Friday Favorites (with Jules)

I hope y'all had a good first week of August. As for me, I've spent the last 5 days getting ready for the new school year by attending a training (four days long) and doing what I love the most, SHOPPING- back to school shopping, that is. 

One of my favorites about teaching in LAUSD is that because it's such a big district (2nd largest in the nation, after New York Dept. of Education), our trainings are all over LA. This usually means if it's a district wide and not "local" district wide training, I'll most likely drive into LA for the training. In this case, I had to drive to the Pico-Union area of LA, which is between downtown LA and Mid-City. Now, I don't particularly like driving "far" for trainings and always look for trainings that are within "local" districts. However, there is something special about driving to these district wide trainings, especially if it's in/near the downtown LA area- which brings me to one of my favorite things about teaching in LAUSD. I love that there's no real difference between going local or going on the freeway. I prefer to go local because it always reminds me of how culturally diverse and blessed I am to live in LA, and to be exposed to so many different neighborhoods. For example, to go to this training, I drove right by the Dodger Stadium, into Chinatown, through downtown, to reach to my destination. How many people can say that they drive through culturally different and diverse neighborhoods to commute? ... exactly. favorite! 

Second favorite for this week.. back to school shopping! 
Now, this upcoming school year is my 6th year of teaching and I've gotten better each summer, about buying only the real necessary stuff for back to school. Typically, I start making a list of all the items I need for the year. However, my motto was very simple this year: Buy only the items I'm really going to use and need- not the maybe's

With that said, this was my shopping list: 

  • notebook (composition notebook preferred vs spiral)
  • paper folders with 3 prongs 
  • hand sanitizers
  • glue sticks
  • red ballpoint pens
  • markers

Now, I got pretty lucky because Office Depot/Max has a sale going on currently with everything that I need for the upcoming school year. No lie... you ready to for the ad??

Yes! Office Depot composition notebooks for a PENNY- (3 max), Crayola 10 ct Markers and BIC 12 ct pens for 25 cents (3 max)

Yes! Office Depot composition notebooks for a PENNY- (3 max), Crayola 10 ct Markers and BIC 12 ct pens for 25 cents (3 max)

8 oz. Office Depot hand sanitizers for $1 (no max) and Elmer's 8 ct glue sticks $2 (no max)

8 oz. Office Depot hand sanitizers for $1 (no max) and Elmer's 8 ct glue sticks $2 (no max)

The only catch with the first page deal is that you have a limit per "household" so you have to play this carefully- I've gone to 4 (I know... crazy, but hey!) different locations and only 1 was accommodating and understanding of my needs as a teacher and allowed me to do 2 transactions, rather than 1. 

So here's my haul.

Trip 1:

  • 24 3-prong paper folders 30cents each ("price matched" at 20cents each after showing them a fellow teacher's deal at another Office Depot location for 15cents- but Staples has it for 17cents so DEFINITELY show their ad, to get the guaranteed price match deal)
  • 1 BIC 12 ct. pens 25cents
  • 3 Office Depot composition notebooks 1cent each
    total: $5.05 plus tax for 28 items

Trip 2:

  • 5 hand sanitizers $1 each
  • 3 Office Depot composition notebooks 1cent each
    total: $5.03 plus tax for 8 items 

Trip 3:

  • 3 Crayola 10 ct. markers 25cents each
  • 1 BIC 12 ct. pens 25cents
  • 4 hand sanitizers $1 each
  • 3 Office Depot composition notebooks 1cent each
    total: $5.03 plus tax for 11 items

Trip 4:

  • 1 Scholastic 12 ct. glue sticks $4 each (unadvertised, and Elmer's deal sold out)
  • 1 hand sanitizer $1 each
  • 3 Office Depot composition notebooks 1cent each
    total: $5.03 plus tax for 5 items


If you couldn't tell by my haul, those composition notebooks and hand sanitizers were my priorities because I work with upper elementary students. They need composition notebooks for organized note-taking skills without paper ripping and hand sanitizers after recess & lunch because not all wash their hands and Ms. Lee is a germaphobe in the classroom (I think I'm covered for 2/3 of the year!). Also, because I teach special ed, I don't have a big class- my average class size is 12 students. That's why I try to buy everything as a set of 12. 

Now, to get the best of all of this, I also went on a Tuesday because the "teacher discount" days were Monday-Tuesday, where we got additional 20% off everything. So in total, I did 4 trips, but 8 different transactions. 4 on Tuesday and 4 today, because I decided to "double up" before I regret not buying enough of composition notebooks, markers, glue sticks, and hand sanitizers... just in case I have more than 12 students also.

I'd show you a photo of my entire haul... but half of them are in my dad's car, who so lovingly came with me to get that 2nd/4th transaction in one of my Office Depot trips. (Thank you appa!)

I'm pretty proud of my shopping haul and feel good about my purchases. It was a pain in the butt to go to so many Office Depot's so that I can max out on my deals and quantities but you know what- in the end, you gotta do what you gotta do for your students/kids. 
 

PS: If you're a teacher and want to take an advantage of this deal, then put this on your to-do list for Saturday because tomorrow is the last day of this deal!