I realize that all these printables can add up, so I compiled a list of tips to help save costs for all the alphabet packs and other printables I provide on this blog!

1. Lamination:

  • Double your money! Put 2 sheets back to back and run through the laminator. When you cut them apart, the lamination is on the front but not on the back. You can still use for dry-erase, and it still helps with durability!
  • Office max and Office Depot run free lamination days! Check their websites to see when!
  • Check your local teaching supply store, mine has laminating for .19/foot and its 24 in wide.
  • I own a Xyron 900 9-Inch Creative Station, you might be able to find deals on ebay and maybe craig’s list for your area.
  • Xyron 900 Two Sided Lamination Refill Cartridge: here is a link to Amazon so you can see it, but I usually get them from Michael’s or JoAnn’s and use a 40% off coupon!
  • As an alternative to laminating, you could always leave the pages whole and place them in 3-ring binder page protectors. They can still be used with dry-erase, and you can re-use them for each letter you do!
  • Another alternative Laminator that I’ve heard people like is the Scotch Brand Laminator from Wal-mart approx $26. And they sell Scotch laminating sheets (50 sheets for $13.88) at Walmart as well, and packs of 200 sheets at Sam’s for $21.
  • Clear Contact Paper: I’ve heard some people using this for lamination, it’s not as durable, but does work with the dry-erase markers.

2. Key Ring Binding:

  • I just take off the key ring binders after we’re done with a letter and re-use them on the next one, so I don’t have to buy tons of them. Makes for flatter storage of letter activities too!

3. Cardstock:

  • I buy mine at Wal-mart in the office supply section. Its about $5 for 150 sheets. (I buy “Georgia-Pacific” white Cardstock.)
  • If anyone finds something less expensive, leave a comment, we’d love to know!

4. Printing:

  • I’m picky about my ink, but a friend found cheap ink and has had good luck with it from 4 Ink Jets (Use your best judgment here, I haven’t ordered from them myself and claim no liability for your printer!)
  • You can always print things out in grayscale if you don’t want to waste all your color ink! (I’m a sucker for pretty colorful stuff, so I just bite the ink bill!)
  • Don’t print everything! For example, the bottlecap letter matching, if you’ve already made the disks, you don’t need to print the last 2 pages of that file ever! You can also use the same numbers for each letter instead of printing them every week. (see below)

5. Time Savers:

  • I provide numbers for each letter set for first timers, but really you could just use the same numbers for each letter, saving time cutting, printing & laminating!
  • I use a Fiskars Personal Trimmer to do most of my cutting, faster and easier!
  • Look at the pdf’s before printing, you may not need to print all pages, while I provide small counters for the games, wherever possible I like to use 3-D manipulatives instead, for example we used real m&m;’s for counters during our Letter M activities.

6. Storage: (not sure this is money saving, but its what I do)

  • I use file folders to store all the alphabet activities in.
  • I put the pieces in sandwich or snack ziplock bags so they don’t get lost (GENERIC ones of course! LOL!)
  • Store in large plastic container, or cardboard box.
  • Click here to see how I store them for now.

That’s it for now, I’ll add to this list as I think of things, and if any of you have found ways to save money on school supplies, leave a comment and I’ll add it to the list!

Thanks!

31 Comments

  1. Right now at the \dollar spot at Target they have dry erase packets. It’s just a hard plastic enevelope (fits probably up to 9×12″ paper. So you don’t have to laminate anything for using dry eraser markers with again! Just slip the paper in and out depending on what you’re learning. What a deal!

    Jessica
  2. Our Costco refills our ink cartridges for $9 each. We spent over $50 on the original cartridges and now we just take them in and they refill them for us. We spend less than $20 total. Occasionally they will have coupons for $1-2 off each cartridge making it more like $15 total.

    Jamie
  3. I was wondering what printer you use? I would love to print in color because it is more appealing to the eye but I don’t own a color printer and was wondering if you have any suggestions.

    Thanks

    Suellen
  4. This is a small thing but I cut out your lacing cards a few @ a time & then use one sheet to laminate 2 or more of the lacing cards. I can get laminating sheets here for about $10 for 100 but this is Indonesia! Maybe I should start a small business of sending them back stateside for homeschoolers LOL 😉

  5. Just FYI I have been buying the off brand inks from 4 ink jets for years. for two different printers. I have never had a problem. I usually stock up ($50) to get the free shipping, I also order via ebates so I get Money back. And if I can i order on double ebate day. Also, try to use a 10% coupon code 🙂 I am able to get my ink for about 1/4 of what I would pay anywhere else.

    Diana
    1. I just bought a hot/cold laminator this week at Costco for $20. I was concerned about the quality because it was so inexpensive. I looked it up and apparently it runs anywhere from $70-$100 and has excellent reviews. It’s brand is Purple Cow and it comes with 100 laminating sheets. (40) 8.5″ x 11″ (30) 4″ x 6″ and (30) 3″ x 6″. So far it works great and I have no complaints. Best $20 bucks I’ve ever spent.

      Jamie
  6. I’m not sure if this was mentioned yet or not but if you are wanting to laminate a sheet of paper you can always slip it in a sheet protector. You can use dry erase on those and slip in something different when you are finished!

    Lindsay

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