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Many people believe that to be successful in homeschooling you have to spend a fortune. That is simply not true. While you certainly can choose to spend a lot of money, it is totally possible to homeschool without breaking the bank. Today I want to share with you 9 ways that you can save money and be successful homeschooling on a budget.
1. Buy Used
Buying used is the #1 way I saved money this year. I was able to purchase $650 dollars worth of curriculum/supplies for just under $375, all from buying used online. And $75 of that was an investment in Math-U-See manipulatives that we will use over the next several years. You can find used books on eBay as well as Amazon. But my favorite is Facebook Groups. Here are a few of the Facebook groups that I have used in the past with great success.
2. Plan Ahead
Planning ahead for the next year goes hand in hand with buying used and shopping sales. In fact, the further out you can plan the better. I like to start planning for the following school year as early as possible and then finalizing things around May/June. By having a plan you can keep tabs on buy/sell curriculum groups and jump when you see what you need. Planning ahead will also helps you to be prepared when sales come around. By knowing what you need you won’t waste any money on unnecessary items.
3. Do I Really Need This?
It is very easy, especially your first year of homeschooling, to go overboard on shopping. The best way to combat this is to ask yourself these questions:
- “Do I Really Need This?”
- Can I find a cheaper or free alternative online?
- Can I use this for more than one year/child?
Often times you will find that with a little bit of searching you can totally eliminate a cost by looking for a free alternative online. Other times you will find that the cost is worth it when factoring in that it can be used over several years or with more than one child.
4. Combine Credits
Combining credits is especially useful for the High-School years and can save you money on curriculum. Literature and History is a great example. With Notgrass American or World History, you combine one full year of History, English, and Bible – 3 subjects with one textbook!! Sonlight and My Father’s World are two more options that combine History with Literature. You can easily combine Art and History as well by doing art projects that coincide with the region or time period you are studying.
5. Online Resources
There are so many FREE or inexpensive options online for curriculum and learning supplements. Here are just a few of my favorite online resources:
- Easy Peasy Homeschooling – Easy Peasy is probably the #1 choice for a complete set of online curriculum for 1st grade all the way through High School for free. You can choose to do all the subjects or just pick and choose the ones you want.
- The Math Worksheet Site – The Math Worksheet site is hands down THE BEST website for generating customizable math worksheets. The site is very plain, but don’t let that scare you away. They seriously have it all. A subscription is only $2.75 a month or you can save by paying for a year upfront for $27.50. They have the option to try it out for 1 week for free as well. If after trying it out you decide to go ahead with a subscription please use my referral code 716-531.
- Teachers Pay Teachers – Teachers Pay Teachers is like Esty for educators. All of the resources there have been created for teachers by teachers and are reasonably priced. There is also a huge selection of free resources. I’ve purchased several literature study guides that we have loved.
- Pinterest – Pinterest is my go-to spot for all things homeschool. You can find everything here. Here are a three of my favorite Pinterest boards full of resources to keep you busy all year long: The Adventures of A Homeschool Mom, Homeschooling On A Dime, and Homeschool Encouragement.
6. Use Your Local Library
This one seems pretty obvious, but you would be surprised how often the full potential of the library is often overlooked. Besides checking out books, most libraries now offer audiobooks, ebooks, videos, manipulatives, and various other digital resources. One of my favorite ways to utilize my local library is the Book Sale they have twice a year. Check the events calendar of your local library for book sales, story times, reading clubs, and other fun events.
7. Take Advantage of Sales & Group Buys
If you have never heard of Homeschool Buyers Co-op you need to click here and check them out!! It is free to join. You can save anywhere from 20%-90% by participating in group buys. You can find group buys for top publishers such as Alpha Omega, Saxon Math, and Explode the Code as well as discounts on subscription-based sites such as BrainPop and Discovery Education Streaming. While you are there be sure to print the FREE teacher and student ID cards – which will come in handy with the next tip!
8. Utilize Teacher Discounts
There are quite a few companies that offer educator discounts to homeschool teachers. Most require either a teacher ID card (which you can print at Homeschool Buyers Co-Op), your yearly Letter Of Intent, or membership cards to HSLDA or your state homeschool organization. Here are a few companies that I have found that offer educator discounts: (please check with each company for specifics on their program)
- MICHAELS – Offers 15% off your in-store purchase including sale items.
- JOANN FABRICS – Get 15% off every purchase with their Teacher Reward Program.
- ADOBE – Offers a huge 60% discount off of Adobe Creative Cloud (Includes Photoshop & Lightroom)
- BARNES & NOBLE – Teachers can save 20% on purchases for classroom use well as special Educator Appreciation Events throughout the year.
- GREAT SCOPES – Use code HS10 to get 10% off a microscope order of $149 or more.
9. HomeSchool Days Discount
Check around in your town for companies/organizations that offer homeschool discount days or times. Some ideas to check would be bowling alleys, roller skating, ice skating, trampoline parks, museums, zoos, and planetariums.
I hope that these tips will help you to see that you can homeschool without spending a fortune. What are some other ways that you have found to save money homeschooling??