I love the Back-to-School season. Even though I’m not a student anymore it doesn’t mean I have no need for school supplies – and I’ll bet you and your family need some, too.
Year-round office supplies. Every year for as long as I can remember I’ve used the super sales to stock up on most of my office supplies for the year. Pens, pencils, notebooks, paper – there are always a ton of great loss leaders. And loss leaders – when retailers give ridiculously low prices in hopes that you’ll spend more money on high profit items while you’re there – are a frugal Mom’s friend.
Birthday Party Favors. Once Son was born my Back-to-School shopping took on a new dimension. Son sports a July birthday, so in addition to my own office supplies I’ve been taking advantage of the great deals as frugal party favors. One year I got boxes of 25 crayons for a penny apiece! You can bet I stocked up – I had enough for 3 years of parties!
Christmas Gifts and Stocking Stuffers. For the kids, for your spouse, to donate to a charity. Shop early and save!
In my area I’m lucky enough to have Staples, Office Depot and Office Max all close by. And then there’s Target, K-Mart and Walmart. I can’t wait to see what deals I’ll get this year!
And speaking of this year – Son enters kindergarten next month. I’m so very sad that his early childhood is nearly over. I’m unhappy that Son will be in school all day (as opposed to the 1/2 day kindergartens in many other areas). I’m going to miss him like crazy. And for the first time since I graduated college I’m actually going to use Back-to-School sales for someone that is actually going to school.
I already have a lot of the things on the teachers’ supply list. A few months ago I got a $10 off $10 purchase coupon in the mail from Office Max, so I’ve got a good head start. But Son needs a backpack, and I’d like to get him a new lunchbox (though I may wait until after school starts and they go on clearance to replace it).
So I already took advantage of Staples’ super deals this week to get Son that backpack. Staples was offering a box of pencils for a penny and a ream of copy paper for a penny after rebate, with a limit of 2 each. Staples also offered a $5 off $20 purchase coupon. So, here’s how it all shook out:
Pencils 2 boxes @ $.01 = $ .02
Copy Paper 2 reams @$3.69 = $ 7.38
Backpack, 25% off = $14.99
Less $5 off coupon -$ 5.00
Less paper rebate $7.36
Total Cost: $10.03
So, for pennies over $10 I got the backpack, 2 reams of paper (and if you live in my house with Son’s love of drawing (mostly restrooms!) you go through a ton of paper!) and 24 pencils. Woo hoo!
Important! I admit I’ve forgotten a time or two to submit the rebate. Never again! Send it it!!!!
I also picked up some 25-count boxes of crayons at Target for $.25 apiece. Hey, those penny ones didn’t last forever!
So, this Sunday I’ll be sure to check out the paper, or perhaps just visit the stores’ websites, and see where the best deals are. And I’ll plan my week to hit the sales – as long as it’s not out of my way. But go early for those loss leaders – sometimes they’re gone by Monday!
One more thing – check to see if your state offers a sales tax holiday, and if they do wait to buy anything that isn’t usually on sale. Florida used to do this, but I can’t find any info on one this year. I hope you’re luckier!