Are you going to spend $689 on back-to-school items this year? According to the National Retail Federation, that is the staggering amount that the average American family will be shelling out in order to send the kids back to school.
Thankfully, a number of retailers are throwing in back-to-school freebies to help American families who likely can’t afford that amount — or simply don’t want to spend it.
While some retailers have already started giving away their freebies — Old Navy had a free backpack giveaway last week — many more will be rolling out free items and free services geared towards back to school throughout August.
Here are six freebies you can take advantage of this weekend, August 11 and 12.
- iPad giveaway at Abercrombie and Fitch.
If A&F is on your kids’ back to school shopping radar, be sure to visit one of the retail locations on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday through September 2. That’s because Abercrombie & Fitch is giving away 1,000 free iPad tablet computers to shoppers on those weekend days, through Labor Day. You can get details on the giveaway on the A&F website.
- Free Apple gift cards.
Speaking of iPads, Apple has two back-to-school freebie offers worth mentioning. One, any college student who buys a new Mac before September 21 will get a free $100 Apple gift card. Or, two, buy a new iPad and get a free $50 Apple gift card. You can get details on how a student can qualify for these freebie deals on Apple.com.
- Free kids’ haircuts at JC Penney
As we’ve written before, JC Penney is offering free kids’ haircuts during the back-to-school season. The commercials have been all over the place during the Olympics. Keep in mind that these free cuts are good for kids entering kindergarten through sixth grade only — basically elementary school-aged kids — and you have to make an appointment to secure your spot. Walk ins are not accepted.
- Free flu shots and health screenings for kids.
It’s hard to even think about flu season right now, but many retailers are — and are enticing parents with coupons for free flu shots if they spend a certain amount in stores. Participating retailers include K-Mart (spend $100 in store by August 12) and CVS, which is offering a free Project Health screening program in low-income neighborhoods. You do not need to buy anything at CVS to qualify. On a related note Sam’s Club locations with pharmacies are offering free children’s health screenings on Saturday, August 11.
- Free sunglasses at Aeropostale.
Shopping at Aeropostale on Saturday, August 11? Be sure to mention the code “BTSS” at checkout, and, according to Teen Vogue, you’ll get a free pair of sunglasses — while supplies last.
- Tax-free shopping.
Shoppers in Georgia and Maryland should keep in mind that their respective state’s tax-free shopping days occur at some point this weekend. You can get a comprehensive list of tax-free shopping days occurring in August via this Living on the Cheap article.
More ways to save on back-to-school shopping:
- Consignment sales help you save on kids’ stuff
- How to shop for your college student: Don’t
- Back to school: Save money on school supplies
- Clothing the kids without busting your budget