I don’t know about you, but $20 is still a lot of money to me. Especially as a homeschooling mom having to buy all our school supplies and materials ourselves. I’m always looking for ways to free up some money in our budget, so discovering this way to get $20 in free school supplies every month has been a huge help in my family’s finances – and there’s no gimmick or email address spamming involved![social_warfare]
I’ve been getting $20 a month in free school supplies for over a year now.
This is such a simple process that if you keep up on it, it’s very easy to get $20 in free stuff every single month. It takes just a little bit of planning if you want to get the free money EVERY month, but it’s very easy. If you’ve got a Staples nearby or are comfortable shopping online, you’re all set.
I discovered this program when I first started homeschooling and was drooling over this amazing easel from Melissa & Doug. But the $60 price tag was just too high for me and my small school supplies budget.
That’s when I dove into the ink recycling program at Staples.
I ended up getting the easel for just $20 using my coupons. It was such a good deal that I got hooked. With just a little bit of planning and patience, I get almost all my school supplies for FREE. Are you ready to learn how it works?
Earn $20 a month in free school supplies by following these 4 steps:
1. Sign up for Staples Rewards
The first step to earning your free coupons is signing up for Staples Rewards – it’s easy and painless, I promise! You will be issued a rewards number and you can check all your activity and rewards balances online.
2. Purchase ink once every 6 months from Staples (in store OR online)
Purchase at least $30 of your own ink either in a Staples store or online every 180 days. Their ink is already the lowest price around, so there’s no additional cost involved – just buy what you normally would buy for your home printer, but purchase it at Staples. As a homeschooling momma, my printer is my best friend. It’s not like we’re going through a ton of ink all the time, buy we certainly buy ink twice a year and that keeps us qualified to earn rewards.
3. Recycle up to 10 used ink cartridges each month
Staples will reward you $2 per ink cartridge you recycle, up to 10 per month (that’s $20 in rewards) as long as you’re spending $30 on ink every 6 months. You can take used ink cartridges to the store to recycle, or mail them in per their instructions on their website.
Staples has a MAJOR advantage over any other ink recycling program on the planet: They accept any and all cartridges no matter the type or brand. Other programs only accept specific cartridges, but Staples doesn’t even inspect them. So even if you’re gifted recycled cartridges, Staples will take them. I have yet to find anyone else who does this.
The company I used to work for before I became a stay at home mom supplies us with empty cartridges till the cows come home. If you don’t have an office hookup like this you can ask any of your friends or even visit random offices. 10 per month is very easy to get from any type of office environment. And if you approach it as a fundraising request, many people would be happy to give you their trash (empty cartridges).
My girls decorated a special box for collecting ink cartridges and were allowed to place it in the office I used to work at. When the box is full they call me and we come pick it up.
I collect the cartridges from my old office and put them in bags or boxes of 10. I set a reminder on my phone for the same day each month to go to Staples and drop off 10 cartridges. Then I get a $20 coupon in the mail every single month.
4. Spend your $20 on school supplies (or get a little retail therapy & buy something for yourself!)
Staples of course sells all sorts of school supplies and other items in-store, but there inventory is even greater online: games, coffee, toilet paper, knitting needles, even hair products! I always check my Amazon wish list against Staples.com to see if I can get some “free” retail therapy.
And of course, you could use your rewards to buy ink and save a bunch of money that way too. We own a business so we use the ink purchase as an office supplies expense. And since money is always so tight for us, my free coupons from Staples are my way of buying little things without feeling guilty. So if we don’t happen to need pencils or finger paint that month, mommy might just get a little something for herself!
While the coupon is good in store, I usually use mine online. It’s just not as fun buckling in three young children and lugging them through the store. If you spend more than $15 online (which I do with a $20 coupon) your shipping is FREE. Every time I place an order online it only costs me $1 to $3 depending on how the math turns out as you have to spend more than your coupon. But then it ships straight to my door and I’m a happy, money saving momma!
School supplies – PAID FOR.