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I’m Not Smelling Socks. I’m Smelling Savings.

I never understood why my mom would sweat bullets during the last week of summer vacation. You’d think that the woman of 5 kids, one of which was awesome and named Kimberly, would have been more than overjoyed to pack our bags and kick us out of the front door without getting arrested for child abandonment.

She started hoarding department store flyers at the beginning of August and studied them so much that when you asked her if she was cooking spaghetti for dinner she’d respond, “Spaghetti is 69 cents in aisle 24 and the sauce is a dollar and forty cents. But, if you head on over to xyz store, you can get the sauce for a dollar and twenty cents. I need to calculate the gas mileage. Where’s the calculator?”

We lost 10 pounds before she figured it out.

When the day came to put her skills to the test, she’d pack us lunches and treats to shut us up from annoying every living being within a 20 mile radius.

“What’s got her knickers in a headlock? It’s just school shopping,” my sister would whisper.




Don’t ever say that to a parent.

When my son started school last year, I was excited to buy him all of the things. Pants, shirts, backpacks, “Hey does that say 39.99?”, socks, “Are those running shoes 60 bucks? I need 2 pairs!”, glue, coats, boots…and the list went on and on.

I started to feel a sense of defeat.

Who knew that kids, going to school kids, are that expensive.

By the time I got everything done, I spent a lot of money on a 4 year old and all that was on  his “supply list” was glue, 2 pairs of running shoes, backpack, lunch bag, and “oopsie! I made a poopsie or peepie in my pantsie” outfit.

Sucker was written on my forehead.

This year was different.

This year I was invited to take part in Walmart’s Frugal Heroes Challenge.

I was given a $100 gift card to spend at Walmart to get my son Senior Kindergarten ready.

Everything under a $100? I was a bit skeptical.

I armed myself with flyers and a list that was about as intimidating as running into a bear with nunchucks and rabies in your closet.

Let the games begin.




Now since my son is in Senior Kindergarten, his supply list was very short. All he needs is a pair of indoor shoes, backpack, lunch bag, glue sticks, ear buds, and an extra pair of clothes to stay at school.

Since I jumped the gun early when I saw my son’s favourite character on a backpack and lunch bag, I purchased them so I was left with the rest on the list. Oh, and school clothes because he’s like a raging bull on steroids wrapped in threads.

Here is what we saw when we walked in…

Walmart Frugal Challenge 1 I know.

I’ll give you a minute to pick your jaw up from the floor.

Since I was more focused on school clothes you can imagine my heart leaping in savings when I saw these signs.

Walmart Frugal Challenge 2

And things got wild from there.

Walmart Frugal Challenge 3

She’s not smelling socks. She’s smelling savings.

And yes, those running shoes are a dollar (unfortunately, I couldn’t find any in my son’s size but that’s ok! We made up for it!)

When all was said and done, I bought:


2 pairs of licensed t-shirts (Ninjago and Star Wars are his favourite!): $7 each

2 pairs of casual/track pants: $8 each

1 hoodie: $8

1 value pack of boys socks: $2

Transformer Underwear pack: $12.98

Ear buds (for computer class): $9.77

Indoor running shoes: $17.50

4 packs of 2 iron on patches (little tip for those of you with active boys: iron these patches on the INSIDE of their jeans at the knees. It helps prevent wear and tear on the jeans…try it.): $1.50 each

A sandwich kit for his lunch (included Tupperware for sandwich, and 4 small snacks, and 2 ice packs): $9.47 

Extra set of ice packs (because my son eats yogurt like it’s going out of style): 1.69 

Now if you add that all up, my total came to $104.32 including taxes (HST: $3.50 and GST: $3.50).

So you’re thinking, “Kimberly, that is not under the budget!”

Oh but it is.

You see that sandwich kit?



It came with $7.oo in coupons!

So I win and I made my frugal mom very proud.

If you’re still shopping and looking for great deals, head on over to Walmart! You’ll be surprised at how much you can save!



*Disclosure: I received a $100 Walmart Canada gift card in order to take part in the Walmart Frugal Heroes Challenge. All opinions are my own as well as these shoddy pictures taken from my cell phone. I was awarded by the security camera people for the best showmanship of jazz hands in a Walmart. Kidding about the award. I’m sure that my sister and I gave them a good laugh that day.

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23 comments to I’m Not Smelling Socks. I’m Smelling Savings.

  • Damn! Well done! And also, that is an incredibly short shopping list. It’s quite possible that Allie needs more crap for daycare. Your notebooks are cheaper than ours. WOOO for something being cheap ;-)


    Kimberly Reply:

    @Jess, Not going to lie, our school board gets a lot of funding and we pay for it through fundraisers which is awesome. A lot of parents (myself included–pats self on back) donate books and stuff to the school too. Makes the world a better place


  • Lucky! (she said in her best Napoleon Dynamite voice.)


    Kimberly Reply:

    @Nancy, HAHAH…oh I love that movie!


  • That is not a school list! Just wait! The school supply lists here read like the Dead Sea Scrolls they go on forever…but glad you got your savings and that your mom was such a good role model


    Kimberly Reply:

    @Krystal, I don’t even want to know about it. Shudder


  • certainly scored there!
    I’m one of five too (awesome, right?). I cannot even imagine what my parents went through come every August. I just can’t.


    Kimberly Reply:

    @Tamara, I don’t even want to know. Nope. I don’t. I should start buying them senior citizens outfits in return…muwhahah


  • Your mom cracks me up. But she’s got something there. My dad was the same way and saved enough to have his own house built, paying cash.

    Now that child number 3 is in school, I am way more frugal than I used to be.


    Kimberly Reply:

    @Lady Jennie, Holy his own house built? That’s amazing!!
    Yea, three kids makes me sweat bullets. This one runs through clothes like it was a dusty fart.


  • This makes my coupon loving heart so proud!! Go girl! Get you some savings!!!


    Kimberly Reply:

    @Leighann, Damn coupons. We rarely get them in my neck of the woods.


  • I decided, after we were finished with back to school shopping – mostly for supplies – for three kids – that I will go to Walmart again next year. We went to Tarjay, the savings aren’t as great!


    Kimberly Reply:

    @Susi, We just got Target here in Canada and it isn’t great at all. Three kids makes me sweat LOL!


  • I don’t even remember when I spent on AJ and I haven’t even gotten his list but I grabbed some sale stuff from Target, he got a new backpack and thankfully he got a butt load of hand me downs from one of his grandmas. I probably spent about $60 all together and I’m sure he has more than he needs.


    Kimberly Reply:

    @Amanda Jillian, Now that is a score!! Love bargain hunting and hand me downs. Love.


    Amanda Jillian Reply:

    @Kimberly, add like $15 I got him a new shirt and a pair of shorts for his first day of school outfit.


  • Great job! Unfortunately, my school-shopping days were pre-walmart!!!


    Kimberly Reply:

    @Eva Gallant, HAHAH…well I can imagine the shopping gets worse when he’s older..kidding. Kid grows out of clothes so fast…but that is a huge blessing


  • sara

    well let’s see I have shopped for my 4 kids, not included any clothing in the school shopping. One of my kids is continuing to bring home additional lists from teachers (we are two weeks into the school year) my kids do attend public school I have a junior, a sophomore, an 8th grader and a 1st grader. So far my school supply expenses for the items required on their lists has exceeded $700.00 I am livid. In addition to the required name brand supplies, my daughter (the sophomore) two of her classes charge $10 per tests, if you don’t pay they won’t let your child test. If your child doesn’t test they fail the class. She has a minimum of 5 tests over the course of each class. so that is an additional $100 in testing fees.


    Kimberly Reply:

    @sara, Oh…no…that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! So how to people who cannot afford that send their kids to school. That makes my stomach turn


  • sara

    I have wondered about that. I’m sure it is only going to get worse. I have read about school districts with supply lists that were much worse than mine so I am grateful for the small things, right?


  • Jen

    Good job. I love sales. I had five and I can’t remember how much it cost back in the day, probably a trauma.

    All i remember was the very expensive calculators the kids needed in high school almost 100 bucks a piece. Crazy!


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