School supplies can be extremely costly for parents, especially if they are on a restricted income or have multiple school-aged children. Fortunately, with enough searching, you may be able to land free samples and possibly stock up on items that your children will need for the upcoming school year.
There are many ways in which you can obtain free school supply samples.
Each year, a weekend is designated prior to the beginning of the school year for tax-free school supply shopping in some states. Although the offer is only available on select items, you can score free items if they are coupled with penny sales, instant rebates and high-value coupons.
At various events throughout the school year, such as open house, orientation and conferences, school supplies bearing the institution's logo may be distributed to attendees. In addition, select vendors may be on hand to promote their products and services with engraved supplies, such as pens, pencils, notepads and highlighters.
It is not uncommon for civic organizations to host school supply drives and back to school festivals. These events are generally open to the public and aim to enhance community relations. Organizations that offer these types of gatherings include, but are not limited to:
- Chamber of commerce
- Local churches
- Salvation Army
- Boys and Girls Clubs of America
- United Way
- Kids in Need Foundation
- Family Resource Centers
To find out when events of this sort will be held in your community, check your local newspaper or contact the organizations via email or phone.
There are a variety of websites that are centered on freebies of all sorts. Those that alert subscribers when free school supply samples are available from manufacturers through promotional offers include:
- All-free-samples.com, a website that includes information about free school supply giveaways, software, other educational material and scholarship offers.
- Freebies2deals.com, a website that alerts consumers when free school supply samples and educational tools are available.
Other sites do not send alerts, but provide a comprehensive listing of all the popular freebie opportunities all over the web. These include:
- Freesamplemonkey.com, which provides a comprehensive listing of coupon match-ups for school-supply offers.
- Freebiefindingmom.com, which provides direct links to free school supply sample offers.
- Myfreeprodutsamples.com, which lists promotional offers through various manufacturers that enable you to retrieve free school supplies when coupons are used.
Check with the websites and social media pages for school supply manufacturers to see if free samples are available. For example, each year BIC distributes pens through its BIC pen giveaway. Additional information about this offer is available on their Facebook page.
Timing for Samples
Although school supply samples are distributed year round through select organizations, there are peak periods when more options are available.
Once school is in session, some retailers offer last-minute specials to grant an opportunity to those parents who did not take advantage beforehand. In some instances, coupons are redeemable for a school supply item at no cost to the consumer. In addition, many supplies are offered at a discounted rate (i.e. clearance) to clear out the excess inventory.
Beginning of School Year
A few weeks prior to the commencement of each new school year, there are tons of community events held nationwide to pump students up about the upcoming academic year. During these functions, goodie bags containing select samples may be distributed.
In addition, it is not uncommon for manufacturers to set-up tubs of samples of high-demand school supply items in an effort to entice consumers to purchase their products.
Worth the Effort
Retrieving school supply samples without incurring any costs is very beneficial to the consumer because it enables them to test the drive the product for quality. If the product is not a good fit, it may save you a ton of money that may have otherwise been wasted.