What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I thought I would take a mintue and write about how I collect and turn in thousands of Cambell's Soup lables, Tyson's A+ Panels and Boxtops For Education to my son's school.

I belong to an online site for couponing and refunding. I pay $12.00 for that membership (can you believe I PAY for something?!). There is also a print magazine that is available for an additional amount. I do not subscribe to the magazine - however I do get it every month. How do I do that? There are "rewards" for writing articles for that magazine. I write an article about a deal or a bargain that I have gotten recently every few months or so. I get rewarded with three free issues for each article I submit. So, I have a free subscription that comes each and every month and will continue for a long time. In addition to the free issues - every once in awhile the editor will send out an email offering a free ad if you submit it within thirty minutes or so. I quickly write up an ad asking for donations of labels, boxtops and panels. I offer a "goodie" envelope for donations over a certain amount of labels (20), BTFE (10) or Panels (10). The first time I did it, I thought I might receive a few envelopes. I ended up receiving about 50 envelopes of items for the school.

In my goodie envelopes I send rebate forms that I find in stores, extra coupon inserts (I have a box in the Volunteer Center at school and parents drop off their unused Sunday Coupon Inserts for me to use) and stickers. Stickers are a great goodie envie stuffer because people like them for their kids, contest entries and to add to their own goodie envelopes. I have been fortunate twice to stumble on to stacks of stickers for very little money. The first time I was at Toys R us and they were having 90% off all green tag clearnace items. I found 42 packs of stickers marked down to 19¢ each - so I paid 1.9¢ each for a total of about 80¢. Each pack of stickers had 4 sheets per pack, so I had 168 sheets of stickers and I normally cut each sheet in half to even double that number. I also found a clearance sale at Dillon's where they had Hallmark stickers marked down to 10¢ a package- I got 38 packs of those and each package had 4 sheets as well. So, I send out all these stickers and coupons which basically cost me pennies and I get all these valuable boxtops and panels in return.

One I get all the lables accumulated, I bundle them into groups that are required by the diferent companies. About a year ago Campbell's had awesome bonus forms out in the stores and in ad flyers. If you stapled five actual soup labels to the form, it would be worth 100 lables. Shazam! I put out a trader notice sayiing I needed LOTS of these. I had a great response. I was able to turn 1,400 actual labels into 14,000 actual and bonus labels for the school.

When the school has a "Label Drive" the class with the most donatied labels, wins a party or a special event. I donate all mine at once. My son is deemed "cool" when he walks in with a file paper box full of labels and everyone else has a sandwich bag full. For five straight years my son's clss has won a pizza party or a movie party or an extra recess party - sometihng fun for his class only. It sounds like I spend a lot of time on this - but the envelopes just come in and I fill goodie envelopes once a week. I haven't had an ad in the magazine for two months, but I still recieve envies about three times a week. I got two yesterday alone! I guess my "goodie envies" are good!

Hint of the Day: Save labels and boxtops for your child's school. Don't have a child? Donate them to the school up the street anyway. They can use them to buy new playground equipment, laminators, etc. Or, heck, mail them to me @ 100 N. Hunter St. Farmington, AR 72730. Mention my BLOG and I will sned you one FAT envie full of stickers and goodies!

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