Schoola Blog

School Fundraising Tips & Success Stories from Schoola

Month: July 2015

10 Tips to SAVE on School Supplies

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We’re so excited to have the team at Hip2Save.com share their back-to-school shopping tips with our community. Hip2Save is the go-to spot for all things money-saving, so we’ll let them take it from here!

With back to school just weeks away, now is the time to snag some great deals on school supplies! Here are TEN tips to limit your out of pocket expenses and to maximize your savings…

Check Your Office/Closet/Pantry
You may be surprised to find that you can cross quite a few items off your school supply list simply by looking through your office drawers, pantry etc.

Shop Early for the Best Deals
The office supply stores like Staples and Office Depot/OfficeMax start rolling out their Back to School sales in early July. Check Hip2Save.com every week for all the best deals at these stores and be sure to shop the sales earlier in the week (preferably Sunday or Monday) as popular items tend to sell out quickly.

Price Match Whenever Possible
Staples, OfficeDepot/OfficeMax, Walmart and Target all offer a Price Match Guarantee Policy. If you find a lower price on a new identical item, just show the cashier the lower price when you buy the item and they’ll match the price. This can save you quite a bit of time and money since you’re not driving from store to store every week.

In fact, Staples is offering up a Back to School 110% Price Match Guarantee through September 19th, 2015. This means that Staples will price match items sold and shipped by Amazon.com or any retailer who sells products in both retail stores and online under the same brand. Not only will you receive a price match but you will receive an additional 10% off the difference between the Staples price and the competitor price.

Keep it Simple
Although your kiddos may navigate towards the glitter scissors or the Disney-themed folders, the most budget-friendly supplies are typically those without all the bells and whistles. However, you can easily add some pizazz to standard supplies – as one example, dress up a clear pencil case with temporary tattoos!

Purchase Items with Warranties
If you are in the market for a new backpack or heavy-duty binder, look for items that offer warranties. For example, Jansport Backpacks have a Lifetime Guarantee – if your pack ever breaks down, simply return it to their warranty center and they will either fix it, replace it or refund it! And Mead offers a one-year Five Star Notebook Guarantee.

Be Social
If you plan to purchase certain brands of items (like Crayola, Mead or BIC), be sure to follow their social media pages for access to possible coupons, special offers and more.

Find a Shopping Buddy
Shopping with another parent (or a few other parents) allows you to buy items in bulk that may be greatly discounted – like a case of 10 reams of paper at Staples or a 100 pack of pens at Costco – and then split the cost amongst all of you.

Buying in Bulk is Not Always Better
Pay attention to the price per item/unit. As an example, see the different packages of Elmer’s glue sticks pictured above – a 6 count package of glue sticks sells for $1.97 (33¢ each), a 2 count package of glue sticks for 50¢ (25¢ each), and single jumbo glue sticks 4/$1 (25¢ each for jumbo size). Clearly, the single glue stick is the best deal but many shoppers assume the bigger 6-count package is a better buy!

Shop Your Local Dollar Store
Dollar Stores offer a wide variety of arts & crafts (crayons, paints, glue, poster board) and school supplies throughout the year. Keep in mind that some of the items sold at dollar stores are not the greatest quality and so they may not last as long as name-brand items sold elsewhere.

Check your Calendar
If you are lucky enough to live in an area that offers Tax Free Shopping Days, plan your Back to School shopping during these days! Depending on your state, you may be able to avoid paying tax on clothing, computers, school supplies and books!

Looking to save on clothes for Back To School? Be sure to check out Schoola.com where you’ll find a wide variety of gently-used clothing for boys, girls, juniors and women. In addition, Schoola offers all new members a FREE $15 credit whenever you sign up for a new account through this link AND you can also earn a FREE $10 credit for simply creating a custom collection (takes 2 minutes or less)!

About Hip2Save: Founded in 2008, Hip2Save.com is a frugal living blog that shows by example how to live a more fulfilling and rewarding life by saving money with coupons, taking advantage of the best online deals, and shopping stores with confidence!

The Journey of My Daughter’s Dress

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By Stacey Boyd, Schoola Founder

My family and I recently moved. As hard as moving can be, it was also a welcome walk through time past. I sorted through books we read together, including more than one dog-eared Goodnight Moon, thumbed through pictures the girls made me when they were much younger and sifted through Christmas dresses, twirly skirts and so many other items of clothing that took me to particular moments in time. Camping in the mountains. Running down the beach and jumping into waves. Teaching the girls how to ride a bike. Making gingerbread houses. Eating ice cream. There were so many rich memories woven into the fabric of each item of clothing I held in my hands.

The process reminded me of the very first donation bag I sent to Schoola. Full confession: I am a hoarder. My default is always to save, and with my girls and their clothing, I found the parting even tougher. I just couldn’t drop their little dresses and sweaters and jeans, and memories, into a generic, anonymous donation bin, most of which was likely headed to a landfill.

Then we piloted Schoola. I still remember Schoola’s first ever donation bag sitting at the bottom of the stairs packed chock full of cute little clothes and many memories which I for years had resisted donating. But through Schoola I was able to donate the bag to my daughter’s preschool, a wonderful little school that has a scholarship program for children who can’t afford the full tuition. My daughter’s best friend was a recipient that year and our clothes went towards that scholarship. Looking at the bag at the bottom of the steps I felt such warmth knowing how those items of clothing that had held such meaning for me were going to continue giving meaning to others—including my own daughter, in the form of her friendship she wouldn’t have had if our school didn’t provide scholarships.

While summer quickly nears its end, we’ll all be gearing up for the new school year—refreshing our kids’ wardrobes for the fall.  It’s a perfect time to do a closet clean-out. Over the summer you can request a postage-paid donation bag from Schoola and drop it in the mail. It’s as easy as that to transform outgrown or no longer worn clothing into new opportunities for your child—if not a scholarship program like my daughter’s preschool’s, perhaps your son or daughter’s music program needs violins or the PE program needs new soccer balls. Whatever the need, each bag donated means, on average, $40 goes back to make your child’s school a better place. And with the advent of our women’s collection, you can now donate items from your own wardrobe as well.

Schoola has always been about folding clothes and unfolding a child’s potential.  Thanks for being a part of the journey and helping make that happen.

Custom Collections Mean Less Searching

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By Stacey Boyd, Schoola Founder

As a former school principal and teacher, I know firsthand how important art, music, drama, PE, and other programs are for kids. Yet those are the very first programs to be cut when budgets get tight.  So two years ago, we dreamed up Schoola—a way to turn outgrown clothes into violins, paintbrushes, soccer balls and more for kids in schools. Flash forward two years and Schoola has helped kids reach their potential all across the country—by reinstating art classes, building playgrounds, funding orchestras and more—through the model of selling gently used clothes.

As a parent, I know all too well just how precious time is so I also wanted to figure out a way to make it easier to shop the tens of thousands of items we sell. We created custom collections because we wanted busy moms to be able to zero in on the sizes and styles that are perfect for their family’s needs. Our new custom collections feature does just that—it saves your searches so you can go back to the things you love, in your size, and find exactly what you’re looking for.

With our new women’s collection, you can now find items for yourself while you’re outfitting your kids. Some people might be surprised to know that a CEO shops secondhand, but I’m dedicated to raising funds for schools, and also to lessening my environmental footprint. My custom collection is an example of just how you can find items for your own wardrobe. Some pieces are barely worn before being given a second life on Schoola.

I’ve also selected custom collections for my two daughters, who love the unique, one-of-a-kind items they can find on Schoola. Not only is it fun for my girls to shop their own personal pages, but I love the lesson that they glean from it—that they are finding items from kids like them all over the nation. It’s better than a trip to the mall or a big box store, and you and your family can know you’re doing good as you shop.

The best part? As a busy mom, it’s super convenient to jump online, go to my custom collection, and know I’ll find exactly what my family and I need to get through a busy school year, holiday party or weekend getaway. Create a custom collection today and for a limited time you’ll get $10 in store credit to shop and support schools.

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