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Education is a gratifying profession, but teachers and administrators have to work within a budget. We understand that classroom needs not only build up, but also add up. From disinfectant to bulletin board displays, and everything in between, it’s important to find ways to save on classroom necessities. The teachers of Pensacola Christian Academy share with us how they’re able to pinch pennies in the classroom.
While it may seem counterintuitive, when purchasing classroom items and decorations, spend a little extra on quality products. Otherwise, you’ll need to replace those more often. The same goes for the time you spend assembling classroom decorations and visuals. Invest a few extra hours and construct them to last. That way, you can re-use the items again next year, and maybe even the year after. Buying in bulk also helps save money in the long run, especially for those items you know you’ll need more of in the future.
Always shop around for the best value. Look for after-season sales when items have been drastically marked down. Stock up on materials for next year. Visit consignment shops and yard sales for classroom storage items and other furniture, such as tables and bookshelves.
Looking back is a great way to plan for the future. Save receipts as reminders of what you spent on purchases that may need to be made again next year. For example, when budgeting for this year’s Christmas party decorations, review past receipts for a better idea of upcoming budgets. And don’t forget that many expenses can be used as tax deductions, so you’ll need to keep your receipts for tax purposes too.
Ask fellow teachers about which school supply stores offer discounts to teachers or search for those online. Shop for reward points that can be applied to receive discounts on those little extra items you need around the classroom.
You’ve heard of “buyer beware,” but what about “buyer beware of buyer’s remorse”? We’re all guilty of impulse purchases. One of the best ways to save money is to make sure that you really need an item. Take a few days to think about a purchase, especially for more expensive items. Reevaluate how it will be utilized in the classroom and, most importantly, how it will benefit your students.
Getting parents involved can help your budget. Ask them to donate supplies that students will need throughout the year. Before the new school year starts, make a wish list of items that parents can purchase for the classroom while shopping for their children’s school supplies. For special events such as classroom parties, send home sign-up sheets so parents can volunteer to bring in refreshments, decorations, and even party favors.
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