FREE School Supplies: How and Where?


August usually means back-to-school shopping for parents of school-age kids. Those school supply lists can look really long and expensive too, especially if you have more than one child! If you start shopping now though, you can get a majority of the school supplies completely FREE!!

Stores have already started putting school supplies on sale. If you watch the sales you can find notebooks, folders, pens, pencils, glue, crayons, pencil sharpeners and more for a penny or less! Some stores to watch are drugstores like CVS and office supply stores like Staples.

CVS has already started giving away school supplies. Through Tuesday, 7/14, you can get Free notebooks, pens, glue, rulers, and scissors. You get them free by instant rebate – meaning you pay 99¢ for the notebook at the register and then earn a 99¢ reward (ECB) to use on your next purchase. You could then use that 99¢ reward to buy a 99¢ ruler and pay nothing out of pocket! You would then earn another 99¢ reward! You can read more about the CVS reward program HERE and see this week’s deals HERE. CVS will have more free school supplies every week through July!

Staples has been a favorite of mine for school supplies the past few years. They have penny sales and free-after-rebate items! They have a good sale going on right now that can get you copy paper and more for Free! Common Sense with Money has a great scenario worked out HERE.

I suggest only getting the freebies and penny items right now. Other more expensive items may go on sale for less as the first day of school gets closer.

Another tip is to shop the clearance after school starts! You can get binders, backpacks, and lunchboxes for 75% off and use them next year! I suggest avoiding character items and sticking with basic colors because trends change so quickly.  Target had a great selection of backpacks at 75% off last year.

Watch for coupons for school supplies too!  I’ve seen coupons for Bic products, Scotch tape, and Post-it products in the past.  Coupons.com recently released some printable Bic coupons as well! (Gone already!!)

Another plus!  Since you are shopping early you also won’t have to deal with the crowds the week (or day!) before school starts!


  1. I also stock up on school supplies. I’ve found that our city “after school care” has an area that is for extremely low income families. Keep in mind that these kids can also use fun toiletries, toothpaste, bandaids, etc. For just a little extra effort, you can really make a difference for a family of little means! Thanks Stephanie (and all others who work so hard to find these deals)— you are really the starting line for helping me make a difference.

  2. Thanks so much for your great ideas! The deals at CVS this week are giving me the opportunity to give to children whose parents may be stretched around school time. I encourage anyone without children to go out and purchase these deals also. It is a great time to give back!

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