Smart shoppers get free school supplies

8:32 AM, Jul 20, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Office supply stores, drug stores and big box retailers are trying to draw in shoppers with bargain prices on school supplies.

Stores typically have several Loss Leaders each week, items they are basically giving away in hopes that shoppers will spend on bigger ticket items during the same trip. "We have deals going on every week, we have penny items that we're going to have weekly" said David Harrison, who manages the Sandy Spring, Georgia Staples Office Supply store. Shoppers must enroll in the store's loyalty program and spend $5 on merchandise in order to qualify for the penny items.

I did some shopping with Tiffani Taff, who writes the blog We got legal pads and notebook dividers for a penny each. We also took advantage of Staples' new Binder Recycling Program. Shoppers can turn in old, used binders for $2.00 credit on a new one.  Since Avery binders were on sale for a dollar, we bought the limit of two, and traded in two old binders for a $4 discount. That gave us an extra $2 to spend on pens, pencil sharpeners and pencils.

We also grabbed the items that will be free after rebates, like an anti-virus program that retails for $39.99.  It was on sale for $15.00 and offered a $15.00 rebate. After the rebates, the program will be free!  We also took advantage of a free after rebate deal on mechanical pencils.

At the end of our one hour trip, our subtotal was $31.91. Once the cashier subtracted  the additional $4.00 for recycling binders and we registered online for  $19.89 in rebates, the total was $8.02 for items that would have cost $63.80 at full retail price!

Each week throughout August many stores will have similar deals. Check the Sunday advertising circulars to find out what the best deals will be. Many are in limited quantities so shopping early in the week is recommended. has a running list of the best deals each week shoppers can print out and take to the store.

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