Can you help? On Sundays we give back to others by answering questions from other parents, homeschoolers & educators like us. Here is today's question:
"How do you save money on homeschool supplies and curriculum?"~ Kitty
If you can help Kitty (and the rest of us who would love your opinion!), tell us what you think in the Comments section below.
p.s. Do you have a question? Ask on our Facebook community wall and I'll pass it on to the 1,600+ other members there. They're a very helpful bunch!
Linda Bullock says
Since finding Freely Educate, I rarely reach for a book from my shelves of many resources. There is soooo much out there on the web and Freely Educate helps me find it. However, I must admit that I’ve been homeschooling forever and I’m comfortable just dipping in for a little here and there.
I guess my biggest tip is just to remember that you have to spend either money or time. By that I mean that you can purchase a complete curriculum with lesson plans for a lot of money, or you can plan your own lessons, go to used book sales, surf the net for resources – all of which takes lots of time. Either way, don’t forget to consider your child’s learning style.
When I purchase a new book or workbook, I never allow my children to write in it. Instead, they use a notebook to do all of their work. That way, I can pass along the book to a sibling and also sell it when we are finished with the course.
Daya Solomon says
All the above ideas are great. I also use Swagbucks, and last year I had $300 in Amazon gift cards and $300 in cash to use for supplies. Oh, and don’t forget garage sales!
Jane P. says
Here are some sources for saving money on curriculum and supplies:
your local library
used book sales
walmart school supply markdown sales
book swap sites
Definitely sign up at Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op! You can save BIG on homeschool-related curriculum and materials because you are buying as a group instead of just as an individual. We have saved a ton of money over the years by checking HBC first before buying elsewhere.
Lori Seaborg says
What great advice, Linda. I like this: "You have to spend either money or time.".
All of the above sources are great. We also network with other local homeschoolers to find resources and pass on items that we no longer need.
I use the garage sales, Well-Trained Mind book blog, the library to save money.
Hostessing Usborne book parties, and then becoming a Consultant have helped our family save money on my favorite children’s educational books. I hostessed a show every year for 5 years each year getting $100+ free and discounted then when I realized I couldn’t get enough I became a consultant to get a discount for our family forever. It has now become a great source of part time income for our family as well as giving us lots of new books every month and I never pay more than 50%.
Sonlight Curriculum as well as Mary Pride also highly recommend Usborne children’s books
I use some of the above ideas, and want to try the others! Time vs. money is definitely true.
There are a couple of things we do that I don’t see listed yet. We reuse our printer paper. That is, when we print lessons, after using one side we print a new lesson on the other (after weeding out the wrinkled, dirty, sticky ones – you get the point! lol). Depending on your comfort level, and who you know at church, you can request copy paper that they are recycling or throwing away. Sometimes they make mistakes, and need to redo their copies, but the backside is still fine to print lessons on. We also use black ink more than color, and use ‘draft’ setting. This helps minimize the ink costs.
Also, for workbooks that I know are going through multiple children, I will tear them out, and insert them into sheet protectors. I then put them into a binder. You can use the vis a vis pens, or whiteboard pens (depending on the brand) to then mark on them. You can then use a variety of cleaners to clean and reuse them.
I can’t say enough about the library! Our library system is set up where you can put books ‘on hold.’ The librarians then pull them and get them ready for you. If they do not have a book that you would like, they will consider an interlibrary loan, or sometimes even order (buy) it! Our library even has some Usborne books. 🙂
I am also a member of the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op. Another website I check with regularly is CurrClick. They list many publishers and often has freebies or sales.
Thanks for the great ideas!
All of the above plus…
We use coupons from Micheal’s and JoAnns for our Art Supplies. We routinely get everything for 40-50% off. We have signed up online for thier snail mail list and get coupons every month. We also have a teacher discount cards for JoAnns which provides and addition 15% off the total.
We attend our states Homeschool convention and buy used books there- plus we can preview new curriculum possibilities and check to see if they will work first.
If there is a book I’m interested in I always check the Interlibrary loan system first to see if I can get a copy to preview before purchasing. Many are a good read for ideas but not worth owning. If I decide to buy a copy I check Amazon and Ebay first before ever purchasing new (I just bought a book off of amazon for $4.25 including shipping that the publishers wanted $100.00) It will work for all 4 of my kids too 🙂
I found wipe-off sheets at a copy store. Five sheets for $5. Sounds like a lot BUT I 3-hole-punched them and my children all use them for scratch paper (math lessons in particular where they need to do computing on paper). We RARELY buy notebook paper anymore as these are used over and over again.
Here is a link to the ones we have. We’ve been using them all year and they’re still like
new. Work with any type of dry-erase markers. (I don’t peel off the sticky back as that makes them stronger.)
Lori Seaborg says
Great idea, thanks for sharing!