I am a Vintage classroom teacher located in the heartland of the United States. I have taught in small rural districts as well as in a large urban setting. Each of these settings has its own challenges and its own rewards. There has never been a year when I have not learned from my students and from fellow members of the faculty.
#1 - Are you paying sales tax on the supplies you are buying to use in your classroom? Have you gone to a school supply or teachers store and paid sales tax on items that you bought for your classroom? Did you pay sales tax for items you bought for classroom celebrations including cupcakes,etc? Did you pay sales tax on that new ball for playground fun?
I never thought about using the tax exempt status of my school to save money until a few years ago when a fellow teacher asked me if I was buying my stuff tax exempt.
Yesterday, when I was at Target when I pulled out my tax exempt letter for them, I thought I should share in case I wasn't the only one who didn't think about my school supplies being tax exempt.
You do have to separate your personal items and make two transactions if you are buying things for personal use, but it does save money out of your pocket for the things you buy for your classroom. It adds up. You cannot legally buy your child's school supplies, but the things you give you or your students will use in the classroom.
I can only tell you that in MO, if you have a copy of the tax exempt letter of your district and you are buying things for use in your classroom, then it qualifies as tax exempt. You also have to sign verifying that everything included in that sale is exempt under the law.
If you don't have a copy of the tax exempt letter, you cannot get the exemption just because you tell them you are a teacher or have an ID. They have to have the letter and the number.
If you don't have the letter, ask for a copy at your school office. (You may want to make an extra copy as some business want a copy of the letter for their files in case they have an audit, especially if they issue a card to you.) Look in your teacher's handbook from your school, often there will be a copy in there for you to copy.
It saved me almost four dollars yesterday at Target. That is four more things from the dollar section. lol
#2 - Also, take your sale ads to Wal-Mart. They will honor the ads from competition if you have the ad. For example: If Staples has Sharpies for a dollar and they are two dollars at Wal-Mart, show the cashier the ad and tell her you want to match Staples, she/he will ring it up for a dollar. If something is a penny somewhere, if they have the same item it will also be a penny with the ad.
You have to have an ad and if there is a limit in the ad, then there is the same limit at Wal-Mart. This has always been true at Wal-Mart, it is not anything new. I use this policy a lot on the Friday after Thanksgiving as well as when someone on the other side of the city runs a great sale.
#3 - If you shop at Big Lots, make sure you get a perks card. I just got a special notice for 20% for perk members on Saturday and another coupon for 20% off on Sunday. Every little bit adds up.