College expenses blowing your budget? How do free school supplies for college students sound? If you’re on board, here are 7 places to look for free college supplies!
College is stressful. Period. For most students, college means taking on a whole new set of responsibilities without mom and dad’s supervision. Plus, there’s the course load, which for many is best described as brutal. Last but not least, there’s the budget blowing price tag on all of those college supplies.
In fact, according to Wells Fargo, a college student can expect to shell out $1,298 each year for college school supplies! In case you aren’t a math major, that means for 4 years, you’d be looking at a price tag of $5,192!
Psst! If you’re now wondering how to get free school supplies for college students, you’re in the right place!
Here are 7 places to snag free school supplies for college students.
Free School Supplies for College Students – Online
#1 – Amazon
Other than tuition, one of the biggest college expenses is textbooks. Luckily, Amazon can help you cut costs. Thanks to Kindle, you can download a ton of totally free textbooks. (And if you don’t have a Kindle, no worries; using the app or cloud reader function you can read Kindle books on nearly any device.)
Tip: If the textbook you need isn’t free, you can usually rent it from Amazon and still save money!
Bonus: Students get a big discount on Amazon Prime membership, which includes free 2 day shipping on a ton of products! This can really come in handy as your running through your college supplies shopping list.
#2 – Online Groups
Online communities, like Facebook, are a great place to track down free school supplies for college students.
In addition to helping you get free college school supplies, these groups may be able to provide much needed support for your first college days. You’d be surprised at how much just having someone (or thousands of someones!) to vent to can help you deal with the stress of college. 🙂
Tip: Really embrace any online group you join. Don’t just be about getting freebies! Contribute to the group, check in regularly, and do your best to help others. For instance, give away college supplies you no longer need to help out other needy students.
#3 Freecycle.com (and Similar Sites)
Freecycle.com is basically a ginormous online swap meet. In addition to getting free school supplies for college students, this site will allow you to offload unwanted items which is great because that dorm room is small! (Especially the closet, trust me. 😉 )
Looking for more ways to get free college school supplies online? Here are some alternatives to freecycle.com.
#4 – Craigslist
Craigslist has a section for free stuff that may help you snag free college supplies and other goodies. (The “Free” category is under the “For Sale” section.)
Craigslist also has a section (“Community”) where you can learn about local events, yard sales, etc. which may also help you track down cheap or even free school supplies for college students.
Bonus: Want to make some quick cash? Consider selling some of your own stuff on Craigslist. Here’s how to sell on Craigslist in just 10 steps.
#5 – Frugal Living Sites
Another way to get free school supplies for college students is to hit up your favorite frugal living blogs (like freebiefindingmom.com). These blogs can help you learn about current freebies and when that fails, deep discounts.
For instance, here are some articles on free school supplies for college students (and all students) I’ve published in the past:
- Free School Supplies: Where to Find Them
- How to Get School Supplies for Free or on the Cheap
- Free Stuff for College Students
Frugal living blogs (and blogs dedicated to college students) can also help you successfully tackle college life. Here are some articles that may be useful:
- 25 Cheap and Easy Meals for College Students – Save money at college by eating in. Here are some delicious (and easy) recipes to try.
- Free Printable Budgeting Worksheets – Every college student needs a budget. Use this free printable worksheet to get started.
- Free Printable Homework Charts – Okay, this was originally intended for kiddos but even college students could use some help tracking their school work!
- Printable Book Covers (8 Free Options) – When you can’t find free college school supplies, sometimes you have to make (or at least print) your own!
These are just a few great ways to get free school supplies online. Don’t limit yourself to these options! Do Google searches for things like “free school supplies for college students” to find even more great opportunities to snag freebies.
Free School Supplies for College Students – Offline
#6 – At School
When searching for free school supplies for college students, many people overlook their school. Contact your college to ask about free college supplies. While they may not be able to help you out directly, the college can generally point you in the right direction. For instance, they can review your financial aid options and direct you to ways to snag free money such as scholarships. In addition, the college may be able to help you find charitable organizations that can lend a helping hand.
Tip: Can’t find the free school stuff (specifically textbooks) you need? One way to snag books for cheap is to:
- Figure out what textbooks you’ll need in advance (1-2 semesters ahead of time).
- Find someone who has that textbook (who is currently taking the class).
- Offer to buy the book off of them for $5 more than whatever the bookstore will give them when they go to sell the book back.
#7 – Community Events
Many communities host back-to-school events and fundraisers during the summer to ensure kids head back to school on the right foot. While many of these events are geared toward younger students, with some research, you may be able to locate some that are open to college students. Here are some places to check for community events offering free school supplies for college students:
- Local news stations/newspapers – hit up their websites
- Chamber of commerce
- Retail stores
- City website
- Public library – be sure to also check their website
There you have it, 7 places you should definitely check out if you’re looking for free school supplies for college students. Unfortunately, no matter how good of a freebie hunter you are, you probably will not be able to get everything for free. If you need to make some money to cover the rest of your school supplies, be sure to check out this article on 10 good jobs for college students and this one on 20 ways to make money while in college.
Have more tips for scoring free school supplies for college students? Please share with the class by leaving a comment below!