Monday, August 4, 2014

Back to School Sales Be Poppin' and Teachers Be Shoppin'

It's that time of year when I hit the stores for the best classroom supply sales! And I'm joining up with Kickin' It in Kindergarten for Teachers Be Shoppin' Linky Party


I feel so lucky to have found this awesome website called Passion for Savings that lists all the  Back to Schools sales for each store. But that's not all! You can even make your own shopping list using their website complete with checkmark boxes and coupons you can print from the various retailers. The best part is that you can use this website to compare prices on different items you are looking to purchase. I feel very fortunate to have a decent classroom supplies reimbursement budget at my school, in addition to asking our parent for supply donations if they can afford it, that also go towards their required school support hours. 

In order to fuel up for my first day of the #BacktoSchool shopping challenge 2014 I headed to Del Taco after my dreaded teeth cleaning appointment at the dentist. I always schedule the twice a year cleaning appointments when I'm off work. Luckily no cavities because this scaredy cat  would rather claw her way out of the dentist chair then deal with shots or drills.  Nothin' like a stop at my favorite fast food joint for yummy tacos to erase the jitters. 

Without further ado here are some pictures from the first shopping trip that landed me at Wally World. I was surprised by all the beautiful patterns and designs they had. Admittedly I'm not one to frequent Walmart unless it's back to school sale time, because it's a tad out of the way, and I just find Target to have better election of quality items, and there are tons of them conveniently located nearby my work or home. I bought 23 each of both the spiral themed notebooks, composition books, and colored pencils for my kiddos. I will have to let the first table team ready, get first pick of their items. 

FYI Walmart has a teacher deal through August 15th where they reimburse you 10% of your purchases.

I followed up by stopping at Big Lots for some of my usual faves! Walmart didn't have enough zippered pencil pouches but I knew I could count on Big Lots to have them. I only used the large traditional plastic pencil boxes a few times early in my career and I hated them. Students were always dropping them on the floor, causing the contents to spill, not to mention startling me and interrupting my lessons. I also found they didn't fit well in there desk. For a while I tried the smaller lightweight and narrow pencil boxes that slide and snap, but they would drop too. These take up little space and fit their colored pencils easily. 

Every year I tell my third graders that they are now in the upper/older grades so they get use colored pencils instead of crayons. They are very excited by this special privilege, but little do they know that I can't stand crayons. They are smelly, fragile, and can easily stain things! No thank you. What would I do if I taught younger students? Not sure but all I can say is Egads! Joking aside I have a box for Fun Day Friday time if they want to use them to color, and I don't mind them using markers at all.

Onto shopping day two, which was a few days later since I would be out of town for a bit. Gotta get in those last few vacation fun days before the frenzied work year returns. Well let me tell you this day did not go as planned. I dragged along my partner in crime and we hit the Ikea. I was determined to find an inexpensive and kid friendly table for my classroom as  last school year I was lost without the extra round one I used to have for centers and art time. (It was reclaimed for another new classroom since I had a kidney table already.)

When we got there it was nuts in the place. If you've never been to one it's an experience. It's like being a mouse in a maze, but only this time it was a rat race. When you first enter you go must go up to their second floor showroom, which has all their products set up in small rooms that mimic actual living spaces. Everything appears to be sized for the Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz, and you have to keep moving forward peering into mini-studio apartment like cubicles or if you dare walk into them and test out the furniture. 

The only problem was that there were so many people you could hardly explore anything without being swept up into traffic and pushed through the  one way maze that is designed to make sure you get a look at everything. Upon finishing the second floor maze we saw a sign and the large entrance to their restaurant that said something like "If you spend a $100 dollars, you would be reimbursed or comped for your meals there that day only." WHAAAAT? No wonder the place was jammed with tons of families instead of mostly single Los Anglenos or college students trying to furnish their teeny tiny apartments. 

This guy captures perfectly how it felt to be stuck in IKEA! It's a cute parody song of Owl City's Fire Flies song that I love and he actually filmed this in IKEA until they asked him to leave, lol!

Luckily we finally made it down to the bottom floor where they have another maze through storage and home goods, but this time it is small, as half the floor is the warehouse and check out where we were able to pick up the parts to my table. Initially it could have worked out to be around 30 bucks, (table top was around $15 and legs $3.50 each) but I had to get the adjustable height legs so that it wasn't too tall for my students and their smallish chairs. The legs were now $15 a piece! So I ended up with a fancy a $75 table when I was through. Maybe there will be pictures later on once I put I manage to put it together. 

It was 6:30 already here was no chance we were going to eat in there and we had yet to get to Staples to catch the final sales. I was feeling quite hungry because it was an hour past my usual dinner time and I was craving a yummy carb fest after the workout that was Ikea. We spotted an Olive Garden near the Staples and popped in. The wait was 45 minutes and I had my heart set on a Tour of Italy and breadsticks. I can't believe this happened but next thing you know we were ordering take out for a picnic in the car. We didn't want to go home and eat and head out again.

After a lovely meal of salad, breadsticks, {lasagna, fettuccini alfredo, and chicken parmigiana,} aka Tour of Italy, we tackled Staples, with the two chocolate mousse cakes looming in the near future upon returning home. A sweet reward after lots of teacher shopping but I'll def be back to healthier foods and working out after this delcious splurge! If we weren't picnicking it may have looked like this lol! 

Would you believe my trunk of stuff to take to work this week? It's like teacher hoarderville in there. There's some goodies from the Target dollar deals aisles, table legs, and professional development books in a bag from my Master's and reading conference, plus all the loot I bought above. Don't you just love the Dr. Seuss bags Target offers each year? They are great for students to keep borrowed books in (and besides their clear Ziploc bags need replacing by March) and it makes a great surprise gift for my students for Dr. Seuss week. 

I hope you have a great start to your new school year and that you check out the awesome sale going on over at TpT where Back to School Sales be poppin'. If you click the image below it will take you to my store where you can get up to 28% off my products. Don't forget to use the code BTS14 to get the site wide discount on top of my discount. 

I'm in the middle of trying to update my products to have eye-catching covers, and more color but it doesn't change the great content you might find useful in your classroom. My top seller is my Phonemic Awareness and Decoding Inventory for struggling readers. It gives you all the information and data you need in order to make instructional decisions to benefit your students. Plus it's super easy to give! 

Thanks for stopping by my blog and let me know in the comments about your back to school steal and deals!

#tpt14 tpt14 back to school sale

*Graphic from the wonderful Camping Teacher

*This post contains a few links, none affiliates unless you count my TpT store, and I just dropped a lot of brand names, but I was not compensated for this. I really do just recommend them. Maybe they'll find me, feed me and give me gift cards? A girl can dream. :)


  1. I love your post, Julie! Thank you so much for sharing! I am so glad that I found your blog! Can you believe that it is almost time for BACK TO SCHOOL? Best wishes! ~Jen :)

  2. Thanks for finding me here Jen! Started setting up my classroom already. This coming Monday is our first all staff meeting of the new school year followed by Professional Development the rest of the week. Then the following week the kiddos will come. Where has the time gone? Lol.

    P.S. It's how the html links have stopped working on Blogger. I'll have to see if anyone else is having this issue as well.