Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tips for Scrip

Kirsten and Bob Criswell are entering their second year at SLO Classical Academy.  They are a Track A family and have two children:  Camille (Primary) and Michael (Lower Middle School).  The Criswell family has been very successful at using Scrip and today, Kirsten is sharing her tips.



Last year, our first year at SLOCA, we were just working through the steps of being at a new school.  One of the requirements was to generate $200 in Scrip purchases. We had never heard of the program.   I got a head start over the summer by sending an email to SLOCAsh to see how the program worked.  I figured that we had to generate about $25/month to meet the requirement.  It was suggested to buy cards for groceries, gas and restaurants.  This was challenging because we do not shop at many of the big stores that participate in Scrip.  On that note, those categories typically offer a lower reward percentage on your spending dollar.  I began to think that this was going to be impossible for us to meet the minimum $200.  
I took the time and printed the entire Scrip list in search of the businesses that offered a higher percentage back to SLOCA.  Lands’ End was one of the better reward percentages.  I knew that Kmart and Sears were affiliated but their return percentages were lower.  Online, I was able to read the back of the Lands’ End card and realize that it could be used at both Kmart and Sears too.  I didn’t really shop at these stores either, but I knew this would be one way that we could generate our required Scrip donation. 
We asked grandparents and other friends to help with the fundraising endeavor.  When it was announced that for this school year, 75% of Scrip donations would be directly available to the families, we knew this would be a great way to ensure that our kids could participate in everything at SLOCA that they wanted to, such as Academy and Enrichment classes.  The other great thing is that 25% of the rewards still get donated to SLOCA. It’s a win-win. 
Somehow, we have convinced at least 4 families to give up their Costco memberships and shop elsewhere (Kmart and Sears) for similar items that they usually purchased at Costco (toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenex, household cleaners, pet supplies, car batteries, lawn mowers, tires, washing machines, mattresses, refrigerator, etc.)  In-store specials are great deals too.  With Costco increasing its membership fee 10%, it was another reason some decided to make the switch.  Meghan Smith let us know that she was able to buy other gift cards at Kmart using her Lands’ End cards (iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and restaurants).  For projects around the house, friends and family have purchased Home Depot and Ace Hardware (can be used locally at Miner’s), and Bed Bath & Beyond.  Starbucks and Jiffy Lube have been popular too.  We now use Vons cards to purchase gas for personal and business use.  Office Max is great for school and office supplies.  Shutterfly, Old Navy and the Gap are other favorites.  
We are really encouraging our friends and family to support this new shopping and fundraising method.  When our son attended public school and kids were asked to “sell” stuff (candy, chocolate, wrapping paper, magazines), we never participated because I hated asking my friends to buy junk.  Our friends and family can really get behind this fundraiser because we’re not asking them to spend additional money. This is dollar for dollar money that they are already spending on items they need and the companies are supporting our kids and SLOCA!



Thank you, Kirsten!  For more information on how to use Scrip or to make purchases, please contact Susanne Sanders at SLOcash@sloclassicalacademy.com      


Just a reminder that school photos are this Wednesday and Thursday.

1 comment:

Mary Knudson said...

Kirsten! You have me so excited to get more information about the scrip program! It is nice to know that you make it work for your family without having to do all your shopping at the big box stores - yay!! Thanks for the write up!