S-T-R-E-T-C-H Your Ministry Dollars

November 26, 2012 — 10 Comments

People all across America waited in long lines this past Thursday and Friday to snatch up good deals for Black Friday.  And today, Cyber Monday is in full effect.  The bottom line is that we are looking for great deals to stretch our dollars a little further.

This is nothing new for those of us in Children’s Ministry.  It really doesn’t matter how big or small our churches are…Children’s Ministry leaders want to get the most bang for our limited bucks.

Here are a few tips for stretching your ministry dollars in three of the biggest expense areas:  curriculum, snacks, and crafts.


  • Order enough materials for children who attend 75% of the time, plus 2 or 3 more.
  • Better yet, consider switching over to digital curriculum.  While you will spend time printing and purchasing paper, this will help reduce overall costs for take home pages and in-class activity sheets.
  • Search for free lessons online.  Check out Ministry-to-Children to get started.
  • Invest in reproducible books.


  • Have your congregation or parents donate frequently used items, such as napkins/paper towels, cups, crackers and O-shaped cereal.
  • Serve water instead of juice.
  • Buy in bulk from a membership warehouse.
  • Find people who love to bake and ask them to bake cupcakes, cookies, brownies, etc.
  • Purchase generic brand snacks.

Crafts/Craft Supplies

  • Shop end-of-season and post-holiday sales for seasonal items.
  • Alert your church of needed items and allow them the privilege of donating.
  • Shop early enough to avoid rushed or overnight shipping costs.
  • Buy crayons, glue sticks, and scissors before the school year starts (when school supplies are dirt cheap.)
  • Again, reproducible craft books are a good investment.

General Money-Saving Tips

  • Use email, your website and social media for publicity.
  • Swap items with another church.
  • Save money on DVD’s by borrowing them from your local library.
  • Ask professionals in your church to teach their specialty to your children, parents and volunteers.
  • Maintain your resources.  For example, keep caps on craft supplies and properly wrap food.
  • Print your own brochures, handbooks, business cards, flyers, etc.
  • Make black and white copies instead of color.
  • Use white paper instead of colored.
  • When photocopying, use both sides of the paper if you can.
  • Consider using 1/2 sheets of paper to get your message out.  That way, you get 2-for-1 sheet of paper!

How do you stretch your ministry dollars?  Share your ideas below!

10 responses to S-T-R-E-T-C-H Your Ministry Dollars


    I have to add my props for the dollar store! They’re one of my favorite places to get prizes, crafts and object lesson items.



      I agree, Matt! They have a lot of items there that are useful for ministry. An excellent way to stretch those ministry dollars! Thanks for reading!



        When I would go to the Dollar Store with my K.C. Krew team for things for our next children’s church unit, I would drive the kids nuts because I would keep asking them (and the employees) how much things are, and when I’d get “one dollar” for an answer, I’d act surprise, happy or say, “wow, what a deal” or “what a coincidence, so is this!” or “seems like everything in here is a dollar” – always gets a reaction. (note, I didn’t say what KIND of reaction!) LOL



        Funny, Karl! I know they were always happy to see you walk through the door!



    One of the best investments you can make in your ministry is Kidology.org – you will get membership deals all year long on over 100 Kidmin vendors plus exclusive savings on partnerships like background checks, check in systems, monthly $1 deals that often are worth more than the membership. In tough times, we are going to bat for you every month!



    This is list is very thorough. Thanks, Kathie. Just a side note: make sure those who bake the baked goods are making them allergy free. My daughter taught me how important this is. :0)



    There are some really good tips here! I especially like the idea of swapping items with another church. That saves money and builds community.


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