We are all busy homeschool parents and there is so much on our plate, from teaching math and science, to making sure kids get in their physical education. What if you could homeschool and have more time in your day to get things done? I have developed an exclusive system for homeschoolers which helps parents find more time in their day, while at the same time increasing their child’s passion and curiosity for learning . If you’d like to find out more, click here.
Whether you’re new to homeschooling or you’ve been homeschooling for many years, there’s no denying the fact that homeschooling can get expensive. Last year, parents who sent their kids to traditional school spent over $660 for elementary students, about $1,000 for middle school students, and more than $1400 for high school students just on school supplies. Since homeschoolers have the responsibility for their own supplies, homeschool supplies can take a huge bite out of our budgets.
Knowing that homeschool supplies are a large part of our homeschool budget, I work very hard to find deals for our family. Every year when our family goes shopping for our homeschool supplies we are always looking for new, creative ways to save. Here are the seven best ways I have found to help save extra money on homeschool supplies.
All the stores will start advertising their back to school sales in the middle of the summer heat in July. Yes, people will be rushing to the stores and scrambling to buy, buy, buy while kids are still doing cannonballs into the pool and running through the sprinklers.
You will definitely want to take advantage of all the back to school sales that happen during this time of year. However, because you homeschool you will want to make due with what you have and wait for the clearance sales. This is when the deals will really start!
The clearance sales usually begin in August and go into September, with some items lingering into October. So, if you start your school year early or school year round, try to make due with what you have and just be patient until the back to school crowd settles down.
Before you go shopping for your homeschool supplies this year, take some time to make a list of what you will need for the upcoming year. Then take an inventory of what you already have. Make sure you look in all the possible places you could put your homeschool supplies. You don’t want to be buying extra supplies when you already have what you need in the back of your closet. You may think you know all the supplies you have on hand, but I can’t tell you how many times I have run out to the store to get supplies for an art project, only to discover that I already had a supply of that same item hiding in my closet.
As you are doing an inventory of your school items, look and see what you could possibly sell. Curriculum or learning items that your kids aren’t using anymore could be sold and the money used for new homeschool supplies. It is always best to sell your curriculum as soon as you know you won’t be using it anymore. Since the older it gets, the more out of date it becomes and the less desirable it is for buyers. You definitely want to get top dollar for that pricey curriculum you purchased, so make sure to sell it as soon as you know are finished with it. You can read the article I wrote about the top 5 places to sell homeschool curriculum.
Thrift stores and garage sales are great places to find back to school clothing, craft and art supplies, books, bookcases, etc. Depending on where you live, spring and summer are usually the best times to find an abundance of garage sales. Check in often with your local thrift stores because one day they can have low inventory and the very next day they will be fully stocked with items.
Another option you may want to consider is estate sales. They often have furniture, crafting supplies, and books. Some of my kids’ favorite educational books came from an estate sale. You just never know what you will find.
Don’t discount the local dollar store. They are stocked up year round with lots of homeschool supplies. Plus, if you really need your homeschool supplies right away, you don’t have to wait for sales. Of course we all know they aren’t always the top quality brands, but when you are in need of inexpensive poster board or erasers, the dollar store is the place to go!
USE YOUR TEACHER DISCOUNT
Ask for teacher discounts at the stores you shop at and use your teacher discount card. Many times teacher discounts won’t be posted, so it is helpful to ask an employee or manager. If you don’t have your teacher ID yet, there are several places you can get it. If you are a member of HSLDA, then your membership card is your teacher ID. Also, being a member of different homeschool organizations can often provide you with a teacher ID as well.
Whenever you shop online for your homeschool supplies, always check to see if they are a partner of Ebates. Ebates is a website that gives you cash back for shopping online. Every time you make a purchase at one of their partner sites, they will give you a percentage of your purchase total back in cash. Just within the past six months I have earned over $120 just using Ebates! You will want to make sure to add their cash back button extension to your browser so you are alerted when a store is a partner of Ebates.
There you have it, the seven best ways our family saves on homeschool supplies. What are some creative ways your family saves on your homeschool supplies every year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Great information should always be shared! If you found this article helpful, please take a second and share it either on Pinterest or Facebook. Thanks!