Many of us live off of one income in order to home educate our children. In addition, we also have to purchase our own supplies, curriculum, and books. This can all prove to be costly, unless you are frugal minded like me. Which is why I put together a list of ways to save on homeschool supplies and decided to share it with you.
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Tip #1 Save On Curriculum by Laminating
Buy new and laminate everything you possibly can so it can be used again with subsequent children. This is what I did with our All About Reading program you can read the review here: learning-with-all-about-reading/. Check out the absolute best multisensory (IMHO) reading program here: All About Reading. Below is the exact laminator that I use and have owned for several years, it is as good as the day I purchased it.
Tip #2 Buying PDF Downloads
I’ve learned along the way that various curriculum companies only have PDF downloads or they list the PDF download as the least expensive buying option. I ultimately try to go the least expensive route, which means I purchase the download… but then you can end up spending an arm and a leg having the curriculum binded by a office supply store. That is when I got into book binding. I use it as a handicraft with my children and I bind our curriculums, book downloads, and even our nature journals: handicraft-diy-nature-journal.
Tips #3 Self-Book Binding
There are two different ways (beside hand sewing) you can book bind. Below is a spiral binding machine great for homeschool planners or journals.
Comb binding machines are ideal for curriculum PDF downloads like those found in A Gentle Feast. Read a Comparison article here: A Gentle Feast Vs. Simply Charlotte Mason. I recently started a Laying Down The Rails book discussion (Join Book discussion here) the books themselves were going to cost over $100 when I purchased the downloads I believe I brought the cost down to $50. I’ve also looked into having these bounded at an office supply store and I was quoted $80 to bind them! I could literally buy one machine at that price and I know I’ll be getting more than a one time use out of this product.
I did purchase this exact coil book binding machine and have become a book binding queen. I love it! It is becoming quite the hobby. To give you something to bind check out these free printables that I created:
Tip #4 Taking Advantage of Sales
I try never to purchase a product at full price unless I really need it then. Waiting for sales is one of the best ways to save money. On amazon, wait for deals, prime day, and black Friday. Today is prime day which means time to stock up on homeschool supplies! I Have a list of living books I need to purchase. Buying Audible while it is hugely discounted can save money and is useful in those instances when you are unable to read to your young readers.
But….I really do prefer books in hand, I love snuggling up with my children and reading real books together. I do try and utilize the library but sometimes they don’t have the books we need or I return them late (on accident) and therefore receive late fees. At that point I figure I might as well purchase the book. I go between amazon prime and thriftbooks.com for book deals. You can check out thriftbooks below:
Tip #5 Purchase Used
Almost every curriculum has a Buy/Swap facebook group, which is a great place to purchase discounted curriculum. I frequent our local used book stores which is another way to save money on the cost of reading books. Large homeschool co-ops often host used curriculum sales, if you have one in your area. Ours even has a facebook group and sometimes members post their used curriculum for purchase there. If you know of a homeschool co-op or belong, inquire to see when their next curriculum sale may be.
These are some of the 5 top ways that I use to save money and you can too.
Do you have any tips to add?