Homeschool Hacks: Money Saving Tips to Stretch Your BudgetValerie Mcclintick
Homeschooling can be costly. Couple that with the fact most homeschool families are single income, it can really be cause to tighten the purse strings.
Here are the best money saving hacks to slash your homeschool expenses while not sacrificing on education or fun.
Saving Money On Craft Projects
- Have a place to store craft supplies. If you have a central place you can keep your craft supplies, then they are more likely to get used and not lost.
- When you’re looking for a new project, google the project based on the supplies you have on hand. Pinterest has so many ideas, limiting yourself to the great ones that you can make without spending additional money is always a plus.
- The dollar store can be your best friend or worst enemy. There are a ton of great craft supplies in there, but I highly recommend going in with a list and sticking to it.
Saving Money On Books and Media
- Use the library.
- Return everything on time.
- Keep a lookout at thrift stores and garage sales. You can’t beat 10 cents for a book.
- Search regularly for free Kindle books for kids.
- Make use of the Gutenberg project for free classical literature.
- Look for free educational apps periodically as well.
- Take care of the books you own, clear packing tape has saved a ton of beloved books in our house.
Saving Money On Curriculum
- Choose the right curriculum the first time. Check out Kathy Duffy’s Homeschool review from the library months before you need to make a decision. Try to make the most informed decision possible so you don’t wind up with something that doesn’t work and can’t be returned.
- Buy new, if the curriculum has an excellent return policy. In some ways, this can save money. I am stuck with more used curriculum that “I got on a good deal on,” than I care to admit. It’s not a good deal if you never use it.
- Combine grades when you can. Sonlight and Bookshark, for example, are both great for this. Both are expensive curriculums but if you can use them for two grade levels, or multiple times then they become worth it.
- Join Facebook, swap and used curriculum groups. Obviously, research, research, research first.
- Enroll your kids in a homeschool charter school program. Depending on your state and the program these are free and some are fantastic. With that said sometimes these charter school programs can also be schools of last resort that aren’t all that stellar. Absolutely do your research. (Are you sensing a theme)
Saving Money On Household Expenses
(I include this because when you’re homeschooling it can cut into time that could be spent couponing or shopping sales.)
- Only go to one grocery store. Unless you have excellent willpower and ability to stick to a list. For me needing to go to a different grocery store just to pick up “one thing” ALWAYS busts my grocery budget.
- Use curbside grocery if it saves your family money. If the store you normally shop at has a curbside program, being able to see your total on the computer at home before you check out can really help cut down on expenses even after the curbside convenience fee.
- Shop your cupboard. Before you do your regular shopping trip always look in your cupboards for food that you can incorporate into your weekly meals.
Taking Advantage of Homeschool Freebies (Sign up for our Newsletter Here)
- Have a dedicated homeschool e-mail account you can use for newsletters.
- Save your pdfs in a dedicated file, flash drive, or external hard drive.
- Organize your computer files by grade and subject. (Trust me)
- Invest in a printer that gets great mileage on ink.
- Print in black and white.
PLAN to Shop Homeschool Sales
- Contact your favorite curriculum publishers BEFORE you order. Ask them if they have any coupon codes or upcoming sales. Often, store owners will share discount codes to make the sale.
- Take note of the dates when prospective programs go on sale. Many publishers will have yearly sales right around the same time of year. Make yourself a small mental note when you see these sales pop-up or mark them on your curriculum planner for next year.
Have a Homeschool Budget Tip to share? What else would you add? Tell us in the comments below: