Most homeschooling parents are looking for frugal ways to save money on homeschool curriculum. If you have been homeschooling for very long, you are already aware that curriculum can be expensive, and even more so if you have a large family. We taught all eight of our kids at home, and over our 31 years of homeschooling, I was always looking for ways to save when purchasing curriculum. Here are some of the secrets I found to saving!
Here are 9 frugal tips to help you save money on homeschool curriculum.
1. Plan ahead
Know what you are going to be teaching each child, and what you actually NEED. If you aren’t careful, and don’t have an organized plan of what resources are needed for each child, you can end up spending more than you need to. On the other hand, if you have a plan for each child, you know directly what you are looking for.
2. Watch for sales and deals.
Many publishers offer a discount or free shipping when you order from them at a home school conference. Others offer free shipping with online purchases when you spend a certain amount, etc. Do your homework and compare not only prices, but also the shipping costs.
Many companies run a sale yearly, and if you find out when their sale is, you can plan to shop then. If the publishers you buy from are on Facebook, follow their page so you know when they are offering discounts and deals. It’s also good to sign up for their emails for the same purpose.
3. Buy used curriculum online.
I have bought many of our resources on Amazon, and though they were used, many of them were like new but at a fraction of the original cost.
There are also Facebook groups that sell used curriculum at discounted prices. Here are just a few of them that I have used:
4. Check out thrift stores like Savers or Goodwill.
You may be surprised at the books you can find at these stores! I have found textbooks there several times for only $1, as well as books that are needed for some of the kids’ reading assignments.
5. Use free materials.
I see FREEBIES for homeschoolers on the internet almost every day. Here are two of my favorite sites for finding freebies and discounts:
6. Use digital curriculum.
It is much cheaper to purchase digital curriculum than printed curriculum, and the quality is just as good. The best way to use it is to keep your tablet or laptop available, and have the kids read their lessons directly from the device. Print any work sheets they need to complete after reading their lessons. This saves you from having to print the entire curriculum.
Another GREAT benefit is the money you can save if you have multiple kids. If the print version is consumable you’d have to buy another one for each child. With digital copies, once you purchase the download you can print pages as needed for different kids.
7. Re-use or sell your old curriculum.
I saved curriculum from older kids to use with younger ones. Sometimes the curriculum an older sibling loved and did well with, just didn’t work with a younger sibling. But whenever possible, we passed it on down the line.
One of the easiest ways to afford curriculum is to sell any of your old homeschool items that you no longer need. If you’re sure it’s not something you may want later for younger siblings, or it’s something that you didn’t like, don’t just leave it on your shelves when you can make money from it to use towards something you will use.
8. Look for mark downs on damaged items.
Many curriculum sellers have a bargain section for books that are slightly bent or beat up. Check their website for a clearance or damaged good section.
9. Don’t buy the teacher’s guide unless you really feel you need it.
When I first started homeschooling, I wanted to do everything just right, and would follow each and every lesson plan given. With time, I learned how to make the curriculum work with our family, and got confident enough that I didn’t feel I had to have the teacher’s guide.
What are some ways that you save money on curriculum?