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When you are a mom to six children and a stay at home wife, you must find ways to economize. I am always looking for bargains especially when it comes to homeschooling. Over the last 14 years, we have found many ways to save on books, art supplies, even fun games and tools to teach different subjects.
Our favorite place to find books are local thrift stores. They have workbooks, textbooks, reading books, and even education magazines for a fraction of the cost of new. I always look through each book and make sure they are in good condition with no markings. Workbooks are a little harder to find because some are used, but we have been able to find a few here and there with no pages ripped out and with little to no pencil marks. The reading books are always a great find. We have found almost new books for our children to use for reading time for literally pennies on the dollar. Sometimes we are able to find newer textbooks as well. They only issue with buying older textbooks is getting the workbooks and test/quiz booklets for them.
Another great place to look for homeschool supplies is flea markets. Last year we were able to buy most of our homeschooling textbooks along with teacher’s manuals and test booklets at our local flea market. A homeschooling family was no longer going to be homeschooling, so they were selling off their materials. These books were in excellent condition and saved our family so much money. They were not as cheap as you would see at the thrift store, but well worth their price.
Garage sales, are another great place to search for supplies. Many times we come across teachers who are retired, or homeschoolers whose children have grown up, and they just want to get rid of all their stuff. These are the sales where you can pick up posters, art supplies, games and manipulatives for little money. Always be sure to check to be sure all pieces and parts are in any game or manipulative set you buy.
There are many homeschool swap sites you can check out. Ebay and amazon also have great deals from time to time. The only problem with these are the fact you cannot see and go through the items you are buying.
As for school supplies, I always wait for the big sales that happen right before school starts in the fall. I stock up on all items like pencils, crayons, erasers, glue sticks, painting supplies, pens, paper and spiral notebooks. The prices are almost tripled any other time of the year. Be sure to buy enough for your entire school year, and maybe some for the next if you can afford it.
I think one of my favorite ways to save money on homeschooling materials is to go to blogs and websites that have free printables for you to use. Many sites have free worksheets on different subjects and for use with different grade levels. Buy yourself an economical printer and you are ready to go. Be sure to thank the owners of the blogs and websites for their countless hours they spend doing these awesome printables, so your job as a homeschooler is a bit easier.