Methods For Receiving Free School Supplies – For budget-conscious parents, having all your child’s needs for school can be expensive and challenging. If you’re one of the estimated 30 million unemployed Americans, it’s excruciating this year.
When it comes to finding free or discounted school supplies, we’ve done some of the legwork for you. In no particular order, here are some ideas:
- Go to EveryoneOn.org.
- Try your local food bank.
- Shop at Goodwill.
- Try an estate sale.
- Search your house.
- Don’t forget United Way
- Consider Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
- Don’t forget about actual stores.
- Talk to your child’s school.
Go to EveryoneOn.org
You can go to this nonprofit’s website if your financial condition is especially precarious. If you’re on food stamps, live in public housing, or your child is participating in the National School Lunch Program. When you type your ZIP code, a list of low-cost internet and device offers in your area appears.
Try Your Local Food Bank
Inquire if your local food bank has any school supplies for low-income children. If your local food bank does not have it, they might be able to direct you to someone who does.
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Teachers will receive school supplies from certain food banks, which they can then distribute to their students. Teachers Aid, a Houston Food Bank program, is a perfect example of this kind of partnership.
Shop at Goodwill
As you might know, the charity runs thrift stores around the country that sell low-cost secondhand goods. If you’re looking for school supplies, it’s worth a look. According to Kim Praniewicz, vice president of marketing and mission advancement at Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, parents will typically find low-cost clothes, pens, pencils, notebooks, and files, as well as gadgets that students might find useful such as earbuds and webcams.
It’s also beneficial to the environment, according to Praniewicz. She believes that shopping at Goodwill reduces more than 3 billion pounds of clothing and household goods from landfills each year.
Try an Estate Sale
Many harried parents would probably say, “Who has time for this?” “As the executor of my father’s assets, I can testify to the fact that estate sales have plenty of binders, paper, and pens,” Chris Castanets, owner of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina-based Surf Financial Brokers, says. When we were searching for a profitable estate sale company, we found plenty of supplies that could be used in school for a fraction of the cost of a retail store.”
Find estate sales in your region with the Aid of EstateSales.net.
Search Your House
Amanda Ramkissoon is the editor of the personal finance blog FrugalMomGuide.com and a high school math teacher.
“Believe it or not, my No. 1 tip is to search around your house for free school supplies,” she says. “Why waste money on new notebooks, markers, pencils, erasers, and other stationery when you already have plenty stashed in your desks and cupboards?” says the author. Many of us have used notebooks with just one or two pages in them. Until the used pages are removed, these books are as good as new. Other forms of office supplies are in the same boat. You’d be surprised by how many in-good-working-order pens and pencils you have to lie around your house.”
Don’t Forget United Way.
At United Way, back-to-school drives are standard, and the organization distributes school supplies to families. You could go to the organization’s website and contact your local chapter to see if your son’s supplies are available.
Consider Boys & Girls Clubs of America
This is yet another excellent source of information. Check with the Boys & Girls Club in your area to see if they have any school supplies.
Don’t Forget Actual Stores
Low-cost school supplies can be found at Walmart, Family Dollar, and Dollar General, among others. Take a look at Target, Costco, and a slew of other stores. Yes, there are high-priced back-to-school items in many of these stores. If you have the time to look for bargains, however, you may be able to find some good ones. Walmart, for example, has a section on its website devoted to $1, $2, and $3 school supplies.
Talk to Your Child’s School
Contacting your child’s teacher for advice about where to get inexpensive or free school supplies is challenging. However, when the world faces a pandemic and an economic downturn, there should be no shame in requesting free school supplies. It’s unlikely that you’ll be the only parent who contacts the school.
If the school doesn’t have any ideas about where you can get cheap or free school supplies, you might bring your own.
You could propose that your child’s school join the National Association for the Sharing of Industrial Goods, a nonprofit that gathers donations from corporations, such as school supplies, and distributes them to churches, universities, and other charitable organizations.
Thousands of schools and teachers are members of NAEIR, which allows them to choose materials from a catalog. Students do not have to pay a membership charge, and delivery is also free (they may be asked to pay a small handling fee). Schools are welcome to attend, but they will be paid a freight shipping fee due to the risk of ordering pallets of merchandise or items such as desks.
The Kids In Need Foundation, which offers free school supplies to students in low-income schools, can be contacted by teachers. Teachers should also consider joining SupplyaClassroom.org.
You will, however, be able to find free or discounted back-to-school supplies for your child if you are committed and determined. Finding cheap mechanical pencils, notebooks, and laptops this school year might be the easiest thing you do, particularly if your child is attending class from your sofa and you’re serving as a teacher, principal, cafeteria worker, and hall monitor.