NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — We are continuing our week of saving teachers money. If you’re an educator, listen up! We know you have your eye on summer vacation, which is not far away, but the key to saving money is planning out what you need before the school year ends. Teachers are getting ready to pack up their classrooms for the summer and while you may not be ready to think about next year, the key to stretching your dollar on supplies for Fall may be by starting now.

“Retailers don’t want those school supplies packed up. Pens dry out, things get broken, things fall, they cost money to go into the back room,” said UNH marketing professor Ron Kuntze.

You can find great sales on school supplies and many retailers will relax limitations on those sales when they know you’re a teacher. Kuntze says even better deals may be found online.

“Going on Facebook, going on crowdfunding sites, going on these sites where you can tell your story. Teachers have a wonderful story, so tell the story that you’re new teaching 4th grade and you want to do a geography module on South America and does anyone have anything?”

Donorschoose.org is a great site to connect with people and build your classroom. So is freecycle.org. You’d be surprised how many people have things you may need. The earlier you start, the more likely your room will be filled by Fall. Also, think about your classroom when your neighbors start selling!

“Buying used goods and not being afraid to go to garage sales. You can still deduct it on your taxes,” he said.

The key is to give yourself plenty of time to collect what you need. Look at who’s not going to be teaching next year, maybe they’re retiring or going on maternity leave. Stop by their classroom before year end. You may find great hand-me-downs!