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Dollar Deals & More for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 3/19/2016

I forget to share recently these Operation Christmas Child shoebox finds at a Mighty Dollar I got a chance to stop at, if you have one nearby I'd encourage you to check it out, it's like Dollar Tree in that everything is $1, but being a smaller chain they seem to get more seconds/overstocks/last season's items, so rather than all cheaply made things, there's often higher quality things as well!

Mighty Dollar toys for Operation Christmas Child.

The backpack looked like a good quality, and here's how it'd fit in a GoBox, doesn't take up too much space!

Got some good deals on toothpaste at CVS this week, and to "roll" the extra buck best I got the pad of paper, too.  Still have $4 ECB to use toward Easter clearance.  If you want to learn more about deal shopping at CVS, check out my other blog: SimplyCVS.com.

Spent from shoebox packing budget: $6.40

Spent from gift cards earned or won online: $1.42

Added to stockpile:
  • 2 pull animal toys
  • 1 solitaire frog game
  • 1 hand crank flashlight
  • 1 Hello Kitty notebook
  • 1 backpack
  • 1 colored scratch pad
  • 4 tubes toothpaste [UPDATE 2017:  toothpaste is no longer allowed]
I took a few more photos of the cute wooden pull toys as someone mentioned the possibility of making them, and I thought more photos might help if someone wanted to try to figure out how to make them.  Best I can tell it consists of 7 pieces:  1-animal shape with two holes drilled to put the wheels' axle through and string attached; 2-short pieces of dowel rods to work as axles; and 4-round pieces of wood to work as wheels, with partial holes drilled to insert axles into:

Wooden dog toy for Operation Christmas Child shoeobox.
Side view

 Bottom view

 Up close of wheel showing how dowel rod axle is glued into wooden wheel-the two wheels turn together as one solid piece.

You may want to check out our post on how we Find Extra Money for Packing Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.  There may be some ideas you don't know about.

Stories and Advice from OCC Shoebox Distributions in Tanzania

On this blog I mostly write about packing, shopping, crafting, etc. for Operation Christmas Child  shoeboxes, but I thought it'd be encouraging to share some shoebox distribution stories, plus I love to get more ideas and feedback on things to include from first hand reports.  Since I've never been on a distribution, I sent some questions to some people who had! 

Here's the first, of what will hopefully be many interviews:

My name is Stephanie Seymore and I am an Area Coordinator for Lower Eastern NC area team. I get to work with an amazing group of year round volunteers and it is a blessing every day!  I am a wife and a mother of 6 boys and 1 girl and I have a son in law and daughter in law and a new daughter in law this coming summer.  My house and life is busy. In addition to my year round job with OCC I run the FACEBOOK page called "Shoebox Shoppers". We share sales and great deals we find and also share our ideas for shoeboxes.  I love the great group of people I have met on our page.

When and where did you distribute shoeboxes?

Hygiene Items for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 3/12/2016

This week's shopping was an oral care supplies week for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

Got some toothpaste free after coupons and ECBs at CVS.  There is more free toothpaste next week at CVS, details here.  UPDATE 2017:  toothpaste is no longer allowed.

Free toothbrushes from CVS shopping for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

We went through our stash of toothbrushes that we'd gotten free at CVS over the years, and found some we didn't like or need, and found some we could send in shoeboxes.  If you want to know about getting things free or cheap at CVS, check out my other blog: Simply CVS.

Spent from shoebox packing budget: $0

Spent from gift cards earned or won online: $0

Added to stockpile:
  • 2 tubes toothpaste
  • 12 toothbrushes (some with caps)
Hygiene is just one of the categories for Filler Items for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.  We shop year round to be able to get all categories covered at a better price being able then to pack more shoeboxes.

More Valentines Clearance: Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 3/5/2016

I stopped at a couple CVS stores on Sunday and was able to get some Valentines items for our Operation Christmas Child shoebox stockpile at 90% off-hard to beat that!

CVS Valentines Day Clearance shopping for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

Then I swung by a Dollar Tree to get the 6 packs of socks I'd read about on the Clip with Purpose and Shoebox Shoppers Facebook groups for $1 of course!

Dollar Tree socks for boys.
I ran to a nearby Dollar General to take advantage of the reported 50% off clearance.  Trying to figure out exactly what everything cost can be hard with DG receipts, but it was less than $8.

I was happy to see the brain games were all individually packaged:

 I always like to include plain pads of paper for the kids to draw on, but it seems to be something that's hard to find at a good price, so I finally decided to look on Ebay, and found these: 

Bulk Scratch Pads. Unruled 3 x 5 White, 210 100-Sheets Direct From The Factory!

-ended up being about $0.25 a pad.  The best part was I was able to use Ebay giftcards my family had earned through Swagbacks, so nothing out of pocket, and went through Swagbucks to Ebay to buy them, so got bucks back on them, too!

I actually ended up with more like 400 pads (so more like $0.12 a pad) ranging from 50-75 sheets a pad, which was great with me-gives me more flexibility.  Say, maybe tuck a 50 sheet one in with a big coloring book and notebook, and two 75 pads if the only other paper is lined.  I think they'll also be great for putting IN pencil packs.   They are nice, normal weight paper, not the thin, shiny paper often seen in cheap paper pads!  Only drawback is they seem to be salvage pads from the printer/paper mill, so a few pages have some marks on them as you can see below, but certainly something I would have enjoyed drawing and coloring on as a kid and maybe something you'd like to look into if you pack a lot of boxes, or have enough money to put out to get ahead-these should last us a few years!

Spent from shoebox packing budget: $10.69

Spent from gift cards earned or won online: $53.88

Added to stockpile:
  • 2 stuffed animals
  • 120 smal packages temporary tattoos 
  • 18 pairs socks for 10-14 boy boxes
  • 5 coloring books
  • 1 pack stickers
  • 3 games
  • 1 Lego type kit
  • 400ish pads of plain paper
See Why We Include a Stuffed Animal in Each of Our Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

Disclosure: Links on Simply Shoeboxes may be affiliate partners or referrals.