Here are two things I’ve learned when it comes to buying homeschool curriculum:
- Homeschooling should be looked at as an investment.
- Homeschooling doesn’t have to be expensive.
In my 14+ years of homeschooling I’ve learned to recognize that just like with healthy eating – it is worth it to invest in the good stuff. Spending money for great curriculum is as worth it as spending money for great food. Ahhh, books and butter. Curriculum and vegetables. It all goes hand in hand, right? Buying high quality is worth the cost.
But there are also many ways to keep your curriculum costs down so that maybe, just maybe, we can enjoy good books and save money too. (Well, of course.)
How to Save Money on Homeschool Curriculum
Here are several ways I’ve saved money through our homeschooling years:
1. Use the Library
This one is too obvious, but still worth a mention. While I have really appreciated owning lots of great literature and having it on our shelves to grab at any time – there are plenty of books we have simply checked out from the library as needed. Cost is free, unless you forget to take the books back on time and have pay late fees. I know nothing about this.
2. Buy Used
Every year, I sit down with a list of books each of our kids will be reading during the school year. If we don’t already own it and I prefer not to have to get it at the library, I check on Amazon and see if I can find a used copy. I have saved so much money doing this.
Occasionally I’ve found needed books at garage sales or I’ve bought curriculum from other homeschool families who are cleaning the closet. (I’ve even been blessed by people handing me their used books for free!) As long as the book isn’t falling apart, buying a used book is just as nice as buying a new book – and you’ll save a few bucks per book too!
3. Borrow and Share
One of the best ways I’ve found to save on big ticket items (like Teaching Textbooks or Apologia Science books) is to borrow and share with friends. This only works if our kids are in different grade levels and will therefore not be needing the same books or software at the same time. But coordinating with friends (i.e. I’ll buy the 5th grade book and you buy the 6th grade book, then we’ll swap next year) can be a huge money saver.
4. Divide the Dollar Amount by Number of Kids in Your Family
It has helped me “justify” a quality purchase when I do the math – knowing that I will eventually use each item for all four of my kids. Therefore, if I spend $40 on something, I know it really breaks down to just $10 per kid. Make sense?
5. Use and Reuse
With many of our consumable books through the years, I had our oldest kids leave the book blank and write their answers in a 20¢ notebook instead. That way I could save the consumable book to reuse – instead of having to buy it over and over each time another kid needed it. Yay for Malachi. The youngest kid gets to write in his books.
6. Go Digital
I’m learning to love digital books more an more for these reasons:
- They save bookshelf space
- I can organize them easily on my computer
- They save money
- I can use them over and over as needed for my family
Last year when the Build Your Bundle Homeschool Curriculum Sale was offered, I grabbed several packages to use for my younger two boys. Ah-ma-zing. Throughout this school year I supplemented our regular curriculum with eBooks I had picked up last year for cheap!!
What great ways have you found to save money on books?