Each Tuesday I join ohamanda and post a top ten list. The list might be tips, crafts, hints, favorites, or anything that sparks my interest. Enjoy!
Just like the after Christmas sales, Valentine’s Day clearance sales can prove to be a good time to stock up on items for Operation Christmas Child Shoe-boxes and goodies for your sponsored kiddos. This is a particularly good time to find deals on:
1) Cards – You can easily find those classroom boxed sets of Valentines for under $1 in most areas. You should also be able to find deeply discounted Valentine’s Day greeting cards. Be sure to check all your area ‘dollar’ stores as well as larger department stores. I’d suggest you at least try to get enough cards to send to your sponsored child(ren) because come December they will be nearly impossible to find or outrageously expensive…. (the picture below is of one of the cards we sent to our Awana Clubber this year).
2) Stickers – Heart shaped stickers and other Valentine’s Day themes are outrageously cheap right now. Stock up on these goodies for OCC boxes, Sponsored Children, Good Behavior Rewards, or just for a quick pick-me-up for a friend. Who doesn’t love stickers? 🙂
3) Fake Flowers – Roses and other synthetic flowers often go on sale after Valentine’s Day. How fun would it be to put together a princess themed OCC box with a toy tiara, plastic jewelry, hair accessories, and fake flowers. What little girl wouldn’t like that? 🙂
4) Holiday-themed clothing – Target and Walmart often have Valentine’s Day clothing (t-shirts, socks, underwear, head wear) in their dollar section. It’s definitely worth scoping out, if you haven’t already.
5) Pencils, Erasers, Small toys, etc. – Specifically check the small ‘party favors’ and toys that you would put in school goody-bags – heart-shaped erasers, pencils, and stamps are on sale in my area for under $1. Again, worth checking out if you’re already in the store.
6) Stuffed Animals – look especially for the small Valentine’s Day themed teddy bears and other stuffed animals. These should be at least 50% off, and really, it should be more than that. Just be sure when buying animals for OCC boxes that you get a small enough size that they will easily fit in a shoe-box will other ‘essential’ items.
7) Photos/Photo Cards: Snapfish.com is offering free shipping plus 25% off cards. But hurry, offer expires Feb. 15th! (Create Valentine’s Day cards, personalized note cards, and more. Use coupon code GIVELOVE by February 15)
8 ) Cups – While grabbing pencils and erasers for Awana goodie bags, I noticed that my local Walmart also has 4 packs of plastic heart-themed cups for $1. These would make great items to include in OCC boxes.
9) Gloves, Winter-wear– Right now, stores generally starting to stock “Spring” clothing, and deeply discounting their winter-wear to make room for the new merchandise. Take advantage of this and stock up on gloves, hats, and scarves. They should be on sale with a significant discount. Any type of clothing, including gloves and hats, would be great to stick back for OCC boxes.
10) Party-wear / balloons- finally, be sure to check the party isle. Themed balloons, tableware, and other decorations for Valentine’s Day parties should be featuring steep discounts, and would make really fun additions to OCC boxes.
Resist the urge to stock up on chocolate or other Valentine’s Day candy. You can’t send chocolate in OCC boxes (melts too easily) and any hard candy that you get now will be past its expiration date by the time it makes it to the kids. Save your candy buying for after Halloween…unless you’re stocking up for you or your family. Then, by all means, buy away! 😉
Do you “stock up” on items for OCC boxes throughout the year? Do you have any other sale item suggestions that I missed?