Back to School Monday: $5.59 for all my school supplies!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I wanted to spend no more than $5 on my school supply lists for both kids. While no one probably even paid attention to my ramblings, that public declaration got me fired up.

I super-shopped the sales in my pursuit of the best deals. Why pay $.15 for a spiral notebook when I could wait a week and pay just a penny?!

I went a little over my $5 mark, but I am really proud to say that we only spent $5.59 (before tax) on the entire list of supplies for my first grader! Plus, my pre-K’er only needs a box of wipes and a box of tissues, both of which I’ll grab from my basement stockpile, so no additional (new) costs there either.

Back to School for Less than $5

Here’s a quick peak at what I had to buy for his list, with the price I paid for each item and the store I bought it at.

2 boxes Crayola Markers 8-count – FREE after rebate, Walgreens
2 boxes Crayola Crayons 8-count – FREE, from my office supply stockpile
2 plastic school boxes – $.59 each, Walgreens
48 #2 pencils – FERE, from my office supply stockpile
1 purple spiral notebook – $.01, Staples
1 orange spiral notebook – $.01, Staples
1 package fine dry erase markers – $1.00, Staples
3 medium erasers – $.50, Kmart
1 blue pocket folder – $.05, Office Depot
1 purple pocket folder – $.05, Office Depot
2 Elmer’s glue 4 oz. – $.19 each, HyVee
2 Elmer’s glue sticks – FREE, from my office supply stockpile
2 rolls Scotch tape – $.16 each, Target
1 pair safety scissors – FREE, my office supply stockpile
1 dry erase eraser – $1.59, Target (Ideally I would have paid only $1 at Staples a few weeks ago, but I missed the sale while on vacation)
1 pack pencil top erasers – $.50, Kmart

TOTAL = $5.59

My rough calculations are that paying full price for these items would have run me $35 or more. So spending one-seventh of that sounds pretty good to me!

Stay tuned tomorrow when I tell you my best tips for super-sizing your savings on school supplies or any other big shopping list you have.

In the meantime, I want to hear how you did on your back-to-school lists? Did you score any bargains you are especially proud of? Tell me all about it!


  1. I get your posts by email so there is no easy way to leave a comment but wanted to let you know that I really enjoy all your blogs.
    I’ve taken a lot of your suggestions. I’ve sent letters to some of my favorite (expensive) companies. Got some coupons for Earth Balance soy milk, although I was hoping for the buttery sticks! Oh well…
    You inspired me to scour the ads for school supply sales. I started my shopping on July 13th and spent a total of $84.03 for 3 kids lists (and that includes wipes, dry erase markers, a dry erase board, 3 inch binders, 2 inch binders, the 64 count crayons- 2 of them- why can’t they just use the 25 cent 24 pack!? lots of notebooks, etc.) I think I saved the most by taking advantage of Staples 1 penny deals EVERY week. (I think they know me by name now!). Walgreens also had surprisingly good deals. I’ve never gone there except for prescriptions in the past. I even have a few things to return, so I should be about $62 by the time I’m done. I really wanted to be at $50 but since I don’t have a stockpile of things to snatch from, I even had to buy markers!
    A woman stopped me at the grocery last week and asked me how I got all my coupons, as she overheard me explaining to my kids why I was buying so much Jello sugar free pudding (bogo plus coupons!)
    Thanks again for all your tips.

    • @Naomi – your comment made my day! I’m so glad you’ve done so well and I bet next year’s school supply shopping will be even easier! It’s shocking how expensive it can be, isn’t it?! I love that that woman stopped you at the grocery store – paying it forward 🙂 Did you get the pudding to make that dessert by any chance?! BTW, if you want to leave a comment while you’re reading your email, the title of the post should be hyperlinked in your email. So in theory you should be able to just click on that link and get into the right post on the blog to leave a comment. Thanks again! (The boys loved their Pieces candy… they even shared with Nili… glad the bikes were enjoyed!)

    • Omi,
      Do you print your coupons or do you get the paper? Do you know if Winn Dixie or Publix have double coupon days?

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