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…
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.
And things got wild from there.
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.