulta

Help your teen give TLC to their changing skin with this cleansing tool. It gently lifts away dirt, oil and the day's makeup. Three brush attachments let you choose whether to cleanse, exfoliate or moisturize and massage.

According to shoppers, one of these gadgets is not enough for a household. "It's like a spa treatment!" raved a five-star reviewer. "I have tried all 3 heads and they work like magic! My face feels so clean afterwards...It gets all the dirt and dead skin off, plus cleans out those yucky pores. I have to get one for my teenage son cause he stole mine."


Native Deodorant, Coconut and Vanilla

$13$15Save $2
$13 at Amazon

No aluminum, no parabens, no cruelty. Amazon's No. 1 bestselling all-natural deodorant is just as popular for what it doesn't have as what it does have: nourishing probiotics, baking soda plus soothing coconut oil and shea butter.

This buzz-worthy deodorant has racked up 51,300 perfect ratings, and counting! "Best for my teen's extreme B.O.," writes a pleased parent. "Been using Native for over a year now. I originally started buying for my teen. This the ONLY natural deodorant that actually worked against her extreme B.O!!! GREAT product."

Sennheiser Consumer Audio

Sennheiser Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation

$130$200Save $70
$130 at Amazon

It's easier to study when you can block out the noise. These affordable bluetooth headphones are wireless and offer a 30-hour battery life. Plus, they fold up to fit in your backpack.

One reviewer said these are superior to the (pricier) competition: "Got these for my partner's birthday after her Beats took a beating. The sound quality is SUCH an improvement, and the overall aesthetic and workmanship of these destroys Beats overall. More settings, easily paired, and a great value. If you're looking for a good Beats alternative, or just better headphones — these are them. They don't get too hot, they look great, they fit great, and they're relatively inexpensive."


Ugg Classic Mini Metallic Sparkle

$88$160Save $72
$88 at Zappos

Uggs are having a moment again with the minis. These metallic ones are irresistible, and nearly 50% off.

A thrilled reviewer wrote, "I LOVE these boots. The fit is true to size, the sparkly leather is FUN, and they are nice and warm."


BP. Cool Girl T-Shirt

$7$15Save $8
$7 at Nordstrom

A basic tee that's not basic at all. This boxy cut is trending right now, and oh-so-affordable! The best part: It's 100% organic!

"Soft and comfy!" raves a fan. "Usually a large, bought a medium and it fits perfect. Large chested and this fits super cute, I have a short torso and I can wear this with mid-waisted bottoms without showing midriff."


Casper Weighted Blanket

$99$189Save $90
$99 at Casper

A good weighted blanket calms anxiety and ushers in sweet sleep. A true back-to-school essential, if you ask us. All three weights (10, 15, 20 lbs) of this primo Casper blanket are on sale in all four colors.

Pacific Coast

Pacific Coast Restful Nights Batiste Cotton Down Alternative Pillow, Standard/Queen

$42$52Save $10
$42 at Pacific Coast

Help your child the best rest possible with this dreamy luxury down-alternative pillow. Real down pillows are also on sale here, along with everything else on the Pacific Coast site!

More school-supply essentials and hot styles on sale:

  • Mead Spiral Notebooks, 1-Subject, College Ruled Paper, 6 Pack, 70 Sheets Each

    $12$22Save $10
  • BIC Xtra-Strong Thick Lead Mechanical Pencil, 24-Count

    $6$8Save $2
  • Bostitch 3-Hole Punch, 12 Sheet

    $14$20Save $6
  • Alvin Student Series Soft-Sided Art Portfolio

    $6$12Save $6
  • Oxford College Rule, 3-Hole Punched, Loose-Leaf Paper, 500 Sheets

  • Mind Reader Adjustable Laptop Desk with Ventilated Table and Fan

    $15$25Save $10
  • Fiskars 7" Student Softgrip Scissor Blue, Ages 12+

    $6$6Save $0
  • Burt's Bees Sensitive Solutions Calming Day Lotion with Aloe and Rice Milk

    $10$15Save $5
  • BP. Canyon Denim Trucker Jacket

    $30$59Save $30
  • Vans Old Skool Sneakers

    $45$65Save $20
  • HP Pavilion 15.6" FHD Touch Laptop

    $579$789Save $210
  • Black Framed Magnetic Wet Erase Board by ArtMinds, 18" x 24"

    $10$25Save $15

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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