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Back to School Shopping Trip: Staples (week of July 22)

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As you know, back-to-school shopping starts in the summer (now!), so we’ve already started hitting the stores.  In this article, we'll show you how we got $30 worth of great items for free and actually got $2 back!

For a bunch of great money saving tips on this big, you can read our article Back to School: 12 Easy Ways to Save Money This School Year. While that article will give you great tips for your overall shopping experience, we thought it would be helpful to outline one of our trips to a store to show you exactly how we saved money (and even got money back).

As we point out in our article, one great way to save money is to take advantage of the big “door buster” type sales that stores like Staples and others have leading up to the school year. In most cases, they’ll do new offers each week, so keep your eyes peeled. The goal is the take advantage of the best deals while avoiding the not-so-great deals.

For this particular trip we went to: Staples.

If it just so happens that you need the same items I bought, you can use this method exactly and save yourself money the same way I did. If you need different items, you can still use this list as an example for how to save money.

Without further ado...

Buy your stuff: Here are items I needed and was able to get at a low cost or even for free. Keep in mind that there are other items my family needs, but—if I couldn’t find a great deal on it—I didn’t buy those items during this particular trip. Instead, I’ll hold out and look for better deals.
  • 1 pack Staples Stickies flags (#474649) x $0.25 = $0.25
  • 2 packs of cap erasers (#167601) x $0.01 = $0.02
  • 2 packs of index cards (#296608) x $0.01 = $0.02
  • 1 pack of Zebra mechanical pencils (#710706) x $4.00 = $4.00 with $4.00 easy rebate
  • 1 pack of Pentel ballpoint pens (#474054) x $4.00 = $4.00 with $4.00 easy rebate
  • 2 packs of printer paper (#513099) x $6.99 = $13.98 with $11.98 easy rebate*
  • 1 Kaspersky Internet Security Software (#866155) x $11.00 = $11.00 with $11.00 easy rebate
Total before other discounts: $33.27 + tax

Add a coupon: Then, I used a coupon for $5 off $30 purchase from their mailed circular which many of you probably received as well (for the few that didn’t, you can get it here).

Use your rewards card: If you have rewards pass, save another $3.34. Note: even without a rewards card, you’ll still end up saving money, though we do recommend using rewards cards at stores where you shop frequently.

Total after coupons and rewards = $24.93 + tax ($26.68 after tax in my home state of NJ)

Submit your rebates: In my case, I was able to submit for $28.88 in rebates and—since I filed online—I didn’t even have to pay for postage.

So, after all that, can we get a drum roll please...

Total Cost: $0! In fact, I got all those items for free and even got $2.20 cash back!

So, that’s how we saved on this back-to-school trip. Now that we’ve shared our trip… tell us what do you think?  If you liked this article, let us know and we’ll outline more of our back-to-school shopping trips. 

And, just in case you didn't pick up on that last part... it was a hint.  But, let me say it again and, this time, without beating around the bush: we want to hear from you!! So, leave us a comment here, on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.



*Another option for this paper is to buy the HP Photo Paper (#809757) for $9.99 with $8.99 easy rebate limit of four. You can buy 3 of those plus a few $0.01 items to get to $30 threshold and use the $5 coupon, plus you will save money with rewards.
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