Finding the right preschool supplies is tricky, especially if you are on a budget. I worked at schools where I could go crazy at Lakeshore Learning (great but not budget friendly). I worked in places where I had zero budget and very little pay and got creative with recyclables. We all know to hit up the local dollar store and of course, Target’s dollar spot but lots of teachers and other ECE professionals aren’t always aware of some of the less conventional places to get great deals. Here are some of my favorites:
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Find Budget Preschool Supplies
1. Thrift Stores – Going to Goodwill is hit or miss for toys but it’s a goldmine for books! For toys, I like going to higher-end stores like charity resale shops. Though pricier, if you let them know you want something and would like a call if the price drops, they often take your number. I scored an awesome Pottery Barn kitchen set this way!
2. Online marketplaces like Jane.com – this is a new find for me but I am so impressed because I have found awesome things on here like Magnet Numbers, Building Block Strip Tape ( for Lego) and these great magnetic blocks! The deals only last 72 hours but the best part are there are new things all the time! The prices are definitely budget friendly. Plus, it surprised me how many offer low cost and free shipping.
3. Dollar Tree ONLINE – yes get a whole class set of something without having to run to 3 different dollar stores in your area. I only have two and I sometimes get my husband who works in a neighboring city to check for items on his lunch. He loves that. Online you get the same deals, you just have to buy larger quantities. It is perfect because we need larger quantities!
4. Shop by Category on Amazon – I hear from you all the time that you want to find things on Amazon because you have Prime and fast free shipping is amazing. I get that but it can take forever to find the right things on such a huge marketplace. Shop by category like Occupational Therapy – Sensory Aids or by brand for your preschool supplies. I love Learning Resources so I search using their brand name on Amazon and get only great products.
5. Specialty retailers like Montessori Services which specializes in Montessori materials. Not always the cheapest but their great clearance section filled with ECE related items rocks. Even if you don’t teach at a Montessori school, they carry great child sized everything. This includes like water pitchers, brooms, and great teacher resources too.
Where do you find the best deals for your preschool supplies?