Saturday, February 22, 2014
Ways to Make Ordering Supplies Easier: March's Stepping Stones
In my district, we complete our supply orders in March for the following school year. Within two weeks, I place orders from multiple catalogs for two different schools.
I love to find great materials to work with for my students, I hate cramming as much as I can within the budget and time I am given. I love exploring different ways to create projects in my classroom. I hate forgetting a material for a project and having to order it later on. This is my relationship with supply orders.
Over the years, I developed a few strategies to make ordering supplies much easier, and in March's Stepping Stones, I shared a few tips that I hope can help you as well!
This article was inspired by my post last February titled "Love/Hate Relationship Called Art Materials."
-My first tip I gave was to spend a good chunk of time in the beginning researching which catalogs offer the best prices. Some companies offer discounts for school orders, others can knock down a percentage with a p.o. number. Researching in advance helps you in the long run.
-Create your own order forms on excel, or any program similar. This way, you can save all the descriptions, catalog numbers, and company information for the next few years.
-Some supplies I order in bulk. Since prices rise every year, and some catalogs lower prices when you order larger quantities, I over-buy to just have the materials on hand. I do this with markers, oil pastels, and crayons, which are the basic consumable materials.
-Find free shipping! Many catalogs offer it if you order over a certain amount!
-If your budget is slim, create accounts with Donors Choose and Art Room Aid. You can set up projects and material requests, and any person can offer funding toward your projects!
-Know your space and storage. I still make the mistake of ordering large materials with nowhere to store it.
-Label your stuff! I've discovered I ordered a material, thinking I ran out, and discover I have a huge amount stored somewhere I forgot about.
-If you worry about material you forget to order, leave a small amount of money aside for the school year!
Do you have any tips for ordering art supplies?