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Cool Supplies at the Big Box Stores

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I promised my teenager a trip to the store yesterday, and I entertained myself looking for school supplies while trying to ignore what she was picking out to try on.  I mean, why raise my blood pressure until I absolutely have to do so?

We hit Target, which honestly is about the only store we ever get to……and I think I spent 10-15 minutes at the Dollar Spot inside the door.  Then I moved on the toys and games for the 4th grader, and managed to find a game for school, and then finally we hit the summer clearance.  I had half a cart for me!  But look at what I found:

To be fair, I found the small crates (and big ones) at WalMart. 

Let me tell you how I plan to use all of these items.

US Maps – $1 – Target Dollar Spot – If you are like me and have zero classroom maps, these are just fabulous – and cheap.  I bought 12 and plan to laminate them in order to make them “dry erase” maps.  The maps do have the state names and capitals on them, but in 5th grade we do landforms, waterways, etc., so this will be a terrific hands on tool.

Megaphone - $1.40 on clearance in the summer aisle – Target – Well, some of us are not blessed with loud whistles, and honestly, it was just cool (and loud.)

Packs of Erasers - $1 – Target Dollar Spot – My kids told me to get the packs of ice cream and crayon erasers.  There were also apples.  I plan to use these as cheap rewards. 

Dictionaries - $1 Target Dollar Spot – Okay, I know you are thinking, dictionaries?  However, they also had thesaurus and rhyming dictionaries.  (For Spanish teachers, they have Spanish-English dictionaries.)  I bought a rhyming dictionary and thesaurus for each table group.

Campbell’s Soup Alphabet Game - $7 – Target Game Clearance – I totally do not intend to play this as the game.  It comes with 36 alphabet dice.  I am thinking of using this to play Boggle on the doc cam.

Picnic Utensil Holder - $8 – Target Summer Clearance – Depending on where you live, these may be hard to find.  My Target only had 2 left, but I bought some last summer – they have them every year in different colors.  These are metal, so they are a bit pricey – that is why I try to catch them on clearance.  These are just the best organizers in the world.  Seriously.  I reorganized my entire craft closet at home with them.  I have one on my desk at school.  This year I plan to try table groups, and I am going to put a number on each one and keep the table supplies in it: pencils, highlighters, scissors, glue, thesaurus, rhyming dictionary, etc. 

Crates – small $1, large $3.50 – WalMart – They had at least 5 colors of the mini-crates and many more of the large ones.  I used the small ones to organize my classroom library last year, and I actually ran out of space.  Apparently, this size is hard to find after the college supplies are gone.  For $1, grab as many as you think you will need, and then add a few more.  I use the large ones for everything.  I use one for a library book return, one for portfolios, one for “to be copied,” etc.

Have you found any great deals for back to school?  What is your best classroom organization tip?

Amy Mezni


  1. Great finds! I just love looking for things I can use in my classroom. Of course, now I want to go shopping!!

    Little Room Under the Stairs

  2. You found some great stuff! I can't even get my mind set to go back-to-school shopping! Great post! Thanks!

    For the Love of Teaching