My two favorite shopping seasons are Christmas and back to school! I love the excitement around back to school shopping, the anticipation of a new school year and most of all new school supplies. I love school supplies! (Really I have kind of a weird thing for school supplies, just go with it.)
I am, however, acutely aware that for some families shopping for school supplies is a financial burden. In recent years, more and more organizations have step up to provide school supplies, which is awesome. But there are also more and more children who need assistance in getting new supplies. Filling that gap is often left to teachers who find themselves digging into their own pockets to make sure each child in their care has what they need to succeed in the classroom. Those who give so much to our students find themselves giving more and more.
For the third year in a row, I am posting a back to school series each week about the best deals available on school supplies. Nearly all of the items I purchase will be donated locally, and I encourage my readers to pick up extra supplies (especially of the free or super cheap items) to share with others. This year I have also joined Elmer’s Bag it Forward program to tell you about what Elmer’s is doing to help and a fun way you can help without spending a dime. (Yes, a free way to donate school supplies.)
There are two ways to shop for school supplies – store hopping for all of the hottest deals or one-stop shopping. If you are a one stop shopper, then Walmart is the place to shop for school supplies. Not only does it have consistently low prices throughout the back-to-school season, but Walmart will also price match. They won’t price match the crazy door-buster deals, but you can get all of the local sales prices at Walmart.
With my Bag it Forward budget of $25, I set off to go shopping. Arriving at Walmart, I quickly found what I was looking for — the Elmer’s 1st Day App display, which holds all of the school supply lists.
Why was I looking for this display? Because I knew this display would help expand my donation. The Elmer’s 1st Day app is a photo storing app that allows you to take pictures of your students’ first day of school each year and of other significant events and then organize them in a sort of digital photo journal, adding captions and notes to share the memories.
Remember I told you I would tell you about how to donate school supplies for free? Here it is. For every photo uploaded, Elmer’s will donate one product to The Kids in Need Foundation up to 200,000 products. How awesome is that!??
Because I want to make sure all 200,000 products are donated, I used the app to take pictures on my iPhone of my shopping trip. Chec out all of my awesomesause shopping pictures. You can download the app online via the website, from iTunes, the Google Play Store or with QR code on the display at Walmart.
The best deal I found at Walmart was for glue sticks — just $0.10 each! Because the local kindergarten school supply list requests 20 glue sticks, that’s a great deal. I picked up 30. FYI – these are individual sticks, make sure you have a bag for them or they will fall out of your cart at every turn. Yes, I speak from experience.
So how did I do? I got all of this for $27.94 (including tax)!
For my Bag it Forward project, I decided to donate my school supplies to a teacher at a local elementary school. The elementary school I choose isn’t the poorest of the poor, it is a middle of the road school with a large pocket of homeless kids. I choose this school because while the schools that are the most stricken receive a lot of a local help, the middle of the road schools that often get over looked. Because I do not know any of the teachers at this school, I am going meet with the guidance councilor. If anyone knows which teacher needs the most help providing supplies, it’s the guidance counselor.
Everything is all bagged up and ready to go. As soon as teachers head back to school, I will pass along my bag of goodies. Buy then, I should have three times this amount of supplies collected through my personal back to school project to add to my donation.
I challenge you to join me and Bag it Forward!
— Jen (@SuburbanMomClub) July 20, 2012
Disclosure – I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Elmer’s, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own. #BagItForward #CBias #SocialFabric