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This month Dollar General tasked me with getting back to school needs on a budget. I was given a $25 gift card to see just how much we could get. I’m a DG Ambassador this year, which means for fun challenges like this. Thankfully these challenges have always involved shopping for deals and never something out of an episode of Chopped…
For anyone trying to save on Back to School gear there are a few tips that will help before you even hit the store.
First, make a list of what you need and stick to it. We don’t want to head into the store and wander aimlessly grabbing things we think we’ll need. It’s like a kid in a candy store at this point, you are a parent who has high hopes for the school year and you’ll buy the whole store!
Second, tell your kids that we will go character free this year. Going for products that have specific characters or trademarks costs a lot of money. Instead of buying a brand, why not buy them a pack of that characters stickers and let them decorate their lunchbox, pencils, notebooks etc. It’s a lot cheaper!
Third… ponder leaving the kids at home completely. If you have younger kids like me, they only add things to the cart if you bring them. There aren’t enough crayons or markers in the world for a 5 year old. I promise.
Last (and most important) head to Dollar General online and print out coupons. Not only do they have a great coupon for $5 off a $30 purchase most Saturday’s, they also have a number of great offers just for back to school shopping! Some of my favorites:
- Buy $10 in School Supplies, get a pack of Crayola Crayons for 1¢
- $1 off Elmer’s Glue Sticks, 5 ct.
- Buy $7.50 in Bic Stationary Products, get Bic Cover It for 1¢
Taking my own advice I hit my brand new DG (it opened 12 days ago, not that I’m counting). We needed pencils, notebooks, glue, pens and colored pencils. Thankfully back to school for homeschooling isn’t so daunting. We also wanted some pocket folders but I couldn’t find them anywhere in the store.
I was excited to find glue bottles for 50¢, but the most exciting find was actually 5 subject spiral notebooks for $2. Right now you can find lots of deals on 1 subject books for 75¢ but none on larger notebooks!
(4) 5 Subject notebooks, $2 ea.
(3) Crayola Colored Pencils, 12 ct., $2 ea.
(4) DG Office Glue, 4 oz, 50¢ ea.
(1) Elmers Glue Sticks, 5 ct., $2.25
(2) Crayola Markers, 8 ct., $2 ea.
(4) Composition Notebooks, $1 ea.
(5) Bic Pens, 10 ct., $1.50 ea.
(1) BIC Cover It
(1) Crayola Crayons, 24 ct.
(2) – $1.50 off (2) Bic Pens coupons (on the BIC facebook page)
1¢ Crayons store coupon
1¢ Bic Cover It store coupon
-$1 off Elmers 5 ct., store coupon
-$5 off $30 DG Coupon (my store requires these last)
Total Due: $25.77 before tax!
In the end I paid $2.57 for everything after tax and the gift card. I hope DG is proud!
For anyone with older kiddos I was also quite impressed with their selection of dorm gear. They have lights starting at $8, laundry hampers, chairs and blankets all starting at $10.
Have you finished your back to school shopping yet? If not, many of the coupons I mentioned above don’t expire until 9/14 so print them out and start saving!