My shopping trip for Free School Supplies at Target and Staples

I headed out to a couple of stores this morning, coupons, deals, and supply lists in hand, to score  some deals on back to school supplies. I am really pleased with the final results, even though the process was a little painful at 2 out of the 3 stores.

First, I went to Target. I was there right at 8 am, so it was just me, Emma, and the shelf-stockers. Which was good because I was pretty much talking to myself the entire time, trying to do math in my head (it’s not pretty; there is a reason I was an English major).

Picture 22

Here’s what I got FREE at Target:

4 Boxes of Up&Up Crayons – $0.25 each
Used $1.00/4 Target Mobile Coupon (Text “offers” to 827438)
Final Price = FREE

2 Box of Up & Up Crayons – $0.25 each
1 pack of Up & Up Markers – $1.59
Used B2G1 Free Target Printable Coupon
Stacked with 10% Target Cartwheel Discount
Final Price = 1 box of Crayons Free, Markers for $1.26

1 package of Bic Mechanical Pencils – $0.99
Used $1.00/1 Bic Product Coupon from 8/4 Smart Source Newspaper Insert
Final Price = FREE

Here’s what else I saved on:

3 Boxes of Ziploc Bags (on my son’s Kindergarten list) – $3.50 each on sale, 30-42 ct
Used $1.00/3 Ziploc Bags Printable Coupon
Final Price = $3.16 each

Crayola Jumbo Crayons – $2.97
Crayola Twistables – $4.49
Crayola Coloring Book (not pictured, birthday gift) – $4.99
Used $2.00/$10.00 Crayola Purchase Target Coupon
Final Price = Avg $3.48 each

I also stopped by Staples and took advantage of the following deal to get FREE copy paper:

Hammermill Copy Paper – $6.99
Buy 1, Get $5.99 Easy Rebate (limit 2)
FREE With Coupon Online Here (Pg.25)
FREE after rebate and Coupon

Overall, I was pretty pleased. I had a heck of a time checking out at Target though. As you can see, I carefully planned out my trip to so I knew my prices, my coupons, and how many of each item I needed. So I was kind of annoyed when the cashier scanned my mobie coupon bar code and got an error message on the register. We tried it a zillion different ways, with the cashier, two managers, and on two different registers. Honestly, I think the registers aren’t equipped to handle transactions with multiple coupon types. I was using manufacturer’s coupons (like the Ziploc Coupon), Target printables (like the $2/$10 Crayola coupon),  Target Mobile Coupons (the $1.00/4 Up & Up), AND Target cartwheel discounts. I tried to make it as easy as possible by giving the Printables first, then the Target mobile, then the Cartwheel, but it was not working.  Finally, the head manager just manually entered it.

So I got great deals while adhering to Target’s stated coupon policy, but this isn’t the first time I’ve had trouble with the mobile coupons. I wonder if others have had issues as well. I’d love for you to share your experiences in the comments.


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  1. I had the same prob with the $1/4 mobile coupon at Target last week. They had to manually enter mine as well. Other than that one I haven’t had problems with the mobiles. HOWEVER, the target cashier and manager made multiple mistakes on other coupons and transactions I had and ultimately wouldn’t let me stack a Target coupon with a manufactures coupon!! Never had that happen before and I do it all the time. I left feeling pretty frustrated (that was also a school supply shopping transaction) :(

    • That’s why I often shop with a printout of the store’s coupon policy. From Target’s website:

      “Reminder: we accept one manufacturer coupon and one Target coupon for the same item unless either coupon prohibits it.”

      Many times the cashier’s (and even managers) don’t know the corporate policy.

      Thanks for sharing, Shelly!

  2. I used the $1/4 up&up school supplies and the $2/1 pillow and I the register screen showed ‘2 coupons applied’ so I hope they both worked right..gotta check my receipt! I get pretty frustrated shopping at Target anymore. I hate missing a deal but find it really frustrating to combine mfg coupons, target coupons, mobile coupons and the cartwheel. I have done a few trips using all of them and had to have a list and notes on what to use. I also have yet to use my $10 groupon e gift card because the cell service is so bad in the store I can’t pull it up or it is taking forever and the line is building behind me. And I try to use Ibotta but also cant pull it up on my cell at the back of the store.


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