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As a teacher, I know how expensive buying school supplies is. I spend at least a few hundred dollars myself at the beginning of each school year in order to get my classroom up and running for my new set of kiddos. I’ve been working in a school district with >90% poverty rate for the past five years. Many of my students’ parents either aren’t able to afford school supplies or choose not to buy them; I don’t care which one is the case, because it’s absolutely worth it to me to spend this money to make sure all my students have the supplies they need to thrive in my class.
So it’s August, which means back to school season is upon us. I know many districts around the country have already started back to school, so I’m hoping you were able to find school supply deals on your own! Here in New York, we don’t go back until after Labor Day, so we still have time to get the best deals.
There are different stores I go to for school supplies: Target, Walmart, Office Max/Depot, Walgreens, and Dollar Tree mostly. Each store ends up having an awesome sale on certain items each year, so I wait for the ads to come out for those specific items. Target is my stop for spiral notebooks, Crayola crayons, pens, and looseleaf paper. Walgreens usually has good deals on printer paper and whiteboard markers. Office Max usually has 10 cent marble notebooks. Scissors, crayons, markers, and index cards are bought at Walmart.
The rest I am able to find for super cheap online at Dollar Tree. The best part, besides saving tons of money, is I don’t even have to walk through the store and get tempted to buy things I don’t need, because they SHIP TO YOUR LOCAL STORE FOR FREE! So you can order what you need online, and then pick it up at the store when it gets delivered.
I teach third grade, so we FLY FLY FLYYYYYYY through pencils. I used to teach middle/high school, and I’ve never seen so many pencils come and go like they do in elementary school. Dollar Tree usually has 24 packs of pencils for back to school. That’s only $1 for 24 PENCILS!!! I buy AT LEAST 10 packs just to start off the school year stocked up. And since children like to erase every word twelve times, therefore killing the eraser on each pencil, I buy the packs of 40 eraser tops for only $1. I will also use the eraser tops as little Kudos prizes for students showing good citizenship or finishing a chapter book. Other items I stock up on from Dollar Tree are whiteboard markers, cute pins for bulletin boards, file folders, clipboards, glue sticks, colored pencils, pencil pouches, borders for bulletin boards, flashcards, stickers, highlighters, big erasers, crayon boxes, reusable water bottles, totes, crates, labels, sticky notes, and the list goes on.
Schools are filled with germs, especially during cold and flu season, so I also stock my classroom full of cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer. I load up on sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, sponges, paper towels, dish soap, hand soap (can’t trust the bathrooms to be stocked), and tissues. I thought I went overboard last year when I stocked my classroom closet with all the cleaning items, but I actually ran out before the end of the year, and had to restock. So don’t underestimate the amount of cleaning and sanitize and nose-blowing that will be happening or be caught unprepared!
Part of being thrifty is knowing what items to buy at each store. Buying these items at Dollar Tree saves me tons of money each year! I hope my past successes help you save on your back-to-school shopping this year and for many years to come!
Head on over to Dollar Tree’s website here to get great deals while they are in stock!
As Always, Be Thrifty!