The calendar may still say early July, but the retailers are getting a jump on back-to-school sales on school supplies.
That's perfect timing for Triangle parents who send their kids to year-round schools, most of which begin a new school year on Monday.
For the rest of us, it's a chance to score yard-sale priced school and office supplies while still shopping in the air-conditioned comfort of major retail stores.
As always, however, do your homework before opening your wallet on back-to-school deals. Many sales have fine print attached to them.
Some of the sales - especially some of the 1-cent deals - require a minimum purchase of $5. That's not hard to rack up if you're doing all your school supply shopping in one store. But if you're store hopping for the lowest prices, you might be better off skipping the penny sales with strings attached.
Here's a cheat sheet of the very best deals this week. I'm not including those that require a minimum purchase. And remember, if you have the luxury of a later start date for school, be patient and collect the free and under 50-cent deals each week.
Two-pocket poly folders: 50 cents.
One-subject poly notebooks: 75 cents.
Crayola colored pencils (12 count) or markers (10 count): 99 cents.
Two-count Sharpie markers or highlighters: $1.
Scotch Super Glue gel (4 pack): FREE after rebate. Limit 1.
Small plastic boxes with lids: 25 cents.
PaperMate mechanical pencils (5 pack): 25 cents.
Multi-purpose paper (500 sheets): 25 cents after rebate. Limit 2.
HP photo paper (50 pack): 50 cents after rebate. Limit 4.
Pink block erasers (3 pack): 50 cents.
Side-coil memo books (140 sheets): 50 cents.
BIC dry-erase markers (4 pack): 50 cents.
Slider pencil cases: 50 cents.
Sharpie markers (5 pack, black): $1.
Glue sticks (4 pack): $1.
5-inch scissors (2 pack): $1.
Backpacks: 25-50 percent off.
Coupon: $5 off $30 purchase. On front page of circular.
Multi-use paper (500 sheets): 1 cent after rebate! Limit 2.
Glue sticks (4 pack): 25 cents. Limit 3.
Composition books: 50 cents. Limit 5.
1-inch binders: $1. Limit 2.
Sharpie black fine-point markers (12 pack): $1 with in-ad coupon. Limit 1.
Coupon: $5 off $25 purchase. On front page of circular.
2-pocket, 3-prong folders: 20 cents.
Stretchable book covers: 50 cents.
Spiral notebooks (70 pages): 50 cents.
Notebook filler paper (150 count): 75 cents.
10-count No. 2 pencils: 75 cents.
Licensed folders: 75 cents.
Two-pocket folders: 8/$1 or 13 cents each with in-ad coupon. Limit 16.
Penway crayons (24 pack): 39 cents with in-ad coupon. Limit 3.
Scotch mailers: 49 cents with in-ad coupon. Limit 3.
Filler notebook paper (130 sheets): 79 cents with in-ad coupon. Limit 3. Only a so-so deal. You'll likely find notebook paper for a penny or a nickle in the coming weeks.
Fiskars scissors, 20-pack pencils: 99 cents.
PaperMate mechanical pencils (30 count): $1.99.
Spiral notebooks (70 sheets): 19 cents! Limit 10. A great deal.
Crayola crayons (24 count): 29 cents. Limit 4. Another nice deal.