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I have been homeschooling my 2 kiddos for more than 6 years. These are the tools and tricks I use to aquire our homeschool curriculum.
Shop Used Curriculum Sales
Unfortunately, I didn’t know about this one until I finished my first year of homeschooling. Think yard sale only with books. It does take some planning and foresight. Around May or June you’ll want to check your local co-op for sales. This has become my go-to method for finding deals. I look here first before I do any other shopping. You’ll want to have a list of books that you intend to use for the upcoming school year. I also recommend doing a quick Amazon search for prices of the book brand new. That way you will know what is a good price for that item. Look for teachers editions and test books that can be used multiple years. Flip through the pages looking for anything writing/highlighting, etc. Check the spine to make sure the pages are intact.
Purchase for Multiple Years
This has been a lifesaver! When you have a particular homeschool curriculum that you love and know that you will use for many years, stock up on it. By that I mean, buy it when you can even if you don’t intend to use it that particular year. I have used the same math program since my oldest was in 1st grade. It works and I am pleased with her progress. So when I see someone selling an algebra book in great condition and my oldest is in a lower grade, I’ll go ahead and purchase it. I know that I’m going to need it anyway. Certain subjects don’t change very much over time anyway. Math and spelling and grammar are just a few.
Buy Directly From a Friend
This tecnique helped me tremendously in college and it still proves true today. A few years ago I bought a book that jut didn’t work out for my kiddo. It was a great book, but it just didn’t work out for my family. It turned out that a girlfriend of mine used the same series. She was looking for that very same book and offered to buy it from me. She purchased a nearly new book for a fraction of the cost and I got to purchase a replacement book that my kiddo loves.
Please, please, please check more than one website before purchasing if you want to save some money on schoolbooks. Before I make an online purchase, I will routinely check several different websites that offer the same book/edition. I try to be as informed as I can be. Sometimes it pays to shop around.
Use Coupon Codes
Do a Google search for coupon codes. Check those catalogs that come in the mail. Many times there will be a banner at the top of the website or a pop-up box when you first land on the vendor website. You don’t have to spend a long time on this step, but I do find it worthwhile.
Get Free Shipping
Look for the minimum $$ amount to qualify for free shipping. Many times there is a threshold to meet. If you are buying multiple books/items you might qualify already. Again a quick google search for”free shipping” codes will do the trick. Sometimes, a particular book I’m looking for is only available through one website, so I will see if I can get the other items on my list from that vendor as well. If I have exhausted all of these possible angles then I will suck it up and pay for the shipping, knowing I did my best.
If you are an Amazon Prime member and are shopping on Amazon you won’t have to worry. Thank you Amazon Prime! However, not everything that we need is available on Amazon. Womp, Womp. In those situations, use this tip.
Shop Through A Cashback Website (When Possible)
Before you make your online purchase, go through a website like Ebates or TopCashback first. If you are shopping at an approved vendor then you can earn cashback on their site. Sometimes, the websites you go to may not be listed as one of their vendors and that’s ok. But if you are shopping through an approved vendor all the better it comes in handy.
Utilize Your Local Library
This is a tricky one. You have to be very careful with this option. One year I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the history curriculum that I was going to be using was actually carried by my local library. I was so excited because this was going to be my primary history book. I got on the wait list and waited urgently for it to come. When I received my notification that it was ready for pick up, I promptly checked it out. Only I soon discovered that I was not the only person who also wanted to use it. Several other people had also requested it and it would be quite a while till I would be able to check it out again. Eventually I ended up purchasing the book just so I could have it when I wanted it. Lesson learned.
However, I will use my library for reading books. This has been a GREAT resource to supplement our home library. We routinely check out 15-20 books at a time. I never could have afforded to buy every one of those books nor had the space to house all of them.
You’ll also want to be mindful of due dates. It’s like a kick in the gut when you realize that you have had 40+ books overdue for
a few weeks a couple of days. But I’m sure you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?
I hope this informations was helpful to you. What are some tips that you’ve learned along the way? Leave a comment down below.