February 27, 2016

Valentines Day Clearance & Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 2/27/2016

Got some fun things with Valentines clearance this week for our Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes!

Dollar General clearance coloring books for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.
Got these at Dollar General 70%...hard to beat 30 cents for a coloring book!

Got the toothpaste for free at CVS, plus some Valentines items on 75% off clearance-if you'd like to know more about how I get great deals, check out my other blog Simply CVS.

Kmart Valentines Day clearance shopping for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
I stopped at Kmart on the way to praise team practice (I'm on the media team at my church), and the plush and Valentines were ringing up 90% off (candy only 70%) which I knew thanks to price scanners, as it wasn't marked down that far.  I was able to get some Valentines with pencils, stuffed animals, and some box/candy/stuffed animal sets (one taken apart at lower right to show what was included) that were ringing up 90% off with the plush.  The candy will expire too soon to send, but at $0.79 still a good price for cute and nice looking stuffed animals plus the little boxes.

Stuffed animals for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
When I stopped by Friday to pick something else up, and ran back and got the rest of the sets they had as we were so happy with the stuffed animals! 
 (Hint, if you happen to get any, you'll want to take them apart now, they had LOTS of tape holding them in place, and the longer it stays on the harder it may be to get off without hurting them)

Spent from shoebox packing budget: $13.92

Spent from gift cards I earned or won online: $1.26

Added to stockpile:
  • 6 coloring books
  • 60 decorative pencils
  • 2 tubes toothpaste
  • 24 mini boxes of temporary tattoos
  • 14 stuffed animals
  • 12 decorative boxes
We are always excited for stuffed animals.  You may want to read Why We Include a Stuffed Animal in Each of Our Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

February 20, 2016

A Fishy Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 2/20/2016

Here's what we added to our Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing stash this week.  Starting off with a school of magnifying fish.

Oriental Trading Co. magnifying fish for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
 My mom had a birthday recently, and I got her these for her 2-4 year old girl boxes with the Oriental Trading Company free shipping on any order deal they had.

I found these on clearance at Rite Aid for $1.24-they had a lot of safety & emergency supplies 75% off-I thought these were great as they're sunglasses plus they were safety glasses, thought they'd go well with the tools we bought for the 10-14 boy boxes recently.

We went through our fabric & button stash and here's some of what we decided we didn't need, hope to add extra supplies to the sewing kits we have.

A dollar store was having a buy 2 get 1 free deal, so we picked up these things for less than $5.

Office Depot had the get a pack of batteries for $0.01 after the rewards come back in a month or so, so we got some more, we should be set now.

Another handmade hat with the "Hand Made with Love tags"  attached .

Spent from shoebox packing budget: $35.47 (hope to get $27.96 back)

Spent from gift cards earned or won online: $0

Added to stockpile:
  • 6 fish kaleidoscope prisms 
  • 1 safety/sun glasses
  • Fabric
  • Buttons
  • 9 sets toddler utensils 
  • 1 chess game (will probably add buttons so it can double for checkers)
  • 1 3d dino puzzle
  • 1 bag/organizer
  • 32 AA batteries
  • 1 had
If you are interested in donations to help fill more shoeboxes you can check out our Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Packing Printables to help you collect for your shoeboxes.

February 17, 2016

Microsoft Rewards: Earn Free Gift Cards for Searching the Web ~ Financing Shoeboxes Series Part #1

I have shared how I like to earn free gift cards at online earning sites so I can pack more Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  I recently discovered what has become my favorite site so far:  Microsoft Rewards.  I think what I like best is the simplicity and the daily earning limit.  With the earning limit I don't have to wonder if I should spend more time doing more to earn more, it is easy to reach the limit each day, too.

We think Microsoft Rewards is by far our easiest way to earn a $5.00 Amazon gift card each month.  They reward members with points for searching thru the Bing search engine, taking quizzes, shopping and browsing.  It is simple and straight forward. We have made Bing our default search engine so anytime we search we earn and usually reach our 150 points throughout the day by searching naturally.

We like Bing at least as well if not better than Google for searching.  We especially like their images. By clicking on the number of current points at the top right of the page we find any special offers for the day (see image above).  If we take the Coffee break quiz in this image we will earn 30 points--they are quick and easy to do.  By clicking on "King of the blues" it will take us to a Bing search and we will earn an additional 10 points.  We also earn 5 points for every search up to 150 points a day.

By doing these few things each day at Microsoft Rewards we easily earn a five dollar Amazon gift card each month.  The gift card costs 5250 points.  There are more ways, to earn as you can see by the image to the right, but we currently are not using those options. They offer several other reward options such as Hulu, Skype, Windows Store, Xbox, GameStop, Starbucks, donation options, sweepstakes entries, and more. We highly recommend Microsoft Rewards as an easy and safe way to earn some extra spending money. Click this link to sign up and start earning today:  Join Microsoft Rewards, it's free.

Five dollars can go far in helping to build an Operation Christmas Child shoebox stockpile.

You may want to see these other ways we Find Extra Money for Packing Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

February 13, 2016

Hats Galore! Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 2/13/2016

This week's "Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday" might should be called "Hats Galore!"

My Dad's work had these outdated logo baseball hats from an old event, so they're headed to our shoeboxes, or the OCC processing center for fillers.

I found these cars in with the old Awana Grand Prix track-used them to test or something, but seem in like-new condition, so it's off to the shoeboxes for them.

Crocheted hats for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
My mom & sister crocheted 4 of Mary's Aunt Ida Hats and attached the "Hand Made with Love tags" they designed.

This week I got to see my aunt who packs shoeboxes with us, and she had some things she'd picked up for shoeboxes.  Unlike me, she has a Staples nearby and got some $10 off $10 or more coupons, so was able to pick up some school supplies to fill in our gaps:

School Supplies for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

Plus a Happy Meal toy-so cute!

Spent from shoebox packing budget: $0

Spent from gift cards earned or won online: $0

Added to stockpile:
  • 31 baseball hats
  • 4 Hotwheel type cars
  • 4 Aunt Ida Hats
  • 60 black pens
  • 4 colored pencil packs
  • 2 boxes of crayons
  • 5 wooden rulers
  • 1 cute clipboard
  • 1 Happy Meal toy

If you want to see other items we pack you can check out these posts:  Filler Items for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

February 10, 2016

Our Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Shopping & Crafting

If you'd like to see all of the goodies we stockpile year round for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes click the image below and all of our OCC stockpile posts will open.

February 8, 2016

Our Month of Operation Christmas Child ~ January 2016

Just thought I'd share some photos of what's been happening around here related to Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes in January, many of them have been on our Facebook page or other posts, but here's what we've been up to this month.

We got a good deal on these chess games for Dad's 10-14 year old boy boxes.  Since checkers is a simpler and more universal game than chess, we decided to try to give them the option of using the boards for checkers as well.  The smaller game we gave buttons for the larger game we gave poker chips.

We bought some balls on clearance, and some said "Naughty" didn't really want to send that to kids, so managed to cut it off.

Mom & I got started on our penguin themed boxes (to see inside the tins and cups-check out my post on "nesting")

We also worked on our snowman themed ones, there's still a lot that needs added, and packaging removed, but it's a good start.

Finally tallied and organized the post-Christmas shopping:

Made dinosaur play sets in eggs from a big bottle of figures I got on clearance

We've been doing some spring cleaning/trimming down of our possessions and found some things we didn't need that'd be good for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes:

What's been the highlight of January for your OCC shoeboxes?

Every Saturday Sarah shares what we have added to our stockpile.  You can see them all here:  Adding to Our Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile.

February 6, 2016

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 2/6/2016

I am having a slow start this year to my Operation Christmas Child shoebox stockpile.  But every little bit helps to pack more boxes.  Shopping year round makes it possible to pack more by buying items on sale.

Toothpaste and Candy no longer allowed in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
I was able to get these two items at CVS for $0.99 and get $0.75 ECB back (details here on my other blog).  UPDATE 2017:  candy and toothpaste is no longer allowed to be packed in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

I was grateful that both had dates out far enough to be able to send next year! 

While organizing our office I found these extra binder pen holders.  I thought they'd be great to hold items in a shoebox. 

While getting ready to write for A Month of Letters Challenge, my sister found some paper she didn't think she'd use, so off to the shoebox it goes, will be great for my Stationary Kits. (if the first page is too wrinkled on that one pad, I'll remove it)

My mom & sister crocheted 4 Joy with Purpose's Aunt Ida Hats and attached the "Hand Made with Love tags" they designed.

Spent from shoebox packing budget: $0

Spent from gift cards earned or won online: $0.40

Added to stockpile:
  • 1 Tube Toothpaste
  • 1 candy
  • 3 pencil bags
  • 2 decorative papers 
  • 4 hats
Wondering the best type of box to pack in?  Check out our post:  What Type of Box to Use for Operation Christmas Child.

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