Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dollar Tree Deals!

I'm pretty lucky in that my school provides pretty much everything we NEED. We always have pencils, markers, and paper at our disposal. There's a copy center for printing and at least one computer in every classroom. But it's generally understood that if you WANT your classroom to be a pleasant and appealing place to be, you're going to end up shelling out some of your own hard-earned moolah. I don't mind that so much, but I do like to find a good deal. 

I've recently re-realized that....brace yourselves....not all teachers go to the Dollar Tree. GASP!!!!!!!!!! I know. Ok, so I know that there aren't Dollar Trees everywhere, but most towns have some similar version of a dollar store. 

I vividly remember my first Dollar Tree awakening. It was my first year of teaching and I was about $600 in debt thanks to Lakeshore Learning (home of the most beautiful and overpriced teaching resources on the planet). A veteran teacher looked at me and said, "Are you crazy? You know you can get all this stuff at the Dollar Tree, right?" My. Whole. World. Changed. 

So it's likely that you are thinking, DUH. But if this post reaches even ONE new teacher in need of supplies who isn't in on this very important secret, I'll consider it a success. 

On a recent pilgrimage to my mecca, I wanted to buy everything and *needed* nothing. So the inspiration for this post struck - I had almost as much fun snapping pics of everything I wanted as I would have actually buying it. I didn't get much of a chance to take pics inside my classroom, but trust me, they could restock the store from Room 302. 

Mind you, the folks at the DT are no dummies. They're on to us. They have an entire Teacher's Corner. It's amaaaaaazing.

It's where I buy pretty much all my little incentives and reward certificates - so much cheaper than the teacher supply stores. They also have sentence strips, parts of speech cards, maps, etc. 

This is where I buy my "Turner Tickets" - a BIG deal in my classroom. :) Three of those bad boys will earn you a trip to the prize bin.

As you may have guessed, my prize bin is stocked entirely from the Dollar Tree - sure it's all junk, but there's plenty of junk that will actually work well enough to satisfy a 9 year old. Like these bubbles that are 6/$1 and a huge hit with my kiddos. 

I probably have 100 of these foam dice in my classroom. They are perfect for math centers because they don't get lost or make noise, plus kids love taking them as prizes from the prize bin.

They have books. They aren't amazing, but they are books that cost a buck. They are awesome for giving away as prizes. And they are generally about high-interest topics and the kids like them. 

I only made the mistake of spending big money on my recess bin one year. It would have been more efficient for me to just drop kick my wallet over the fence and into oncoming traffic, because that is what happened to all my expensive kickballs that year. In addition to stocking up on cheaper balls and jump ropes at DT, I also love this egg-shaped sidewalk chalk. 

And ohhhhh the office supplies!! So many office supplies. I love office supplies. HOW CUTE are these composition books? I could not justify them on this trip, but I am determined to find a reason to go back for them. 

Another AHHHHHHHH moment in my life: realizing that spending $5 on a gift bag from Target or CVS was uneccessary when good ol' DT had an entire wall of them.

This is Ringo. You can't buy him at the Dollar Tree, but he's the cutestlittlesmooshieintheworld and I snuck him into this picture-heavy post because I felt it important to share his cuteness with the world.

Love these little dry erase boards for a buck each. 

 And then....the bins. This is what sealed the deal for me on my first trip. I could not believe how ripped off I'd been on BINS before coming to the Dollar Tree. Seriously, I will never buy a container anywhere else in my life. 




More bins in action:

And to clean it all up....

Do you have a favorite dollar store deal to share? How do you save money when you need to buy supplies for your classroom? I'd love to hear your secrets in the comment section! :)

Happy Teaching!


  1. I LOVE DOLLAR TREE! I go almost every Tuesday night, and that give my hubby a reason to go to Five Guys for burgers too! I saw you posted the composition notebooks. I bought mine there too! You know what I use them for? Whole Class Journals. My students love them. I got the idea from Pinterest and found some samples on TPT. I printed out the labels, put them on the composition notebooks and my students have had a great time writing each week. Try it, you just might like it.
    Have a great day...I can't wait for tonight because I get my fix from Dollar Tree (I need cheap puzzles for an activity on Trade) and burgers from Five Guys. Can it get any better?

  2. I love Dollar Tree deals. So much good stuff there just waiting for teachers. :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  3. I love this post. I just bought a whole set of the very same Ancient History books in your picture on Saturday!

    We are blessed with about ten different dollar stores very close to me, so I hit them all!

  4. The dollar tree is a lifesaver!

    I love how many pictures you took of your dollar tree!!!


  5. I love Dollar tree! Just bought a ton of dice, playing cards, and koosh balls the other day for my department!!

    Mathematically yours,

  6. I love Dollar Tree!! I shop there every time I get a chance.

  7. I am just laughing as I read your post. I could have written it and I homeschool, so I have a lot less students. But we need bins and baskets and all the DT goodness too! :)

    I LOVE their checkbook registers and the language things they have. You mentioned the sentence strips, but I also found sight words there one year. Four different sets in progressive order, and I've made games out of those. I only wish I had bought more than one set as I've never seen them there again.

    I might like the candy aisle at the DT as well. ;)

    Another fun thing to do at DT is take my kids and give them each $5 to spend with one caveat. They have to spend $2 on things they can eat (junk I know but sometimes they buy just gum or a pack of nuts so that is not so bad and it doesn't clutter my house!), $1 or more on something to give away and then the other $2 they can buy whatever junk they want! That is always a fun surprise for them, and amazingly all of them (6 from 14 years old to 3 years old) can find things they want at the DT!

  8. I think the things you covered through the post are quite impressive, good job and great efforts. I found it very interesting and enjoyed reading all of it... keeps it up, good job.

    Dollar Tree Coupon Codes


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