Calling all Staples shoppers!
We rounded up all the Staples shopping tips and tricks you need to save big money on office and back-to-school supplies like pencils, laptops, notebooks, ink, and so much more.
To find even more back-to-school savings across retailers, download the KCL app.
1. Staples will price match plus a 10% discount.
The Staples price match guarantee is complicated. Yes, they’ll match their competitors’ prices. They’ll even give you an extra 10% off of the difference in prices. But, it’s tricky. I’ve sorted it out below:
- Staples only price matches with stores that have both online and brick-and-mortar locations.
- Staples price matches Amazon as an exception to this rule (but not third-party sellers).
- Price matching doesn’t apply to “special events” like back-to-school sales, or Black Friday.
- Staples’ physical stores price match with Staples.com, but NOT the other way around.
- Price matching also can’t be used on Staples’ printing services.
2. Use Staples’ printing services in bulk to save the most money.
Staples’ print services aren’t super expensive, but you’ll still save more money using your printer at home.
However, if you have a large order, it can be cheaper to offload the chore to Staples. Think about things like conference materials or advertising materials for your small business. It would take a minimum order of at least 4,315 copies to make Staples’ printing services cheaper than doing it at home. This is assuming you’re not using any coupons or cash-back apps like Ibotta.
Once you’re printing documents in terms of hundreds of copies, though, it might be worth paying a little extra to delegate the task to someone else. Staples’ prices are competitive, but you can find slightly cheaper prices at competitors like Office Depot or OfficeMax.
PRO TIP: To print at Staples, you can conveniently upload your document online. Or you could take your order into the store. If you place an order online by 2 p.m., you’ll be able to pick it up the same day.
3. Sign up for Staples email and text alerts for $15 off a $60 purchase.
When you sign up for email and text alerts, you can get a Staples promo code for $15 off orders of $60 or more. You might not see the pop-up if you’ve visited Staples.com before ( I didn’t). So, clear the cookies in your browser and you should see it.
If you don’t want a bunch of emails, use a temporary email account like 10minutemail.com to get your promo code. If you don’t want texts, sign up for texts, get your code, and opt out.
4. Find less-than-$1 “penny deals” during back-to-school season.
If you’ve shopped back-to-school sales at Staples, you might have heard about “penny deals.” These used to be things you could buy for a penny, but in recent years penny deals have inflated to things listed for under $1.
And Staples has a lot of them during back-to-school season, which starts in July:
One-subject notebook, college ruled, 70 sheets, $0.25
Compare at Walmart: Pen + Gear 1-Subject Notebook, Wide Ruled, 70 Sheets, $0.35
Compare at Office Max: Just Basics Spiral Notebook, College Ruled, 70 Sheets, $0.50
8-pack of Wooden #2 Pencils, $0.50
Compare at Target: 8-pack $2 Wood Pencils, $0.50
Compare at Walmart: Pen + Gear No. 2 Wood Pencils, Unsharpened, 12 Pack, $0.47
5. Join Staples Rewards to get 2% cash rewards, free shipping, and $2 for used printer cartridges.
If you join Staples Rewards, you can manage your Rewards account from the Staples app. Don’t sweat hitting the Premium level, because you have to spend $1000, and it doesn’t give you much more than the basic level as an everyday consumer:
- 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.
6. Earn 20% in Classroom Rewards during back-to-school season.
Classroom Rewards give your child’s teacher 5% cash back on everything you buy. You can use the Staples App to upload your receipt to Classroom Rewards. The teacher can earn up to $250/quarter this way, or $1,000/year.
During back-to-school season, the teacher won’t just earn the normal 5% on your purchases. Instead, through the end of September, they get an incredible 20% rewards back on your purchases.
7. Staples will do a price adjustment within two days if you forget your coupon.
It happens to even the most seasoned couponers! You straight up forget your coupon at home.
Luckily, when it comes to Staples, you just bring back your coupon within 48 hours of the purchase, and they’ll happily honor the coupon.
8. Bundle products to save an average of 25%.
Some purchases, especially in the electronics department, offer a bundle option to save.
For example, in July 2021, a 12-month Office 365 subscription at Staples cost $73.99 for the individual or $99.99 for the family.
If you bought an Asus VivoBook 15 for around $400, you could get 15 months of Office 365 family subscription for the same cost: $99.99, but you’d get an extra three months.
Or with the notebook bundle, you could also opt for the individual Office 365 subscription for $69.99, ($4 less than no bundle) plus the extra three months.
9. Save as much as 45% with Staples’ online refurbished center.
Refurbished items aren’t usually the newest version of a product. However, they can save you a lot of money.
For example, let’s say you were looking for an Acer Chromebook. A new one would cost you $399.99, regular price. A refurbished one would cost you $179.99. That’s a $220 savings!
10. Shop on Sundays, when Staples does markdowns.
New sales and promotions start every Sunday. That’s the day you’ll want to head to the store. That way you’ll get there before inventory starts running low.
11. Ask for a rain check, but don’t expect to get a firm “yes.” Or even a “no.”
If your store does run out of inventory for the deal you wanted, talk to a manager about store policies. Some managers will honor the deal when they get new stock delivered, even if the new stock comes in after the deal has expired.
I couldn’t get Staples to confirm this with an official “rain check” policy (in fact, they wouldn’t even let me call it that, even though that’s what it is,) but customer service did say “yes,” some locations will do this. So there’s no guarantee it will work. But it may, and it’s definitely worth asking.
12. Save 3.6% at Staples by using Raise.
Always check Raise for discounted gift cards before you purchase anything.
In the summer of 2021, Raise had Staples gift cards at 3.60% off.
13. And earn 2% cash back shopping through Rakuten at Staples.
Try Rakuten if you can’t find any discounted gift cards. You can’t use a store gift card with this app, but you can earn 2% cash back when you shop Staples.com through the Rakuten shopping portal. Some percent cash back is better than none percent cash back, right?
14. Skip the Staples credit card unless you like headaches.
The Staples More Account credit card is so not worth it, even though it’s no interest for large purchases. Let’s say you bought this:
Get 2% cash back in rewards with Staples Rewards Account ($17.98)
Use the Staples Credit Card get 5% cash back ($44.95)
Get a $50 statement credit for making $150+ purchase in first 45 days of card
Final Price: $786.07
Compare at: Target (
Use RedCard 5% off
Final Price: $759.05
So if using the card in conjunction with other offers could save you about $112 on an iPad, why would I say it’s not worth it?
Because to get that $112, you’d have to make the purchase on the card, wait a few months for the rewards and credit to show up, use it, and pay it off before any interest rates are charged. Plus your credit is likely to get dinged for applying for a credit card.
I say buy it on sale for $799 at Target or anywhere else, Price Match at Target, and use your RedCard to get another 5% back. You save about $30 and don’t have to open a credit card.
What are your favorite Staples savings hacks? We’d love to hear them in the comments!