December 29, 2016

Why I shop year-round for shoeboxes or 3 boxes for under $7

If you read this blog, you know I like to shop year-round for shoeboxes.  You might wonder why I work so hard to do that, so I decided I'd make 3 sample boxes with the deals I found throughout the year in 2016, and show the boxes one could make with that.  You can see I figured you could fill with the basics 3 OCC shoeboxes for $29 from Dollar Tree, and here's an example of a shopping trip I did from that list.  And that's a great option for those with limited budget who only want to shop at packing time.  However with shopping year-round one can save a lot of money and pack even nicer boxes!  I spent less than $7 to fill these three boxes with items that would retail at over $100.  


Here's a breakdown of how everything that went in, how much it was worth retail (some are best guess/I can remember, forgot to write everything down), and how much it cost:

$  1.00 .........1-3 pack of combs.......................................$0.00 (Dollar General Q)
$27.04 ..
..... 3-2 pack of toothbrushes+3 toothpastes.....$0.00 (CVS Q&ECB)

$ 3.98 .........2-3 packs of mild soap.................................$0.00 (CVS Q/ECB overage)
$ 9.99.........1-6 pack of washcloths................................ $0.00 (Kohl's Q w/purchase)
$ 3.49.........1-18 pack of pencils.....................................$0.00 (CVS clearance/Q overage)
$ 2.00.........2-10 pack of pens ..........................................$0.02 (Office Depot)
$ 6.00 ..........3-packs crayons or markers...........................$0.75 (Office Depot)
$ 3.00 .........3-enclosed sharpeners....................................$0.03 (Office Depot)
$ 1.00 .........1-3 pack erasers.............................................$0.01 (Office Depot)
$ 6.00 .........4 bonus school items.....................................$0.04 (Office Depot)
$ 3.00 .........3-pads plain paper/coloring books...............$0.30 (Clearance/Q overage)
$ 5.00 .........3-lined paper................................................. $0.03 (Office Depot)
$ 9.00 .........3-stuffed animals........................................ $0.09 (Family Dollar Clearance)
$ 8.00 .........3-games/toys................................................$2.99 (Thrift & local discount store)
$ 4.99.........1-6 pack of balls   ........................................ $0.49 (CVS clearance)
$ 6.00.........1-bag hard candy or gum...............................$0.00(CVS Q&ECB)
$7.98 .........3-special items...............................................$1.09 (clearance & re-gift)
+$5.98 .......3-multi-packs of items................................+$0.99 (local discount store & CVS clearance)
$113.45 .....TOTAL VALUE-------TOTAL COST........$6.80

NOTE:  2016 was the last year to send candy & toothpaste in the USA!!!

How I got these prices:
  • CVS: I got various deals.  ECBs, coupons, and sometimes those two combined was more than the cost of items, so I had funds to go towards the other items, often things on sale or clearance themselves.  If you want to know more about shopping deals at CVS, check out my other blog: Simply CVS
  • Seasonal clearance: This is always a great way to get a deal on items that might be seasonal.
  • Back to school deals: There are numerous sales at various stores, most of these were at Office Depot, they have some limited quantities deals-for $0.25 and some for $0.01 with $5 purchase, but I often found other items I needed on sale
  • Thrift stores: I found an old, beat up tin at a local charity thrift shop that held travel games with a $2 label.  I decided to pop it open to see what, if anything was inside.  Low and behold it held seven games-one like new with all parts, and six still in original bags!!!  These were like games I've seen at Dollar Tree, but nicer quality, for less money!
  • Coupons: This both goes back to the CVS deals, and also other deals.  For instance, I got a $1 off a purchase of $1.01 or more at Dollar General for signing up for digital coupons, there was something I wanted to get on clearance, so the $1 could go toward the combs that were $1 for a package, making them free!
  • Free itemsI got a free pencil with purchase; my sister got a gift in a small box, that she then gave to be packed in a shoebox; my aunt had a Happy Meal toy.

Now for the fun stuff-what went in each box:

2-4 Girl box

5-9 Girl box


10-14 Girl box

Here is how I nested some items, to get more to fit:


I had some leftover items, as you can see, that wouldn't fit in the boxes:


One could save them for next year or send them as fillers (more info on fillers, here)


Happy Packing!

Disclaimer:  unlike our yearly boxes I share, these are sample boxes to see for myself and show what could be done in a blog post, these exact boxes were not sent intact.

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