4 bloggers, 40 dollars, and $500.01 worth of school supplies collected for the Fulton Hill Neighborhood Resource Center! Wow!
Eleanor from Saving Our Way, Tiffany from Young and Frugal in Virginia, Stephanie form Coupon Clipping Mommy and myself began the RVA Blogger School Supply Challenge five weeks ago with $10 to buy as many school supplies as we could.
And it turned out to be a lot! Here is what $500 in school supplies looks like:
I actually “won” the challenge, with $163.63 worth. However, it was a tight race!
What I acquired with my $9.97:
Total Retail Value: $163.63
A few thoughts and observations:
-First, I LOVE being a deal shopper because it enables me to get more for my money while simultaneously giving more away!
-Some school supply items (like crayons, pens and notebooks) got better sales and coupons than others (like zippered pencil bags, scissors and composition books). While I could have saved even more money spending my whole budget on pens and crayons, I did try to include some other items requested by school supply lists as well.
-Related: Since we were judging winner by who got the most retail value for $10, it did bias me away from Walmart, where “regular” prices are lower. Plus, the more expensive stores, like grocery stores and office supply stores, offered better super sales in hopes of attracting families doing back-to-school shopping and who will purchase additional non-promotional items.
-When you’re using coupons to pay pennies for school supplies, tax definitely becomes a factor; it ate up $1.28 of my budget. I did try to take advantage of tax-free weekend
-I got the most mileage out of Kroger’s school supply Catalina deal – all the crayons and markers and most of the pens were bought rolling Catalina coupons into the next transaction. Almost $100 worth. The other stores I shopped at were Target, Office Depot, Office Max, Martin’s and Walgreens.
-Finally, it was a fun challenge! I enjoyed working towards a goal and had a blast meeting up with my terrific fellow bloggers last night. We have already decided to tackle another charity project!