I am known as a bargain shopper. I love looking for inexpensive things that I can use for ministry. But bargain shopping is not a quick prospect. It takes time and patience to find those elusive deals. However, I can send you in the direction of a couple places that I have used over the years and they have amazing deals...if you watch for them.
First off, let me direct you to a department store that you might not have thought about before for ministry. Kohls is a phenomenal place to check for bargains. Especially in the toy area. I have, on more than one occasion, found items that were formally $50 marked down to less than $10 and then because of a special promotion they are running end up getting the item for $5 or less. Granted, you have to keep your eyes out for these deals, but they are there and a quick check in their clearance area each time you are in the store can yield amazing buys than can be used for prizes or simply to enhance your play area at church. It's also a great place if you are looking for clothes to send to a missionary or with a Work and Witness team. They often have fantastic sales on off season items. However, if you are sending the items with a mission team, they might be perfectly in season for the place they are going.
Next up, Ollies. This store is a great place to find books for your nursery or even Bibles to give away as gifts. They have all kinds of items in the store, but it is the book section that has come in the most handy for me. I was recently able to purchase 8 or 9 books there (mostly hardback or board books) for a weekly preschool story time that I lead and the cost was just over $20. If you have an Ollies near you, I highly suggest you check it out.
Online, my favorite website for bargains is Christianbook.com. They are constantly having big sales and I often can find things that will make great giveaways or just additions to my own library for incredible prices. Just recently, they had a wide variety of hardback books on sale for $.69 - $1.99 each. For someone on a rather tight budget, this site is awesome. And they have lots of things other than just books. It has everything you would find in any other Christian Bookstore...just usually quite a bit cheaper.
There are lots of other places and websites I could add to this list, but that's all for this week. What's your favorite place to shop for ministry?