The_Physical_Illusion20 Money-Saving Ideas for Teachers


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

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

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.

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

Check magazines and newspapers for coupons and free offers.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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