Ways To Get Free School Supplies for Students and Teachers In 2023/2024Guide on how to get free school backpacks, books, pencil pouches and other free school supplies for students of every age - including online and in the mail
It’s that time of year again! The long summer days are winding down and the kids are heading back to school. You know what that mean.! School supplies lists are out and things are about to get expensive!
The cost of school supplies and materials rise every year. Whether you're a parent of a school age child or a teacher needing to buy classroom supplies - the expense is becoming a major drain on your wallet. The local news the other evening noted that “parents will spend an average of $864 on school supplies this year” and that’s PER CHILD. Did you say “OUCH!” like I did?! Literally – out loud WITH my mouth hanging open! It can be overwhelming. With prices of everything on the rise – gas, groceries, and household goods – we’re already doing everything we can to make ends meet! Well, we’re going to tackle this no differently and seek out the best options to save you big money and also score you some free school supplies this year.
Our favorite money savings apps can help us! The couponer’s favorite, Ibotta, offers cash back on many school supplies. I just took a peek and they currently has some high-value offers for Pilot G2 Pens, BIC Mechanical Pencils, and Five Star Products - when partnered with the right sale, it will allow you to score some really cheap or even FREE items! Continue to keep watch on Ibotta as they are regularly adding new offers the closer we get to school starting. You can anticipate more from brands like and Paper Mate! In years past, these have been 100% cash back offers or “Free After Offer”. We definitely love taking advantage of those!
Free School Supplies with Rebate Apps
Design a Free Pencil Pouch at JCPenneyOn Saturday, August 12th, JCPenney will be hosting their monthly Kid Zone Free Craft and as luck would have it, this month it’s perfectly themed for heading back to school - it’s a Pencil Pouch, Ruler, Zipper Pull, and Markers so they can color the pouch and truly make it their own! It’s a forest theme and it’s so cute! And for that day only, parents get a 10% off coupon to grab anything they might need – or school clothes! That’s a win for kids and parents alike!
Free Pencil Topper from Michaels
Michaels has a back to school craft event on August 13th to make your own Animal Friends Pencil Toppers for free! Stop by your local Michaels store and make a cute clay pencil topper that your child can use for school. This event is free and all supplies are included but limited. You need to register for a time at your local store. If no times show available online you usually can show up and they will fit your child in, just call to find out the best time to arrive.
Free School Supplies from FacebookAre you on Facebook? Head over to Facebook Marketplace and search the phrase “free school supplies”. You might find individuals giving away items they no longer need, but better yet, you’ll likely discover local organizations that are hosting Back to School Bashes with FREE backpacks and school supplies! I was shocked to see that there are 2 churches just down the road from me hosting such events! We’ll definitely be in attendance!
Free Pens and Pencils from BusinessesNeed a FREE pen? 4imprint.com offers free samples! Just click on the style pen you like and look for the “Request a Free Sample” button. (Not all of them will have a sample, but it was really easy to find ones that do!) While these are intended for business, a business name is not required. It might however come with a generic logo on it – but it still writes and that’s what matters! There isn’t even a shipping charge.
You can also score free pens from local businesses in your community including medical offices, real estate offices and more. Be sure to mention if you are a teacher - they may even give you a whole ox to share with your students. They are happy to give out a few of their branded promotional pens and pencils - it helps get their name out there!
Free Books for All AgesThis one is a little different and perhaps surprising! Amazon offers FREE Kindle Editions of textbooks! It’s worth taking a look and see if you could utilize this as textbooks aren’t cheap. Even better, if your child is assigned some of the classic books to read for class, you may be able to find those as a free Kindle Edition too. It sure beats buying a book that they may never pick up again! Don’t have a Kindle? No worries! Just download their FREE Kindle Reading App and you’ll be able to read it from the devices you do have!
Score free early literacy books for your younger preschool and kinder student every month from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. These books are nice hardcover books and will assist in your child’s home learning all year.
With more schools ditching traditional books for tablets and computers it’s a good idea to Sign up for a Free Trial of Kindle Unlimited reading for access to more books that you can use in theon your child’s assigned reading lists.
Freebies for College StudentsCollege students can score a free 6 months of Amazon Prime Student to get all of your school supplies shipped for free. Amazon Prime Students also get a free 2 months of Kindle Unlimited and access to even more free books that teachers may assign for reading. Students signed up with Prime also get 1 month free of CourseHero homework help for a limited time.
Lots of local organizations offer assistance when heading back to school. Get in contact with your local Salvation Army, Girls & Boys Club of America, United Way, YMCA or YWCA, and others to see what they might offer.
Free Backpacks & School Supply Donations
Local places of worship often have back to school events and even have some that they can give out at any time of the year. Also, check with your local municipality and county social media or give them a call to ask if they have any free school supplies for families or teachers in need.
Free Classroom Supplies for Teachersevery year teachers are faced with budget cuts that prevent you from stocking your classroom with essentials to provide a good education to your students. There are organizations that will provide free school supplies, classroom supplies and even technology to teachers and students in need.
Teacher's can sign up with DonorsChoose to get connected with local and even national donors to fund projects and supplies in their classroom. This could be as little as crayons, paper and disinfectant wipes to even bigger supplies liek dry erase boards and books. This neat fundraising program also sends a letter back to the donors so they can see exactly what their money was spent on.
Score free posters for your classroom from the National Gallery of Art as well as the Federal Reserve to fill any bare walls. The Federal Reserve also has free comic books and other supplies.
Students and teachers can score Office 365 Education for free, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and now Microsoft Teams, Plus additional classroom tools. You will need a valid school email address to qualify. Many school districts e,ven for younger grade school children, have email addresses that they can provide you with so you can get these normally expensive programs for Free.
Free Microsoft Office 365
Get School Supplies for up to 90% OffWatch local sales! Most stores know how painful school shopping can be and offer store brand gear at a fraction of the price. The closer we get to school starting, the better the prices seem to get! Target has many items for as little as 25¢ with their Up & Up brand. Plus, right now Teacher's & College Students get an extra 20% off through August 26th at Target.
Walmart also has a mix of brands like Pen + Gear, Crayola, Elmers, and more priced from 15¢ to 50¢! No Need to even get in the car and go to your local store because Walmart+ members can also get school supplies delivered right to their door for free without even leaving your house.
Expert Tip - Sometimes buying bulk pens, pencils, and glue can bring the price per item way down. Team up with some fellow parents and split the cost. I’m sure they’re itching to save money too!
Operation Homefront is a nonprofit organization that provides military families with free school supplies. They have events all over the country and give away over 30,000 backpacks with supplies. Their goal is to help reduce the financial burden for military families. The Operation Homefront Back-to-School Brigade events are for DEERS enrolled military dependent children only who will be in Kindergarten through 12th grade for the 2023/2024 school year.
Free School Supplies for Military Families
Don't be afraid to ask your school's front office if there are any free school supplies. Weather you are a teacher or student, a good place to check is with your school's PTA/PTO to see what funds or donations they can provide to help with school supplies. They often have money set aside in their budget to help purchase bookbags, uniforms, classroom cleaning supplies and more!
Don't Forget to Ask at Your School
Additionally, you could reach out to your school district to see if they have any additional funds or programs that can help with any student or classroom expenses.
Plan Ahead to Ease the Pain of Next Year
Not long after school starts, all off those school supplies will start to go on clearance. If you have the means, pick up some of the items you know you are going to need next year! Crayons, markers, notebooks, pencils, glue, folders and more are always a given. Grab yourself a dedicated tote and stash them away in the closet! If it were to turn out that you don’t need the items, you can donate it to the teachers! They will never say “no” to school supplies!
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