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Teachers Just Want a Bargain!
What a Deal!

If you are like me, you are constantly buying items for your classroom. We all know that the one-hundred to two-hundred dollars we are given for our classrooms never covers all the supplies and teaching materials we need. So many teachers dig into their own pockets. On average, I spend five-hundred dollars a year of my own money on my classroom. During my first year of teaching I spent over a thousand dollars of my own money. My husband put a quick stop to my spending and forced me to budget in only five hundred a year. As a result, I am always hunting for a good deal. I search ebay at least once a week and I am always checking out the dollar store. When back to school time comes along I always make a trip to Wal-mart to purchase a pocket chart for nine dollars. I think I spend the most money over the summer. They say, teachers get the summers off - Ha!

I have created this page to store the deals I find. I also compile deals I hear about on various mailrings or chatboards. It is nice to have everything in one place!

Updated May 1, 2005 - Teachers Garage Sale is a group for educators, parents, homeschoolers, or others who are looking to buy, sell, or even trade educational items. All transactions are between the buyer and seller only, no middle man. Payment and shipping are arranged through the buyer and seller. This list was just started in June 2003 and it has over 400 teachers buying and selling on it. It is an alternative to Ebay.

The Teacher's Flea Market - This is like an Ebay just for teachers!

Ebay For Teachers - Vanna tells you how to search for teacher goodies on Ebay!

Primary Teacher Time Savers - These will save you time and money!!! All you need is a computer and printer!

BiblioCat's Garage Sale - For Teachers, Librarians, and Homeschoolers. - I know how expensive items are for teachers... Here is a place to get rid of your stuff and look for new stuff ... clean out your closets!!

Click on the banner above to view bulk pencils at a great price. You will also find great craft ideas for the up and coming holidays.


I still buy tons of goodies on ebay. I have a teacher resource library of over 300 books. I purchase lots of these books from Ebay. You can get some great deals. I also have purchased children's literature for my classroom library.

My tips for getting a good deal:

When you find something on Ebay you want to purchase, check on Amazon to see how much they are selling the item for. This way you will know how much the item would sell for if you bought it new. For instance, if someone on Ebay is selling a book for $12 dollars and it is on Amazon for $22 you will know that the Ebay price is a good deal. You can also make sure that your bids do not exceed a predetermined amount!

Always look at the shipping price. Many times I find that buying an item is not worth the price in shipping.

Make sure you read the sellers feedback. I only buy from sellers that have at least a 90% in positive feedback and who have sold over five items. That is just the way I do it.

Use Paypal. It is fast and easy. -

For more great tips and advice on Ebay read Vanna's Ebay page found at

Here are some user id's for teachers who sell teacher resources on Ebay. You can do a search by seller to see if they have anything up.


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below you will find teachers from all over talking about deals they have found. These come from and and some ideas were sent in!

I wanted to share a find that my friend and I recently discovered. We were visiting Office Depot for their Teacher Appreciation breakfast, and while we were there we noticed an empty cardboard display with "Sponge Bob" characters on it. We asked the manager what they do with the displays when they're empty and he said they throw them out. Can you imagine? Anyway, this display was the perfect size to fit chapter books in my reading center, and it was covered with characters my students love. So, now every time I'm shopping I stay on the lookout for empty cardboard displays that could be used in my classroom. The store was more than happy to give them to us. Just wanted to share! Thanks for all your wonderful ideas that you've already shared on your site! Sincerely, T.D. (Swisha24)

Sam's club has beautiful little rugs for a little more than $15.00.  They are plush like stuffed animals but look like a bear skin rug.  They have lions, tigers, leopards, polar bears and I think regular bears.  I bought 3 of them to put on the floor of my classroom for the chilren to read on.  The bear ones feel more like a bathroom rug than a stuffed animal so I just bought the cat family ones.  They are really nice, quality products - Susan Marsh

Kohl's dept. stores have a real deal going right now and it is a win-win situation.  They have stuffed mice, moose and pigs from the books If you Give a ---- a -----.  They are really nice quality items and they only cost $5.00 each!  On top of that, they are giving their profits to children's hospitals.  They are the same stuffed animals that cost at least $12.95 from teacher catalogs.  I bought all three and I'm taking them to school for the children to read to. - Susan Marsh

Just wanted to inform you guys of some neat stuff at Dollar Tree! I love that store! I got several packs of 60 mini erasers. They have many different kinds (telephones, butterflies, parrots, etc.) and I thought 60 for $1.00 was a good deal. They also had the cutest assortment of books of stickers (frog stickers, smiley stickers, ocean stickers, etc.). I bought lots of these to go along with what I teach. Each book had from 500-700 stickers for a dollar. What Dollar Tree bargains have you found? Let's share our teacher finds! - Janet

Okay, so I don't have a Dollar Tree, but I do have a Dollar General... I buy plastic placemats and cut them in half for play dough mats. Also, they have packages of 12 little cookie cutters,
which are great with play dough.

They have wonderful foam rugs that look like flower gardens. I put these in one of my reading areas for kids to sit on. Okay, so they aren't really all that soft, but kids love the idea of sitting in the garden and reading books

Just got home from the Dollar Tree. I found the cutest little sun glasses in the toy department (good quality/not the cheap summer ones) that had little tiny stuffed animals that slide onto the side earpiece. The glasses were in different colors -- blue, green, pink and black and the animals were a fish, a bear, a puppy, a rabbit and a bee. Cute and great for "read the room"!!! Posted by Sharon on 6/11/03

This is what I found . . . I bought the cutest fly swatters-ladybug, frog, and a bee. My class will play games with the vocabulary words. I will write them on large index cards and put them on my whiteboard using magnetic strips. I then divide the class into two teams. Two kids come to the board, and I'll call out a definition. They try to be the quickest to swat the answer. I'm going to use this same idea in learning multiplication facts, too. Posted by Lori/ga on 6/11/03

I found about 3 weeks ago the greatest bubble wands and bubble solution at our Dollar Tree. I have also found nice small crates for books, caddies for stuff, things for my goodie box. I'll have to look for the flower mats they sound cute! Posted by Tamera/CA1st on 6/11/03

Lowe's is Awesome!!!!! I will be moving into a new classroom. The room is white, but the cabinet doors were painted a nasty, bright, yellow-green color by the previous teacher. I went to Lowe's this morning and told them the situation and their paint department GAVE me the primer and 2 gallons of paint. The paint color was mixed to the shades I wanted. Everyone was very nice. I was told that they get rid of paint often and we should check with them. They also sell gallons cans of paint for $5.00. They are "OOOPPPSSS" paint cans. These are cans of paint that they made mistakes on, ie... not the right color, etc. If you need anything, Lowe's is the place!!! Posted by AnnaB/TX on 6/16/03

I bought several brightly colored (red, blue, yellow) photo albums at Dollar Tree --the type where you slide the photo between two sheets of plastic. They take a 4x6 photo and are a good size for small hands. I plan to type color words, number words, basic sight words on my computer in the century gothic font and cut them in the 4x6 (3x5 would work, too)size. Then I
will insert one word where each photo would normally go. I think my first graders will enjoy knowing they can read all the color words in the color words "book", etc. It's good for centers or to take their desk or work with parent volunteers. Thought I'd try it. The albums were so cute. Found them where the picture frames are. Another summer project! Enjoy! Posted by Sharon on 6/19/03

me too. I'm always on the look out for things that I can use in my classroom. Every Sunday I check the fliers for sales on crayons and markers etc. Then on the last day of school (today),I look around and say to myself: why do I have so much stuff?? fortunatly that's just one day a year.I'm always in the used book store looking for great books at a bargain. Posted by vicki/2nd on 6/19/03

I live at garage sales during the summer it seems! I have already got several puzzles, some books, and some organizers. But there always seems to be more I'm looking for. My goal this summer is to get as many non fiction books as possible and those plastic magazine holders. I remember a few summers ago when I found 2 garage sales in a month from teachers retiring! I though I had died and gone to heaven!!!!! - Posted by Terri F. on 6/19/03

Me too!!! Last week I went to Ikea, and my friend and I said we are not buying school stuff......well I think thats about all we bought!! I got a great hanging organizer, that I plan
to put math games in. Its great, Its bright green! That store is great and the stuff is so inexpensive. I've really got to do the yard sale thing. You can tell we love our jobs!!!! Posted by jpk on 6/19/03

I think the retailers see us coming(*-*)I found plastic shoe boxes at the dollar store .50 each. I plan on organizing team science boxes and math manipulatives to make management easier. Composition books were also on the discount shelf at a going out of business K-Mart….25 each.Nice fabric prints for a couple of bulletin boards. And…I’m just beginning to shop! Malinda - Posted by Malinda on 6/20/03

Also, at Wal-Mart I saw children's beach chairs with Clifford on the front and back of the chair - even had his name on it just like a book cover. The frame is painted red and they are really cute! (But I forgot the price.) They were either $7 or $9 and they were in the linen dept. near children's bedding. I'm going back to get it for the library

Posted by Holly/OK on 7/02/03 -Just returned from Wal-Mart where I bought a piece of material with the world map and another piece with the US map. It was under $10 for both. I never have to worry about them getting tore up and they fold up for easy storage!

I also bought a cute vinyl tablecloth that I'm going to try to make pillows out of. Hopefully this will decorate my reading area without being a "creepy crawly" harvest area:

Target Goodies

Posted by avan on 7/03/03 - A friend told me that Target had butterfly houses, which includes a certificate for caterpillars, on sale in the gardening dept. I looked today but they were all out but they did have ladybug homes (w/certificate for ladybugs), ant home, lots of bug catchers and butterfly nets and some bug magnifiers....these were all within 2-7 dollars.

Also, I bought in the front section of summer things, a 3x3 foam checkerboard with 24 round pieces. I thought I could make a matching game...upper to lowercase (I ended up buying two just to have enough pieces for this), number symbols to words, letters to pics....all sorts of possibilities. These
were 6.99. They also had small plastic chairs for $4 but they seemed a little low so I passed. OH!! They also had in the children's furniture dept. a shelf/bench with 3 canvas drawers, side by side. I think it measured 30 long and 14 high? Something like that and it was only $10.

Anyway, those were the things I noticed today

Posted by KC on 7/03/03 - I have had my eye on the garden stakes with flowers, a bird and one with a ladybug on a red ruler - they were finally 50% off so I splurged (for read the room) I was going to hold out for 75% but was afraid they'd be gone... I got a big metal watering can to hold them for $1.98 I also have an outside area so I got the Miss Spider cute child's broom, shovel and rake (for my class, but really for me ) for half off and a cute sign... (grown with love) Now to just stay away until the summer stuff is half price!

Posted by Cindy in fl on 6/30/03 - I went to Target today to look for the storage bins someone mentioned the other day, but couldn't find them. I did find some really cute chairs for my reading center. They are in the lawn and garden dept. They are basically folding lawn chairs for kids. I got a loveseat style and 2 single chairs. The loveseat has alligators on it and was $9 and the chairs were yellow/pink and were $5.50. All of their kids gardening items (and there are lots!) have a bug theme, mostly ladybugs and some other bug. Very cute for a classroom as well, especially if you garden with your class, or have a great bug unit1

Posted by avan on 6/30/03 - Oh yeah, I got two loveseats LAST year for $7.90 each. It was a great deal since I had no furniture in my room for the kids. I put one in the library and one in the house area. Mine have a floral pattern on them. I also bought a small wooden lawn table for kids but I don't remember how much that is my kitchen table in the house area. I was so excited to find them as my room was so empty and they were so cheap for furniture.

I bought parachute men for 2.99 at Target for outdoor play and today I bought colorful flannel tablecloths for only $2.00.I also bought the play dough kits for $2.30 each, and that is reasonable in Illinois. Louise

Michael's Goodies

I know it's not a dollar store, but I found some great deals at Michael's! This week they have packages of cardstock (50 sheets different colors) for 50% off making them $1.99. This is as low as they get. I always keep my eyes open for them to go on sale. Also, bought some wonderful tubs of foam pieces for $3.99 (also 50% off). Some of the buckets are sticker foam pieces. I bought a tub of alphabet and numbers (stickers) and shapes stickers (perfect for math especially when we do "The Shape of Things." There were tubs with bugs shapes, flowers, handprints, etc...

The Shape of Things

Click to learn more!

The Shape of Things" is a picture book by Dayle Ann Dodds. We read it
within our math unit about 2 dimensional shapes. Each page follows this

"A square (or another shape) is just a square until you add two smaller
squares and a rectangle. Then it's a house."

After reading the book, the children make their own pictures and fill in the
blanks to complete the words. It makes a great bulletin board, then a class
book, too!

Now try the Virtual Vine's Shopping Spree Site!

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