Save Money AND Time: SEVEN Classroom Hacks

Oh My Goodness! I'm constantly wishing there were more hours in a day to get it all done. Between teaching and being a wife and mama, I am ALWAYS busy! And, I'm sure I'm not the only one who counts their pennies each month! I'm always looking for ways to save money. Between buying things for my classroom and my own littles, things get expensive REALLY fast! Anyone else wish time and money grew on trees!? Well since they don't (unless you know something I don't!)  I am LOVING these tips from Amy Mascott of TeachMama.com and I thought you would too! 

1. Preserve materials you'll use multiple times.
Shannon Lisowe, from Speechy Musings, laminates useful visuals, pages, and books and stores them in a binder to make it easy to grab and go from year to year. "It's a little more cost and time upfront, but it will absolutely save you in the long run!"

2. Reduce print costs with a subscription service.
Many teachers have printers in their classrooms but very little budget to print. Between activities for lessons or centers, many teachers end up printing up to 300+ pages per month.

HP’s Instant Ink program allows subscribers to save time and money by delivering ink cartridges at a fraction of the cost of store-bought ink, right to your door. This program offers a month-to-month subscription and you can cancel anytime. Plans start as low as $2.99/month which can save teachers TONS of money on ink. I mean tons.


I do not feel guilty about printing games and activities for my students because I am not having to spend a fortune out of my own pocket!” Chandra Dills, from Teaching with Crayons and Curls.




I use HP Instant Ink for my home, and I’d be lost without it. I love it. With three kids in 7th, 5th, and 4th grades, my kids already do a lot of printing. HP Instant Ink takes one thing off of my list of things to remember. Your compatible HP printer communicates low ink levels to HP so ink is delivered to your door before you run out. “My favorite thing about HP Instant Ink is the fact that not only is the ink inexpensive, but it is shipped to your door so you never have to leave your house!” Lauren Shirk, a K-3 Reading Intervention teacher from A Teachable Teacher.

There are so many perks packaged into the HP Instant Ink program that extend beyond ease and conveinience. For example, Jennifer Kadar, from SimplyKinder, has referred enough friends to receive free ink until 2020! "It's effortless." With the HP Instant Ink Refer-a-Friend program, you and the friend you refer receive a free month of ink! The best part is the amounts of referrals are unlimited! "The HP Instant Ink program is made for teachers. Period."


Photo Credit: SimplyKinder.com


HP Instant Ink also offers great options for teachers who are tired of only printing in black and white to save on costs. Kristin Oldham, from A Teeny Tiny Teacher, loves the aspect of being able to print in color too, for the same price. “I love how I don’t have to prioritize what I will print in color or what I will print from home vs. school.” You can learn more about HP Instant Ink by visiting www.hpinstantink.com.


3. Organize your space.
Vanessa Levin, from Pre-K Pages, recommends a well-organized and fully functional classroom environment where materials necessary for teaching and learning are easily accessible to both teachers and students. “Clear the clutter. If it hasn’t been used in one year, toss it. Lighten the load to make more time for teaching and learning.”

4. Be a smart shopper.
Getting ready for back to school is costly. Cut back on costs by visiting local thrift shops. “You'll be amazed at how many goodies you can find for little to nothing for your classrooms.” Traci Bender, special education teacher for grades 3-5 from The Bender Bunch.

5. Stock up during back to school sale events.
Buy as many 1-cent composition books and packs of paper as possible, and ask friends and neighbors to buy them, too. Many states offer tax-free weekends for school supplies. Kallie Lerchbacker, who is going into her third year of teaching says, “Don’t buy everything all at once. It’s okay to have a classroom that is not decorated like a Pinterest classroom. Also, it’s good to make/print your own centers because the stations from the teacher stores are very expensive.”

6. Hone your parent-teacher presentation.
Teachers like Vanessa Levin from Pre-K Pages, admit that parent-teacher nights can be nerve-wracking. Calm your nerves by planning and anticipating parents’ questions. Vanessa suggests creating a parent handbook to arm yourself with the answers they are looking for. This way you will appear confident and knowledgeable and parents will be at ease knowing their child is in good hands.

7. Ask for donations.
You might be surprised to learn how many of your students’ families have extras around the house that you can use in the classroom. Make a list at the beginning of the school year with everything you might need: tissues, hand sanitizer, crayons, glue, etc. and send it home with each student. Even indoor recess activities can be supplied via donations if families have extra puzzles or games sitting around.

What do you think? How do you support your child’s teacher, or if you are a teacher, how do you save money in the classroom?

Curious about HP Instant Ink? You should be! To receive one free month of ink, sign up using THIS LINK! Once you try it, share the link, friends!

And, to help get you started, HP Instant Ink and I are giving away a printer to ONE BUSY TEACHER! 


If you are a busy teacher and want to SAVE TIME AND MONEY! Enter the giveaway below!


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About the Author:
Amy Kilpatrick Mascott is the creator of teachmama.com, where since 2008, she has shared tools and resources parents can use to become the best teachers they can be for their children.

A Reading Specialist, writer, and literacy consultant, Amy’s work has been featured on dozens of online and print publications, including Scholastic Parents, PBS Parents, readwritethink.org, PBS Digital Studios, and more.

Amy is a former high school English teacher who has truly expanded the walls of classroom, sharing her expertise at local and national events and publishing her first book with Scholastic, Raising a Rock-Star Reader: 75 Quick Tips for Helping Your Child Develop a Lifelong Love for Reading in 2015.


Married to an elementary school principal, Amy resides in the DC Metro with her three crazy-cool kids (12, 11, and 9 years old), a dog, two birds, and a kingdom of sea monkeys.

2 comments

  1. Great post, thanks for sharing!

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