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?

1 comment:

  1. I have actually made a list of all of my main supplies. I print it out in the fall after I have unpacked supplies, then I record what inventory I have. Then in the spring at the last minute before I have to order I redo it. I'm often surprised by what I did or didn't use that much of. And having a list means there are fewer items I forget to order.