It’s no secret that homeschooling expenses can add up and wreak havoc on the family budget. It doesn’t have to be that way! Thankfully there are lots of ways to save money on homeschool curriculum and create margin in your budget.
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Some of these ways have helped me completely make over my homeschool budget, but some have helped me consistently spend less on our curriculum purchases over the years. Here’s a look at my favorite ways to save money on homeschool curriculum:
5 Ways I Save Money
on Homeschool Curriculum
1. Buy Used
I love shiny, new products as much as the next person, but buying pre-owned resources is one of my favorite ways to save money on homeschool curriculum. If you’ve never gone this route before, you may be surprised by how easy it is to find used resources through Facebook groups, eBay, Amazon, and other websites.
It’s easy enough to find used curriculum through Facebook and eBay, but it can be easy to overlook these options on Amazon. To browse Amazon’s used offers, search for your desired item like usual, but click below the featured price. That click leads to the used choices available through Amazon and other vendors who sell through Amazon.
When browsing the used options, be sure to read all of the descriptions available for the item’s condition. That’s the best way to know if the used option has any damage that will keep it from meeting your needs. That’s especially important for a consumable curriculum choice.
For example, a used student book may have writing on eight pages, but be clean for the other 142 pages. If you can live with eight completed pages, go for it. Chances are those eight pages will lead to a decent discount on your curriculum purchase. You may not always hit the savings jackpot when buying this way, but even the smallest savings add up over time.
2. Go Digital
Using digital resources in your homeschool comes with lots of perks; one of those perks is that it leads to great savings. Since digital products don’t require physical packaging or shipping, these versions cost considerably less than printed curriculum.
CurrClick is usually my first stop for digital homeschool resources, but I also like buying self-published digital products written by homeschool parents. They’re written by homeschoolers for homeschoolers and usually guarantee great quality and big savings. Because of this, my flash drives are loaded with digital curriculum from Our Journey Westward, SQUILT Music Appreciation, and Notebooking Pages, just to name a few.
3. Older Editions
We’ve got a family friend who happens to be a college professor and textbook author. He told us several years ago that only ten pages in a textbook need to be changed in order to justify a new edition of the book. Here’s the kicker: those ten pages could literally have a single word or image changed in order to get that new edition published. A single word.
Is that always the case with homeschool curriculum? Not necessarily, but that conversation was enough to open my eyes to the fact that we don’t have to have the latest edition of every curriculum. Granted there are some subjects that tend to warrant newer editions, but some don’t. If we’re successfully using the second edition of a math curriculum, we don’t feel the pressure to purchase the third edition the year it comes out. Instead, we enjoy the savings that come with buying an older edition through eBay, Amazon, or other online sources.
4. Scratch & Dent
Along the same lines as buying used, I save money on homeschool curriculum by checking Scratch & Dent section of my favorite retailers. Being willing to use a less-than-perfect copy here and there has brought big savings in my homeschool budget. My last scratch and dent purchase cost me $9 less than the “perfect” version of that very book and I still haven’t found the imperfection!
When shopping Rainbow Resource Center look through the Bargain Books section. Christian Book Distributors lists them in their Bargain Center. Amazon has great scratch and dent products as well. You can score homeschool deals by searching the Warehouse Deals section or by looking for Warehouse Deals under an item’s used offers.
While some Warehouse Deals are listed as used, the products are often new despite their label. Items are sometimes labeled used simply due to packaging that was damaged in a warehouse. The product itself may have little or no damage, but may not arrive in it’s original package. Minor details like that can lead to big curriculum savings!
Along the same lines as buying used, the key to shopping for scratch and dent curriculum through any retailer is to carefully read product descriptions and be familiar with return policies. There are times when purchasing this way may get you a teacher edition without a cover, but there are times you may end up with a product that has a tiny imperfection.
Remember, when searching for scratch and dent homeschool curriculum, it’s a first-come, first-served scenario. If you don’t complete your purchase quickly, it’s likely that someone else will beat you to that deal!
5. Homeschool Buyers Co-Op
I never make a homeschool purchase without checking Homeschool Buyers Co-Op first! The Co-Op allows homeschool families to come together and receive the same kind of discounts many public and private schools enjoy. This happens through group buys, member reward points, and general low prices.
In the past, my savings have ranged from $15 off retail cost for our history curriculum to $75 off our math curriculum. Those kinds of savings make for a happy homeschool budget!
If you haven’t joined the Co-Op, now’s the time to fix that! You can join for free and save money on homeschool curriculum today!
Do you have a favorite way to save on homeschool curriculum? Share it with me… I’d love to check out your suggestions!