Every year teachers spend thousands of dollars on stuff for their classroom. Stuff like supplies, furniture, crafts, decorations, books etc. The list is endless. We teachers make large and small purchases for our classrooms all year long. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve even bought school uniforms for my students, heck I even went out and got ice-cream for a kids birthday that came to school completely heartbroken because his family wasn’t able to celebrate his birthday over the weekend.
I want to share with you a few tips for saving money and even possibly getting some free things for your classroom.
- Play your teacher card!!!!
Always ask if they offer a teacher discount. You would be surprised to see who honors this. It’s always good to have your student id ready to prove that you are a teacher. Ask at the register for the discount as you are checking out. You may have the best luck by going directly to a store manager it doesn’t hurt to call ahead first to get a feel for the manager. Be sure to tell them what school you are from and what you need and why. Just yesterday I got a new classroom rug for my classroom for free!
- Have your Tax Id number handy! Ask your admin if you can get the school tax id code. Many businesses have no problem giving donations to schools but they require a tax id number, so that they can get a tax write off for donating. Have the id handy or even better yet have a general letter with you that you can give to whomever needs it. In this letter be sure to include your school name and location, what you need donated and your tax id number. Make this letter general so that you can use it at multiple locations! When going this route always send thank you cards hand-made from your students! This will insure that you can come back next year and ask for more!
- Real them in with the Title 1 status (only if it applies)
Believe it or not I have gotten numerous things donated to my classroom and school by simply reiterating that we are a title one school. I then go into to explaining that >40% percent of our students come from low income families. I use this line all the time and it works! I’ve gotten discounts on field trips, plants and gardening supplies and other free stuff for my students. I was even able to take our entire 5th grade (100 students) on a field trip to Key Lime Cove for 6 bucks a person. That’s a major discount! We went to an indoor water park that most of our parents couldn’t afford normally. I had kids who had literally never been to a swimming pool before! Trust me when I say it never hurts to ask!
There are several stores that offer teacher discounts. I’ve personally used Michaels, Barns and Noble, Office Depot, and Pets-Mart teacher discount programs other times I just ask… Click here for a full list of stores that offer discounts to teachers! Your teach away is “it never hurts to ask” they may just give you a coupon and hey that still more than you had before! Thanks for reading and please make sure you are following me on all my social media pages so you stay up to date on future posts by clicking the icons at the top! Good Luck!