Back to school is a time of year that I have mixed emotions. I hate sending my girls back to school for the selfish reason that I love spending time with them and I never think that we get through our whole summer bucket list. However, back to school means great sales and is one of my favorite events to shop for because I love donating backpack filled with school supplies to charity. The office store ads that come in Sunday’s paper are my favorite. Where can I get erasers, composition notebooks, pencils, and glue sticks for rock bottom prices each week? How much will I be able to donate to children who would otherwise not have all the school supplies they need? As a former teacher I know how important it is to have all the school supplies requested. The kids who come to school without all of their school supplies notice that they don’t have all the things that other kids have. Sending kids to school fully equipped to learn is so important for their academic success. Education is the best hope for breaking free from poverty.
The fact that back to school is for kids means that is it incredibly easy to have my girls participate in this giving event. This post was written when Big Sister was going into 3rd grade and Little Sister was going into 1st grade. They fully comprehend that we are purchasing extra school supplies for kids their own age who would not have school supplies without our donation. School supply shopping with them is fun because I can see them thinking about others. “Will this go to a boy or a girl? Can we get two? One for a boy and one for a girl.” As a parent, there is no arguing with that! With low prices and two children who want to help others…it’s a no brainer!
How to Save Money on Back to School Shopping
1) Plan! Print the school supply list and decide which stores you will shop. Will you shop during Tax Free weekend (if applicable) or avoid it? Plan your shopping trip separate from you grocery trip….you will be tired and overwhelmed and those aren’t a good combination when shopping.
2) Focus on the big ticket items first. The expensive items like backpacks and calculators can be purchased online and you can earn cash back! Shop through Ebates – Where it Pays to Shop Online. Ebates is the pioneer and leader of online cash back shopping. Ebates pays members cash back every time they shop online as well as provide them with the best coupons and deals online. Founded in 1998, Ebates Inc.’s websites have paid over $250 million in cash to its members. That’s why millions of people have joined Ebates. Sign-up Today!
3) Shop the Loss Leaders. The 10¢, 25¢, and 50¢ items that pull people into the office supply stores are incredible deals. Go get ’em!
4) Use Rewards Programs. Sign up for loyalty programs and use your card to earn rewards. Get deals that are free after rebate.
5) Price Match. Target, Walmart, and Staples all price match. Staples is taking it above and beyond this year since they are price matching 110%.
How far could you make $25 stretch when it comes to purchasing school supplies? I used that $25 to purchase supplies for 2 kids. Here is what I purchased for each backpack donated:
Walgreens – $4.27 Spent
Backpack: $2.99 (through 07/26/2014, $5.00 is the regular price after the sale).
Index Cards: 29¢
Elmers Glue Sticks: 49¢
Pink Erasers: 25¢
Pencil Cap Erasers: 25¢
Office Depot: $1.89 Spent
Composition Notebook: 10¢
Folders: 4¢ (they were 1¢ each)
Liquid school glue: 25¢
OfficeMax Glue Sticks: 25¢
Pencil Sharpener: 25¢
Walmart: $3.49 Spent
Crayola Markers: $1.27
Crayola Crayons: 50¢
Wood Pencils: 97¢
Lined Paper: 75¢
After I added up my total I realized that I had only spent $19.30 on ALL of those school supplies! This is a great way to help our Stuff the Bus campaign .
Now, more than ever, your help is needed to provide children with the most basic items for back-to-school. Do you have an extra $10 to help a child in your community? That $10 will help them for the entire school year! A backpack seems like such a small thing, but to the children served, it makes a big difference.
If you don’t like watching the Back to School sales you may want to consider ordering a Crayola Supply Pack from Amazon. You don’t have to drive to the store, face the crowds, or search and find for any of these supplies. Like magic they will just show up at your door! The Crayola Kindergarten Supply Pack includes 100 sheets of art paper, facial tissue, Crayola glue, Crayola 24 ct crayons, Crayola washable watercolors, Crayola washable markers, Crayola scissors, a pink bevel eraser, nylon pencil bag, 6 pencils, Crayola glue stick, and 8 oz hand sanitizer