I’ve always liked back to school time. I think it has to do with the possibilities of new beginnings.
And I have fond memories of picking out new school supplies.
Is there anyone that doesn’t remember the smell of a fresh box of crayons?
But as I pass parents in the aisles of Target or Wal-Mart, clutching lists from their child’s school district and clearly wondering whether they’re getting the right set of markers, I realize that there’s a little disconnect between my childhood memories and the way things actually play out.
I feel lucky, lucky, lucky that my kids’ grade school offered pre-ordered school supplies. They were a huge convenience to the parents and ensured that the teachers would have students who arrived with the correct supplies on the first day of school.
My kids still had the excitement of breaking open that shrink-wrapped package, labeling everything, and packing their backpacks before school started.
All was good.
But I realize most schools don’t offer that. So if you’re in the back to school trenches, I’d like to make another suggestion.
It’s a school supply buying plan that has the potential to be more convenient, save you money and make you a little found money as well.
Ordering School Supplies Online
The big box office supply stores (Staples, OfficeMax and Office Depot) all sell school supplies. You’ve probably shopped there for them yourself.
What you may not realize is that all three stores offer free delivery when you shop online and spend a certain amount ($50 for Office Depot and OfficeMax, $45 for Staples).
That’s an opportunity to sit calmly at your computer – even with your kids if you choose – and select the right school supplies without tripping over other shoppers just to discover that there are no more wide-ruled spiral notebooks.
That sounds heavenly to me. If it does to you, there’s another perk I want to call your attention to.
All three big box office supply stores are members of Mr. Rebates, the cash back online shopping site I’ve used since I started this blog over seven years ago. Current cash back amounts for these stores at Mr. Rebates are as follows:
- Staples – 3% Cash Back. (Good until August 25, when it will revert back to the regular 2%.)
- Office Depot – 2% cash back
- OfficeMax – 1% cash back
All you have to do to get the cash back is visit Mr. Rebates first and then click through to the store where you want to shop. The rest of your shopping experience will be the same as if you had visited the store’s site directly. Except you’ll be earning cash back.
Mr. Rebates will also tell you about special coupons and offers that are being offered at the store. Here’s what the window for Office Depot’s looks like. (Click on the photo to see it larger.)
And, if you are new to Mr. Rebates, you will get a $5 bonus just for signing up (it’s free to join). Click here to learn more and join.
Other Cash Back School Shopping
If you’re going to be doing other back to school shopping for clothes, uniforms, shoes, computers, dorm rooms, etc., Mr. Rebates has some other offers you may be interested in.
Here are a few examples:
- Apple Store – 2% cash back
- Bed Bath & Beyond – 4% cash back
- Dell Home – 5% cash back
- Foot Locker – 8% cash back
- Lands’ End – 5% cash back
- JC Penney – 6% cash back
- Pac Sun – 10% cash back
- Scholastic Store – 8% cash back
- Sears – 6% cash back
- Sports Authority – 7% cash back
- Target – 5% cash back
Mr. Rebates can be a great source of Found Money if you’re looking to add to yours or would like to get started with that concept. And if you have any questions about Mr. Rebates, don’t hesitate to ask me. I’ve been shopping through them since 2006 so I probably know the answer.
Do you like back to school time? Do you remember fresh school supplies as a kid? Or have a school supply buying tip to share?
This post contains my referral links. See my disclosure policy for more details.