17 Tips for Saving Money on Staples’ School and Office Supplies

If you like to shop for your office supplies like notebooks, paper, pens, pencils, organizers, and more at a brick and mortar store, Staples is probably the first place that comes to mind.

But no one enjoys the final tally at the register after you’ve stacked your cart high with must-have school and office supplies. Luckily, we have some insider tips on how you can spend less at Staples, in-store and online.

Whether you’re a college student who needs to save money or a parent looking for the cheapest options among the many back-to-school sales, these 17 savings tips for Staples will help you save money and get more when it comes to office and school supplies.

1. Register for Staples’ Email List

First of all, if you stop at Staples and you’re not on the email list, you need to sign up right now. Staples periodically sends out emails that include:

  • Newsletters with special offers
  • Money-saving coupons
  • Helpful articles and catalogs
  • News on upcoming deals

To redeem these exclusive offers and stay up to date on the latest sales, just type in your email address here. You can also call 1-800-3STAPLE. 

2. Cash In on Staples Rewards

If you make any purchases from Staples, you should definitely join their free rewards program. Staples Rewards has four tiers of memberships, and they are all free. The membership tiers depend on how much money you’ve spent at Staples in the past year.

Here’s a breakdown of each membership, including how much money you need to spend to unlock your benefits and the special perks!

Staples Base Rewards

  • No minimum spend
  • Free delivery on purchases over $30
  • 2% rewards on all purchases (excluding postage and gift cards)
  • Ink and toner recycling rewards ($2 per cartridge, up to $20 a month)
  • Exclusive deals

Staples Base Plus Rewards

  • Spend $250
  • Free delivery on all purchases
  • 2% rewards on all purchases (excluding postage and gift cards)
  • Ink and toner recycling rewards ($2 per cartridge, up to $20 a month)
  • Exclusive deals

Staples Premier Rewards

  • Spend $1000
  • Free next-day delivery on all purchases
  • 5% rewards on all purchases (excluding postage and gift cards)
  • Ink and toner recycling rewards ($2 per cartridge, up to $40 a month)
  • Exclusive deals
  • Bonus sales events
  • Free expedited refunds
  • $25 in-store print and marketing services each year
  • $20 in-store technology service

Staples Elite Rewards

  • Spend $5000
  • Free next-day delivery on all purchases
  • 5% rewards on all purchases (excluding postage and gift cards)
  • Ink and toner recycling rewards ($2 per cartridge, up to $40 a month)
  • Exclusive deals
  • Bonus sales events
  • Free monthly product samples
  • Free expedited refunds
  • $25 in-store print and marketing services each year
  • $20 in-store technology service
  • Dedicated account management and customer service team

Join the Staples Rewards program and create your account here.

3. Browse Staples’ Weekly Coupons

Did you know Staples offers weekly coupons that you can view and redeem online? Most people don’t–and most people are missing out!

These deals include huge offers like:

  • 30% off all ink and toner
  • $110 off Norton security software (when you purchase a new computer)
  • 30% off custom holiday cards and custom invites

Since these deals are constantly changing, don’t expect to find these exact offers–but do check in every week to see what’s new.

4. Price-Match Items You Buy the Most

If you have a home office, you know that the cost of paper, printer ink, and office furniture can become astronomical very quickly.

Instead of accepting the sticker prices for what they are, you can take advantage of Staples’ price match policy–especially on products you buy frequently or cost a lot of money.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Find a lower price in-store or online at a qualified competitor.
  2. Bring in proof of that lower price.
  3. Show a Staples associate when checking out.
  4. Redeem your discount!

Here are some important exclusions to Staples’ price match policy:

  • Amazon Marketplace sellers (most Amazon products are qualified under the policy, though)
  • Tech services
  • Print & Marketing services
  • Third-party vendor products
  • Custom print or promotional products
  • Postage
  • Gift cards
  • Phone cards
  • In-store pickup orders
  • Apps sold through the Staples App Center
  • Warranties

You also need to know that Staples will refund you the difference if you see a lower price in a Staples store or online at Staples.com within 14 days from purchase. My advice? Always check out Staples online prices before checking out in-store to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Read Staples Price Match Policy FAQs here.

5. Shop Staples Clearance Deals Online

Any shopper who loves sales swoons when they hear that magic word: clearance. And Staples’ online clearance page makes it easy and convenient to save money!

Common items you’ll find on Staples’ clearance include:

  • Pens (including gel and ballpoint)
  • Light bulbs
  • Markers
  • Office cleaning supplies
  • Safety gear

Whenever you shop online, be sure to browse the clearance section before making your purchase!

6. Purchase Printers and Computers from The Refurbished Center

Shopping for new tech at Staples? Check out the Refurbished Center, because you might like what you see–low prices on the lightly used technology. And I mean low. You can get expensive tech for up to 45% off in the Refurb Center.

Staples carefully checks, tests, upgrades, and certifies their refurbished technology before selling it to customers. So, you can feel confident that their “like new for less” logo is more of a promise than a slogan.

In the Refurbished Center, you’ll find an array of lightly used:

  • Laptops
  • Desktops
  • Printers

The items you’ll find in Staples Refurbished Center are typically in-store floor models and demo systems that get sent back to the original manufacturer or retailer before being redistributed and tested by Staples.

Since some of the technology ends up in the Refurb Center as the result of canceled orders and overstock, you might even find “refurbished” items that have never been used! What a deal.

7. Buy Discounted Gift Cards

Discounted gift cards are a great way to save money because you can always stack a gift card on top of other sales and deals.

When you buy gift cards through sites like GiftCardGranny and Raise, you can save up to 8% before you even start your Staples retail therapy. Keep in mind that these cards sell out fast! So, redeem them when they’re available.

But, be careful–not all discount gift card sites are legit. If you find a discount gift card site online and you’re not sure if you can trust them, search the Better Business Bureau’s site for a rating.

8. Check Koopy.com for Discounts

Koopy.com offers tons of coupons, promo codes, and discounts for almost any store you can imagine! So, before you shop, consult your friends at Koopy.com for the latest deals at Staples.

Past Staples discounts included:

  • 45% off select storage
  • 60% off select shredders
  • 45% off select office supplies

If you want these steep discounts, stay up to date with Koopy.com. You should also know that Koopy.com offers discounts at Staples’ main competitors like Office Depot and Walmart!

9. Shop In-Store During Back-to-School Season

Between August and September, Staples hosts back-to-school sales that feature Staples’ classic “penny deals.” Don’t get too excited, though. Due to inflation, these deals are no longer authentic “penny deals.”

But, you can still find lots of great items sold for less than $1. Which, if you ask me, is still a great deal!

If you can handle the back-to-school commotion with wild children and stressed-out parents crowding the stores (and the lines), then shop for your office supplies between August and September–even if you’re not shopping for school.

10. Browse Staples’ Weekly Ads

Staples releases weekly ads to showcase great deals on some of their best products. The best part about Staples’ weekly ads is that you can view the deals online from the comfort of your home.

With Staples’ weekly ads, you can discover sweet deals like:

  • 20% off laptop bags
  • Up to $70 off select LED computer monitors
  • $28 off a new Cricut cutting machine
  • Up to $100 off select software like Quickbooks and Norton Security

11. Give Back with the Staples Connect App and Classroom Rewards

The Staples Connect App has some great features and perks when you shop in-store locally.

To join the Classroom Rewards program, you’ll need to already have or create a regular Staples Rewards program. It’s important to know that when you redeem Classroom Rewards, you’re essentially transferring your 5% Rewards into a balance that you can donate to local teachers.

So. while this tip won’t save you money, it does give you a great way to give back to your community. Read more on the terms and conditions of the Staples Classroom Rewards Program here. 

12. Shop Bundles to Save Money

Staples sells plenty of individual products, and they want to give you an incentive to buy more of them–that’s why they offer bundles on popular high-priced items like furniture and technology.

And you do have a good reason to buy them–if you need them, that is.

When you bundle together items like a printer and ink subscription, you can save serious money.

13. Shop In-Store on Sundays

Instead of going to church (or after), you should visit Staples–and here’s why.

Staples does in-store markdowns on Sundays, so you’ll be the first to peep new sales and promotions before they’re out of stock–like 15 cent folders and 50 cent pencils, crayons, and composition books.

If you can’t make it on Sunday, try shopping on Monday to get to those deals before they’re all gone.

These markdowns only happen in-store and not online–so find a Staples store near you if you want to redeem these low prices.

14. Kindly Ask for a Rain Check on Out-of-Stock Offers

If you’re unlucky enough to get to a great deal only after all the products are gone off the shelves, you might still be able to cash in on that deal–emphasis on the might.

When you find yourself in this situation at your local store, talk to a manager about their store policies. Some managers will honor the deal once new stock comes in, even if the deal expires before then.

Some locations will do this, but Staples doesn’t have an official “rain check” policy across all stores.

15. Don’t Get a Staples Credit Card

Now, most of the time, I will suggest getting a store credit card if you shop at a store frequently. But, the Staples credit card isn’t worth it–and that’s because it’s designed for businesses and not individuals.

At most, you might save $100 on a large purchase at Staples, but that hardly compares to other credit cards out there with good cashback programs on every purchase you make (or most purchases at least).

So, don’t take a hit to your credit and skip the Staples card.

16. Redeem Staples Rebates 

Most rebates are nearly impossible to redeem, but Staples makes redeeming your rebate fast and easy (which is rare in the rebate world).

With Staples’ Easy Rebates, there’s no mailing and no clipping. When you purchase an eligible product in-store, through the Staples catalog, or online, all you need to do to redeem your rebate is to:

  1. Log onto StaplesEasyRebates.com
  2. Create an account where you can track your rebate status
  3. Submit your rebate number
  4. Wait 4-6 weeks to receive your rebate check in the mail

17. Use Competitor Coupons at Select Staples Stores 

Now, this deal is store-specific, and it could even be management-specific. It definitely won’t work online.

If you find a good competitor coupon (from OfficeMax or Office Depot, for example), ask if you can use it on your Staples purchase. Obviously, the product will need to match exactly, and don’t be surprised if you’re met with a resounding “no.”

But, if your reward is saving money, it’s worth a try!

Staples FAQs

Is Staples going out of business?

Staples is the world’s largest supply chain, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. But, Staples has closed down over 200 of its brick-and-mortar stores since they aren’t as profitable as they used to be. Staples is still alive, but as more customers move towards online shopping, Staples must adapt as an online retailer. This change is likely due to increased online competition from retailers like Amazon and Walmart, which can be seen in their steady sales decline over the last several years.

What services does Staples offer?

Most Staples locations offer a self-service area where you can:

– Make copies
– Access cloud data storage
– Scan documents
– Shred files
– Send faxes
– Use computers
– Print documents
– Make copies

And more!

Can you print photos at Staples?

Yes. Staples offers same-day digital photo printing starting at 14 cents per print on standard quality paper. Staples Print & Marketing department also offers:

– Premium prints on high-quality photo paper
– Photo enlargements
– Social prints
– Panoramic photo printing

Who owns Staples 2021?

Staples is currently owned by Sycamore Partners, which acquired Staples in 2017. Sycamore Partners is a private equity firm founded in 2011 by Stefan Kaluzny and Peter Morrow that also owns:

– Hot Topic
– Talbots
– Torrid
– Ann Taylor
– Lane Bryant
– Express, Inc.

Final Thoughts: How to Save the Most Money at Staples

If you’re hungry for deals, you can also follow Staples on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, but you’re more likely to see ads than receive exclusive offers. 

However, if you’re ever struggling with Staples customer service, their Twitter account is a good way to reach them.

Here’s a summary of the best ways to save money at Staples, whether you’re shopping online at Staples.com or walking through your local brick-and-mortar store:

And here are specific tips and tricks that are specific to your shopping method.

When shopping in-store:

  • Check prices online and redeem a price match on items you plan to buy
  • Shop during back-to-school season
  • Give back to your local teachers with Classroom Rewards
  • Shop on Sundays when Staples offers new deals
  • Ask for a rain check if an offer is out of stock (store-specific)
  • Use competitor coupons (store-specific)

When shopping online:

Rebecca Choi is a freelance writer, designer, and contributor to koopy.com from Philadelphia, PA. Armed with her Bachelor's Degree in English and Graphic Design from Arcadia University, she pursues a life of creation and hopes to earn an M.Arch in the near future. Her passions include reading novels, writing poetry, promoting mental health and wellness, and creating functional artwork.

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