Yesterday the participants in the RVA Coupon Pros School Supply Challenge gathered at Kroger to see how much we had bought with our $10 budgets, and to donate the results to the Boys & Girls Club.
This year, I set my goal to collect $100 worth on supplies with my $10. I kept it simple – no rebates, and actually only used one manufacturer’s coupon. So if you think getting great deals is complicated and involves lots of coupons, this shows it doesn’t have to be! In total I made 7 trips, shopping at Office Max, Office Depot, and Kroger.
Here’s the breakdown of what I got with my $9.99:
Total retail value = $104.87
I bet you’d like to know who won – The top three were Erin McGarvey ($567.74), Anjie Henley who collected ($449.25) and Sarah Metzgar ($302.78). Talk about some super couponers! Althogether, sixteen folks participated and collected $3,046.63 worth!
Want to read more? Check out yesterday’s “More Bang for Your Buck” segment on NBC12!
Kroger donated $1000 as well!
If you’re here because you heard about the Frugal School Supply Challenge on the Jimmy Barrett show this morning, welcome! Hope some of you can join us collecting school supplies for the Boys & Girls Club – all the details, rules and spreadsheet can be found on the RVA Coupon Pros Facebook page. There’s also more info in this post. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have, and you can also contact Eleanor at the blog Saving Our Way who is organizing this year’s challenge.
If you’re interested in finding ways to save money in Richmond, I hope you’ll stick around! I cover free events around town, daily deal websites, local store sales and coupons, second-hand resources and more. You can subscribe to receive daily email updates, or keep up with the latest Richmond Bargains on Facebook or Twitter.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember the Frugal Blogger Challenges I’ve posted about, in which some other bloggers and myself tried to collect as many school supplies, food items, and toiletry items to donate to charity with just a $10 budget each time.
Exciting news: The school supply challenge is back, and this year we’re asking YOU to participate too! Are you up for the challenge?
Local deal bloggers are partnering with Kroger this month to encourage readers to collect as many supplies as possible with only $10 out-of-pocket cost. The donations will benefit a great local cause: The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Richmond.
And to sweeten the deal (as if the thrill of bargain shopping and reward of being able to help others weren’t enough) Kroger is offering prizes to the top shoppers! –
1st Place: $200 Kroger Gift Card
2nd Place: $100 Kroger Gift Card
3rd Place: $50 Kroger Gift Card
Kroger will also match donations up to $1000.
The challenge starts TODAY, so get shopping! You can find all the details and rules on RVA Coupon Pros Facebook page.
Last year, the four of us collected over $500 worth! As the winner (by a very narrow margin), my advice is to hit the sales hard early and use as much of your budget as possible so you aren’t scrambling to spend it in the end. The discounts are often better well before school starts. For more of my thoughts, check out my post about last year’s results.
Here are some of the bloggers helping with this year’s challenge (from a kick-off lunch at Kroger yesterday):
Tiffany (Young and Frugal in Virginia), Me, Angie (My Four Monkeys), Eleanor (Saving Our Way), Anjie (The Frugal Freelancer), Carl York (Kroger Mid-Atlantic), Ann (Ann’s Crazy World)
Not pictured: Kim (Day By Day Savings), Stephanie (Coupon Clippin Mommy)
This was a great experience last year, and I hope some readers will join me in helping the Boys & Girls Club this year! (And win!)
The Richmond frugal bloggers were at it again last month, this time collecting toiletries on a $10 budget to donate to Safe Harbor. In this round, my competition was Angie, Eleanor, Kim, Stephanie, and Tiffany.
My contribution was total $90.33 shelf cost for $10.14. I totally forgot to take a photo of just my items, but here is the group’s collection (minus Stephanie’s, who couldn’t make it):
Kim won (again!) breaking the $100 mark with $106.52 worth of items for $10.32 spent! Altogether, we collected $468.81 worth and spent $59.13.
90% of my stuff came from Kroger and CVS, with a few Target freebies. I never even made it to Walgreen’s or Rite Aid. I expected this challenge to be easier than it turned out to be – just not lots of super sales in February (no free razors, for instance). We collected oodles of Dove deodorant though, when Kroger had it for $2 combined with the $2 coupon, and plenty of free toothpaste, of course (Most of us can’t remember the last time we paid for toothpaste!)
I tried to get our school supply donations organized a little bit before I handed them off to Kate S. for delivery to the Neighborhood Resource Center, and took a few more shots of the final results:
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!