Here's a tip: Make it a point to check out all the SALES that the office supply stores have during the month of August.
You owe it to yourself to do this. You know you'll kick yourself later when a teacher tells you that they got THEIR folders for only a penny!
If you're a first year teacher and haven't heard, here's the news:Office Depot, Office Max, and Staplesall have wonderful "loss leaders" during August to launch their back-to-school push. A "loss leader" is something that they stock up on, then offer at a huge discount, to get people to come into their stores. They know that once a tired mom, hauling 5 kids around gets in their store, she'll probably buy everything else she needs. A savvy shopper will not. YOU be that savvy shopper.
Click on any of the links to check them out now.
Today I ran around for you. So if you live in MICHIGAN and you're reading this the week of Monday, August 16thbefore Saturday at 9 p.m. the sale prices are good for the week.
If you live elsewhere, the above stores all told me that although they are everywhere throughout the US, their sale items and promotions are all different. The best thing to do is to go online and check out their ad specials. Even if you're reading this after the 22nd, Simply click on any of the store names and you can check out their ads to see what is currently on sale.
One thing I like about Staplesis their PENNY sales! Where else can you buy folders and a pack of 20 pencils for a penny? The penny sales do require a $5 minimum purchase, which is not hard to meet because of their $1 specials.
If there's a 'limit" on a featured item, teachers ALWAYS get a "special limit" of 25! THANK YOU Staples.
Their "Teacher Appreciation Day" this year in MI is this Saturday 'til 2
They have a teacher rewards card where you gather points and get a certificate in the mail for a dollar amount off.
They do have an expiration so don't carry them around in your purse or wallet forever.
In Grand Rapids, MI this week the "extreme deal" for a penny are spiral notebooks. Copy paper is also 1¢ after the rebate.
The dollar deals that were perfect for me were the Crayola 10 - pack bright color markers, the 5 - pack black Sharpie markers, and the Crayola colored pencils.
Again, stores vary state wide. All managers told me to check online first, and if you have to drive a distance, give them a jingle on the phone to make sure they have things in stock.
Click on the box that says "Weekly add"to see what their specials are in your area.
Office Max will double a limit for teachers, however limits are often 3's. You can always ask a manager, but the one I talked with today said the limit came from the corporate office. Office Depotdoesn't give a special limit to teachers, but they do a percentage off if you have a teacher's rewards card. Again, it doesn't hurt to ask.
Office Depot has a Teacher Appreciation breakfast on their Teacher Appreciation Day as well as specials.
Super Deals at Office Depot this week, clear plastic pencil pouches reg. $1.99 only .5¢ (wow!) limit 3, Children's Fiskars scissors with a matching colored eraser $1.00 Great color selection.
When you go Online click their weekly add, you'll get a window to type in your zipcode.
Office Max had their Teacher Appreciation Day yesterday. Sorry. Sometimes you can go in and ask if they have any left. They were kind enough to give me one today. It was a circle zippered pouch with a bag inside.
Super Deals this week at Office Max are: 24 count Crayola crayons for .25¢ limit 3 (teachers can get 6) wooden rulers .5¢ same limits, black or blue 10 - count Bic pens .10 ¢ same limits. They also have some "Buy 2 get one FREE" items going on as well.
When you go online, there's a place to enter your zipcode to get the specifics for your area.
I also checked a few other places...
The Dollar Tree Store is one of my favorite places to shop! It has more "teachery" things than usual including the durable bags that all sorts of stores are selling now as we "Go Green". These had cute school designs on them including one that said Project Bag.
When I taught 1st grade I sent Busy Bags home with my students. They couldn't wait for their turn to take home the Guess-ti-mate Jar bag, the Bear bag, the Pattern bag, etc. I'll write more about Busy Bags in another Blog.
I know stores vary, but ours had a plethora of brightly colored tubs and square boxes that are perfect for table caddies for supplies. They had borders, posters, die cuts, journals, certificates, stickers, stamps, art supplies, K & 1st grade workbooks, to name just a few items.
Our store also has little aprons. I bought a few. Not just for the dress up box, but for my Class Helper of the Day.
I don't mess with a calendar filled with Helpers of the Day. I stopped that after my 1st year of teaching. I just didn't like all the work that entailed. Trying to remember who had done what job, remembering to change it before I went home, when I was half brain dead.
Now I have one special person of the day who gets to do all of the jobs. I have a Mystery Envelope that I laminate. Each child has a name card like the ones that I have on their tables. I slowly slide the child's name out letter-by-letter 'til someone finally recognizes it is them.
The only job that they don't get to do is Snack Helper. The person who brought the snack is the helper for that and they get to choose a friend.
So if you haven't visited a Dollar Store lately, as Shakespeare would have said: "Hi thee hence! And get thee to a Dollar Store" You'll have fun.
Toys R Ushas some cute and unusual supplies, but no super dollar deals. If you are buying a backpack for your own children they have a nice selection of popular characters and you get a lunch box /bag free with a purchase of one. .
Target has the small Elmer's Squeeze Bottle School Glue for .25¢ a bottle, Glue Sticks 3 for only .25¢ the clerk told me there was no minimum as she said a customer the day before bought over 100!
They also have Crayola Crayons 24 count for .25¢ no minimum for them either.
I always find some cool things in their Dollar Deal bins too.
Meijers is also a big regional chain store. Their loss leaders this week are .15¢ pocket folders and .15¢ spiral notebooks. In the past when I've told them that I was a teacher and needed 25 of something they graciously let me have a higher minimum.
Wal-Mart has the plastic pencil boxes that I use for my treasure boxes for .60¢ and Elmer's Squeeze Bottle School Glue for .25¢ a bottle.
All of these stores are my "favorite haunts" along with Hobby Lobby, Michaels Crafts, JoAnn Fabrics, Schuler Books, & Barnes and Noble. The last 3 give discounts to teachers. Simply ask to fill out a form. You need to show a canceled payroll check &/or some other school ID. The 1st two usually have a 40% to 50% off one regularly priced item coupon in their weekly online ad.
I hope you found this info valuable. It will be archived so you can check links quickly.