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Make it yourself

February 18th, 2010 at 06:06 pm

That has been my motto for a very long time. Why buy it if you can make it?

A few weeks ago I was in a teachers supply store (one of many I visit) and as usual, about fell over from the prices they want for some items.

I wanted to create a science box. Basically a tool box with science type items. To buy one?? The one I really really wanted ? Sit down, it is around $340.

So, I now have for $11 a rubber made type tool box. Same size, although I still need to mount the periodic table in the lid as theirs was....

Magnet set? The one I really wanted that came with objects to pick up and objects that cant be picked up (for comparison) was $19. (was also the same as the one in the kit that I wasn't about to buy)

I bought 2 large paddle magnets for $2 each.

I then went to the hardware store and bought a handfull of large 3 inch washers for 75 cents.

That puts me up to $15.75

Magnifing glasses at the teacher store are $5.99 each.

$1 store they are $1 (duh, that was a gimmie wasn't it??)

Now I have spent $16.75

Hubby raided the trash at work, and brought home lead wire of copper and fiber optic, connectors, conduction plates of copper, zinc, titanim, stainless steel .... his work won't use scraps if they are below a certain size, and they trash them, so that was all free.

Speciman bottles--FREE--from Grandpa's old medicine bottles. Most are amber colored, but a few are clear.

Petri dishes--in the kit they were prefilled, which ment they were dated. I found some sterle empty ones on ebay and we will either make our own augar or buy the powered to mix it as we need it--don't have to worry about it going out of date.

We already have microscopes, (but do need new bulbs, which I forgot to get). A retired science teacher gave me 1600 slides--about half are prepared and the other half are not--so that should set us for.....life?

I need to hit the dollar store again, as I forgot about tweezers and I'd like to add another couple flashlights.

We already have tons of other science stuff that won't go into the kit, such as posters, body models, books, bug kits, weather instruments (in fact we have an indoor and outdoor weather station), rock and mineral samples (lesson learned here, store on bottom shelf, they bowed my top one!!)We also have test tubes and a burner already.

Anymore ideas what to put in it?? I forgot what was in the one I really really wanted, may have to make a trip back to look at it again.

Oh--it had litmis paper, which I got at Hobby Lobby a week before for much much less--in fact we have already used a good part of it.

Now, if I was one of those impulse buyers...well, glad I'm not!!!



9 Responses to “Make it yourself”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Finger printing kit? I think you could assemble the stuff for this on your own. An interesting thing if you can still find it would be light sensitive blue print paper from which they can make silhouette pictures by placing objects on the paper and setting it in the sun to develop. Nitrile wire (memory wire) and eventually, if they are interested, parts to make a simple nitrile wire robot. A scale that can fairly accurately measure very small amounts (can be expensive though---this is something we never did get). Rulers and measuring tapes. I can think of quite a few small items that would give familiarity with concepts of physics, but I don't even know what a lot of them are called. Look online at scientific supply companies--some sell small such items inexpensively....Are you leaning more toward bio science or other sciences, or looking to have a wide variety right now?...Oooh, how about iodine to detect carbohydrates in materials? Tiny oil lamp. Alcohol for a number of purposes, including just lighting it up to see how it burns, something which seems to surprise many kids. Blotting paper to make the inner most layer of a stack for drying botanical samples....Sorry just rambling here. Possibilities are endless Smile

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    I commend your thriftiness! Great job.

  3. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    Maybe I am biased, but who really buys that kind of prepackaged 'kit'. No teacher for hundreds of miles around could afford that. Must be grandparents of more privileged kids.

    Let's start a discussion on the clothes and accessories in magazines, even the articles that are supposed to be bargain oriented...

  4. wowitsawonderfullife Says:

    Do you have Freecycle in your area? Post a wanted ad and you will get many free items. Good luck.

  5. frugaltexan75 Says:

    You did some good shopping. Smile I agree that many items in a teacher store are way overpriced. So many of the teacher idea books I bought, I really could have just photocopied two or three ideas out of ... Of course I realized this after I already had amassed a large selection of idea books.

  6. thriftorama Says:

    $340? They are out of their minds.

  7. girltherapy Says:

    Yes, do try the freecycle. I had some items packed away from my 4-H kids soil science projects, and didn't think about them until I saw a request on the freecycle. You never know what you might find.

  8. My English Castle Says:

    Excellent combining! Maybe they have them on line somewhere, so you can snoop without going back to the store?

  9. Jerry Says:

    That is some creative thinking, and you have the insurance that you saved a ton of money while still being able to do great science projects! Congrats. I think that will lead to hours of great learning and fun, and you can think of other things to add as well. Excellent, and it is great for young scientists to be creative like that, anyway!
    Jerry

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