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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Let's Talk...School Supplies (and other important things)

I don't shop with my dear children very often.  It is not that they are unruly, have tantrums, or irritate me...they just want to buy things we already have or don't need (yet).  For example, just the other day my 11 year old said after showing me a pack of pencils, "Hey Mom! Can I buy these, I need pencils."  I replied (and knowing what you know now from the picture below), "No Honey, we don't need pencils. I have a ton at home."  He then replied with a bit of irritation in his voice, "Geez Mom, you never buy us anything!"

(there are about 20 packs of #2 pencils and 10 plus packs of mechanical pencils)

Each summer around the beginning of July, Staples begins their "back to school" sales each week.  We share in our classes that THIS is the time to begin gathering your school supplies.  In each special, Staples (and other stores such as Office Depot and Target), have about 4-7 items heavily discounted (many for 1 cent).  The catch is you have to spend at least $5.  This is easily achieved when you purchase the items that have rebates. 

For example, each week copy paper has a rebate for $5, making the paper 1 cent.  You buy the paper at full price ($5), collect all of the cheap school supplies for that week, and spend around $1 total (after the rebate).  Upon my return home, I immediately go to my computer and send in my rebate. In just a few weeks I have reams and reams of paper and checks coming in the mail!

This process goes on for about 6-8 weeks (I go in every Monday morning...the sales usually start on Sundays but I do not shop on Sundays) until I have collected a lovely supply of EVERYTHING my kids need for school.

The total cost for all supplies shown above: Approx. $35 (after rebates have been sent in and received)

Today I organized all of our school supplies (some are left over from last year) and printed off each child's back to school supply list (I have five children in school).  Happy Day! I have absolutely everything we need for the first day of school (plus I have penty of great stuff for piano lessons, copying, church, everyday crafts, etc).

Plus we will have plenty of items to donate to each teacher as well as enough extra to get us through the entire school year! 

My children love this time of year when I organize everything into a "store."  They print off their supply lists and "shop" for the items they need!  With most schools requiring "specific brands, colors, etc" it makes things a whole lot easier when they aren't shopping with me and can't pick out certain colorful items.

When you begin your stockpiling (whatever that may be from toilet paper to cereal...see picture) adventure, remember that it takes time.  You need the right coupon and just the right sale to make items free (which brings me the most happiness). 

With a large family such as ours, we go through boxes of cereal, gallons of milk and rolls of toilet paper (and plenty of other things) in just one we absolutely NEED a stockpile.

If you are inspired by the savings that are available out there...come to one of our coupon classes!  We teach you everything you need to know.

And you are in luck...our next class is TOMORROW.  If you would like to join us, send an email to and we will sign you up!

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