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How Teachers Can Improve the Classroom Experience Without Exceeding the Budget

By: Brittany Engelmann-- 2016-09-30 7:00 am --

The average teacher spends about $500 out-of-pocket on school supplies every year. This is largely due to a shortage in school funding. Many teachers want to provide a superior classroom experience to students, but find themselves unable to afford all project supplies via the strict school budget alone. Yet, with the modest income teachers are already earning, they shouldn’t have to spend their own money on supplies. Here are some tips to provide an exemplary classroom experience, while remaining well within your tight budget.

Partner with Nonprofits

As a teacher, you aren’t alone in your desire to improve the classroom experience. There are countless nonprofit organizations dedicated to that very aim. The Kids in Need Foundation (KINF) is a nonprofit organization that partners with eligible schools to provide free school supplies for the classroom. If the school you work at is battling a tight budget, you may be eligible to be sponsored by KINF. In 2015 alone, KINF supported over 150,000 teachers across the U.S., helping to improve the classroom experience for 4.8 million kids. Many organizations also offer grants to teachers. Teachers Count lists a variety of grants that are available to teachers, ranging from $250 to $10,000 based on your eligibility.

Host a School Supply Drive

A school supply drive is a practical and efficient method for ensuring your classroom remains fully stocked throughout the year. Find a local church or nonprofit organization that would be willing to partner alongside your school as a drop-off location for school supplies. They can help spread the word and encourage community members to get involved, allowing you to rely on the community as a whole to support the education of your students.

Price Compare Before Buying

Price comparisons play a vital role in ensuring you get the best deal. The same pack of pens, for instance, can range in prices significantly, starting from $1 up to $5, depending on where you buy it. Scout local stores and online stores for the best available pricing, and create a list of the locations that offer the best discounts. When comparing online pricing to in-store pricing, factor in external expenses as well, such as the cost of shipping compared to the cost of gasoline, and the time saved from shopping online. Many online venders offer free shipping for orders above a certain value, allowing you to save time and money on the purchase.

Purchase Supplies in Bulk

Depending on the supplies you’re after, they can often be purchased in bulk for a fraction of the cost. With bulk purchases, you can increase your savings as you scale the size of your purchase, so buying more upfront is always better. With this in mind, it would be beneficial to find other teachers in your school who are also interested in buying supplies in bulk. You can collaborate on a purchase, thus increasing your overall savings.

Despite earning modest incomes, teachers often invest a significant portion of their own money on supplies for the classroom. While this isn’t a requirement among teachers, many teachers find it necessary in order to be able to provide students with an exceptional quality of education. However, with the right mindset and some shopping savvy, you can create an excellent classroom experience on a very tight budget. At DollarDays, we offer a vast range of school supplies at low, wholesale prices, enabling you to purchase everything you need for the classroom at affordable and sustainable rates. Visit our website today and start browsing.