Monday, August 4, 2014

Loss Leader Strategy

When I posted the above image on Instagram with a brief mention of stocking up for back to school supplies using the loss leaders, a friend commented, "Loss leaders?  What's that?"  

So forgive me for over-explanation if you are already a hardcore couponing type, but this is how it works.  Especially at back to school time, stores compete fiercely for your business.  They mark supplies down to crazy low prices hoping you'll come to THEIR store, pick up a few of those things (loss leaders) and then fill your cart with everything else at regular prices.  

We noticed the front page of the Staples flyer last week and decided to head over and fill up our supply cupboard.  The prices were as follows:  

$5 each for the 3D puzzles (clearance)
10 cents per box of Crayola wax crayons (10 allowed)
25 cents per box of Crayola pencil crayons (10 allowed)
5 cents per coil bound, 80 page notebook (10 allowed)
5 cents per duotang (50 allowed)

The lined paper is the stash I still have left over from last year.  And by the looks of it, I won't be buying duotangs or crayons again either. 

Then because I needed some icecream buckets for picking fruit this summer, we headed over to the Reuse Center.  I did snag a few buckets, but we also came home with several more boxes of school and craft supplies for a grand total of $5.  (Treasure hunting is just SO MUCH FUN!!)  Off the top of my head, here are some of the things we found this week:

6 icecream buckets
Heavy stapler and staple remover
12 newsprint scrapbooks
Supply of construction paper and manila cardstock
Fabric in various colors and sizes
Needlepoint plastic mats
Artist's canvasses
10 pairs of kids scissors
Craft feathers
Crafting magnets
2 new boxes of bulletin board push pins
1 bulletin board in need of a bit of TLC
1 framed oil painting I plan to upcycle into DIY art
Approx. 200 binder clips in all sizes
3 clear glass vases
Terracotta bowl, made in Italy
Heavy red bowl to make a candle in 
4 matching white milk glass vases
Approx. 25 post it note pads
3 novelty pencils
1 brand new dress pattern
Brand new box of oil paints
Almost new box of acrylic paints
Cool burlap lunch bag
6 hardcover children's books (we redonate them when we're done reading them, unless they're real keepers)
More corks, keys and maps for crafts
This vintage wooden sewing box (to store my expanding essential oil collection)

Can't remember the rest offhand.  Please let me reassure you that I am not planning to hoard all of the above in my house!  I have several large boxes in my guest closet with mental labels for my mom, sister and sister-in-law, our homeschooling group, general give-away and things to re-donate to the Reuse Center.  All of the above list has been divided between our own supply cupboard and craft box and the give-away boxes.