School Supplies!

22 Jul

It’s that time of year again for school to start!  School starts here earlier than what I’m used to, my kids start the first week of August.  I picked up a few things at Staples and Target 2 weeks ago, then last Friday we finished up our shopping.  Both my girls will use the same backpacks and lunch containers from last year since they are still in good condition.  I had spent a little extra on those, so I’m glad they have held up and hopefully will last through this school year too.  Then, on to the list.  Last year, I didn’t get a total on what I spent, mainly because my older daughter’s list was so long, I didn’t really want to know the amount!  This year, I was curious to see how I did with shopping, so I put it all together.  I did my shopping at KMart, Staples, and Target, and I did buy some extra pencils, markers, and crayons for use at home and as supplies at school wear out.

First, let me talk about the savings programs that I used to help get extra savings.

Staples Back to School Savings Pass: You buy the pass for $10, then get 15% off all kinds of supplies, there is a full list here.  You can buy a pass now through 8/31/13, and the pass is valid to use once a day on purchases through 9/21/13.  So, if you are a teacher, have multiple children, or even have an office that you need to stock, this can be a great deal.  Mine has already paid for itself in the savings I got, and I still have 2 months to use it if there are more supplies we need to pick up or just for things for our home office.

Target Cartwheel: This is a new program at Target.  You sign up for a Cartwheel account, then browse through the offers.  There are a lot of school supply related offers right now!  You add offers to your Cartwheel, and you can have more offers available at once when you have friends who are also participating or if you unlock badges.  After you add offers, you can click to redeem your offers and print, or if you have a smartphone, you can download the free Cartwheel app to pull up the bar code on your phone to scan at checkout.  I used it for the first time last week, and I saved $2.20.   Doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but it will add up over time.  The limitation is the number of slots you have for savings, but if you know there are specific things you are going to buy, you can add those for that shopping trip.  For the Cartwheel offers I used, I linked to in the post below.

Target REDcard: 5% back on every day purchases at Target.  Plus, you can link your card to eligible schools, and that school will receive 1% of your REDcard purchases.  So, for the items I got at Target with my REDcard, I saved money and earned money for the school too.

Now, back to my numbers!

2013 School Supplies

Left side box, Katie’s supplies for 2nd grade:

24 #2 pencils (in zipper bag from last year): Staples, $3, minus 15% savings pass,  $2.54
Pencil sharpener: KMart, $1.29
Pink eraser: KMart, $0.60
School box: KMart, $1.49
Crayola 10 count markers: Target, $0.99, minus 5% REDcard savings, $0.94
Crayola 24 count crayons: Target, $0.50, minus 5% REDcard savings, $0.47
Crayola 12 count colored pencils: Staples, $2, minus 15% savings pass, $1.70
Scissors: same from last year
4 glue sticks: Target, $0.30 for 2 pack, minus 5% REDcard savings, $0.57
2 boxes of 160 count Kleenex: KMart, $0.99 each, $1.98
1 bottle of hand soap: Target, $4.49, minus 5% Cartwheel savings and 5% REDcard savings, $4.05
1 container Clorox wipes: Staples, 3 pack for $5, $1.67 each, minus 15% savings pass, $1.42
1 bottle hand sanitizer: Target, $4.04, minus 5% Cartwheel savings and 5% REDcard savings, $3.63
Plastic ruler: KMart, $0.50
12 count package of Expo dry erase markers: Staples, $10, minus 15% savings pass, $8.50
1 package wide ruled paper: KMart, $0.25 (special buy for Shop Your Way Rewards members when you spent $5, which I spent buying the Kleenex and a few other things)
4 plastic 2 pocket folders: Target, $0.50 each, minus 5% Cartwheel savings and 5% REDcard savings, $1.80 total
1 ream colored copy paper: Staples, $10.99, minus 15% savings pass, $9.34
1 ream white copy paper: Staples, $6.99, minus 15% savings pass and $5.99 rebate, FREE!
Total for Katie: $53.88 before savings, $41.07 after savings

Right side box, Sophia’s supplies for Pre-K:

1 inch 3 ring binder: Staples, $2 minus 15% savings pass, $1.70
1 plastic 2 pocket folders: Target, $0.50, minus 5% Cartwheel savings and 5% REDcard savings, $0.45
1 ream white card stock paper (not shown): Amazon, $11.99, used Discover Cashback Bonus dollars to buy, so free to me
1 ream colored copy paper: Staples, $10.99, minus 15% savings pass, $9.34
1 ream white copy paper: Staples, $6.99, minus 15% savings pass and $5.99 rebate, FREE!
1 nap mat and blanket (not shown): Amazon, $14.98, used remaining Discover Cashback Bonus dollars to buy, so $3.74 for me
1 full change of clothes: used playclothes from home, shoes that are starting to wear out for this
1 bottle hand sanitizer: Target, $4.04, minus 5% Cartwheel savings and 5% REDcard savings, $3.63
Crayola 10 count markers: Target, $0.99, minus 5% REDcard savings, $0.94
Crayola 24 count crayons: Target, $0.50, minus 5% REDcard savings, $0.47
Glitter glue: Target, $2.99, minus 5% REDcard savings, $2.84
8 Glue sticks: Staples, $1 for 4 pack, minus 15% savings pass, $1.70
1 container Wet Ones antibacterial hand wipes: Staples, $2.99, minus 15% savings pass, $2.54
1 container Clorox wipes: Staples, 3 pack for $5, $1.67 each, minus 15% savings pass, $1.42
2 boxes of 160 count Kleenex: KMart, $0.99 each, $1.98
1 package baby wipes: Target, $1.64 each, were buy 1, get 1 for $1, minus 5% Cartwheel savings and 5% REDcard savings, $1.19
1 refillable water bottle: Target, $3.99, minus 10% Cartwheel savings and 5% REDcard savings, $2.57
Total for Sophia: $70.24 before savings and credit card rewards, $34.51 after all savings

Total before savings: $124.12
Sales tax, 7.85%: $9.74
Total with tax: $133.86

Total after savings: $75.58
Staples Savings pass: $10
Sales tax, 7.85%: $5.93
Total spent on school supplies: $91.51

My savings: $42.35

Man, more than I thought, but without using the savings programs and my cash back from my credit card I had saved up, it would have been a lot more.  Plus, this total doesn’t really take into account the before sales prices on items either, and the regular price of markers and crayons any other time of year, is 2-3 times more than the prices right now.  I’m pretty happy, considering our list had some higher priced items, like card stock and colored copy paper.  Getting the regular copy paper for free helps balance that out!

So, are you done with school supply shopping?  What great deals did you get?

I know that Staples still has the ream of white multipurpose paper for $1 after rebate.  KMart is having a sale on all Crayola items, and Target has some Crayola items on sale as well.  All have other various cheap items, and probably will continue to have cheap items for the next few weeks.

Note: Most of these sales were only for the week that I purchased, ending on 7/20.  Check your sale ads and stores for current pricing and sales.

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