That 'Back to school' time of the year is full of anticipation, thrill, and excitement for kids. Shopping for new school uniforms, backpacks, and an assortment of school supplies, begins a week or two before school reopens. Unfortunately, people who live on a shoestring budget, find it difficult to arrange for stationery items.
However, if you do a little research before actually buying anything, you will be amazed to find the number of avenues through which you can get free school supplies for children. Here are some sources where you can avail them for free.
How to Get Free School Supplies
Family Resource Centers
Family Resource Centers are independent school agencies that run many programs, that make free or cheap school supplies available to financially challenged families. Most private and public schools have counselors, who can guide you to the places where you can find these centers. They also complete the application procedure for you. These programs are discreet, so nobody ever finds out where your children got their stationery from.
New businesses always give away free school supply samples as a part of their marketing strategy. These promotional activities begin a week or two before schools reopen. You should keep a close eye on pamphlets that arrive in the mail or newspapers. Also, thoroughly check newspaper classifieds to see if any new school or office supply business, is about to start in your neighborhood.
Many charity organizations affiliated to churches, offer free school supplies to middle or high school students. The church urges its community members to offer donations in the form of money or stationery, which is distributed to children of needy families. The notification for this may be put on the noticeboard of a church, or circulated through community gatherings.
The United Way of America and the Salvation Army, run a program named Run Start, which aims at providing free school supplies to children who cannot afford them. However, one must meet certain financial guidelines laid down by the Salvation Army to become eligible for the program.
Many school and office supply stores, offer tax-free supplies through their rebate schemes, which allow you to buy school supplies at low prices. When you buy something from these stores, you get a reward worth the purchase you made. With this reward money, you can buy another item and get a reward on that item as well. Thus, you can buy as many items without spending much.
Although you will not get school supplies for free at these sales, you can certainly avail huge discounts (up to 75%) on all school supplies. However, the problem is that these sales start a week or two after schools reopen. But, you can buy these goods and stock them for the next academic session.
Shop online to get discount coupons that will help you get some great deals on school supplies. Besides, you can find several attractive schemes that offer free school supplies. However, you might want to execute a fair amount of caution while buying these from online.
One useful tip you can use is, shop for these items when they aren't in demand. Buy these items in wholesale and use them over the next couple of years. Avoid buying items with character prints, as trends change constantly; thus, your supplies will not be outdated by the time you start using them.