Battle of the Box Tops

dear_snarky_logoDear Snarky.

I’m so sick of mothers cheating and cheating on stupid things like Box Tops awards. At my kids elementary school they collect Box Tops and every year there’s a contest to see which student can bring in the most. The child who wins gets lunch with the principal and a limo ride. For the second year in a row the same kid has won because his mom BUYS the Box Tops from eBay! How is this fair? A lot of moms are angry about this but we don’t know what to do to stop it.

Signed, Box Top Mom

Dear Box Top,

Just like life isn’t fair, elementary school isn’t either. The cruel world of Box Tops, bake sales, and fundraising politics isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ve got to put on your full coverage mom panties and GET OVER IT!

So, this mother is buying her Box Tops – big deal. Aren’t you buying them when you purchase products with the Box Tops on them? (Not to get off topic but have you checked out eBay? OMG those Box Tops are selling at face value. Forget about fundraising for the school and start yourself a sweet little online Box Top business.)

I suggest you save your anger and moral outrage for the important stuff like state school funding cuts and the jerks that don’t follow the school pick and drop off rules. Yes, I know this means your kids won’t get to ride in limo or have lunch with the principal but guess what they’ll get over it and you will to.

Trust me on this final piece of advice – if you go through your parenting years always keeping score, always fretting that your kids are getting ripped off then you’re not going to enjoy the magical, sometimes maddening and always fleeting journey of raising your children.

Do you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st century advice with an attitude? If so please send your letter to

30 thoughts on “Battle of the Box Tops

  1. Momster says:

    I love this. Exactly what I would say. Everybody knows this mom is a jerk. She probably makes her kid feel bad and is making up for it with this Box Tops crap. Live your life knowing how much better than her you are!

    • Leah E says:

      I love the business idea. Sell just enought to have your own limo ride someplace fun one year? Yes, we purchase them when we are buying a product however the intent isn’t the same. If people are making their own rules, so be it. You are donating and that is what matters. Teaching your kids to have a giving spirit is a valuable way to spend your time and not receiving is part of true giving.

  2. Kristi says:

    Box Tops aside: What kind of kid wants to eat lunch with the principal?? I remember ours would eat oranges every day – peels and all. Gross!

  3. Candymama says:

    If you can afford to buy extra BoxTops from Ebay, you can afford your own blooming limo ride. At my childrens’ school, they would be lucky to get a ride in the principal’s 11 year old Volvo. Instead, the winning class (counted as a GROUP, no individuals) gets an ice cream party, funded by the PTA.

  4. Nichole says:

    Funny stuff as I prepare to tally the totals so I can beat the buzzer on the final submission this year! Thanks for keeping it real!

  5. suburbanprincessteacher says:

    The principal sounds like an idiot. Parents should boycott the box top contest (seriously…this is a thing?) and just donate $10 or something. I am practically speechless because it’s so ridiculous. Good answer though, Snarky. Who in the world wants to eat lunch with the principal?

  6. ct1226 says:

    I can’t begin to tell you how much I despise school fundraisers. My kids’ school has been doing 5-6 fundraisers a year for new playground equipment that my kids will never see (my son only has a year and a half left of elementary school, after all) and meanwhile, they don’t have enough books for everyone! How ridiculous is that?!? A ten year old can be set free in an empty lot with a stick and have an awesome recess, by the way.

    • Nancy says:

      I heard of a friend selling her Boxtops on Ebay and made a handsome haul…I’ve done it twice, now and had wondered why someone is paying for the same amount or higher than the Boxtop is worth at redemption! Hey, I’m not proud..I’ll take the cash! I was in charge of the BTFE and Campbell soup label drives…we just gave a pizza party or ice cream social to the class out of the slush fund!

  7. Jacque says:

    Would any kid want to put “boxtop contest winner” on a college resume? Who is this important to? Seriously get a grip, there are people losing their children to cancer, I’d rather mine lose a boxtop contest.

  8. Laurel Isaak says:

    I think if you are all in it for the Limo, get together with the moms who are upset about this and rent a Limo…. OH and Snarky… I saw your interview too and you need to take the part about not bringing sexy back off… You’re very pretty!

  9. J says:

    I do feel bad that this mother is stressed over trying to “keep up with the Jones'”. However, please watch for my box tops on eBay. I never even thought of selling them.

  10. Kristin says:

    Although I agree that this mom is not respecting the spirit of the contest, I am not sure how she is “cheating”. If the requirement is to bring in the most Box Tops and her kid does, her kid wins. It probably wasn’t stipulated that each child lovingly remove the coupon from their family’s grocery purchases. If this mom wants to spend her cash that way, it’s her business. I would rather have a mani-pedi and my kids would’ve rather had a day off from school. Either way, the school benefits. Just sayin’

    • Nancy says:

      Just make sure the dates are good! And advertise way before the redemption date(s) which is(are) March 1st and/ or Nov. 1. They get a check in Apr. and/or Dec.

  11. Tammy Duran Porras says:

    This is so funny, I was just mentioning to my Hubby that we have to remember to send them in at the end of the month and that we better remember cause we suck at this. I often forget snacks, lunch money and I hate to say it the tooth fairy has forgotten several times. I won’t compete with anyone cause I jusy suck, but my kids are lived and they know how much they mean to me.

  12. Jeanne says:

    OMG, there are pages and page of these on ebay! Who knew I had a cottage industry in my drawer and I’ve just been giving away the profits! No wonder I’m still poor 🙂

  13. Gina says:

    I just happen to come upon this and had to laugh. I am one of the moms who “cheat” and buy box tops off ebay. Lol I do it because it wins my daughters class a pizza party and it gets her name called at the morning assembly. She’s in 1st grade so having her name recognized really makes her day and she’s so excited. So seeing that smile on her face is worth the 30 bucks I pay.

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