Monday, August 5, 2013

if i were a rich man... shopping for my classroom

I mentioned last week that I went on a Teacher Store Date with my kindergarten teacher friend from school.  That adventure was a great success!  We had such a blast trying to find the exact things that would save us time and improve our classrooms.  Armed with a $100 budget, the two of us headed to Monroeville, PA to go to the Emperial Parent Teacher Store to shop to our hearts' contents!

This is what I bought at the teacher store.

1.  Desk Calendar - I wouldn't count this as a purchase, as I got it for free for spending $50.  I'm really excited to have one of these again--I have already filled in all of the important dates for the school year.  Hoping that this will also encourage me to keep my desk a little tidier!

2.  Wall Calendar - I needed to replace my old Target Dollar Spot calendar--it served three years for me, and was looking a little tattered for it.  This one is simple, while still being really fun!

3.  Dr. Seuss Manuscript Alphabet - This was something that I did not go to the store looking for, but when I saw it, I just knew I HAD to buy it.  While many schools are getting rid of handwriting, we're putting a renewed focus on it this year.

4.  Lost a Tooth Stickers - I have a lost tooth graph in my classroom, and these will add more fun to losing a tooth.  I intend to stick one on kiddos when they lose a tooth any time this year, as well as place one on the envelope we send the tooth home in if they lose them at school.

5.  Holographic Star Stickers - These are my new gold star stickers for my clip chart.  They are so pretty!

6.  Bees - These are to recreate my Mrs. B's Busy Bees job chart.  I'm going to make a new hive and try to set it up in a more organized fashion--and now, I don't have to make the bees!

7.  Lined Poster Boards - I bought three of these to laminate and use dry erase markers on to model writing during handwriting and write our class journal entries on.  My kindergarten teacher friend has one in her room that I have been jealous of since day one!

8.  Blueberry and Lime Scented Stamp Pads - Last year, my first graders loved anything scented.  I use Mr. Sketch Smelly Markers for checking papers, and I loved using smelly stamp pads for reward stamps on hands and papers.

9.  Smen - This was my impulse buy...  a Mocha Scented Smen (smelly pen, made by the Smencil company).  It smells delicious, and it makes writing stuff down just that more exciting for me.

10.  Birthday Pencils - I bought enough for each of my new first graders to get a fancy "Happy Birthday" pencil for their birthday.  One part of birthday presents done!

11.  Month Cupcakes - As I mentioned before, I am planning on redoing my birthday board this year.  I had settled on just making cupcakes exactly how I wanted them to look and was gearing up to do that, when I found these at the store.  Bought these, and saved me quite a bit of time!

All in all, including sales tax, I spent just over $60.  I'm aiming to not spend more than $150 on back to school stuff for my classroom--but I've already spent some more at Target and JoAnn Fabrics.

While the teacher store is a really great one stop place to get stuff for our rooms (and limited to our classrooms), I think I would rather do most of my BTS shopping at Target or JoAnn's.  The only downside is it is so much harder to stay on a budget, because I can always find things just for me, or for home, that I have to buy, too.  My favorite upside?  Coupons!

I bought a bunch of stuff at JoAnn's with a 25% off coupon this past weekend (including cardstock for my planner and bulletin board headings, some fantastic borders and fabric to back a bulletin board).  This weekend, JoAnn's is having a Teacher Weekend--you can get 25% off your purchase by showing your school I.D.  I've also been stalking the Target BTS sales, and ended up getting six pairs of scissors for less than a few dollars and four boxes of crayons for $.07.  Love it.

Everyone knows that teachers put so much of their own money into their classrooms.  During Back to School, do you set a budget for yourself?  Do you try to limit your spending?  Share in the comments!


  1. I am trying to limit my spending because I had tons of stuff left in my classroom from the previous teacher, but it's really hard!

    Also, I nominated your cute little blog for a Liebster award. You can check out this post for more information! (:


    1. You're lucky that the previous teacher left things behind! I have been in the unfortunate situation where the teacher before did not leave of their own wishes twice--and what was (and was not) in my room when I started really showed that. I've been slowly building up my collection of decor and "fun stuff" for my room--but it's pretty tough on our bank account!

      And thank you so much for the nomination! I'll have that up in the next few days, for sure!

  2. I love those birthday cupcakes! I try to limit my spending but of course that doesn't always happen :)

    1. Aren't they great? They were somewhere around $7--but for how much drawing and time they'll save me, I think they were totally worth it!

      I'm avoiding spending anymore money for now... says the teacher who just bought a new area rug for the room last night!

      Thanks for stopping by!