Budgeting for teachers

Get FREE & Budget Friendly Teaching Resources

Here’s where to find the FREE or BUDGET FRIENDLY resources for teaching classroom.

When I started out in education I was on $10,000 a year. It was in daycare while I studied early childhood education and I had 15 hours a week. I wasn’t on any government benefits and it was before social media existed.

Today there are tonnes of FREE teaching resources. I’m going to share with you what I have searched around for to help you save money. Sadly, beginning teachers aren’t on a great wage so finding resources this way will help with filling your classroom.


Other teachers who sell their resources want return customers, so they will usually give things away for FREE! In your Instagram search bar type in ‘Free Printables.’ If you’re looking for ideas search the hashtags for whatever topic you’re after.

At this point I would like to suggest that anything you see that inspires you, please double tap and FOLLOW that small business. It helps the teacher who owns the page and their ideas will continue to pop up on your Instagram feed.


Aside from the usual google search, Pinterest is a search engine and social media. I wasn’t big on Pinterest till a few months ago. Now I mostly get inspiration from there.

When you click onto someones pin you are helping drive their Pinterest analytics. Clicking into their website is even better so you are support small business teachers whilst being inspired. It’s free and by adding ‘FREE TEACHING RESOURCES’ into the search bar you can save it to your own pin boards for multiple grades or ideas. You can even try ‘Teaching on a budget’ too.


I have found that recycling jam jars or Chinese take away containers saves me a huge amount in storing resources for the first few years. If one broke container or jar broke it wasn’t a huge investment either.

Anything I can reuse I will keep. It might drive your husband mad like mine, but it will save a few dollars. I suggest keeping anything that is see through. That way you aren’t wasting time to picking up containers to open and shut when you’re in a hurry to find what you or what your students need.


How great it is to link with teachers on an international scale in Facebook groups. You can search groups for your subject or search ‘teachers’ or ‘teaching’ in your search bar. I prefer to look up ‘FREE PRINTABLES’ and then find groups that share their resources. Remember to support these small businesses by clicking onto their page and give them a LIKE. Or giving them a comment in their website or comment section. It’s a great morale boost for the other teacher at the end of that FREE resource.


Have you ever thought about investing in relationships? Having a mentor teacher was and still is my most valuable asset. Investing your time with a senior teacher will give you so much FREE KNOWLEDGE by learning from their experience. Senior teachers are like a library. Always remember that their time is valuable. Ask them questions while you help them set up. Get advice when you shout them a coffee. Listen to their experiences as you set up their digital software.

Investing in relationships is all about time. Don’t drain someone. Instead offer where you can. You don’t have to be every colleagues friend, but don’t dismiss more experienced teachers.

Experience = Expertise and that’s something money can’t buy.


The best sales for teaching resources are twice a year. Usually before the end of financial year and in November for Black Friday sales, before Christmas.

Invest in a laminator ASAP! No more wasting time at the school library to borrow the school laminator. I wasted too much time walking back and forth to print and laminate. Your time is worth something. It’s better spent taking laminated sheets home to cut in front of the TV then wasting away at your class desk.


The best bargains can be found on Facebook Market Place. Second hand resources save a lot of money. I usually disinfect whatever I purchase second hand straight after collecting it. The best teacher resources come from retired teachers. I know so many senior teachers who think their boxes are full of junk, when the reality is it’s another teachers treasure!


You can find FREE Google templates for teachers in their search bar. I’ve used this for lesson and unit planning but you can find FREE DIGITAL TEMPLATES for presentations and projector screen layouts.


It’s FREE FOREVER! There’s no lock in contact with Class Dojo. I’m not an affiliate of theirs but I have used this for classroom behaviour management. It’s pretty competitive for students and doesn’t work for every student, but for the majority it’s based on positive rewards. It isn’t something I’d try if you are a causal/relief teacher. It’s great for elementary school ages.


There are teachers who have already created printable resources for their students. These teachers want to share what they have already created with you. All you have to do is subscribe to their email list and they will send them monthly like a newsletter to you. Why would they give this to you for FREE? Every time you click into their website you are driving traffic to their website. The more traffic they get the more they get paid in affiliate links or advertising on their page.

These teachers aren’t making money from you they are making a wage from advertising. The more you return to their website the better their wage will be. It’s a win-win situation. You’re supporting another teacher internationally without spending money and in return your getting FREE PRINTABLES.

I hope there have been a few new ideas you may not have tried from this blog post. Comment below and collaborate with us, if you have found other ideas for FREE or BUDGET FRIENDLY teaching supplies.

Written by Sarah Courtney

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