Ways To Get Free School Supplies for Students and Teachers in 2024

Here's our guide on how to get free school backpacks, books, pencil pouches, and other free school supplies all year round.

free school supplies

School supplies are a year-round necessity, and if you wait until last minute, you could end up paying more than necessary for them. Whether you're a parent of a school age child or a teacher needing to buy classroom supplies - the expense to stock up on school supplies can be a major drain on your wallet.

The local news the other evening even noted that “parents will spend an average of $864 on school supplies this year” PER CHILD. And 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.


Use Free Stuff Apps

Whether you're looking for free school supplies, furniture, decor, pet supplies, or other items, free stuff apps can be a great way to track things down in your local area. Apps and websites like Freecycle, Letgo, Nextdoor, and TradeMade can be instrumental for finding almost anything you need for completely free. 

Get Free School Supplies with Rebate Apps

Our favorite money-saving 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. In years past, these have been 100% cash back offers or “Free After Offer”. We love taking advantage of those!

Check the Need Help Paying Bills Website for Assistance Programs

If you're in need of any kind of financial or material assistance, needhelppayingbills.com can help. This website provides information on how to find free school supplies from a local church, Salvation Army, or charity near you, as well as other necessities. Whether you need new backpacks, clothes, notebooks, or uniforms, needhelppayingbills.com can help you track it down for free. 

Want more Student Freebies? Check out MySavings Student Free Samples and Free Stuff


Host a Fundraiser Through the Kids in Need Foundation

Hosting a fundraiser is a great way to get free school supplies not only for your child but for others in need as well. Through the Kids in Need Foundation, you can set up a team of coworkers, friends, or neighbors and set a challenge to raise school supplies (or money for school supplies). They even supply you with an online fundraising toolkit, so getting it started is easier than ever. 


Grab Free School Supplies from Facebook

Are you on Facebook? Head over to Facebook Marketplace and search for 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! 


Get Free Pens and Pencils from Businesses

Need 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. Most are happy to give out a few of their branded promotional pens and pencils because it helps get their name out there.

Score Free Books for All Ages

This one is a little different and perhaps surprising! Amazon offers FREE Kindle Editions of textbooks! It’s worth taking a look and seeing 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 books for kids 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 for your child’s assigned reading lists.

Freebies for College Students

College students can score a free 6 months of Amazon Prime Student to get all of their 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. 

Get Free Backpacks & School Supply Donations

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.

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.

How to Get Free Classroom Supplies for Teachers

Every year, teachers are faced with budget cuts that prevent you from stocking your classroom with essentials to provide a good education to your students. Some organizations will provide free school supplies, classroom supplies, and even technology to teachers and students in need.

Teachers 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 like 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.

Want More Teacher Freebies? Check out MySavings Teacher Free Samples and Free Stuff

Get Microsoft Office 365 for Free

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 even for younger grade school children, have email addresses that they can provide you with so you can get these normally expensive programs for Free.

Get School Supplies for up to 90% Off

Watch 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!

Free School Supplies for Military Families

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. 

Don't Forget to Ask at Your School

Don't be afraid to ask your school's front office if there are any free school supplies. Whether 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!

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 of 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!

For more savings tips, be sure sign up for the daily newsletter as well as follow on Facebook, Telegram, Instagram, and Twitter so that you’ll be the first to know when new freebies and deals are available. You can even join our exclusive Facebook group for even more fun with like-minded freebies and couponing friends! Some of these back-to-school freebies and deals crop up fast – we got your back! 

- Melissa