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  1. Jennifer says:

    Great ideas! These flower pens would make pretty favors for a wedding or baby shower too. They could be placed in a bucket in the middle of the tables and used as a centerpiece until the guests take them home. Thanks for helping me think creatively about how to use all of these school supplies we're getting free!

  2. We stock up for our Operation Christmas Child boxes that will be packed in November. I include things like paperclips and binder clips, which people in 3rd world countries use for things other than school/work (I saw them used as picture hangers, a belt buckle, among other things) but aren't so easy to find at the markets there.

    Thanks for the list – you've given me some good ideas!

  3. MoneyMateKate says:

    Wow, these are much better ideas than I was expecting when I followed the link from Freebies4Mom. I like to donate Christmas gifts that are neither too educational nor too mindless, so that journal idea is AWESOME, especially since I give a lot in kind to a shelter for runaway teens. And last year, I assembled gift bags of craft supplies for Toys For Tots donations – the deals in the drug stores right now make dollar stores look expensive!

  4. Donna and Greg says:

    How about putting up new pencils, pens, colored pencils, markers and crayons in our children stockings Christmas. Even though my children are 13, 15 & 16, they love new crayons. By Christmas, our homeschool supply of some of these items is bedraggled and they love the new stuff. Or put up items to use for long car trips. We also so Operation Christmas Child and buy the items on sale year round.

  5. Sarah @ Fiddledeedee says:

    I love these ideas! Art supplies (crayons, etc) are a great birthday gift and donation idea. Just linked to you…

  6. peterpan says:

    We donate supplies to the art teacher at school. The art teachers have limited budgets and are always appreciative of crayons, markers, glue, aluminum foil, and toilet paper rolls. Ask your child's art teacher what she needs. You'd be surprised at the answer.

  7. Such great ideas! I linked to you! Thanks!

  8. Macomb Money Savers says:

    Love these ideas! Thanks so much for sharing! Linked to you…

  9. Heather @ Just Doing My Best says:

    I like to stock up on the notebooks when they are cheap. My kids use them for drawing and games when they need a quiet activity or for road trips. I love to stock up for the shoebox charities also.

  10. jdaniel4smom says:

    I had a similar idea that I wrote about at http://jdaniel4smom.blogspot.com/2009/07/adopt-teacher-school-or-charity-give.html.

    I have seen great school supply deals on the internet and in newspaper ads lately. As a teacher for twenty years, I used to gather supplies to use in my room each year. There was always someone who didn’t have what they needed to start the year or had run out of things mid-year. Some years I hadn’t ordered enough pencils for daily use and all the standardized tests and had to pay full price for them mid-year.

    Now that I am at home mom, I still gather school supplies to donate. I donate to school supply drives (I’m in a teaching sorority Alpha Delta that collects school supplies.) and give them to teachers at my son’s future school. (It can’t hurt to make a positive impression early.) I bet in these hard economic times that are lots of places that could use them and you can get many of them free or close to free.

    Check out the sites below that I found on Cincinnati Cent's web site:

    Target – Amy at Cutting Coupons in KC
    CVS – Kristi at More Than Cents
    Walgreens – Julie at Kingdom Klipper
    Meijer – Becky at Nickels-N-Dimes
    Office Max – Andrea at Mommy Snacks
    Walmart – Tara at Deal Seeking Mom
    Staples – Katie at Cincinnati Cents

  11. Anonymous says:

    great ideas.
    I just bookmarked your site.

    Dawn

  12. I never even thought of #6—what a great idea!!! I have a ton of old but still in good condition backpacks around here (let's face it, eventually they outgrow the Dora or Barbie backpacks!!) that could be filled with supplies and donated.

  13. Kimberly says:

    I also take advantage of the deals to buy supplies to keep in my own classroom, but to also create "first day" bags. I fill up a ziploc bag with several pencils, pens, box of crayons, blue stick, bookmark, cap erasers, highlighters, etc. This bag is waiting on the students' desks when they walk in on the first day. It's fun to see the looks of surprise on their faces. Makes for a great first day!

    I like the idea of dressing up a regular compostion book to look like a journal. This might be a fun first day activity for my classroom…if I can find some cheap supplies!

  14. Melissa @SavingCentswithSense says:

    Wonderful post! I linked to it. Also, a group of 8 of us are rounding up the best back to school deals each week- in case you are interested.

    I love the free household printables! What a great resource, thank you for posting that!

  15. thevfiles says:

    I like your journal idea. Personally, a gift like that at Christmas would be greatly appreciated. The Christmas in a Shoebox ministries are also wonderful, and stocking up now on needed items for cheap means that you can fill even more boxes!

  16. what great ideas! thanks for sharing.

  17. Lenetta @ Nettacow says:

    Another great idea is Jared Boxes. You can read more about them here.

  18. My son has leukemia and spends a lot of time drawing at the hospital. The playrooms at hospitals can always use "school supplies" for the art center or to give to students who may be working on school work while waiting to see the doctor.

  19. Liz Curry says:

    These are great Ideas, I love the journal, I have 2 sisters and I know now what to give them for Mothers day or their bdays! I have a daycare in my home and I love back to school time, bc I can not only get things for my kids that are in school but also to stock up on my craft stuff. Plus our church is always looking to give to those members that cannot buy for their kids. I love to shop BACK TO SCHOOL!!!!

  20. Anonymous says:

    I stock up on everything on our teacher's list- try to send in 2 to 3 times what they ask for- sometimes more (I go straight down the list even though I have a girl I get the boy stuff too…)- in case there are kids in our class that dont have the necessary supplies. I also usually go to my teacher's store at the beginning of the year and get a gift card for the teacher- in part to bribe her LOL in case my kid is bad but also because I know that they dont always have the supplies in the room they could use.

  21. FrugalBeagle says:

    I donate them to my local humane society. Many shelters are in need of office supplies like pens, tape, office paper, highlighters, dry erase board markers etc.

  22. ooh, thanks for the reminder! i need to get stocking up on (home)school supplies while they're cheap! by the way, loved the pieces on reorganizing your homeschool room!

  23. JordynnsMom says:

    Another great place to donate that most people don't think about is the local hospital.
    The children's wing can use crayons, coloring books, paper, markers, stickers and other things and all the other areas can use notebooks, pens, pencils (for the psychiatic ward, they can't have pens), binders, etc.
    I have been hospitalized unexpectedly several times and sometimes just having something to do with your mind and hands can make a big difference in recovery.

  24. I have noticed that file crates are cheaper during back to school season. I use these as laundry baskets. They can also be catch-alls in the garage to help with organization. I keep a plain one by the front door to stash shoes. And every bedroom closet has a crate for shoes. I use one at the beach, so sand falls through. There is a black one in the trunk of our auto, to hold gear. In the playroom they can help to sort toys and if you flip them over and add a chair cushion they make extra child seating. I love finding more uses for file crates and back-to-school season is the time to get them.

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