Thrift Store ShoppingI built most of my library from Goodwill. Did you know that they have a 50% off everything every other Saturday? So their 70 cent books are half that price! When I was a newer teacher I would scout three or four Goodwills in one day and get tons of books on the cheap!
Used Book StoresI have two sets of books in my room. The kids library books that the kids handle every day. They get ripped and accidentally destroyed here and there but since I got them so cheap, it's not a huge deal if something happens to them. My other set are my "nice" books that only I handle. I use them as read alouds and mentor texts to teach about specific topics. I usually get those books from used book stores like Half Price Books. They are often in new or like new condition. Excellent condition means that they will last me many many years.
Yard Sales/Online Yard SalesYard sales are just awesome! Especially those found online that are targeted to teachers. My favorite time to shop are at the end of the school year because teachers that are retiring are practically giving away their classroom materials. One of my favorite finds lately have been FB garage sales. There are several out there and even some specially for teachers in your city. I have already picked up some great finds! You just have to act quick because the good stuff sells fast.
Coupons and Discounts
Find stores that have great coupons and give teachers discounts! Barnes and Noble gives teachers 20% off their purchases year round and an extra 5% during specific times of the year. One of my favorite stores, Joann's, allows multiple coupons from their own store and from other craft stores to be used as long as they have different codes. They also have teacher cards that give you 15% off all items (except their items already on sale).
Start Using DonorsChooseThis isn't really a trick, more of a tip. If you are not on DonorsChoose, run and get on there now! What I love about DonorsChoose is that you can ask for anything you need from their vendors list and most of the time it will fund. My tips for funding your grants are:
1. Keep your budget as low as possible
2. Check for half-off funding offers for your state
3. Make sure to respond to emails and send all thank you packages out as soon as you can. You get extra points for doing so and it all runs on points. (This all makes sense once you get started.)
What are some things you do to make the budget stretch? Please link up below and share with us :-)