20+ Places to Find Free School Supplies

by TwoKidsandaCoupon

Are you struggling to get ready for school and looking for free school supplies? Here are some of the places to look for computers, notebooks, school clothes and more!

Did you know the average family will spend $270 or more per student on back to school supplies?

Back to school can make a serious dent in any family’s budget. From school supplies to school clothes to back to school fees, these expenses can add up quickly, especially if you have more than one child.

While it’s only part way through summer, school time will be here before you know it. To help you stretch your back to school budget, here are some ways to get the supplies you need at no cost or very cheap!

Places to Find Free School Supplies

Go through your supplies from last year

Before you buy anything off your child’s supply list, be sure to go through what you already have! I have a couple boxes of pencils, some pens and a whole box of spiral notebooks and folders that didn’t even get used. These supplies are brand new and can absolutely be used for this year.

See if things can be reused

Not everything for school needs to be brand new. Many items can be reused, especially if they are still in good condition. Last year we invested in a nice Swiss Army backpack for my son and it looks as good as the day we bought it. We cleaned it out and it will work great again for this year.

Check online

Did you know that there are “Buy Nothing” groups on Facebook and free categories on Craigslist? There are also websites like Freecycle where you can find free school supplies as well.

Sometimes these are posted by individuals that have items that they no longer need, people who bought too much or folks that are just trying to help others out. I’ve posted free supplies for school when there are items my kids no longer need to these groups in the past to help others and to help clear the clutter around our house.

Ask at school

If funds are tight, be sure to check with your child’s school to see what assistance might be available. Not only may they be able to help with supplies (or at least refer you to an agency that can), they may also be able to help you find assistance for school fee assistance as well.

Watch for local giveaways

Starting mid-summer, many areas have local school supply giveaways. Keep an eye on your local news station and radio station social media pages to see what giveaway events might be happening near you. Wireless One stores are doing a school supply giveaway with backpacks on July 31. 2022. Learn more here.

Check with charitable organizations

Did you know that there are many different non-profit organizations that help with free school supplies? Below are a few places to check and be sure to reach out to other charitable organizations in your area as well.

  • Operation Homefront Back to School Brigade – These free events help provide school supplies to military families in need.
  • Free Computers for Students in Need – Don’t have a budget for a computer? This program provides refurbished computers for students in need.
  • Food Banks in Your Area – Some food banks also offer non-food items including school supplies, health and beauty items and more. Check the local banks and pantries in your area and if you need food assistance, don’t miss our article on how to find free food.
  • United Way – The United Way has many different programs that offer assistance. Reach out to your local chapter to see if they can assist with the items you need. They may be able to offer help with other services as well!
  • Boys and Girls Clubs – This organization also has chapters nationwide that offer assistance in many different ways.
Watch for free rebate deals

If you’re a smart shopper and watch store promotions, you might be able to score many of the supplies on your shopping list for free or extremely cheap! The back to class promotions will be starting soon and there are often extremely hot deals that you’ll want to take advantage of before they’re gone.

  • Ibotta – My favorite money app! Ibotta is a handy digital app that gives you cash back when you buy certain items being promoted at local stores. Check out the offers each week and then either scan the receipts or link your store loyalty accounts to get credit. You can get paid back in the form of cash back via Paypal or gift cards and the money adds up quickly when you’re buying groceries for a family regularly. Last year they had several different offers for free school supplies and snacks after rebate that really added up quickly. Sign up for Ibotta here.
  • Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates)

    You might be getting cashback from your credit card, but did you know you can get cashback just from shopping online as well? Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) offers cash back on nearly every purchase when you shop with them online. The savings add up quickly and you get $30 free just for signing up! This savings site regularly offers cashback bonuses as high as 20%, 30% and 40% at many area retailers and it’s a great way to save while shopping online. Get $30 free when you make your first $30 purchase plus cash back as well!
  • Office Max and Office Depot – Did you know that office supply stores are a great way to get school supplies on a budget? While these big-box retailers focus on the business world they frequently offer amazing deals for back to school including free supplies after rebate.
  • Target Circle – Previous called Target Cartwheel, the Target Circle app is an easy way to save on the fly if you’re a Target shopper. Just download the free app on your phone and select the items you’d like to save on to your app. I saved over 30% on my visit last week with less than 2 minutes on the app so it’s totally worth it and you can also double dip on coupons and combine this app with Coupons.com and Ibotta for even more savings! For an additional 5% savings at Target, be sure to sign up for a Target Redcard as well!

Looking for more ways to stretch your family’s budget? Check out our tips for how to find free clothes and shoes and how to find free food.

Are you a teacher looking for supplies for your classroom? Don’t miss these places to get free stuff for teachers by mail!

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