Back to School for a Penny
Remember as a kid seeing stores put up those "Back to School Sale" signs? I truly hated those happy little announcements. This year kids are seeing those signs earlier than ever thanks to Staples and Office Depot. The two office supply stores officially launched the back to school season in the first week of July with sales on things like notebooks and pencils. For Staples, it was the first time declaring such an event. The date set by Staples was based on historic trends, feedback from parents and schools and the fact that some schools in the South and West start the new school year in July. Plus there has to be a little influence between the two office supply giants since they kicked off their back to school sales within a few days of each other.
But what's so amazing about these sales is that they're pawning off stuff for a mere penny. Both stores are advertising things like a 12-pack of pencil erasers, folders, protractors and No. 2 pencils for 1 cent each. Gee, you could probably go out into the parking lot and find a few pennies on the ground to take advantage of these deals.
Back to school sales are big business for retailers. Last year, families were expected to spend more than $560 on back to school gear for their school-age children, totaling $18.4 billion, according to National Retail Federation. That $560 figure was up about 7 percent from the previous year. The organization won't release its figures for this year until later this month. But I imagine the slumping economy will most likely affect spending.
Nearly every week Staples and Office Depot will feature a new handful of items to sell for 1 cent each between now and mid September. The quantities are limited. So you can only buy five 1-cent rulers from Office Depot or 10 two-pocket folders from Staples. And the sales will last for a few days at a time. You'll be able to find out about these deals plus other good deals in this blog if you happen to miss the weekly circulars.
Here are the few cent deals for this week:
Office Depot: For a penny you can get a 12-pack of pencil erasers, a protractor, a two-pocket folder and a ruler until July 19. For 59 cents you can get 100 color-coded 3 by 5 index cards and for 79 cents, a two-hole manual pencil sharpener.
Staples: The store has no 1 cent deals this week but for 15 cents you can get 150 pieces of filler paper and for 25 cents you can get scissors or a portfolio folder. They also have 50-cent glue sticks and composition books.
So where do you get your kids' school supplies? Know of any other stores that sell stuff for a penny or close to it? Post a comment below.
Fiscal Fast Update: So what's better than spending 1 cent? Spending nothing, which is what I attempted last week during my first ever fiscal fast. I'll let you know exactly how my family fared in Thursday's blog. If you also attempted the fiscal fast, please post a comment Thursday and tell us what what your week was like.
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