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When it comes to back-to-school shopping, don’t discount the office supply stores when looking for a discount. You may automatically think of Target back to school or Walmart back to school when planning your shopping list, but Staples school supplies are priced to compete even with the biggest dogs. My local Staples is closer than Target or Walmart, so it’s a no-brainer where I’ll be shopping this back-to-school season.

To keep an eye on all the best Staples back-to-school deals, make sure to bookmark our back-to-school page.


1. Join Staples Rewards to get 2% cash rewards, free shipping, and $2 for used printer cartridges.

A person's hand resting on the handle of a Staples shopping cart, holding a cell phone displaying the Staples Rewards page on their website.

First things first — make sure to join Staples Rewards to make the most out of shopping at Staples. The program is free to sign up. You’ll receive the following benefits:

  • Receive 2% cash back on your purchases. If you hit Premium, you get 5% cash back.
  • Get access to free shipping. No minimum spend required.
  • Earn $2 back for every recycled ink and toner cartridge. If you’ve spent $30 on ink or toner in the last six months, you can exchange your old, used cartridges for $2/each.


2. Leverage Staples Rewards to score free school supplies.

Keep a close eye on the weekly ad or Staples.com for school supplies you may be able to pick up for free after Staples Rewards. In past years, we’ve seen deals like four free reams of paper at Staples.


3. Stock up on Staples school supplies with prices that rival Walmart and Target.

A person's hand holding a bottle of Elmer's school glue next to a shelf with a sale tag advertising a limited time offer at Staples.

Watch for back-to-school sales at Staples starting in July. While the penny deals of the past are no longer offered, Staples does have a variety of store and name brand school supplies regularly priced under $1 during back-to-school season. Check out some Staples school supplies we’ve seen on sale in recent years for the same price as Walmart:

  • Elmer’s liquid glue (4 oz.): $0.50 (Stock-up price: $0.50 each)
  • Crayola colored pencils (12 ct.): $0.97 each (Stock-up price: $1 each)
  • Crayola markers (10 ct.): $0.97 each (Stock-up price: $1 each)
  • Pink erasers: $0.25 each (Stock-up price: $0.25 each)


4. Wait for backpacks at Staples to go on sale for 50% off.

A backpack display inside Staples with a sign that reads, "50% off select backpacks

Pay as low as $12.49 for backpacks at Staples when they go on sale for 50% off. Although this isn’t the lowest price we see on backpacks during back to school (I’m looking at you and your $4 backpacks, Walgreens), the Staples backpacks we’ve seen on sale in the past include six-piece sets that come with lunch bags, pencil cases, and more.


5. Use Staples coupons or promo codes to stockpile copy paper for as low as $2 per ream.

A person's hand holding a ream of Hammermill 8.5 x 11" paper in front of a shelf with more of the same product inside Staples.

If there aren’t any Staples Rewards freebies on copy paper, don’t fret. Staples is still a great place to buy paper — just make sure to wait until there are coupons or promo codes available. In past years, we’ve seen the price as low as $2 per ream.


6. Watch for Staples school supply clearance, especially online.

A man with a Staples shopping cart looking through the clearance shelf at Staples.

You don’t necessarily have to wait till school has started to score school supply clearance at Staples. Last year, we saw BIC pens go on clearance online surprisingly early in the summer. That being said, it’s never a bad idea to wait for back-to-school clearance to pick up any items you may not have needed before the start of the school year.


7. Use manufacturer coupons and store coupons to save even more during back-to-school season.

A person holding up a paper ad for Staples' Lowest prices of the season sales.

Staples accepts manufacturer coupons and offers store coupons in their weekly ad or at Staples.com. This is a great way to maximize the savings on all your favorite Staples back-to-school supplies.


8. Earn 20% in Classroom Rewards during back-to-school season.

A person's hand holding up a paper advertisement for Classroom Rewards at Staples.

Have you heard of the Classroom Rewards program at Staples? It’s really cool. All you need to do is sign up for Classroom Rewards on the Staples Connect app. When you upload your receipts to the Staples Connect app, you’ll earn 5% all year long to donate to the teacher or school or your choice.

It gets even better during back-to-school season, though. Through the end of September, they’ll get an incredible 20% rewards back on your purchases.

8 Reasons You Should Shop at Staples This Back-to-School Season