Want a $50 Staples card?

s0660153_sc7I must have been one of the nerdiest kids in Cumberland County, NJ, because I looked forward to the first day of school.

The first hint was the mid-August appearance of school supplies at Woolworth’s, Mr. Big, Diskay and other stores in the small city closest to our rural township. While the other kids shrieked and grabbed their throats in despair, I secretly  loved the sight of all that notebook paper waiting to be filled with words.

Back when the Earth was still cooling, “school supplies” mostly meant a blue three-ring binder (but only if last year’s was completely kaput), yellow No. 2 pencils (no pens until at least fifth grade), wide-ruled paper and maybe, if you were lucky, a big pink eraser. We made bookcovers out of brown grocery bags. Only the teacher had crayons and Magic Markers.

If eight-year-old me had seen the box of school supplies Staples shipped last week, the sensory overload might have put me in the emergency room.

A composition book with a leaf-and-ladybug design in pale pink and orange. Refillable mechanical pencils made just for small children, i.e., with “break-resistant” lead. Two-pocket folders with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle motifs. A clipboard with an oh-so-cuuute of a beagle puppy. th

Three-by-five-inch lined journals in bright florals and random, boldly colored patterns. Erasers that look like lipsticks, complete to the plastic top — and in patterns that match the journals. Pencils in patterns that match both the erasers and the journals, and a Spongebob Squarepants pencil sharpener to ready them for writing.

Want some of this for yourself? Or anything else Staples sells? Enter this week’s giveaway.

The world’s largest office-products company is sponsoring giveaways of $50 gift cards on my site and four others: Bargain Babe, Centsable Momma, Ultimate Money Blog and Saving Cents With Sense. Cruise on over to the others, enter the giveaway up to four more times and take a look at what those websites have to offer, from tips to coupons to essays.

Awesome alert!

When I showed my great-nephews the box of supplies they were as excited as I would have been at that age. Britain, whose entire life is performance art, immediately gravitated toward the ladybug composition book. Pink is one of his favorite colors and now that he’s in the third grade he’ll be doing more and more writing. 10400991-420

He loved the mini-comp books, too: “Because they’re teeny-tiny journals with flowers and they’re awesome.”

The lipstick erasers made him laugh out loud. “I could pretend that I was putting on lipstick at school.”

Although his school is pretty easygoing about B’s tendency to wear skirts and dresses to school, I suggested he soft-pedal the makeup mime. Who could focus on subjects and predicates when a classmate is rubbing an eraser across his lips?

Malachi, who’s about to turn 13, was intrigued by the dark blue three-ring binder with a discreet pattern of human skulls.

“It’s just a manly design,” he explained.th-1

He also jonesed for a package of six-inch-long mechanical pencils that looked like regular No. 2 pencils, right down to the erasers on top. “I love mechanical pencils — you can reload them,” Malachi said.

To keep him from running outta ammo during his next math test, and to give him a notebook mature enough for the first day of middle school, I gave him both items.

They both wanted the clipboard, with its pensive pup. While I couldn’t find a photo online I did discover an unbearably adorable clipboard of a kitten pawing its way through a paper background (see above). “I want that,” Britain sighed.

So do I, kid. So do I. Anchorage doesn’t have a Staples, but perhaps a field trip to the Staples in Phoenix will be in order when I next visit my daughter.

If you’re buying school supplies right now, take advantage of the retailer’s 110% Price Match Guarantee. Short form: Find a lower price on a new identical item anywhere (including Amazon.com) and Staples will match the price and discount it by 10 percent of the difference. (Just bought that item? You have up to 14 days to ask for a refund.)

Don’t have kids in school? The store has plenty of stuff adults want and need as well, from printer paper to electronics. You might also donate the card to a teacher you know, so that s/he can get additional classroom supplies, or to a social services agency or family shelter so that kids can get the tools of their education.

Again, you can enter via the site links above and through the Rafflecopter widget below. Note: If you’re leaving a comment, make sure you let the Rafflecopter know that you’ve done so.

The deadline is 11:59 p.m. PDT Friday, Aug. 29. Then the random number generator will choose one winner to receive a $50 Staples gift card. Cowabunga!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. ooooh weee. i could use this bigtime since i just moved 2,800 miles across the country from NYC to L.A. and i know i’ll need stuff in los angeles. btw regardless of whether i win, i really enjoy your website/blog…best wishes.

  2. I could go for that gift card! I have a niece who’s always needing a new journal.

  3. Sonja Johnson

    Thank you for sharing!

  4. Maureen g

    Could definitely use this!

  5. Love all the pretty BTS supplies-makes me wish I was a kid again!

  6. Karina house

    School supplies are so fun, and now that I homeschool my 2 kids I need them just as much as the kids do!

  7. Veronica

    Love new office/school supplies! And Staples rocks.

  8. Linda G

    Who DOESN’T love school supplies? All those possibilities…..

  9. Nice giveaway at a perfect time!

  10. As you shared your childhood experience, this post brought my mind back to when I was in grade school, too. I also might have been in the nerd column because I loved school although I didn’t become a great student until I reached junior high.

    But I remember some different “supplies” than those mentioned. We had little money but my mother was a great shopper who planned far ahead. When school started we always got new clothes to wear.

    It was better than Christmas for me and my sisters. Many of the clothes she had secreted away months ahead of time when she could buy them on the bargain racks. We always had what we needed and more (thanks to her dedicated effort) for school and for other occasions.

  11. Monica M.

    I have crayons and colored pencils on my to-buy list for the nieces, and need some tape and new binder for my own schooling needs – hoping to win this gift card!!

  12. Joan V.

    That would be a great giveaway prize for me to donate to a teacher.

  13. YAY! Back to school! 🙂

  14. Rosa Pedersen

    I have been putting off a trip to the office supply store because I know it will cost me some in impulse buys – but we really need printer cartridges!

  15. We always need school supplies, as I am constantly trying to fulfill our teachers’ wishlists. This would help a lot. Thank you for the giveaway!

  16. Love this time of year, school supplies!

  17. Sherry Hintze

    Oh, how exciting! I hope I managed the widget – kinda confusing!

    A very deserving teacher friend is about to start her new school year, and if I win, the gift card is headed her way! Thanks, Donna, and thank you, Staples!

  18. Staples, my drug of choice!

  19. I’ll use the gift card to finish up back to school shopping, need to get more crayons.

  20. Oh how I love pretty notebooks and colored pens!

  21. would love to buy school supplies!

  22. Pam Orita

    Crossing my fingers. I follow you on Facebook.

  23. Tina in NJ

    Still got one in school. Thanks for opportunity.

  24. We enjoy shopping for office supplies at Staples.

  25. Mary Happymommy

    We still need to buy notebooks!

  26. Bridget Heiple Reich

    Thank you! I love fun office/school supplies! 🙂

  27. I could use this.

  28. Even I would love those items.

  29. Samantha

    I’m FINALLY out of school, but I bet some supply needs will still pop up!

  30. I would love the Staples card!!

  31. I would love to win this. I will donate it! Hello from a former Anchorage and Fairbanks resident!

  32. Carnette Ball

    Just leavin a comment 😉

  33. We have two kids in school, my three year old daughter and my son who is five years old. Both are very excited to get back to school.

  34. Candice

    Great giveaway. I love Staples.

  35. Gayle Erwin

    Oh, I could get some of those great zippered binders… for MYSELF!!!

  36. What a great give away Donna! 🙂 I appreciate your blog and the stories you share here. I can relate to being in school “when the earth was cooling”….. LOL! School was so different back then as you have so elegantly written!

  37. left a comment and shared on FB. 🙂

  38. Jessica To

    Our school supply list was so long this year. We still need highlighters and erasable pens!

  39. Thank you for the giveaway!

  40. I was nerdy that way, too!! 🙂

  41. I love to stock up on items during the back to school deals.

  42. Amanda Paige

    I love office supplies. I wait for the back to school stuff clearance sales!

  43. Cathy in NJ

    I loved going back to school. I was quite the book worm. My daughter always needs supplies when she goes back.

  44. tricia b

    I like getting office supplies there.

  45. Kate Frale

    This would be great. I will need more ink for my printer soon 🙂

  46. I would like to win!!!

  47. I love me some office supplies!

  48. I can spend forever simply picking out the just-right gel pen. Thanks for the giveaway!

  49. My husband is in grad school and just got notice of a lay-off, we could use this Staples gift card.

  50. Kelly D

    I would buy pencils and notebooks for my kids.

  51. Thank you. This would come in handy, school starts next week around here.

  52. this would be so helpful for my husband who is going back to school!

  53. Need some pencils. Thanks.

  54. My 3 oldest grandchildren would love those supplies!

  55. If I were to win, I would pass the prize on to my cousin, who is entering her 24th year of teaching!


    This would be great for school supplies.

  57. Maureen

    Working from home always require supplies!

  58. Mirabella

    Just in time! My printer tells me that it’s running low on ink, so a Staples card would be much appreciated.

    P. S. – Anyone here remember PeeChee folders as a kid? Haven’t seen those in decades.

  59. Staples is a really cool store. Great contest!

  60. I’d love this

  61. I enjoy your website. I would love to win school supplies for my two college age sons.

  62. Yes I do!

  63. Cindy Brooks

    I love shopping at Staples! Did you forget the Peechees on your school supply list??? Those things were awesome for doodling in class 🙂

  64. I would love to win this — I’d be looking for the kitten clipboard myself and some printer supplies!

  65. Always enjoy looking and mostly buying goodies for office needs pens pencils,,,ink & copy paper are always in need here !!!!!TY

  66. Who doesn’t love fresh, new school supplies to start a new school year?

  67. My favorite place to go for printer ink…always running out!

  68. I also always loved the first day of school and looked forward to back to school shopping each year.
    Thank you for the giveaway!

  69. Beverley Egan

    I am a school supply nerd also. I love(d) looking at all of the notebooks, folders, and writing utensils and imagining what I could use them for. I would live to win this. Thank you!

  70. lostAnnfound

    The second (and last) child graduated this H.S. this past summer, so no “traditional” school shopping. But, the first child (JR in college) is contemplating replacing her laptop (the techs at the IT dept at her college are good, but even they can keep it going only so long), so this would go towards that for her. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  71. Thanks for the chance to win.

  72. Would love to win this! I also loved getting the few new school supplies my family could afford. Nowadays, printer ink is part of the back-to-school list too.

  73. Another great giveaway. I love back to school supplies even though my kids are grown with kids of their own. I could use this for stocking stuffers for Christmas!

  74. Melissa Miller

    I love going to Staples. I can just see all the fun pens, pencils and notebooks I could buy for my kiddos. Thank you!

  75. I’m a teacher who has always been pretty nerdy about new school supplies. This give-away is right up my alley!!

  76. I love school supplies 🙂 Wish they had all these fun colors when I was in school!

  77. Melanie

    Folders and crayons and markers, oh my! I still need to get some last minute items for my little ones first day of school!

  78. I got all my kids supplies from Staples!

  79. I was another kid who loved when school supplies were put out in the store. And, honestly, as an adult I still get excited.

    • Donna Freedman

      So do a lot of other people, judging from the comments. Count me in, too — I actually open boxes of Crayolas at the store because there’s nothing like that new crayon smell.

  80. Wendy Roberson Welch

    I buy more supplies for myself than I do for my kid. LOVE new pens, pencils, papers, etc….:)

  81. Used to work at a school, have lots of teacher friends who could really use this!

  82. New rescue dog equals need for replacement office supplies. Pup can open doors….

  83. Catseye

    I’d love the Staples gift card because I am going to community college and could use some supplies.

  84. Leilani

    Back to school was always my favorite time of the year. I loved getting all my new supplies ready. I still do.

  85. I’m a little older than you but I remember blue cloth-like three ring binders. Also Pee Chee folders in high school.

    • Donna Freedman

      Those are the ones! Blue and fabric-y, so clean at the beginning of the year and so battered by the end! Some kids wrote on theirs in ink but I never did because I was afraid I’d get in trouble. So nerdy, so goody-goody…

  86. As a kid, nothing said “back to school” like a new box of crayons! 🙂

  87. Those lipstick erasers are too cute, perfect for my little princess. I like shopping at Staples because I always find what we need at a great price

  88. Susan Matsen

    I would love a gift card!

  89. would love to win!

  90. Andrea Williams

    Staples really has some great deals for back to school!

  91. Looks like fun to me!

  92. Another nerd when it came to going back to school. Love the smell of the crayons.

    I couldn’t figure out how to leave a comment on the Rafflecopter site. Guess I’m not that nerdy!

  93. Nancy Black

    Wahoo Donna!! What a smashing contest to try and win!! Thank you for the chance of winning.

    • Donna Freedman

      Hey, don’t blame me — Staples is the one sponsoring it. (Boy, do I wish we had a Staples in Anchorage. I loved shopping at the one near my Seattle apartment.)

  94. Athena Rayner

    My daughter just started college so I would put this to use by sending her a care package of school supplies. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  95. I don’t have kids so I don’t need the supplies. I just wanted to say that I think it’s great that Britain has such an accepting school(and great Aunt).I wish there were more out there that weren’t afraid to let the kids be themselves. Bravo!

    • Donna Freedman

      Aw, thanks. His mom’s found a lot of like-minded folks on the Raising My Rainbow blog. Kids come out of the womb with their own personalities. I think his theme song should be, “I Gotta Be B!” (’cause his nickname is B).
      As for not needing the card…If you won it you could either donate it to a local school or sell it on the secondary market. I checked, and current buyback rates would net you about $45. Not too shabby!

  96. Prasert

    I love staples

  97. My daughter would probably hijack that card for some of the super-cute supplies! She was really bummed when I only bought the marked-down-to-a-dime items, since they were so… utilitarian.

  98. I am starting a new semester of courses. I have a lot of things I will need for school.

  99. soha molina

    I could use this for back to school shopping.

  100. Kristen

    We made our book covers out of paper bags too!

    I always loved the perfect new empty notebooks and pens.

  101. I’d love a chance to win, thanks!

  102. Would love this! We never had any money as kids, so just drooled over the goodies other kids had (while pretending we didn’t care, of course). I recall scrounging up one of each color crayon (from any collection, of any size) around the house from past years/older siblings to meet the required list. One year, I had no blue all year. Character building! Thanks for your writing.

  103. Would sure like to win this!

  104. This would be so wonderful to win, plus helpful!

  105. Staples is better than a candy store — I’d love to have the gift card to stretch my shopping there!

  106. There are sooo many colorful and wonderful things at Staples! It makes me want everything – like my coworker says, I’m like a magpie! All things shiny grab my attention. 🙂

  107. always enjoy reading this blog

  108. Mary W.

    I would love to win!

  109. Tami Vollenweider

    I could a lot of goodies with that card!! Thanks

  110. i really love staples

  111. I have one in college and high school senior so I could defintiely put this go good use! Thanks for the contest!

  112. Sign me up!

  113. Kelly Bray

    I’m STILL a school supply/office supply nerd! I get inordinately excited just going through the door at Staples.

  114. I know this sounds silly but I would really like a laminator.

  115. We always had crayons on our supply list and that was my favorite! We were only allowed to get the 8 color box, but to this day I still gravitate to the 64 color box with the built in sharpener.

  116. Sandra J

    Love to win and use this for my granddaughter – Ty!!

  117. Following on FB and have left comment. Thanks Donna for a chance at this give away!

  118. Soulkifly

    Oohh choose me!!

  119. ro in san diego

    I follow u on Facebook

  120. ro in san diego

    I follow u by email too

  121. Tabathia B

    I would use the gift card to purchase school supplies for my daughter

  122. I spent so much time on the Bargain Babe site you cited, by following your link! I think I have found a new favorite.

    • Great giveaway, I still get excited about back to school stuff and I’m over 60!!!

  123. I love new notebooks! If I won, though, I’d donate to foster kids I happen to know 🙂

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