Classroom Library on a Budget



Let's face it, purchasing books for a classroom can be ex.pen.sive.  Most schools require the teacher to provide a majority of the books for their classroom.  We want quality books for our students to read, but they can cost up to $25 each!   Is it possible to create a classroom library on a budget?

The answer is YES!  I just added over 100 books to my classroom library for less than $25 total.  Let me show you how.


My favorite place to purchase books for cheap are book sales.  I use Book Sale Finder to search for those happening in my state or nearby.  Most of the book sales near me are located at neighborhood libraries.  The books are gently used library books or books donated by the community.  More often than not, they are in very good shape.  The children's books are usually 25 cents each.  I always go the first day of the sale in order to choose from a wide variety of books.  I walked out with 35 books for only $8.00!


Scholastic is a wonderful resource.  I send home book orders with my students every month, along with a parent letter.  Parents can order books online (with a credit card) or send in an order form (with a check).  I usually send a variety of three different book orders home with the students, depending on what Scholastic sends me that month.  Usually there is a combination of non-fiction, grade-level and seasonal orders.  

Every time a parent places an order, the teacher receives bonus points.  These points can be used to purchase books or materials for the classroom.  You can also earn book coupons when parents place an order online.  The student receives a coupon too!  Scholastic also offers specials each month, sometimes offering free books.  How awesome is that?  Even if you don't earn bonus points or free books, you can still get some pretty good deals from the company.

I received free books for ordering before the end of the month and also used bonus points and coupons.  I spent $0 on more than 40 brand new books!


Another great place to grab books is a yard sale.  Oftentimes, they are selling books that their grown kids don't read anymore.  Sometimes, you'll hit the jackpot and stumble upon a yard sale of a former teacher!  Once you find books at a yard sale, make sure they are in good condition and aren't smelly or moldy from being in a basement.  Also, don't be afraid to bargain!  Most people are willing to give you a better price if you explain that they are for a classroom.  I purchased over 40 hardcover books for less than $15.  This set is worth over $400!


Lastly, check your local thrift stores.  Not all stores sell books, but some have quite a collection!  I like to visit Savers.  Again, always make sure the books are not moldy or dusty.  In my experience, the thrift stores are a bit more expensive than a yard sale or library book sale.  The books range from 30 cents to $1 per book.  Still a lot cheaper than a book store!


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6 comments

  1. Sara, I love this and definitely do this.. you have to on a budget :) Thank you so much for the tips!

    Laura Love to Teach

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  2. I love Scholastic and a good yard sale, but I had no idea about the book sale finder website. Thank you for sharing this!

    Mary
    Fit to be Fourth

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  3. I shop at Edward McKay's and 2nd and Charles. These are both used book stores. Prices vary, but I usually have book credit when I turn books in or when my hubby does.

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  4. Books are so important. It's sad we have to scrounge for these things to do our jobs. Great website to find books! Had not seen that before!


    Jennifer from Simply Kinder

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  5. Awesome, awesome, awesome!! I also go to the Scholastic Warehouse Sale!!

    Angela
    The Daily Alphabet

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  6. I'm new to your site but love your tips and organizational advice. I wonder if you could post a better picture of the yellow & blue book boxes in the top photo? Where did you find them? I'm still in school and trying to start gathering for my future classroom. Thank you for your help!

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