Saving Money on Curriculum

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Most homeschoolers know that curriculum can get expensive, especially with multiple children. I have three kids and I rarely spend more than $300 for the year…and that’s being pretty generous. I know that there are people out there who probably spend less, but I also know that there are those who spend A LOT more. So, what are my tips for keeping the costs down?

1) Shop used book sales. We have several homeschool groups in our area, so we’re blessed with lots of used book sales. I know of five that we had this year, just off the top of my head. I bought lots of what I needed at those sales this year…and, because I sold our used books, I got it all with nothing out of pocket and even cleared a little profit.

2) Shop used book stores. We have a local store that sells used media — books, CDs, DVDs, etc. I often find great deals in there…especially when they don’t know what they’re getting! I once found a Konos volume, that retails for around $90 and is sold used for $40-$50 for $5!

3) Shop Vegsource (or similar on-line sites). Vegsource is one of my favorite on-line sources for used curriculum because everything is sold “flea market style” with no one trying to outbid you. Most items that are in good condition are sold for 1/3 -1/2 the retail price.

4) Take advantage of buying co-ops. A lot of times you’ll find a group who can order in bulk for big savings. This is a great way to get new curriculum at a fraction of the price. Ask around in your local homeschool groups to see if anyone offers something like this.

5) Take advantage of your local library. While there are some books that are nice to buy to have on hand, most of the time you really don’t need your own home library. As long as you return your books on time >blushing

6) Check local colleges for a “teachers’ library.” Some colleges with teaching programs have libraries or resource centers for local teachers, including homeschoolers. For a small fee, you can join the library and have access to curriculum, manipulatives, die cuts, and even reproducible texts.

These are just a few tips. What are some of the ways you keep curriculum costs down?

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