20 Money-Saving Ideas for Teachers

1. Use the plastic “popcorn” from packages for art projects and math counters.

2. Ask at your local newspaper for leftover newsprint for art projects and drawing paper.

3. Scout out companies that use computer paper.  They often discard the last few inches of a stack of paper rather than risk running out while printing.

4. Swap and share with other teachers rather than buying duplicate supplies.

5. Check magazines and newspapers for coupons and free offers.

6. Invest in fade-proof paper to back your bulletin boards.  It will last all year.

7.  Save all kinds of containers—margarine tubs, coffee cans, oatmeal cartons, and so on—for storing games and math manipulatives.

8.  Send home a monthly class newsletter and ask parents to save things for art and science projects.

9.  Buy or borrow a book such as 500 Free Things for Kids to Do and Send For.

10.  Use macaroni or other pastas in different shapes for counters, art projects, and so on.

11.  Ask stores for used seasonal advertising displays—hearts, bunnies, Santas, and so on.  Cut off or cover up the advertising and use them for dramatic bulletin board accents.

12.  If your district has a media lab, use it to create games, charts, and activities.

13.  Ask students to bring a favorite (or extra) game from home to use in the classroom on rainy days.

14.  Ask parents and students to go through their books.  If they are no longer using them, they may want to donate them to your classroom library.

15.  Look for children’s books at garage sales and swap meets and add them to your classroom library.

16. Stir up some salt and flour modeling dough.  You can keep if for quite awhile in airtight containers for reuse, or you can bake the results of the students’ projects for use as permanent ornaments, paperweights, etc.

17. If you buy treats for your class, purchase them in large quantities at discount stores.

18.  Look through the advertising materials you get through the mail at work.  They often contain posters, maps, or stickers.

19.  Keep leftover activity sheets.  Use the backs for scratch paper.

20.  Remember that time and money are interchangeable.  Spend time to save money.

6 thoughts on “20 Money-Saving Ideas for Teachers”

  1. Emily-Anne Williams

    I think all 20 of these ideas are great. I had heard of some of them but there is a lot that I have not. I have already started saving my projects that I am making in school. I am also slowly starting to buy childrens books at yard sales. I also have been told that the money you get for your classrrom is not a lot so spend it wisely. I will be using these ideas when I have my own classroom.

  2. Marie

    I think all of these ideas are great ways for teachers to save money. I have also gone to stores like Home Depot and have gotten scraps of wood, carpet, paint, etc. that they are throwing away. A cute idea I saw was when a paint color is discontiuned, ask them to save the paper color swatches. When you get a large variety of colors, have the children cut them into scraps to make collages or murals. I saw this done at a school and it came out great!

  3. Robyn WG

    I really enjoy reading your money- saving tips. I plen to use some of your tips for when I am out of school and have my own classroom.

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