Eight Easy Solutions to Saving Money on Homeschool Materials and More!


With the economy in shambles, its more important than ever to cut costs. Finding low-cost homeschool materials and easy ways to reduce household expenses helps any family to stretch a dwindling budget further.



For most of us, living on one income isn't easy.

Although our children's education is extremely important to us, we may not have an abundance of money left, to spend on needed homeschool materials and programs.

With increasing and fluctuating gas prices, everything from travel to food costs more, making it harder to budget your money.

Just last week I ordered some new homeschool materials and in addition to increased shipping charges, the company charged me an extra dollar for a fuel surcharge. Everyone is feeling the pinch... merchants and customers.

To stretch your homeschool dollar further, here are some creative ways to save money:

Combine Orders

When purchasing homeschool materials, combine your orders with other homeschooling friends to reduce shipping costs. By ordering in a group, you may also qualify for a quantity discount, saving you even more.

Shop Online

Every time you run out to buy something, you need to factor in the cost of getting there. With soaring gas prices, a quick trip to the store to buy one item, could add another $1-$3 or more to the price, depending on how far your destination is away from you.

If it isn't convenient to buy something online, or, if you would rather see the item before purchasing, do your research online and then drive to the store to make your purchases.

Don't forget to combine your shopping trips. Many times I waste time and money by traveling the same route to a different destination, instead of planning ahead and going out once.

Swap Materials

If you have friends with different aged children – older and/or younger, bless each other by swapping materials.

I have done this over the years with my homeschooling friends and it's a great way to save money.

Your friends may be done with the very curriculum you need for your child and not need it for another year or two, and same for you.

Or just bless someone...

Instead of keeping unused homeschool materials stored in a box, lend them to a friend who is in need.

Make sure you write down who you lend your curriculum to though, so you can make sure you have it available when you need it again.

Whenever You Can, Buy Used

When purchasing homeschool materials, you will find lots of used curriculum from other homeschooling families. Many homeschool support groups provide a used curriculum event or families list items they are done with via email groups.

A couple great used curriculum websites are:

Vegsource.com

You will find posts organized by grades, which helps locating materials specifically for the grades you’re looking for. You also can list items you are looking for in the "Want to Buy" area, although I don't know how good this option is. When I looked previously, there didn’t seem to be much activity or posts in that forum. But take a look first.

Another great website I use is Half.com

This year I have ordered quite a few items from half.com that I needed for my daughter's different classes. The downfall of using half.com, is you will pay for shipping multiple times, unless you find a seller that has multiple books, etc. you are looking for, to combine shipping.

However, even with shipping costs, most items are cheap... you have the option of choosing how "used" you want your products. Even new products are discounted. It's definitely worth the look.

Closeout Stores

Recently, while shopping at a popular, nationwide closeout store, I came across some popular homeschool curriculum at greatly discounted prices.

Although merchandise constantly changes at these kind of stores, it never hurts to take a moment to look for homeschool materials, whenever you go in for other items.

Reduce Energy Costs

Pitch the regular light bulbs in your homeschool classroom for an energy-reducing, money-saving alternative. Save on energy costs by adding some second generation ultra-mini spiral lamps to your homeschool materials list.

These amazing mini fluorescent bulbs use 1/4 of the wattage of a regular incandescent bulb and last ten times as long... now that's some great savings!

Pro: A 14 watt bulb equals a 60 watt incandescent bulb and lasts for ten years or 10,000 hours! You can purchase these bulbs at your local Home-Depot-type store for around $9.95 for a package of six bulbs.

Con: These fluorescent bulbs do take a moment to brighten-up. You may want to still use a regular light bulb where ever you need instant light. But because these bulbs are so cheap to run, leaving them on isn't a worry.

Home-made Savings

Getting the homeschool day off to a good start with a healthy meal is essential.

Finding ways to cut the grocery bill is a constant challenge, especially when prices seem to increase almost weekly.

I was so disappointed last night when I went into the grocery store to find that the price of our favorite expeller pressed safflower oil increased by one dollar!

Instead of paying $6.99 for a 32oz bottle, I opted to purchase a gallon for $18.00 through our organic food co-op.

Egg prices have risen dramatically the last few months as has dairy items like yogurt and cheese.

Purchasing store-bought granola has become a once-in-a-while treat for our family. Instead of eating a bowl of it every morning like we used to, we have opted to eat the less expensive, and I guess more nutritious, oatmeal.

We also like to buy good milk – rbgh free or organic milk which costs more.

By purchasing the more nutritious and thicker whole milk, you can add some water and dilute it, stretching it and your money further.

Cost-cutting Nutrition

Recently, my children and I have spent more time in the kitchen together during the school day.

Cooking is a great way to learn and making almost anything home-made is cheaper than store-bought.

Buying store brands and purchasing in bulk is also more economical too.

To slash our grocery bill, we make our own pizza, bread, baked goods and salad dressing and just recently began making home-made granola and yogurt again.

Dust off those cookbooks, visit your favorite cooking websites or just ask your friends for some great tasting, healthy recipes.

Improve your health and your budget too!

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