Brynne Conroy | 

18 Savings Tips You Need to Know Before You Shop at Staples

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Calling all Staples shoppers! We rounded up all the Staples shopping tips and tricks you need to know to save big money on office and back-to-school supplies. Whether you’re shopping for pencils, laptops, notebooks, ink, or poster prints, consider this your crash course on how to save.

To find even more back-to-school savings across retailers, download the KCL app or text HACKS to 57299.


1. Only use Staples printing services if you’re in need of bulk printing (like 4,300+ copies).

copy and print center at staples

Staples printing prices 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 Staples coupons or cash-back apps like Ibotta to take the prices down.

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 cheaper prices at other stores. Office Depot or OfficeMax in particular have prices that start at $0.09 cheaper per copy.

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.


2. Keep an eye out for Staples poster printing coupons at the top of their website.

A table graphic showing the different costs for Posters at Staples that reads, "Staples Poster Printing Costs Poster Size Standard Heavyweight Photo Gloss or Semi-Gloss Super Heavyweight Poster Board 12 x 18 $10.50 $12.50 $14.00 $18.00 18 x 24 $15.75 $18.75 $21.00 $27.00 24 x 36 $31.50 $37.50 $42.00 $54.00 36 x 48 $63.00 $75.00 $84.00 $108.00

Office Depot and Office Max might have cheaper options when it comes to copies, but Staples does posters cheaper for the most part. Office Depot only has one option for standard posters, and the only one that’s less expensive than Staples is their Super Heavyweight option. Office Depot does also have foam board posters, but they’re more expensive than Staples poster boards.

There’s almost always a promo code at the top of the Staples poster printing page on their website. At the time of writing, the coupon code is 57549. It gets you $15 off a poster order of $75 or more.


3. Use engineering prints to get super cheap black-and-white posters at Staples.

Life hack! If you’re really not trying to spend that much money on a poster print, you can order a dramatically cheaper engineering print. Here are the prices at Staples:

  • 18 x 24 poster: $2
  • 24 x 36 poster: $3.99
  • 30 x 42 poster: $5.99
  • 26 x 48 poster: $7.98

Now, whether or not you can actually pull this off is going to be totally dependent on your local store. These prints are meant for things like blueprints and designs — not photographs, which use way more toner (and ultimately cost Staples more money at these price points). In fact, it says in big bold letters on Staples’ site: “Not suitable for photo images.”

But if you’re printing in black and white, there have been plenty of recent reports of people using the engineering print hack to get beautiful posters at a much lower price.


4. There’s no such thing as Staples photo printing, but there are photo gifts.

Someone holding a personalized photo gift tumbler from Staples

Now, you can print photo posters and even those engineering prints we talked about if you’re lucky. But there’s no traditional Staples photo printing service if you’re looking to turn all your iPhone photos into 5x7s.

If you’re in the market for photo gifts, though, these are your options at Staples:

  • Canvas prints
  • Border prints (you can use these as a guestbook at your wedding, graduation party, etc.)
  • Photo mugs and tumblers
  • Photo puzzles
  • Coasters
  • Photo mouse pads
  • Calendars
  • Photo blankets
  • Photo Christmas ornaments

The prices are great, too! The only item you could get cheaper on Shutterfly is the 15-ounce mug. Granted, that price comparison is prior to any Shutterfly coupons or promo codes you may use on your order.


5. Sign up for email and text alerts for a quick 25% off Staples coupon.

Someone signing up for email offers on

When you sign up for email and text alerts, you can get a Staples promo code for 25% off your next order. You might not see the pop-up if you’ve visited before (I didn’t). If that’s you, just clear the cookies in your browser and it should pop up.

If you don’t want a bunch of emails, use a temporary email account from a site like to get your promo code. If you don’t want continuing texts, sign up for texts just to get your code, then opt-out right after.



6. Save 20% on a Staples Business Advantage membership if you sign up by July 31, 2023.

If you’re an office manager (or someone else with a vested interest in your office supplies budget), you’ll wanna take note that Staples Business Advantage is currently 20% off! The offer is limited time, so if you’ve been waiting to join, this would be a good moment.

This program helps you stay on top of inventory and manage your spending throughout the year with live, human assistance. Plus, when you’re buying in bulk, you get lower prices than you would if you just tried to load up one of your colleague’s pickup trucks after browsing the aisles in the physical store.


7. Staples TSA precheck won’t save you money, but it is super convenient.

Someone holding a phone displaying the webpage on about TSA Precheck enrollment

TSA precheck registration locations used to be such a pain in the butt. They were few and far between, and usually difficult to get to. That’s why they expanded to places like Staples.

Getting all set up with TSA precheck at Staples won’t save you money. The fee is $78 for 5 years no matter where you sign up. But it’s probably more convenient to get it done at a participating Staples location.

Not only are they already embedded in communities across the country, but they also have a handy tool available called Birth Certify. If you can’t get your hands on your birth certificate, they can look it up for you to verify your citizenship.


8. It’s cheaper to get your passport photo at the post office than at Staples.

It’s great that there’s a Staples passport photo service, but it’s not gonna save you any cash. You can get it done for $15 at the post office, but it’ll run you $16.99 at Staples.


9. 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.

If you sign up for Staples Rewards, you can manage your Rewards account right from the Staples app. Don’t sweat hitting the Premium level, because you’d have to spend $1,000 to get it. And it doesn’t give you THAT much more than the basic level as an everyday consumer. Here’s how the perks break down:

  • Receive 2% cash back on your purchases. If you hit Premium, you get 5% cashback.
  • Free shipping on orders of $25+. You don’t get free shipping with no minimums until you’ve spent $5,000 at Staples.
  • Earn $2 back for every recycled ink and toner cartridge. If you’ve spent $50 on ink or toner in the last six months, you can exchange your old, used cartridges for $2 each. You get 10 payouts/month if you’re a regular member, but 20 payouts/month if you’ve hit Premium.


10. Earn 5% – 20% in Classroom Rewards for your child’s classroom.

classroom rewards in coupon book in classroom aisle

Staples Classroom Rewards gives your child’s teacher 5% cash back on everything you buy. You can use the Staples app to access Classroom Rewards. Then, enter your receipt number under your teacher’s account. The teacher can earn up to $1,000 every 180 days this way. (That comes out to a max of $2,000/year.)

Last year during back-to-school season, each teacher didn’t just earn the normal 5% on your purchases. Instead, they got an incredible 20% back from purchases linked to their classroom. Keep an eye out for a similar promotion over the next few months!



11. Yes, Staples price matches competitors’ prices — with some exceptions.

The Staples price match guarantee is complicated. Yes, they’ll match their competitors’ prices. But there are a lot of exclusions. 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 on Amazon).
  • Price matching doesn’t apply to “special events” like back-to-school sales or Staples Black Friday deals.
  • Staples physical stores will price match with, but NOT the other way around. You can’t get any price matches when you’re checking out online.
  • Price matching also can’t be used on Staples printing services.


12. You can get a Staples price match up to 14 days after your purchase.

staples receipt being pulled out of staples bag in car parked at staples

Assuming you met all those requirements in the last tip, you actually have 14 days after you make your purchase to claim your price match! That means if another competitor (or Staples themselves) has a lower price in the next 14 days, you can get a refund for the difference.


13. Find less-than-$1 “penny deals” during back-to-school season.

crayola crayons bin on sale in front of staples basket

If you’ve shopped Staples back-to-school sales, 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. Here are some of the penny deals we saw last year:

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

Ruler, $0.25
Compare at Walmart: Fiskars 12-Inch Wooden Ruler, $0.25
Compare at Target: 12″ Wooden Ruler, $0.25

24-pack of Crayola crayons, $0.50
Compare at Walmart: Buy 3 Crayola Classic Crayons, 24 count, $0.50/each
Compare at Target: Crayola Crayons, 24 count, $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

12-pack of Crayola Markers, $0.97
Compare at Walmart: Crayola Classic Thin Line Marker Set, 10 Colors, $0.97
Compare at Target: Crayola Markers Broad Line Classic, 10 count, $0.99

12-pack of Crayola Colored Pencils, $0.97
Compare at Walmart: Crayola Colored Pencil Set, 12-count, $0.97
Compare at Target: Crayola 12-count Pre-Sharpened Colored Pencils, $0.99

Staples Back-to-School deals rotate week to week. Follow the Staples deal page on KCL or set Staples as a favorite store in the KCL app, and we won’t let you miss a thing!


14. Save as much as 68% with Staples online refurbished center.

laptop with staples refurbished electronics website

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 a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. A new one would cost you $2,436.06 at regular price. A refurbished one would cost you $789.99. That’s $1,646.07 (or 68%) in savings!


15. Shop on Sundays when Staples does markdowns.

read to save sign in store

New sales and promotions start every Sunday at Staples. That’s the day you’ll want to head to the store so that you get there before inventory starts running low.

Related: Curious as to when stores restock their shelves? Use our Store Restock Cheat Sheet.



16. You can ask for a rain check at Staples, 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 the store policy. 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 written in stone. In fact, they wouldn’t even let me call it that, even though that’s what it is. But customer service did confirm that some American locations will do this. (Canadian ones won’t.)

Zero guarantees it will work. But it may, and it’s definitely worth asking.

Related: Here’s our Ultimate Guide to Rainchecks.


17. Save up to 6.6% at Staples by paying with Raise gift cards.

cell phone with Raise app on cellphone with staples gift card

Always check Raise for discounted gift cards before you purchase anything. In the summer of 2023, Raise had Staples gift cards for up to 6.6% off.


18. Make totally unrelated online returns at some Staples locations and get a $10 off $30 coupon.

Happy Returns qr Code

You know how you can bring your Amazon returns to Kohl’s locations and get a Kohl’s coupon just for your trouble? Some Staples locations participate in a similar program called Happy Returns, which lets you return online purchases from retailers like Gymshark, Revolve, and Love Olive Co to Staples stores.

Just bring your unwanted item(s) to the store, let the employee scan your Happy Returns QR code, then get a coupon good for $10 off your next $30 purchase at Staples.


What are your favorite Staples savings hacks? We’d love to hear them in the comments!

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