Need help crossing things off that back-to-school shopping list? Here are 10 ways to get free school supplies by mail, at the store, and more!
10 Ways to Get Free School Supplies by Mail or In Person
It’s obvious why many kids dread the start of a new school year, but what might not be obvious is that there are many parents who are also unhappy to see the back-to-school season approach. The reason? Pricey school supplies.
According to Today, parents spend just over $100 per child, and that doesn’t include clothes, shoes, or electronics; when you add those items in, you can expect to spend an average of $669 per child!
If you have more than one child, the cost adds up fast. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to snag free school supplies samples by mail and even “full size” products!
Get Free School Supplies Online
One of the easiest options, in my opinion, is to get free school supplies online. Seriously, the Internet is an awesome resource for getting free school supplies by mail whether you’re looking for free school supplies for college students or kindergartners.
I’ll highlight a few of my favorite ways to get free school supplies online, but don’t limit yourself to these options. Dive right into the wormhole, so to speak, with a Google search for “free school supplies by mail” or “free school supply samples.” Any search like that will turn up hundreds of thousands of results for you to explore.
#1 – Online Groups
Joining local or non-local online groups through sites like Yahoo Group, Google+, and Facebook can be a great way to get free school supplies by mail. Look for groups oriented toward frugal living, parenting, or bartering.
While it isn’t an online community per-say, Craigslist may also be a good resource to get free school supplies online. They have a category for free items (look under the “For Sale” category and look for the “Free” section) and you may luck out and find someone giving away school supplies. Craigslist also has an area for organizers to post about community events. Be sure to browse that section for any events that may be able to help you snag free school supplies.
Tip: To get the most out of online groups (and snag free school supplies by mail), be a conscientious community member. Don’t just show up and start demanding freebies day one. Contribute. Help out others.
#2 – Ask Brands
Ask and ye shall receive free school supplies by mail. Okay, the saying doesn’t end that way but still, my advice is to ask. You’d be surprised at how often companies are willing to provide free school supplies samples by mail or coupons. Here’s what you do:
- Make a list of the school supplies you need. If your little one’s school didn’t provide a shopping list, try this back-to-school checklist.
- Find companies that make or sell those products (ex. Crayola).
- Find their social media channels such as Facebook. Typically, companies link to their social media channels from their website either in the header or footer.
- Contact them and ask about getting free school supplies samples by mail or coupons.
The worst they can say is no!
Tip: Follow these brands or stores on social media to be the first to know about big sales, coupons, and other ways to save money.
#3 – Freecycle.com
Freecycle.com is an interesting way to get free school supplies online. It’s essentially a HUGE swap-meet. In addition to snagging some free school supplies by mail, you may also be able to get rid of that junk taking up space in your garage and basement.
#4 – Frugal Living Sites
Your favorite frugal living sites (hint: freebiefindingmom.com) are also a great resource to get free school supplies by mail and find out about other money saving opportunities.
For instance, here are some articles on free school supplies I’ve published before:
- How to get school supplies for free
- More ways to get free school supplies
- The best freebies for teachers
In addition to helping you locate discounts and freebies at your favorite stores, frugal living sites may offer up awesome (and FREE) back-to-school printables. Here are some of my favorites:
- First day of school printable
- Welcome back to school letters
- Back to school word search
- Printable homework charts
#5 – Amazon
Don’t forget about Amazon! While Amazon may not be the best option for the little ones, it can be a great resource to get free school supplies for college students. For instance, Amazon’s Kindle store offers many free textbooks.
Bonus: Students can get a student discount on an Amazon Prime account, which includes free 2 day shipping on many Amazon items!