Saturday, July 21, 2012

FREE office supplies + overage

It's that time of year again...back-to-school sales are in full swing!  That means Staples is offering up insane freebies, penny items, and coupons that amount to TONS of free office supplies.  For those of you who aren't believers, see below.  Staples has become our favorite place to get office deals and recycle ink.   (If you don't recycle ink cartridges, feel free to give them to us!  We use the rewards to buy packing tape, ink, and other office essentials).

So here's the loot:

8 Staples legal pads
8 Avery 5-pack dividers
8 packs of Staples supreme, double-sided photo paper
2 Avery 1 inch binders
2 BIC mechanical pencils with grip
1 Zebra retractable ball point pens

Total Spent:  $113.70
Amount Returned through Easy Rebates:  $120.50

You read that right.
These deals were not only FREE, but were a MONEYMAKER!  $6.80 overage.

If you aren't familiar with Easy Rebates, they are 1) Easy (online form) and 2) Checks that are mailed to you within 6-8 weeks and can be deposited into your bank account.

In order to make these deals a success, you often have to buy multiples of certain items. 
1 solution to this is to DONATE items to schools or those in need.

Usually, we find creative ways to use these items.  We will use the dividers in binders to get organized with some of the kid's schoolwork, owner's manuals that begin to pile up, music binders, or anything else we think of that could use some organization.  Last time we bought photo paper, we thought we would never use it (because we don't print photos at home), but we were surprised how we used it ALL up!  In the past, we have used photo paper for crafts for teachers, flyers for Christopher's fund raiser,  or anything we wanted to be printed on a nice thick, high-quality paper.  This time, I am planning on using it to print ABC Bible Verse Flashcards I found online and other schooling projects.  Thanks to Easy Rebates, we can keep expensive items like these on-hand and within our budget!

We also used $16 in ink recycling rewards (Staples money) to buy 2 three-packs of packing tape and 2 packs of book rings.  The packing tape was marked down from $16 to $5 per 3-pack and the book rings were $3.49 per pack.  We only paid $1.14 after using our recycled ink rewards!  I can't wait to 1) pack up the house with the tape and 2) put flashcards on the book rings.


It's true that deals like this take planning time, knowledge of limits/Easy Rebates/'rules', occasional coupons, and patience.  But when you're on a tight budget, it is oh-so-worth-it!

This is how we spend our time when the house is showing ;)

<>< Stacy


Casey Wilson said...

I love your thriftyness. I find myself doing the same things. I didn't know about the ink cartridge deal. Thanks for sharing. I've not gotten any deals this good, but I'm getting better. Congratulations on your little bun in the oven.

Wiley family said...

Thanks! We are very excited!