I think it's safe to say we're all interested in saving money. :) It's also spring and many of us are already looking at next school year and what we'll continue using, planning with and possibly purchasing. Some major curriculum companies are already offering early bird purchasing specials! But hold your horses! How about some ways to save money next school year? Um, yes please! Let's get to planning.
1. Cut back on or Eliminate Extra Curricular Activities.
I know, I know. I'm getting tomatoes thrown at me at this very moment, but the fact is if you're interested in saving money, this is an easy way to do it. Those extra lessons and things cost TONS and if you're paying for multiple children, good gracious, girl! It sort of makes me have chest pains, you know? Add up all the money you spend on the lessons or activity + gear or resources required. Yikes. Do children really need all that? I did NOTHING extra curricular growing up. Sad. I know. I turned out just fine. :) Not willing to implement this major way put money back in your pocket? How about just allowing one activity once a year per child? Okay... on to the next.
2. Minimize Field Trips
Field trips are so fun, aren't they? When planning, look for field trips on which you can get discounts, that are free or that really aren't necessary. Cut out the ones you don't truly need. When I was a teacher in a public school, we only took a max of 3 field trips a year. That's it. You can also look into taking virtual field trips through a lot of places. IF you have older children, sit down and let them put in their two cents on which ones they'd rather go to if they had to choose.
3. Visit Used Book Stores
When buying necessary curriculum that's non-consumable, visit your local used book stores. You can often get things for under $20 there.
4. Buy or Borrow Used Curriculum
There are facebook groups out there for the curriculum you use and even general homeschool curriculum resell groups. You can easily get an entire curriculum for discounted prices! Better yet, you may have some nice friends who use the same resources and will allow you to borrow the pieces their children have outgrown. (Or some who would even GIVE you resources!)
5. Use a homeschool method that doesn't require a lot of consumables/DVDs/etc.
Some curriculums require you to purchase all their books, workbooks for every subject, science kits, DVDs for class or little players. If you're looking to save money and not dead set on those costly methods, you may want to look into Charlotte Mason and Classical Methods.
You can homeschool using the methods for lot less in general than a traditional school-like method. You don't have to be a part of a Classical Conversations group to learn in the classical method. Neither do you have to purchase scads of consumables. In both methods, besides purchasing math, you can utilize books from your library at no cost to you. Hooray!
6. Utilize Book Store Discounts
Barnes & Noble is one of these that honors homeschoolers with a 20% discount. You must present a homeschool id or proof. You can make a homeschool id through this group. For us moms, you can get a homeschool teacher id card here. Just change to your state from the drop down menu, top left. :)
7. Reuse Curriculum with Younger Siblings
This is an easy one. Two years ago, I purchase an entire Sonlight Prek curriculum. I was a new homeschool mom and so excited to get all those wonderful books! There were tons of good picks and so I kept it and will use it with my youngest. Keep what you can of your curriculum and pass it down, then sell it or give it away!
8. Use Ebates to buy educational material
This is a neat site. If you haven't discovered it yet, I'd be happy to refer you! You get cash in your pocket when you refer your friends. ;) You also get cash whenever you purchase online through ebates. Pretty good deal! You can use amazon through ebates. You can use book stores through ebates. You can shop through almost any widely known online shop including Gymboree, Target, Walmart, etc. and some I've never heard of! You can click on the button below to sign up through my account.
9. Use your local library
I have a confession. Since we're on one income, I'm always looking for ways to save money, so much so that this year I've used literature read aloud lists from popular curriculum sites and found the same books either at Barnes & Noble for a discount, a used book store for next to nothing, or our LOCAL LIBRARY for exactly nothing! I've save HUNDREDS this way. We've learned a great deal of our science and history through the books I've purchased at the books stores or borrowed from our library.
10. Shop Educents
Do you know about Educents? It's a great place to find deals on things like The Life of Fred series and Minecraft plus other homeschool materials. They have DEEP discounts! Shop educents here!
11. Purchase Curriculum Sets Early
One more way you can save is for the early bird. Like I mentioned in the top of my post, if you must have a all-in-one curriculum (and it's cool if you do!), prepare to purchase in the spring. Many large curriculum companies offer discounts in the spring when you buy early.
I hope you can utilize some of these ways to save money on homeschool purchases for next year as you prepare this spring and summer!
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