Save box tops, help your kid's school

Box Tops For Education is a concept that has helped American schools to earn more than $300 million in the past 12 years. The idea is to save the box tops from participating General Mills products and send them to the school of your choice.

The program is open to any accredited public, private or parochial school containing any class with students from kindergarten to grade eight.

To participate, the school must be registered in the Box Tops For Education program and each school must designate a school coordinator in order to be enrolled. See the official rules for full details.

Each registered school may earn up to $20,000 cash per year between June 1 and May 31 from each of three separate Box Tops program components. The three components are:

Clip: Simply clip 10-cent box top coupons from hundreds of products like Cheerios, Betty Crocker, Juicy Juice, Ziploc, Kleenex, Hefty and others. Each box top is worth 10 cents. Find a list of participating products on the website.

Marketplace: Shop at more than 70 online stores like Oriental Trading Co., Office Depot and Lands' End and a percentage of your purchases goes back to your school.

Reading Room: Earn cash for your school just by buying books. Go to the Box Tops Reading Room to earn up to 6% on purchases made at Barnes & Noble.

By participating in all three programs, your child's school could potentially earn up to $60,000 every year. Bonus offers on the site allow you to earn bonus box tops for your school.

Currently, Box Tops For Eduction is running a sweepstakes called The Big Clip. Enter to win a chance at the grand prize of 500,000 bonus box tops, the equivalent of $50,000 for your child's school or one of two first prizes of $250,000 bonus box tops, the equivalent of $25,000 for the school.

Now that you know about Box Tops For Education, I can tell you about Family Dollar's Bonus Box Tops For Eduction Sweepstakes. As part of their 50th anniversary celebration, you can enter to win one of 10 prizes of 50,000 box tops, a value of $5,000, plus a laptop worth, $1,071.74.

Read the official rules to get all the dope. Enter either online or by mail. If you enter by mail, your entry must be postmarked by Aug. 31 and received by Sept. 7.

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes tips and ideas for home decor using only items from the dollar store.

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