Need help crossing things off of your back-to-school shopping list without blowing your budget? Then you’re in the right place because I’m about to share 10 ways to get free school supplies! Yep, you can use these tips and tricks to get free school supplies by mail 2019, 2020, and for years and years to come.
I know plenty of parents who aren’t thrilled to see the school season, and it isn’t just because of the jam packed schedules! Nope those never ending shopping lists loaded with pricey school supplies are just as much to blame.
According to Today, parents spend just over $100 per child per year on school supplies, and that doesn’t include clothes, shoes, or electronics. Add in those items, and parents can expect to spend an average of $669 per child. Yikes!
If you have more than one child, the cost adds up fast. It’s sure to leave you wondering “where can I get free school supplies?” Well, wonder now more. Here are 10 ways to snag free school supplies!
How to Get Free School Supplies Online
When it comes to how to get free school supplies and clothes, one of the easiest options, in my opinion, is to look online. Seriously, the Internet is an awesome resource for getting all kinds of freebies including free school supplies by mail 2019 and 2020!
In this article, I’ll be sharing just a few of my favorite ways to get free school supplies online, but don’t limit yourself to these options. I promise, there are many, many more ways to save with the power of the Internet. Just open up Google and do searches for things like “free school supplies by mail 2019” or “where can I get free school supplies,” and you’ll get a plethora of results to explore. (Seriously, thousands of them!)
#1 – Online Groups
Joining local or non-local groups through sites like Facebook can be a great way to find free school supplies.
Tip: Look for groups oriented toward frugal living, parenting, or bartering.
Craigslist may also be a good answer to the question of how to get free school supplies and clothes. The site has a section for free items located under the “For Sale” category. Keep checking, and you may luck out and find someone giving away school supplies or clothing.
Craigslist also has an area for 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, be a conscientious community member. Don’t just show up and start demanding “where can I get free school supplies” day one. Contribute to the conversation, answer questions, and do your best to help out other members!
#2 – Ask Brands
Ask and ye shall receive… free school supplies by mail 2019 and 2020. Okay, the saying doesn’t end that way but still, my advice is to ask. You’ll be surprised at how often companies are willing to provide free promo products, samples, and coupons. Here’s what you do:
- Make a list of the school supplies you need.
- Find companies that make or sell those products (ex. Crayola).
- Find their social media channels such as Facebook.
- Contact them and ask about getting free school supplies samples or coupons.
Remember, the worst they can say is no!
Tip: Follow these brands or stores on social media to be the first to know about giveaways, 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 great resources to answer questions like “how to get free school supplies and clothes” and “who is giving out free school supplies?”
For instance, here are some articles on free school supplies available through freebiefindingmom.com:
- How to Get School Supplies for Free or on the Cheap
- Free School Supplies: Where to Find Them
- Free School Supplies for College Students
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
- Word search
- Printable homework charts
- Printable book covers
#5 – Amazon
Don’t forget about Amazon! Believe it or not, Amazon’s Kindle store offers many free textbooks.
Tip: Don’t have a Kindle? No worries, you can still take advantage of this free school supplies tip. You can read Kindle books on just about any device, including your regular old computer using Kindle’s cloud reader.
Plus, don’t forget that students can get a discount on an Amazon Prime account, which includes free 2 day shipping on many Amazon items!
How to Get Free School Supplies Offline
Other than the Internet, there are plenty of ways to find free school supplies by mail or via other means. Here are some options to investigate.
#6 – At School
Believe it or not, your child’s school may be an excellent source for free school supplies. Contact the administration at the school, explain what you need (what specific products), and ask if they can help. The school itself may not be able to give you free school supplies but they can likely direct you to local or national organizations that can tell you how to apply for free school supplies.
#7 – Local News Affiliates
Check your local newspaper or local news organization websites to find opportunities to get free school supplies by mail or otherwise. Local news affiliates will inform you about upcoming sales, community events, and fundraisers all aimed at providing kids with back-to-school goodies.
#8 – Charitable Organizations
If you are facing economic hardship and wondering where can I get free school supplies, charitable organizations might be your answer. Keep in mind that most charitable organizations provide aid to only those that meet certain financial requirements. In other words, they tend to have income restrictions.
If you fall within those restrictions, charitable organizations can be a great way to get free school supplies. There are many, many charities out there that may be able to help ensure your little one heads back to school on the right foot, but here are a few you should definitely check out.
While the Salvation Army has locations all across the United States, their organization is relatively decentralized. This means that you will need to contact your local Salvation Army to get information on getting free school supplies.
Boys & Girls Club of America
Partners, including Michael’s and Staples, donate products to local Boys & Girls Clubs so this organization can be a fantastic source for free school supplies by mail 2019 and 2020. Like Salvation Army, they’re decentralized (not all clubs have the same supplies), so contact your nearest location to get info.
Kids in Need Foundation
This national organization strives to provide free school supplies to kids all across the country. In addition, Kids in Need Foundation provides grants to teachers for necessary classroom supplies.
#9 – Community Organizations or Events
Another way to snag free school supplies is through community organizations. For example, in some towns the Chamber of Commerce will do fundraisers and school supply drives.
Look for flyers in local shops, restaurants, and other buildings such as churches. Check the city’s website as well as the public library website for information on events that may help you figure out how to get free school supplies and clothes.
#10 – Rebates
Some money saving mavens aren’t big on rebates, especially super busy moms and dads. I think it’s because you have to pay now and then take extra steps to get your money back. When your schedule is jammed packed with work obligations, extracurriculars for the kiddos, etc., those extra steps can feel like just a little too much.
However, rebates are still an excellent way to get free school supplies by mail 2019 and 2020. Many office supply stores offer great rebate deals on school supplies during the summer months. For instance, the Staples Easy Rebates program is a great way to get free school supplies. Sure you have to pay now, but in the long run, those school supplies will be free!
There you have it, 10 ways to get free school supplies. One final tip, it’s probably unreasonable to think you can get all of your kiddos school supplies for free. However, one way to save big on school supplies is to buy them after school starts and save them for next year. Here’s what you do:
- Ask the school for the back-to-school shopping list for the grade ahead of your child’s. Example: If your child is in 3rd grade, you’d ask to get the 3rd grade shopping list and the 4th grade shopping list.
- After school starts (typically in mid September), head to your local office supply stores including places like Walmart and Staples, and look for deeply discounted school supplies that are on the 4th grade shopping list.
- Store these away till next year.
Do you have other tips for how to get free school supplies and clothes? I’m all ears! Please share your savings secrets in the comments!