Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.

8 Awesome Ways to Save in the Classroom This Year

8 Awesome Ways to Save in the Classroom This Year

By Whooo’s Reading Blog Team

You know you spend a lot out of pocket each year—a total of 1.6 billion between 3.5 million teachers, to be exact—but there are many ways to cut back. Use these tips to keep some of your hard earned cash where it belongs: in your bank account.

More: Educational Technology for Low-Budget Classrooms

Always Choose Free First

There are so many free resources available, there’s no reason not to test those before shelling out for a subscription or paid version. Use these lists to start your search for free apps, tools and ideas:

Go to Your Principal

You might be able to get some of your favorite tools paid for by the school if you can prove that it’s an important addition to your classroom. For example, Whooo’s Reading improves reading comprehension, gives teachers actionable standards-aligned data, and is Title 1 approved.

Instead of paying for it out of your own pocket, ask your principal to pay for a school-wide account so everyone can take advantage and you pay less—plus you get more with a school-wide account, including auto-grading of open-ended questions. Check it out here.

More: 5 Reasons I Use Whooo’s Reading in My Classroom

Use the Teacher Card

You may not know that teachers get discounts at many places, including museums and aquariums. You also qualify for discounts on magazines, software, books and classroom supplies and kits. Check out this extensive list of where and how teachers can get free goods, compiled by USA Test Prep.

Ask for Donations

You’d be amazed at how generous local businesses are. Head to your local computer repair shop, for example, and see if they have older devices they’d be willing to lend or give to your classroom for the year. Offer to give their business card to parents and the deal will be mutually beneficial. Consider what businesses you can work with to get classroom supplies, books and more.

Start a DIY Drive

The idea is simple: DIY-ing is the most inexpensive way of creating materials, decorations and more for your classroom. But once you’ve run out of fun items at home, it’s back to the store to spend money. Instead, ask parents to bring in random items they no longer need, or collect items like toilet paper rolls and egg cartons for you. Organize a drive a few times a year for your classroom or the whole school. Instead of asking parents buying items, which they may not want or be able to do, you can give them an opportunity to help in other ways.

More: 15 Themes That Will Give You Serious Classroom Envy

Claim Educator Tax Deductions

This is an easy one to miss but a good one for saving a few bucks this year. “There’s a $250 above-the-line deduction for classroom supplies (which means no need to itemize, holla!), as well as a tuition and professional development deduction if you’ve been continuing your own education,” according to WeAreTeachers.

Apply for a Grant

This is a long-term savings plan, but not one to ignore. Head to or (Kids in Need Foundation) to see how you can get what you need for both your classroom and your students.

Crowdfund Your Needs

If you need something right away, this may not be the best method. But if you know you want to invest in technology for your students, or have plans for a big end-of-the-year field trip, use Donors Choose, StartSomeGood or GoFundMe. Get students involved too; they can help write the description, come up with the amount you need to ask for and more.

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Awesome Ways to Save in the Classroom

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