10 Money Saving Hacks for Teachers!

Hello fellow teachers! It's Anna from Hanging with Mrs. Hulsey! During the summer I like to plan ahead and get some things ready for next year! I thought I'd share with you some money saving ideas-- since we tend to spend our own money on our classrooms! So here we go!

1. Invest in an HP instant ink printer!
Now-- I know what you're thinking-- I already have a printer. But, if it's not HP instant ink compatible-- you are wasting your money! Basically, with this program you pay a monthly fee to print a certain amount of COLORED pages! The plans include:
     *50 pages for $2.99
     *100 pages for $4.99
     *300 pages for $9.99
They even let your unused pages rollover to the next month! You can change your plan anytime. The best part? They read your ink info and mail you new cartridges-- and you NEVER run out of ink! 
Finding an HP instant ink printer is easy-- just search Amazon for one. Or go to a store and purchase one there (make sure it says HP instant ink on it!) After you purchase your printer go HERE to sign up. You can also search online for promo codes for free months of ink. Here is one for 1 month of ink. Sometimes the printers even come with a code! Choose your plan, set up your payment, and print away! Definitely saved me hundreds in ink alone! 

2. If you purchase on TPT-- leave feedback for credit! 
It sounds silly-- but you'd be surprised how many people DON'T leave feedback on items they purchase. Essentially for every item you purchase and leave feedback on-- you get FREE credits that you can apply toward future purchases. Simple log in-- click on your TPT name, find "my purchases", change the sort by button to "needs feedback", and you are ready to go!
Still not sure how to do this? Here is another easy tutorial (with pics) to help you out!

3. Join local yard sale sites on Facebook
Last year I wanted to start flexible seating-- but I didn't have a lot of money or places for the kids to sit. I joined several yard sale sites on Facebook and scanned for furniture or cheaper items. Sometimes people will lower their prices or donate if they find out you are a teacher! I got this dining room table for only $20! I was stoked!

4. Buy things in bulk!
I know sometimes this isn't always an option-- but for some items it is! I love Amazon because it will show price changes in items-- so I usually put my favorites on a wishlist and keep an eye out! My favorite things to buy from there? These giant boxes of glue sticks and packs of Astrobright paper!
You can't beat those prices!

5. Copy on bright paper instead of using colored ink!
Using HP instant ink is great for printing out classroom decor and such-- but when you make copies for your students its a lot easier and cheaper to copy things onto Astrobright paper! I usually copy things like interactive notebook pages or classroom reward coupons onto bright paper! It makes it look amazing!

6. Shop at the dollar store!
We can't always afford the items at Lakeshore-- though we wish we could! Lately places like Target (dollar spot) and Dollar Tree have some amazing storage items in fabulous colors! Last year Target had a great deal on book boxes!

Dollar Tree also has great stuff-- one of my favorite purchases have been these water bottles (which I gave as student gifts last year) and these face scrubbers (which I use for dry erase boards):

7. Reuse or re-purpose items!
I know teachers tend to be pack rats (I am also guilty of this!). But some items can genuinely be reused! I love following other teachers on Instagram and Facebook and seeing great ideas! For example, Amber from TGIF had these great tips to use picture frames and plastic bags over again!

8. Know and use your teacher discounts!
Did you know many stores give teacher discounts? I wasn't aware of how many until I read through this giant list! Now I use my discount every time I shop in Michaels and Barnes & Noble! Be sure to read the list-- it's giant!

9. Use fabric or tablecloths on bulletin boards!
I love this hack because if you aren't changing rooms or themes, you can leave the fabric background up all year and it will not fade! That will save you a lot of time and money in the long run! Here are 2 examples from my room-- one was striped fabric and the other was burlap! I may go all burlap this year since it goes with everything!
I've also seen teachers purchase cheap tablecloths (hello Dollar Tree!) and use those as backgrounds!

10. Utilize Donor's Choose (or ask for donations)!
Summertime is the perfect time to think about Donor's Choose! You can set up a fund for whatever you need in the classroom! I've done 2 different projects-- one for flexible seating and one for books. Both projects were funded. I know other teachers use it for supplies, professional development opportunities, goods off Teachers pay Teachers, etc.

It's free. Use it. People want to donate and help!

Also, don't be afraid to ask for donations. Need pizza boxes for a project? Ask a local pizza chain-- they may be willing to donate! Need coffee cups? Ask a Starbucks-- I've heard of them donating! If you don't ask, you'll never know!

What is your favorite way to save money? Leave a comment if you get a chance!
I know it's hard-- especially because we only want the best for our students-- but don't forget to save a little for yourself! I hope this list helped you out!