I'm Not a Terrible Person, But I Freaking Hate Box Tops

by Ashley Alteman
Originally Published: 
A bunch of Box Tops packages stacked up in one place

Once your child hits grade school, they are immediately introduced to the ‘Box Top.’ I’m quite certain that on the first day of school, the teacher introduces herself, assigns each child a desk, and then immediately drills into our children’s brains the importance of THE BOX TOP!

“MOM! It helps our school!”

“Box Tops are helping us save for a new gymnasium!”

“Box Tops will get us to Sea World!!”


These are all (possibly untrue) things my child has blurted out while perusing the grocery store aisles.

Now, look, before you presume that I am some asshole mother who doesn’t want to support her child’s school (well, I am an asshole, but I do support my child’s school), allow a lady to explain…

My child has a mysterious skin condition. No one can figure out what the hell causes her itchy, problematic skin eruptions. I’ve spent a boat load of cash on Western medicine, and every alternative measure you can imagine.

Essential oils? Check. Steroid Creams? Check. Blood Tests? Check. Food Allergies? CHECK.

Now, have you ever seen these Box Tops on the top of any organic product? I’ve scoured the aisles of every store and they are on about four organic food products. FOUR.

The one thing that has proven best for my little McScratchin’ daughter is sticking as closely to an organic diet as possible. It is annoying, expensive, and frustrating. However, she is my child and I sort of like her, and, more so, kind of want her to be comfortable… so, organic it is for this family.

Organic = No Box Tops


I swear, I feel as though General Mills and Sea World are ganging up on me. Sea World must have telepathically read my mind when I watched Black Fish and knew I’d never return to buy a churro and watch the Shamu show, so they’ve set out on a quest to get me with the evil Box Top.

So, in order not to be a complete jackass parent, I’ve now resorted to hitting up Costco to buy the things that DO have Box Tops that won’t cause my child to scratch her skin off — like Ziploc bags. Each Costco trip, we swipe up enough Ziploc bags to package about 6,000 sandwiches, and we destroy each box as soon as we get through the front door. My young one then has her 12 Box Tops to take to school the next day, and the world is a happy place. If there is ever a Ziploc bag shortage, phone me up; I’ve got you (and the rest of the continental United States) covered for at least a few years.

Recently, I’ve realized I do not have enough room to store any more annihilated Ziploc bag boxes. I’ve taken it a step further and started hunting for Box Tops elsewhere. I have started looking, of all places, on eBay! Genius, I know…

Currently, I am in a bidding war with another lady for 500 Box Tops. I am in the lead and holding strong at $42.00.

After I placed my ‘highest bid’ on these cardboard cut-outs that seem to equate to gold, I decided to look up what the actual value of the box top is.



Had I known that each package I purposefully purchase because of said ‘Box Top’ was only equating to a TEN CENT donation, I’d toss my kid a dime every time we walked passed a cereal box that had a Box Top stuck to the top of it. I mean, really, wouldn’t it just be easier to hand your kid eight dimes each time you hit up the grocery store?

You don’t need to answer that, because I already know it would be.

So, seeing as how I lost the bidding war with BoxTopMom4310 on eBay, I am taking the wrinkled ‘in case of emergency’ twenty-dollar bill out of my wallet, driving straight to the bank and asking for precisely two hundred dimes.

I should be good for at least the next year. That is, after all, two hundred Box Tops.

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