Help Out Local Schools With Your Purchases

by Christina Brown · 4 comments

in Frugal Living

It’s hard to watch schools struggle to afford basic equipment and educational resources.  We’re all feeling the pinch on our pocketbooks these days, and coming up with additional funds to donate to your child’s class can be difficult.

Fortunately, there are numerous programs that allow you to contribute to your child’s school while you are purchasing the things you usually buy.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to help local schools just by shopping for your family:

Box Tops for Education.  For each Box Top you clip, your school receives 10 cents.  Not a big deal, right?  Guess again! Box Tops for Education has awarded more than $400 million to schools since 1996.  With hundreds of eligible products from General Mills to Juicy Juice to Ziploc,  you should easily be able to come up with at least a $20 donation of Box Tops each school year.   You can also maximize your school fundraising by shopping online through Box Tops for Education and for watching for Box Tops for Education bonus opportunities through Grow Local Learning.

Labels for Education.   What started as saving Campbell Soup labels has now evolved into the Labels for Education program. There are dozens of eligble products including V8, Bic, Glad food storage bags and more.  Each label is worth one to five points and your school can use those points to get free educational items for the arts, academics and athletics.

Kemps Nickels for Schools. Save those caps from your Kemps milk or labels from select Kemps dairy products for Nickels for Schools.  Each one is worth an easy 5 cents for your child’s school.

My Coke Rewards.  If you drink a lot of Coca-Cola products, you could put that purchase to good use.  You can donate your My Coke Rewards points to a school of your choice to be used to purchase equipment and supplies.  In addition, save those cans.  A lot of school groups recycle the aluminum as a way to raise extra cash.

Target.  As you all know, I’m not a big fan of credit cards. That said, if you’re a good shopper and always pay your balance in full each month, 1% of whatever you put on your Target credit card will go to your child’s school.  The RedCard Take Charge of Education program has raised nearly $300 million since 1997.

Scholastic.  While I’m a huge fan of libraries, I also love to see families establish their own reading library for their children.  By buying the inexpensive books through the Scholastic flyers that come home with your child, shopping through Scholastic.com, or shopping at a Scholastic book fair, you’ll be helping your child’s school earn free books for its students while building your child’s reading collection at home.

Recycling.  Another way schools raise money is through recycling items like printer ink cartridges and old cell phones and computers.  Check to see what things your school collects for recycling.

All of these programs take just a little bit of your time to participate,  and the best part is that you don’t have to spend money on things you don’t need to help raise money for your school.  Your small purchases can have a big impact on schools without impacting your wallet.

What are your favorite programs that support your child’s school?


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jennifer August 12, 2011 at 10:42 am

Thanks for this round-up. I was going to write up something myself but now I don’t have to! I posted a link to your article on our school’s Facebook page as a reminder of all the different ways they can help our school.

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2 Christina @ Northern Cheapskate August 12, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Thanks for sharing my post with your school – I love easy (and cheap) ways to support schools!

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3 Donna Freedman August 14, 2011 at 12:31 am

Taking advantage of those super-loss-leader deals at Office Depot, Staples and Office Max (5-cent crayons, 10-cent paper, et al.) and donating them so that every child will have the tools for his or her education.
Donating children’s books to the school library.
Volunteering: Even though I was a working parent, I was sometimes able to break away to, say, help staff a special event or to spend part of an evening helping at a carnival.

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4 Christina Brown August 14, 2011 at 7:54 am

Excellent ideas!

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