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Kohl's Shoe Box Fillers Shopping Spree ~ $1200+ for $0 Out of Budget

Winning blog giveaways is a great way to fill shoe boxes.  What fun I have had shopping at Kohl's online the past couple of months (I do not have a local Kohl's store).  I have been wanting to add high quality items to my Operation Christmas Child shoe box gifts and now I can.  The best thing about it? It didn't cost me anything but time.  I want to share how I was able to do it in case anyone else is interested in entering giveaways to pack shoe boxes.

Filling Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes with blog giveaway wins

On November 10 I received a $250 Kohl's Gift Card from a blog giveaway win.  I also won a $15 Kohl's Gift Card and I cashed in some of my SwagBucks for a $10 Kohl's Gift Card.  I have been able to stretch those to buy $1200+ worth of clothing and toys at Kohl's full prices with $0 out of my personal budget.  Plus I have
$10 earned from Ebates for these purchases (details below).

 At the bottom of the post are the details of how I was able to stretch the $275 in gift cards to buy all of this.

My Purchases (pictured by age groups)

Kohls Gift Card Win Shopping Trip for Operation Christmas Child 4 year old boy clothing
The navy themed outfit in the center is in honor of my nephew serving in the US Navy.

2 to 4 Year Old Boys
  • 4 - T-shirts
  • 3 -Shorts
  • 3 - Long Pants
  • 2 - Long Sleeve T's
  • 1 Outfit Purchased by a friend with Kohl's cash I earned (not pictured)
    • Total of 7 outfits

The tops and bottoms were ordered separately and most were on clearance for $4.80 and then coupon discounts came off that price.  This railroad themed outfit was picked in honor of my husband's grandfathers who worked on the railroad.
The 2 to 4 year old girls ended up with the most items.
These bears are large but they squish up nicely to fit in a shoe box and were $2.50 each.

2 to 4 Year Old Girls
  • 3 - T-shirts (I will make skirts or dresses to go with these and the long sleeve t's)
  • 5 - Long Sleeve T's (three are not pictured as they shipped separately and hadn't arrived)
  • 24 - Flip Flops
  • 7 - Stuffed Bears
  • 3 - Toys (the Hello Kitty dominoes set is for 5 - 9, got it in the wrong picture)

Since I received some penguin items for Christmas to make a themed box I couldn't resist these little penguin shirts.  I'll make skirts to go with them.


                                                                                          And such fun flip flops:  Kitties and Flamingos -- I'll find some fun fabric to make dresses to go with them.  I'd love to find a stuffed flamingo and heart shaped sun glasses to match.

I got two sets of the lacing toys -- this one and a farm animals.  There are five in each so I will probably include just one or two in each box making them go further and taking less room. Some will also make their way into 2 to 4 year old boy boxes.

Since we decided to "divide and conquer" our shoe boxes differently this year and I am in charge of the 2 to 4 year old girls I think that is why I bought so many items for them.  But I also made shopping decisions on what was the least expensive so I could get more items.  I was happy to find the high quality flip flops to go with my dresses and skirts.

5 to 9 Year Old Girls (I don't normally do this age, but I have a dozen knit tops in this size so will make boxes)
  • 1 - Hello Kitty Dominoes Game 
The game came in a nice tin that can hold other items, too.  My daughter got a box of Hello Kitty band-aids for free at CVS and I have been searching out Hello Kitty items to add to it to make a themed box.

10 to 14 Year Old Girls 
  • 6 - Flip Flops
  • 4 - Toys

My daughter is trying to include a "solitary" and a "social" game in each of her boxes this year so she chose these social games to include in some of her boxes.  The Bunco games come in nice tins which she will fill with other goodies, too.

10 to 14 Year Old Boys
  • 16 - T-shirts
  • 3 - Toys

I really like these shirts. They have vibrant colors, block UV and wick moisture away. Wish I had ordered more, but three guys will hopefully be happy to get them.


  • 138 total

I really like Kohl's washcloths.  They aren't super thick as to take up a lot of room but they have actual hems which makes them nice and sturdy; and they come in the most delightfully bright colors!  When I ordered these the first time I had a $10 off $50 home purchase coupon combined with a 20% off order coupon and they were on sale half price.  I don't remember the second deal I got, but it was at least as good a price.

How I Stretched My Kohl's Gift Card Shopping
  • Only buy items on clearance.
    • Exception to this was a couple toys on sale that we splurged on when we had $10 Kohl's Cash, $10 off $30 and 20% off coupons. Everything else was in the clearance section.
  • Wait for Kohl's Coupons
    • Since you can combine a $ off total $$ amount coupon and a % off coupon I tried to order only when both were available.
  • Order when they offer Kohl's Cash back when possible.
  • Order $50 at a time to get free shipping.
    • Twice this didn't work out as I had $20 Kohl's Cash and a $5 Kohl's Yes Rewards that would expire if I didn't spend them, but there was not much on clearance I wanted.  So I used the gift card to pay the shipping the first time and the second I used some of my Ebates reward to pay the shipping (see below--they pay by check so I had the cash to use).
      • I have since learned that it is possible to pay the shipping with Kohl's cash.
  • Sign up for Kohl's Yes Rewards Program
    • I earned $5 for every $100 I spent (even when using a gift card).
  • Go thru Ebates when I shop at Kohl's.
    • By starting at Ebates I always received at least 3% back in Ebates rewards.  Most times I received 6% back.  
      • I received a total of $15.77 back from my FREE Kohl's shopping trips.
    • I used $5.75 of this reward to pay the shipping on the last order when I spent my $20 Kohl's Cash and $5 Yes Rewards.  The rest of it will go towards the shipping donation to Operation Christmas Child.
    • Just an FYI:  Ebates is easy to use and they send a check automatically each quarter.  You can sign up and start earning on your next online order from hundreds of stores.  If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them.

I ended up placing seven orders and my friend shopped once at her store with $10 Kohl's Cash I had earned (she put it with $20 she had earned and bought four outfits for 2 to 4 year old boys).  I tried to spread it out to get the most for my money and to also get a larger variety of clearanced items as I want to make my boxes as individual as possible.

I still have $5 in Kohl's YesToYou Rewards to spend.  I think I will have my friend spend them at her local Kohl's store to avoid paying shipping.

Since I don't have a local Kohl's store I was not very familiar with them but have read of others using Kohl's cash and shopping clearance for their shoe box gifts.  Do you shop Kohl's for your shoe boxes?

Do you enter blog giveaways?  If anyone is interested in learning more about how blog giveaways work, how to enter them and how to find them just leave comments here or on my Facebook page letting me know and if there is enough interest I'd be happy to write a post with the details.

EDITING TO ADD:  I have since written this post How to Find and Enter Blog Giveaways.

Happy Packing!


Denise Marie said...

Oh what fun you've had!! Inspired by your spend $0 post, I remembered to use not only my $10 Kohl's cash but drove to my Moms & used hers too. I got critters that are ornaments 80% off but look like stuffed animals, 2 sets of the rags 50% off + some clearance singles, a head lamp for a ball cap 80% off for $2! I wish I had been tuned in when they were clearing the underwear & Christmas colored face cloths but feeled blessed to have high quality items too!!

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

How great, Denise Marie! I know if I could have shopped in the store I could have gotten more, but I am thrilled with what we got -- especially the clothing. Have you signed up for the Yes Rewards program?

Kristy said...


Denise Marie said...

I gotta check on that! Cheryl, I could cry w/joy!! I have never shared my obsession w/packing shoeboxes before this yr. I have posted some facebook pics recently. A friend just offered me $25 Kohl's cash to spend for my boxes!! Another friend wants to put a che k in the mail to help me!

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

How exciting, Denise Marie!! So glad you decided to share your obsession, now your friends are able to get in on the joy of giving, too, and you have more to pack! Happy shopping & Packing!!! Thanks for sharing your journey with me, too.

Jackie said...

I would love to hear about winning at blogs. I must not look at the right places cause I never see anything like that. I have the time to do it, but don't know where. Write the post-you know so much.

I don't have a Kohls either so I need to look at the on line things. Just didn't think about doing it that way. Thanks for all you do. Love your posts!

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Hi, Jackie! I'll work up a post soon. Meanwhile check out this linky -- it is ongoing but she reposts it each week. I usually find several there to enter. http://www.frugalityisfree.com/category/giveaway-linky

And you are welcome, thanks for letting me know my posts are helpful.

Kristen said...

I also enter giveaways to donate...mostly to my local Ronald McDonald House, the drop-in day program for low income moms & the temporary home for foster kids. (we also add the firefighters' toy program at Christmas).
I do not often enter fabric giveaways as I don't know how to sew, but if I did win fabric I would happy be to donate it if you are interested (?)

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

There are so many great places to donate to aren't there, Kristen? I mailed some things off to a drop-in day program for low income mom's once for a friend's collection, but we don't have a local one. I'm always happy for fabric donations if you ever have any you can't use. Thank you.

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