Friday, July 25, 2014

Time To Get Organized, Part Three!

I have found that a key to organization is planning ahead.  Easier said, than done, I know but if you have a goal in mind you can save time, energy and money!  Starting in early to mid-July the office supply stores starting running major sales.  These sales range from supplies for a penny, a quarter, a dollar, buy 2 get one free and mail-in rebates that make items free!
For example, in previewing next week's ad at Office Max/Depot (they merged!), I see that next week they will have 2 pocket folders on sale for a penny, 8 packs of pencils for a penny and 12-inch rulers for a penny! Further scrolling inside shows buy two get one free on packs of sharpies and dry erase markers.  Over the last two weeks they have also had index cards for $0.10/100, little pencil sharpeners for a penny, 25 packs of the pencil eraser caps for a penny. 

My boxes thus far
So, the question becomes how do you take advantage of these sales without buying unnecessary supplies because you get caught up in the savings?  I start by making a list before the sales season starts of what I need.  This usually consists of rulers, colored pencils, folders, index cards, glue sticks, more protractors, pencils and erasers, sticky notes, dry erase markers, pens, etc.  This year that list was a little longer because I am making group supply boxes for projects.  (see my post here).   Once I have my list made I start scanning the ads weekly (the previews for the next week are usually available on Friday of the previous week) to see what is coming up. 

Then I go in to "extreme couponer" mode as my husband calls it!  I plan out my route, my day and will sometimes take someone with me (like my husband) so they buy some too!  Since many of the stores have limits per purchase/person you may need to plan on going to multiple stores or on multiple days to get enough (if you want, for example, a classroom set of rulers).  I'm lucky in that I have two Office Maxes and one Office Depot in a two mile radius of each other.  (Or maybe that's not quite so lucky...)  I've also been known to hit Staples but since there isn't one close, it takes more planning.
Other things to keep in mind, if you sign up for a store reward card, some of the stores will allow you double the limit.  It's not advertised, but if you ask most give it!  Additionally, the major office supply stores have "Teacher Appreciation Days" in August.  During this time, you can get a canvas bag with samples, a 20-25% off your entire purchase coupon book and usually a coupon book to use over the next month as well! 
Searching online Office Max/Depot has their days scheduled for different states at different times.  If you click here you can put in your zip code and find the dates for your area!  I have searched and searched online, but unfortunately cannot find the dates for Staples.  You may need to ask in your local store.
If you are able to invest the time and energy, you can save a great deal of money on the supplies you
need!  In the picture below is the result of one stop.  I got enough erasers for the year, glue bottles and pencil sharpeners for all my boxes for $4.50.  I saved $12.00 on supplies that I needed.  Next week I'll be hitting the stores for the rulers, folders and pencils for pennies for sure!
One stop - cost me $4.50

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