The best place to buy school supplies for convenience and savings.

Managing Money / Monday, July 29th, 2013

The best place to buy school suppliesI’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  & Office Depot – 2%
  • OfficeMax – 1%

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.)

where is the best place to buy school supplies

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.

5 Replies to “The best place to buy school supplies for convenience and savings.”

  1. Wow — seems kind of amazing for regular, run of the mill shopping! But no real back-to-school shopping for us this year…which is kind of nice.

    1. Same here, Eileen. Just one student left at home – a high school senior – and he’ll pick up the few supplies that he needs. But I do remember those days well. :)

  2. What a duh moment for me! I could have shopped online at Target, plus I should have checked to see if I could get anything back through ebates which is the service I used. I need to remember to check ebates before heading off to the store.

  3. I remember when my older sons were in grade school.Towards the end of the school year their class would meet with the teacher for the grade they were going into.They would give them a list of exactly what supplies for eg how many composition books(and how many pages in each book),how many folders,etc.It was a blessing to have all summer to pick the items up! When we moved and my younger sons attended a different school,we would purchase items that many teachers would say was the wrong size,color,you name it and it was wrong! I think all schools should go back to having the kids meet with the teacher and getting a list before school ends .I think its great that today parents can order online and get rebates to boot!

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