Frugal Tips for Shoebox Shopping

One of my boys’ favorite things to do in November is packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.  I pull out boxes full of small toys, art supplies, toiletries and more and they get to each fill their boxes with items for a boy their age.  They love filling the boxes and I love that they love it! 


Here are ways that I save money and still am able to fill up the boxes with lots of fun stuff:

  • After Christmas sales – buy small stocking stuffers at 50%, 75% and sometimes even 90% off!  The retailers also clearance many of their toys after Christmas, so you can pick up some small toys in the toy department.
  • In late summer when the school supplies get really cheap for back to school sales, I stock up on markers, crayons, glue, etc.  
  • If you coupon, pick up some of those free or nearly free deals for toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, etc.
  • The Target Dollar Spot is also a great place to find stuff…each season they clearance their Dollar Spot inventory to 50%-75% off! 
  • Michaels, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn’s and other craft stores – look for small craft kits on clearance. These are great for older kids. 
  • Store promotional items – many stores have pencils, pens, coloring books, etc and if you talk to the manager they almost always are willing to give you stuff! 
  • Party Supplies – look for party favors that have been marked down. 
  • Dollar Store – Great place to find toothbrushes, toothpaste or socks.  They also have a good selection of coloring books and smaller packs of crayons. 
  • Set aside some of the candy your children get at Halloween! 

Basically, I keep the shoeboxes in the back of my mind all year long and am always looking out for a good deal on things to include in the shoeboxes.

Do you have any tips for frugal shoebox shopping?

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About Heidi S.

I spend my days growing and learning with my boys and my nights as a freelance writer and editor. I am an all-around frugal mom, always looking for ways to be a better steward with the things God has blessed us with. I am married to my high school sweetheart and have three boys - ages 12, 10, and 8. Our homeschool style is very eclectic...Charlotte Mason to classical to traditional, you will find a little bit of everything on our bookshelves.
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