Today was one of those days where I wondered... why didn't I check out this place sooner?!?!
At some point a year or two ago a parent mentioned getting something from "Raft" and I had no idea what she was talking about. She seemed surprised, but she was often telling me about stuff and most of it...well...wasn't worth my valuable time as a teacher. They were things that has zero connection to my curriculum and were informational, but random. I made a mental note to look into this "Raft" place, and then forgot about it.
Well today I discovered the AWESOMENESS known as RAFT (Resource Area For Teachers)!! It was far beyond anything I'd imagined. It's like all the big high tech companies around donated their extras (some used, some new) and threw them all in a giant warehouse for teachers to buy for cheap!
They also have kits made up of materials given a new purpose and turned into cool learning games. CLICK HERE to check some of them out.
Teachers pay $40 to join, but the membership lasts for a year and the deals are AMAZING! I saw metal file folder holders that were $15 at Staples, but were only 10 cents at RAFT! Two of those and a few reams of paper would honestly pay for the membership! Good news! You don't need to be a member to buy stuff online! Just in the store where things are insanely cheap.
It's the kind of place where you never know what you are going to get, but you know it's cheap. I found TONS of things with high tech company logos that were brand new such as a computer bag for Cisco Systems which was probably bought for employees, but then donated as extras. If I bought the bag in the store it would be $30, but if I don't care about the logo, it's only $2. They had glitter, construction paper, staple removers, envelopes, yarn, scrap material, and tons of other stuff. Many items were brand new in their packaging! Obviously since it runs on donations from companies, you never know what you'll find, but it's all a really cheap!
Check out the things I found in the pictures below:
Every dice set you can imagine! Place value to 10,000, verbs, double dice, regular dice, and who knows what else! Every jar in this picture has a different one!
These bins were called "bulk bins" and you can fill a whole reusable grocery bag for $2.50! They had things like corks, stencils, puffy paint, film canisters, and all sorts of things I can't name, but I could certainly come up with uses for them!
These colorful bags are those little balls you find in gumball machines that hold prizes! How cute! I need to find a gumball machine just so I have an excuse to buy these! It's $1.50 for a set that I think must have had at least 50 of them.
These bins had office supplies that look like they just sat in a storage closet for 2 years before getting dropped off for us to buy. They have everything from whiteboard cleaner to paperclips and pencils. It's crazy cheap too! A box of paperclips was 25 cents, and a big box of red correction pencils was only 50 cents. These are not "Back to School Sales," these are the regular prices! How awesome!
So what's your favorite place to grab deals for your classroom?