I confess that I tend to put things off and wait until the last minute a lot, especially when it comes to things like back to school shopping. First of all, here in Washington, we start late- like usually the first week of September. So while all of my other mama friends all over the country are stocking up and getting their kids’ supplies in July and August, I’m sitting back thinking “Suckers! I’ve got until September.” Well, that plan always fails when the back to school sales come and go, everything has been picked over, and I’m left scrambling on Labor Day trying to find all of these very specific classroom items on my children’s school shopping list. It happens pretty much every year. Not this time! This year I vowed to get things done early, and I even saved money and helped out my local school in one easy stop at Walmart, where I did back to school shopping like a boss.
OK, I already mentioned what a slacker I am when it comes to all things back to school. This year I’ve got two kids to shop for, plus a very needy, active 1 year old at home, so I pretty much need the easiest and least painful way as possible. That means getting everything in one place and not spending a fortune, and I know exactly where to go for that kind of thing: Walmart. It really is the place to go for one-stop shopping. Plus, you can’t beat their prices, especially on school supplies.
I zipped down to my local Walmart store and thankfully, they had some very well-stocked aisles! That’s the key to successful back to school shopping: go early. Sounds simple enough, but trust me, you don’t want to have to play tug-of-war with another mom over the last gold-dipped 3 ring binder the teacher is requesting this year (kidding). In all seriousness though, you don’t want to drive all over town looking for what they need, or worse…show up the first day and grimace while you explain to the teacher why you don’t have everything on the list. Been there, done that. Sorry teachers- I know, I suck at this.
Did I mention that I helped out my local schools while doing my back to school shopping? You might be asking how I did this, and I’ll explain: box tops. Box tops for education- have you heard of them? We’ve been collecting them for years in my household, ever since my oldest child was in kindergarten and we first heard of the program. Basically, you see them in the store on items, clip the box tops from select brands, and turn them into your school, where they trade them in for cash. The school gets $.10 for each box top. 10 box tops = $1.00, which adds up really quickly! We have grandparents, aunts, uncles, and family friends who clip box tops for us, so every few months we’ll get a little bag full of a hundred or so extras to turn in along with the 100 or so that we have. 100 box tops is $10 for the school! It’s such an amazing program and such a simple way to raise funds for local schools, which we all know could use some extra cash.
Walmart has specially marked Kimberly Clark products with bonus box tops on them so you can shop back to school like a boss and stock up on your family’s household paper needs. I already use and love these paper towels- the Viva Vantage ones really are my favorite brand, so those were a no-brainer. The rest is all stuff we needed and I opted for these brands simply because of the bonus box tops. I do that a lot! If I’m looking at a certain product and I see one similar with box tops, I almost always grab the one with the box tops on it. Check out the bonus box tops on these!
Just with these 3 products I got 20 box tops, which equals $2.00 for the school just in one quick shopping trip. If every kid turned in 20 box tops just one time during the school year that would be around $1200 (our elementary school has roughly 600 kids). Now imagine if more people donated 20 box tops each month!
Don’t have any kids in school? Don’t worry, I’m sure there is someone in your life that you can clip box tops for. Please don’t throw them away! It’s like throwing away money, and it doesn’t take much effort. Clip them and save them for your niece, nephew, grandchildren, cousins, neighbors, kids from church, etc. Or, just give them directly to the school. I’m sure they would appreciate it. It’s like giving them cash! I wish I could say I had some fancy-shmancy box top holder, but I just use a zip top baggy held onto the fridge with a magnet. It works.
So that’s what I call back to school shopping like a boss! I got the school supplies early (in one stop), stocked up my house on paper supplies, and I earned bonus box tops for my kids’ school.
To help kick off your back to school shopping and start your box top collection I’m giving away $25 paypal cash -OR- a 25 Visa gift card (winner’s choice). Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below!
No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 or older to enter. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and will be notified via email. Winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize before a new winner is chosen.
What are your tips for going back to school? I’d love to hear them! You can join in the conversation on social media- just use the hashtag #BSTLikeABoss, and make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I’ll be looking for your tips 🙂