When trying to teach my children the concept of 1,000, I tried to think of an item I could collect 1,000 of that would be cheap and practical, as well as renewable. I came up with the idea of collecting the plastic tabs from bread and English muffin wrappers. I also save caps from my milk and juice bottles. They're free, don't take up much space, and can be used over and over again. Just put out the word to your parents, and you'll get dozens. I still have parents from years ago periodically dropping off caps and bread tabs. All of my students have their own zip lock bags of counters for place value lessons, multiplication and division, and loads of other uses. You can also assign each color cap a money value and use those in your money lessons.