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Target Back to School Shopping List

The Savvy Moms’ Guide to Back-to-School Spending — and Saving

Preparing for the first day of school is a big deal for both students and parents. We've partnered with Target to make this annual milestone a little less stressful.

When parents shop for back-to-school gear, they’re looking for daily-use items that need to be solid and noteworthy, plus fun extras to mix and match for style. As a mom who’s already been there — and is in the thick of gearing up for another school year — I do my shopping with a clear plan of attack. I’ve also figured out what’s worth splurging on and when it’s really helpful to save. Read on for my must haves to help your kid kick off the school year right with items you’ll feel good about.

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Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Diggy Lloyd
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A cool poncho will be a go-to piece on chilly days all year long. The style and panache of this single piece will earn cool points every day.

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Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Diggy Lloyd



A pom pom keychain, or any backpack accessory of choice, is a cool way for a kid to express a little personality without breaking the bank. Think of it this way: it’s a daily-use item for $2! Win.

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Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Diggy Lloyd
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Splurge on an extra-large, stylish, and sturdy backpack — students carry them everywhere. It has to take the knocks of being flung on the bus floor, hung in a locker, slung over shoulders and zipped and unzipped many times a day. When you’re relying that much on a single piece, making sure that it’s the quality and look your kid wants is essential.

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Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Diggy Lloyd


This Cat & Jack Shooting Star Dress is a fun way to put color and movement into any kid’s fashion rotation, and it’s so affordable you can pick it up in a few different patterns. Bonus: No worries if it gets spilled on during the school day — it’s easily washable.

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Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Diggy Lloyd
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A jacket like this Boy’s Cat & Jack WOW Jacket style could become the defining item in a kid’s wardrobe. Finding outerwear that suits you is a way to tell the world who you are. Isn’t that worth a splurge?

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Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Diggy Lloyd


A Cat & Jack Pencil Case in a cool color like silver metallic is an affordable daily option. Pencil cases come and go from year to year — and they tend to be very well loved. Grab a cute one and fill it to the brim with the creative tools your kid needs to get through any assignment. Don’t worry about replacing it after a semester, because it’s a great bargain!

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Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Diggy Lloyd
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A good water bottle, like the Cat & Jack Water Bottle, can last an entire school career if it doesn’t get lost. You want one that’s solid and not spillable, lightweight and easy to drink from. This one’s a winner.

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Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Diggy Lloyd


A wool camper hat with google eyes is an easy, personality-filled addition to any ensemble. Your kid can toss it on when a cheeky mood hits, and it’s color means you don't have to worry about dirt showing after a day on the playground. Plus you’ll probably be able to find your kid amongst the after-school chaos much faster — it’s pretty unique.

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Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Diggy Lloyd
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An everyday pair of jeans like these Cat & Jack Heart Knee Denim. In a classic shape with a patterned-knee twist, this pair of pants might be your student’s go-to through an entire winter.

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Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Diggy Lloyd


Graphic tees might express who you are, your outlook on the world, or just your mood that day. Let the kids pick a variety — at a low price, you can fill a drawer and have an image and phrase for each day of the week.

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Shop The Back to School Collection

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