Get schooled: Shopping for every student

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There’s more to it than No. 2 pencils and fresh notebooks. We checked in with Gift.com “Back to School Guru” Laura Smith.

What’s a budget-friendly way to keep younger students with big shopping lists on-trend?

A smart shopping strategy would be to stick to the basics before school starts, like backpacks, lunch totes, sneakers, and jeans, but hold off on getting supplies until school starts. You never know how many supplies your student will need until they start classes. By that time, all of those practical supplies will be on sale. Don’t restrict yourself to your local retailers; browse online to score weekly deals from most major retailers.

Her pick:

Girls Begonia Backpack, $13, www.childrensplace.com

How about high schoolers — what’s on their lists?

Teens have always been tech-hungry, and with a new school season ahead of them, they’re going to want to show off their new gadgets and updated accessories. Along with flash drives, laptops, and computer accessories, technology has become a new school supply category in itself.

Her pick:

MP3 Alarm Clock Docking Station and Speakers, $60, www.crateandbarrel.com

There’s a ton to consider for dorm shopping. Where should you start?

Like any packing process, it’s always important to make a list. That’s why we created an easy, printable checklist for college-bound teens so they can easily check off everything they’ll need for the upcoming school year.

Her pick:

Quirky Pivot Power Strip, $30, www.amazon.com

Other must-haves from Gifts.com

Old Navy graphic tees for boys and girls, $8-$11

Darth Vader fold-up headphones, $30

CableDrop Computer Cable Organizers, $9.95 (6 pack)

Dorm sleep masks, $22


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