Ready For Back to School Shopping? Here is How I Did My Shopping Last Year, and How I am Preparing This Year-Stay Tuned For Updates!!!


It is that time of the year AGAIN!! 
I am putting together  my back to school lists and deals-to help you and ME!! 
I wrote this article last year explaining how I Back to School shop and my actual shopping that I did-If you are in your planning stages, you may want to read these to get an idea of how you can save on anything you need to buy!
Remember-this was LAST year so the promo codes are not valid-they are just examples-but I will be starting to post current deals starting this week!

 Previous article starts..HERE….

Back to School Shopping!!! It is 100 degrees outside-how can Summer be over already??

Well, I have finished my back to school shopping for my 5 kids. 
2 Teenage High School girls , 1 Middle School boy, and 2 Elementary school boys. Here is how I stretched my budget this year..

I really would love to tell you that I saved my money over the summer to have some huge amount to go crazy and shop with for back to school-and although that is my intention-it did not happen this year. 

I had $600-for 5 kids (TWO teenage girls!) and although it seemed impossible before we started-they were all happy with their purchases-which was a MIRACLE!!

#1 I had my girls make a list of what they wanted and needed for back to school shopping. This way I knew what was important to THEM. I have bought what I thought they needed and then realized they weren’t happy because they really wanted something else so it didn’t matter.

#2 I personally went through my younger 3 kids’ clothes (boys) to see what they needed. Then I asked them to pick out their favorite outfits they already had and to get rid of what they didn’t want anymore. This helped me make a list of what they needed.

                                     MY ONLY GOAL-get everything on all of the lists!
One daughter wanted a pair of shoes that were $85. They didn’t sell them at Famous Footwear so I couldn’t use my rewards or coupons. But, they did sell them at Tilly’s where I had a 20% off coupon!

I used my RAISE app. They sell gift cards at a discount so I bought a $200 gift card for $157.  (Use code DDAVIS2 to save $5)
I ordered the Shoes and used the 20% Off code and got them for $63.99. Then I ordered the backpacks on separate orders and used multiple 20% off codes I found at RetailMeNot. Shipping was $.99 so that was cheaper than the gas to get to the store! Then I searched their clearance items that were 70% off and grabbed 3 pairs of shorts, 5 shirts +2 backpacks and a pair of shoes all for $160! That put a good dent into my higher priced items so they were happy! Plus my middle school guy got a Tilly’s backpack so he was happy! We also were at the mall and we grabbed another pair of sandals there and used an email 20% off coupon I received after this purchase for $14.
tillys all clearance items were 20% off with the Promo Code BTS20 (and this code is good still)
I put in the sizes of my kids shoes and checked them out before I went to the store with them (They tend to pick out the most expensive pairs of shoes) 
I found Nike Jordans for $49.97, then used the 20% off promo code and grabbed them for $40!
If you sign up on you always get FREE Shipping! I also grabbed a couple pairs of Nike shorts that were $15 ($12 after the sale) as well because they are usually around $20 at Macys or JC Penneys, and they don’t allow coupons on their Nike apparel. 

Folsom Outlets-not too exciting but we were in the area for a doctor appointment so we checked it out. 
Nike Outlet-I bought 1 pair of shorts and a shirt -spend about $25. Nothing really exciting they didn’t have the right sizes of anything anyone liked. 

Childrens Place Outlet. 
They had T-Shirts for $2.99! I told the boys they could have as many as they wanted. My youngest (7) Thought all of the shirts were so cool, so he found 5 that he wanted, plus 2 more from the other 2 boys and a pair of shorts came to $33. That was a good one!


JC Penney
I got a $10 off a $10+ Purchase coupon in the mail-my daughter got a denim skirt for $.21 (that was actually on her list. Then we used the $10 off a $25 purchase coupon to grab 2 tank tops and a dress for my daughters and paid $17. Those items were ALL on their lists of what they wanted. I was pretty happy how that turned out. 


When you make ANY purchase you get a FREE Pink Planner! A planner was actually on my daughter’s list so they got a water bottle AND a planner! The planners are $14.95 regularly. So, since I was going to spend the money anyways, they were happy PLUS they got a water bottle!


Old Navy
I grabbed Boys Active Wear shorts for $5 each! I grabbed a couple pairs when I was there, then when they boys wore them they said they really liked them, so I went back and grabbed more colors. I got 8 pairs of shorts for $40-plus it was on the day they had $2 tank tops and I grabbed 4 of them for the girls plus a few more shirts for my older son.
+I earned Old Navy Cash to come back in September!

Famous Footwear
Famous Footwear is easy for me to shop at with my kids. They have everyone’s sizes and brands and we can usually get in and out of there pretty quick.  Here is what I grabbed there. Make sure you go when the shoes are Buy One Get One 50% off!! That sale is going on now+you can get an extra 15% off!

famous-footwear- coupon

Converse $59.99
Nikes $54.99 
-$27.49 because of the Buy One Get One 50% Off
-$13.12 using the 15% off coupon

Submitted for $5 Cash Back from Ibotta


I also bought a Backpack and another pair of shoes there as well in another transaction using a $10 reward that I had as well. 

I also use the Famous Footwear app and earn rewards with my purchases so I earn $5 and $10 rewards very easily. 
Also, they are giving away $5 Come Back Cash for each purchase too!

Forever 21 has a GREAT deal on tank tops and Tshirts. Their Tank tops are $1.99 and their shirts are $2.99. They also have jeans for $7.90!! So I got 2 pairs of jeans, a few undershirts and T-shirts and some jewelry and spent about $30 there for the girls. 

I bought LOTS of socks at Target for the boys because they seem to disappear easier. 

School Supplies

Each week I bought the $.01, $.25, $50, and $1 etc. deals that Office Max, Staples, Target, Walgreens had. I used whatever coupons I had for them as well. Then before school started I pulled everything out and they loaded up-and I have plenty of extras for throughout the year. 
I did buy a 2 thermos containers, a lunchbag, brown bags for lunches, calculator, and a few things like that and spend around $60 on supplies. 

So- I got everything and MORE off of everyone’s lists! It is still Summer and very HOT outside, so I know I need to save up a bit when everyone needs pants and jackets-but for now, I am within budget and everyone is happy -and that works for me!








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Office Depot and Office Max Back to School Deals!

Office Depot and Office Max have the BEST ads and deals for Back to School Shopping -IF you stick to the sale items. Please do not shop without a list! These are BIG stores with lots of really cute and fun things that are NOT on sale!


However, if you can stick to the list and the sales-these are the items that you want to stock up on-remember, they will be full price later in the school year so get all you can now!

Composition Notebooks $.50 Limit 12 ( I only bought 12 last year, and had to buy some full price in the 2nd semester..that won’t happen again!)

Rulers-Office Depot Brand $.25 Limit 12

Kid Scissors Office Depot Brand $.50
Scholastic School Glue $.50
Office Depot Wood Pencils 12 Pack $.75 
Bic Pens $1.50 Black, Blue and Red Limit 12 ** There will be coupons for these in the paper, so make sure you cut your coupons!
Dry Erase Markers Office Depot Brand 4 pk. $.2

All the backpacks are also 25 % off-so you may be able to score a great deal if they have one your kids like!

Be on the lookout in your Sunday newspaper. There will start to be coupons for Back to School supplies-you can use these coupons at Office Max and Office Depot for even better deals!


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Back to School Sales are Starting!!!! All Season Long Prices at Staples!

Staples has their great back to school deals once again! 

The front page always has the best deals-

$.25 1 Subject Notebooks-Limit 30
$.50 Staples brand Glue, Erasers, Pencils, Pencil Sharpeners, and BIC Pens
$.97 Crayola Markers and Colored Pencils

These are great deals, and they will get you in the stores-but remember if you start looking around…. you will end up buying things not on your list that are FULL PRICE! 

In big stores like this, I have found it easier to go alone. When I bring my kids they start wandering around and end up wanting a $10 notebook instead of the $2 one and other kneat looking things. 
Get the deals (use coupons if you have them) and get right out.



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Talenti Less Sugar Pints and Breyers Delights Only $1 at Safeway Friday 7/20 Only!

This Friday at Safeway-
Talenti Gelato and Breyers delights are 2 for $5!
Use these coupons-

Save $1.50 on ANY one (1) Talenti Crafted With Less Sugar pint
Save $1.50 on ONE (1) pint of Breyers® delights or Breyers® delights Minis

 $1 EACH!!

Save $1.50 on ANY one (1) Talenti Crafted With Less Sugar pint

Save $1.50 on ONE (1) pint of Breyers® delights or Breyers® delights Minis

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Family Students Travel Travel

How to Enjoy Sacramento on a Budget..Part 1?


Spend the day in Sacramento for $40 Family Challenge!
That was my “Great Idea” for our family to spend the afternoon in Sacramento and enjoy spending quality family time together-without going over our budget. There were 7 of us, so I said “Let’s eat lunch at home, and then with $40 (approx $5 each) let’s see what fun we can have without driving too far, and let’s see how we can try some new things in our own city. Plus-let’s take some fun pictures around our city and then we can go home when it is dinner time! Sound’s fun right?????” 
Everyone was like  “OK Mom! -then they said they wanted to get gelato, coffee, buy a souvenir, candy, comic books.-see the rainbow crosswalk..” so we ate lunch and left home…. This was going to be such a FUN day and I was so excited!!! 

Driving there (literally a 12 minute drive) My daughter remembers that she forgot her camera-she was taking the big deal we have iphones keep going. Then my 13 year old son says-can I spend my $5 at KFC, I am hungry. I was like “Is KFC Downtown?? Is it new and exciting-and I told you to eat lunch-his response “Oh, I didn’t hear that” It’s OK, deep breath, let it go-this is going to be a FUN family day.

That did not last long AT ALL- when you see blog posts about families having fun and are all happy and loving each other..#1 It isn’t my family, #2 It takes like a million tries to get each picture right..and in most cases #3 Everyone hates you by the time the picture is taken-and you may have had to promise, candy, money, or a prize to get them to smile ONE more time. If that hasn’t happened to you-I am jealous. 


My husband wanted to try a new place to get coffee. He said ” I want to go to Insight Coffee”. First of all, this was not the area I wanted to go to, but whatever. Let’s go there first and then get to where we can walk around. He swore he knew where it was.. Then I had to use Waze to get there, then he was mad at the Waze app because he wasn’t following it, which made him mad at me…but we eventually got there..


My 9 year old son LOVED the sign that said “Hella Open” He thought it was so funny and wanted his picture taken with it. OK! FREE fun, funny picture, this is going to be a great day!!! Oh- and if you send your kids to the men’s bathroom-the sign that says you must wash your hands has been changed to the word “anus” and that made for another funny picture… 

My husband got his cold brew and we were on our way to our next adventure!

Insight Coffee 1901 8th Street. Sacramento. 


Next we went to HR Sports Cards and Collectibles
2231 10th Street

My boys like to look through the trading cards and find their favorite players or a special card. 
They also have a great selection of comic books. 

They went through the boxes of $.50 Comic Books and found some-CHEAP FUN- spent about 30 minutes in there and spend like $2!! So far so good…


After that I decided I wanted coffee too. We parked by Pachamama Coffee, and since I have never been there before, I got a cold brew coffee there-AND LOVED IT!!! Then we headed out walking!

As we were walking we passed by-

Pizzeria Urbano
1050 20th St, Sacramento, CA 95811

Thank God, they had HUGE pizza slices for $5! My son got a pizza slice, and 2 other kids split one and they were going to split a dessert later when they found a good place. So far so good..staying in the budget getting good pictures…


After the pizza these boys found a cornhole set to play with while the others ate-free entertainment, in the shade-I finished my coffee here. So nice…

My daughter went into “nektar” the juice place next to this, and it was $8.40 for a juice or a bowl-not in the budget… I may have gotten some attitude about this one, but I knew gelato was coming up and everyone would like that better…


This is where my dreams were dashed… all the fun I imagined started to disappear..

We walked on and saw FREETYLE Clothing Store- I have driven by here many times, and have always wanted to check it out. So we went in, the girls were looking through the clothes ad accessories and were really enjoying themselves. 
The boys..well-this is where it just started to go bad.. 
My 2 youngest boys 9 and 10, decided to get into a fight in the store and were running through and one of them decided to punch the other one and ended up punching me ( I still have no idea how this happened) He punched me in the hand, and all the bones made a loud popping noise and it hurt so BAD-so I went outside.
So- the picture that should be inserted next would be me outside sitting on the sidewalk, holding my hand and crying!!! Nobody took that picture though, they were all scared I was going to yell. I was trying really hard not to be mad and ruin the day. So I was like “I am just going to suck it up and keep going” 

Next stop-GELATO!! 

Gran Cafe Milan
1801 L St, Sacramento, CA 95811

Their gelato is wonderful and my son was VERY happy to get gelato!

After this I wanted to go around the Capitol, Downtown Commons and then end the day in Old Sac getting candy and just taking the most wonderful family/kid pictures EVER…..

It didn’t happen. My hand was swollen, my kids were complaining, and it seemed like I was torturing them by buying them gelato, pizza, and candy-so THEY WON. We got in the car after this and my husband started driving to the next spot as a few of the kids starting hitting and yelling at each other in the car..he said “Where to next??” I said “HOME” 

So, I really tried, had good intentions and this fantasy of how I thought the day was going to go….

Now YOU can maybe continue to enjoy Sacramento. There really are many ways to enjoy the city on a budget-bring your own food! Have a picnic, bring snacks to eat while you walk around.  Downtown is really shaded, so it isn’t as hot when you are walking around.

I know it is fun to have unlimited money to just do whatever, but you really can find different ways to enjoy the city you live in, or around you. There are MANY murals around the town that you can take great pictures in front of too! Pretend you are a tourist! My kids are all different ages, and although I have been to all these places SO many times, there are some that some kids have missed out on or do not remember and they actually enjoyed some of the places. 

Although this is not a complete post of “How to Enjoy Sacramento on a Budget” which was my original intention-I am sharing it anyways. Why? Because people need to know that real things happen to bloggers too! I am not perfect, my kids are not perfect, and not every idea is a great one. However, maybe this will inspire you to spend time with your family doing something on a budget, or enjoying your city-or realize you aren’t the only one that can never get your kids to stop fighting long enough to have a nice time.. 

I can say this- SACRAMENTO, although it isn’t San Francisco or a big tourist area, still has plenty to do-you may just have to be a little more creative if you have seen it all so many times!

So this could be my Part 1-and if I can get inspired again or decide that I am crazy enough to try again-I will continue this series!

Leave a comment if you have any favorite Sacramento spots, or if you have ever had a horrible time with your family!




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Cash Back Coupons Walgreens

Awesome Deal on DiGiorno Pizzas, Twix, and Oscar Mayer Bacon at Walgreens Thorugh July 14!

DiGiorno Pizza 2 for $9
Oscar Mayer Bacon 2 for $7
Twix Candy Bars 2 for $1

There are 2 different scenarios you can do with this deal. This is how I did it, and you can choose depending on what coupons you have…

Buy 3 DiGiorno Pizzas =$13.50
Use $6 off 3 Di Giorno Pizza Printable Coupon 
(You can also load the coupon one time to your Walgreens card)
You will receive a $2 Register Reward Back!
=$1.83 each!
I also received a $10 Reward when you spend $25  coupon back with my purchase!

#2  (IF you have the $10 Reward coupon)
Buy 6 DiGiorno Pizzas
Use 2 $6 off 3 DiGiorno Pizza Printable Coupons
Use $10 Catalina Reward Coupon
Pay $15
Receive another $2 Register Reward and $10 in Points!

I needed Bacon, so this is what I did-
4 Oscar Mayer Bacon 2 for $7
4 Twix White and Peanut Butter Bars 2 for $1
Used 2-Buy One Get One Free Twix Coupons (Took off $.75 each)
Used $2 Reward
Used $10 Points


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Sprouts App Coupon Deals and Ibotta Deals!


I spent $19.92 for these items after using the Sprouts app coupons-
Then I submitted my receipt to Ibotta and recevied $13.10 +$.50 Bonus Cash Back!

Banana Chips-on clearance for $.99
Submit for $1 Cash Back from Ibotta (up to 2 items)

Arctic Zero Ice Cream $4.99
Submit for $4 Cash Back from Ibotta

Enlightened Ice Cream $5.99 -Buy One Get One Free
Submit for $1.10 Cash Back each x2
(There is a $1.50 off 2 Sprouts App coupon, but it would only come off if I bought 3 or 4 since 1 is free already)
=$1.90 each
If you Buy 4 the $1.50 coupon from the Sprouts App will come off, plus the $1.10 Cash Back, will make the $1.52 each when you buy 4.

Numi Tea $1.25
Load $1 off Numi Tea to Sprouts App
Submit for $.25 Cash Back for Iced Tea from Ibotta

Boss Tea $1.79
Submit for $1.80 Cash Back from Ibotta

Protein Pancake Mix-Peanut Butter Flavor is marked at $2.99
Submit for $1 Cash Back from Ibotta

NO COW Protein Bar $2.79
Load FREE  NO COW Protein Bar Coupon to your Sprouts App
Submit for $.25 Cash Back from Ibotta  for any Protein Bar
=$.25 money maker!

Zevia Energy 2 for $3
Load $1.50 off 2 Zevia Energy coupon to Sprouts App
Submit for $1 Cash Back on 2 Zevia Energy from Ibotta
=$.25 each


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FREE Shreds Cereal, $.19 GM Cereal-OR $.69 WITHOUT Coupons!

$.19 cereal at Safeway!!! $1.49 each-Buy 5 use the $1/2 and $.50 coupons listed below and your total comes to $4.95 and get $4 back!!! If you like the Shreds cereal there are $.75 off coupons making them free, but my kids do not like that one. Keep rolling! 
$1 off 2 GM Cereals Coupon 
$.50 off Lucky Charms Coupon 
$.50 off Reese’s Puff Cereal 
$.50 off Honey Nut Cheerios 
$.75 off Shreds Cereal 

Every transaction I did gave me a $2 off 5 Cereal coupon from the register, so if you don’t have time to print any you can use those! It comes to $.69 a box WITHOUT coupons, so don’t miss this deal!

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Earn FREE Gift Cards While You Do Your Regular Shopping With Shopkick!

Have you been using your Shopkick App???

If not-start! Or if you have not downloaded it yet-GET IT!
This is how I get FREE Starbucks all the time! I just open the app while I am in the stores to get my kicks when I walk into the stores! I have also linked my card to it and get kicks buying my usual items!

    • Earn free gift cards while shopping at your favorite stores. Find deals at Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Walgreens, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, eBay, Groupon, and more with Shopkick.
  • Shopkick is the shopping app that rewards you with FREE gift cards for the shopping you already do, while you still save on your budget money! Join the millions of Shopkickers who have earned over $63.8 million in points that they use to redeem free gift cards to shop at Starbucks, Walmart, Sephora, and more.
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FREE Cup Noodles Extra Veggie With Checkout 51 App!

If you are a $.99 Cent Only Store Shopper, you really want to take advantage of the Checkout 51 App!

Here is a current example-
Cup of Noodles Veggie $.99 each
Get $1 Cash Back for each one-up to 3 times!
=$.03 Moneymaker!


There are multiple offers on there for MANY items available at the $.99 Cent Only Stores. I have got LOTS of pantry items FREE-$.50 each just using the cash back option with this Checkout 51 App only!

The offers reset every Thursday, so many of these deals can be done each week!

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