Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Last Call for Back to School / Office Supplies

Though I have no insider information about store sales, I trust the advice of savvy couponers like Southern Savers and Gabrielle at Couponing in Critical Times who say grab the deals of school supplies this week because soon they'll be gone. Southern Savers did an exceptional job of detailing where to get the best deals on every B2S sale. I've hit a few of the sales at various stores since they began running nearly a month ago, and I'm happy to report I've stocked up on school and office supplies for the year. When gathering deals, I encourage you to not only think of your child/ren's lists, but what your household needs, what charities that you support could use, and even what your small business could use. And whenever possible, choose the greener option. Here are some of the deals I snagged today. (Do people still say snagged or am I showing my age?!)

If you're heading to Staples this week, take the 20% off coupon in their weekly flyer. Today at Staples, I got the following deals:
  • 2 reams of Hammermill copy paper (will cost $.01 after rebate online--fast and easy); this product is not made from recycled paper, but it is certified with the Sustainable Forestry Initiatve (deal ended today).
  • 1 2 pack of Westcott Kleen Earth 8 inch scissors (on sale for $9.99, coupon took another $2 off); the handle is made of 70% recycled plastic; comes with a 10 year warranty--thus better quality.There were cheaper scissors, but I took one for the environmental team.
  • 10 black Sharpies for $1.60 total (deal ended today).
  • 10 dry erase markers for $1.60 total (deal ended today).
  • 6 notebooks for $.01 each (deal ended today).
  • 1 Staples calculator for $7.19 after coupon; qualifies as "eco easy" with its solar power.
I'd like to add a comment here about the "high cost of cheap." A few months ago, I was lured into buying a calculator in the clearance bin for just $.50. Who can resist $.50 for a piece of technology?! Within 48 hours, Brooke had slobbered on it and pulled it apart--resulting in now a piece of trash that cost me $.50. I was more upset about the electronic waste that would go into landfill than I was about my two quarters. If you haven't yet seen the Story of Stuff, this is a real eye-opener. Please take a few minutes to watch it.

So after that experience, I decided to spend a little more money for technology that was sustainable and that would endure the rigors of kids. Since my husband is an engineer in the solar field, I feel it's important to support solar any way I can. But I digress.

If you want free pens, head to Target for the Bic 10 pack on sale for $.99. Through a Target $1/2 and a manufacturer's $1/2, you can get two packs for FREE (or print both twice and get four packs for free). There's nothing green about disposable pens, but it's a good item to donate to any charitable organization.

Finally, my frugal shopping the past few weeks has allowed me to be generous with donations that our school is giving to another local school. Note: These are not calculated in my Couponing for Charity. I've gathered 10 folders ($.01 each), 6 notebooks ($.01 each), 2 packs of markers ($.77 each), 2 packs of crayons ($.20 each), and 4 glue sticks ($.10 each) for just $2.50 total. It feels good to give, especially on a budget.

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