Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Teacher freebie ideas

I teach alternative education at the high school level which might be seen as a struggle to some, but I love it almost everyday. This past year, I tried to impliment a token economy in my classroom, but soon ran out of extra money in the budget to fund these daily rewards for positive student behavior. I plan to do this again this coming year with more success due to a little planning ahead.

I have been using coupons and help from many online blogs, like Thankfully Thrifty, A Frugal Friend, The Blessed Life, and Couponing101 to help me find awesome deals for super cheap things my kids will like to earn.

Here are my stock pilings as of June 1st. I have spent less than $3 total for this entire box of items.

Tips for finding cheap deals:

1. Save coupons that do not have a size restriction to use on trial sized items. Things like trial sized lotions, deoderant, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and shower gel are must haves for my students. I know these will likely be the first things to go so I'm stocking up now!

2. Send off for freebies to be sent to you in the mail. The site Thankfully Thrifty has Freebie Fridays where they list out all the freebies available right now. I've sent away for numerous ones for tampons, pads, shower products, and magazines.

3. Keep your eyes posted for products containing trial sized items when you buy them. I have had numerous packages of Clean and Clear and Vasaline brand lotions that contain a 1 or 2 oz trial attached. Since I'm already buying the product, why not get something else for free?

4. Save magazines that come in the mail. I signed up for subscriptions to Self, Fitness, Cosmo, and Marie Claire last year with my MyCokeRewards account. Since then Teen Vogue, Lucky, and Cosmo girl show up every month as well without me ever subscribing. I save them in their packages and add them to my stockpile of things.

5. You don't have to get it all at once. My problem when I started this last fall was that I needed to come up with plenty of items in a very short amount of time. I now have all summer to add to my collection. The picture above shows what I have after about a month and a half. I know I won't have much time when school first starts so I want to make sure I am stocked through October 30th (When soccer season is over). This way if I don't have time to get things refilled on a regular basis, I have a stash to pull from at home that will hold me over.

What ideas do you have for changing student behavior using a token economy? I think something like this might even work for kids out of school for the summer at home with parents. Throwing in packaged cookies, granola bars, fruit snacks, and some other treats might work best for smaller kids. Any and all ideas for things to add or suggestions for changes are welcome!

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