A Parent Perspective: Raising Money with Shop with Scrip

You can easily see what stores you shop at work with this fundraiser; be sure to check how much of a rebate they will give CHA.

We are halfway through the school year, and you may find yourself worried if you just realized you have not made any Shop with Scrip purchases.

I know my first year as a CHA parent trying to get that $200 mark seemed daunting. I thought I would need my family to help for sure. How would I get that much back?

I know many families are successful buying local gift cards for restaurants like Chesapeake Grill and Deli or Giant and Safeway. In fact, many places you shop are available, and the front office has many of the regular gift cards in stock so if you don’t remember to order online you can buy them at school, which is great.

I teach though, so I am rarely around school during CHA school hours. And I’m forgetful. With three kids under 6, a full-time and a part-time job, and a husband with unpredictable work hours, I have realized it is not easy for me to remember to buy gift cards when I need them.

I have two tricks that help me quickly get to that $200 goal.

First, I look at the cards with most return for my dollar. When you go to “Shop” on the Shop with Scrips website, sort by Rebate Percentage. At least once a year, I try to see what shops I regularly go to that will give Cardinal Hickey a bigger return for my dollar. I think of birthday presents, clothes shopping, Christmas presents, or teacher gifts, and I try to stock up a few times on those stores I *know* will go to or stores that would be a good gift. I try to do this just once or twice a year, so I end up buying a lot at once, but I get a big return toward my $200 goal.

Then, my other key to getting the rest of my money is Amazon. I don’t know about you, but I shop on Amazon a lot. I’m a prime member, and I use Subscribe and Save for many household items. I know each money I am going to spend money on Amazon. I registered for Scrip’s Presto Pay option, which allows me to use one of my bank accounts for payments, and I get electronic gift cards immediately. I constantly keep a gift card balance on my Amazon account to pay for our family’s purchases.

Any time my husband or I see it getting low, I login, select how much I want my electronic gift card to be, I Presto Pay the purchase, and I load it immediately into my Amazon account. The Presto Pay option helps in other online shopping, too. If I see a store I shop at is having a sale, I’ll go into Shop with Scrip and buy an electronic gift card and pay with that instead.

We only use gift cards to pay for Amazon purchases, and I try to use the Presto Pay for other online shopping at stores we purchase from like Gap and Old Navy. (Old Navy has a sigificant rebate, too.) Doing this, we are able to reach and even exceed our $200 goal.

I know that number of $200 seems daunting and you may even think about just paying the fee so you don’t have to think about it, but raising $200 for Cardinal Hickey Academy can be easy to achieve and exceed if you can find a plan that works for you. Here’s hoping that I gave you a few ideas to help you get caught up if you aren’t near your goal.

It’s so easy to give, and usually, I find I am making purchases I already had budgeted. Happy shopping!

This column was written by Teresa Clancy Jackson, parent of two Cardinal Hickey Academy students in  kindergarten and pre-k3.

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