As a homeschooler, we have a lot of expenses that can add up quickly. Most homeschoolers, like myself, are trying to cut corners wherever possible. This is important in our homeschool and for our family. So, when considering keeping our homeschool frugal, there are a few things we do consistently to keep the costs down while getting the most out of our homeschool.
#1 – Laminate – One tip that I have found through the years to watch costs was investing in a laminator. Though the initial cost was obviously larger, having a laminator has been helpful through the years. A laminator can be a great cost savings over time. Things we have laminated that have saved us money are things like our daily calendar work. We have each day of the week laminated so that we can use it each week as we practice our days of the week etc. We also laminate printable flashcards to work on alphabet, foreign language vocabulary, math drill flashcards, playdoh mats, maps and handwriting paperwork. Being able to laminate these, as well as review games, allows us to be able to reuse pieces and paperwork repeatedly to save on printing and paper.
#2 – Repurpose- Another great way to have a more frugal homeschool is to repurpose items in your household. For instance, we take all printed paper that is no longer needed, or test sheets or misprints, and keep them in a pile to be used for art work, busy work, and even paper airplane fun! Other items we repurpose are paper towel and toilet paper rolls to use with crafts and in art, empty cardboard food containers to be utilized for pencil holders, old cups to hold paint and art supplies, and old shoeboxes for supply storage.
#3 – Used Curriculum – One of the biggest cost savings we have found in homeschooling is to trade curriculum or purchase used curriculum. These are the best ways to find curriculum you are looking to use in your homeschool without paying full price. Once you have done your research and know what books and curriculum you will need for the upcoming year, it is a good idea to look online on places like Craigslist and eBay to see if you can find what you are looking for without having to pay full price. This can save you a lot of money over time.
#4 – Attend a Convention – Attending a homeschool convention in your area may seem like a cost and not a frugal way of doing things but it can help you save in many ways. For once, it allows you to look at the curriculum and ask questions before you purchase which can help you find the right fit for your child to decrease the chances that you purchase books and curriculum that end up not being a good match and go unused. Another advantage of attending a homeschool convention is that, if you visit the booth of the curriculum and books you are looking for, you can typically save money purchasing them at the convention due to convention sales and not having to pay for shipping. Shipping can be very expensive on books so you may find that you save significantly on just shipping charges by purchasing at the convention.
There are many, many ways to be frugal in homeschooling. Be sure to check out other TOS Crew members and their Frugal Homeschooling tips and ideas.
How do you save in your homeschool? I would love to hear what works for you and your family.