9 Tips for Finding Affordable Homeschool Materials

No one has to spend a lot of money on resources to homeschool your children! There are so many ways for you to homeschool without paying a fortune for curriculum. The internet is the first place I look for free or cheap homeschool resources (check out my top 10 websites for free homeschool curriculum). However, I also like for my children to have regular reading books, math workbooks, and books for other subject areas. Also, especially if you are homeschooling young children it helps to have hands-on materials and manipulatives. Unfortunately, these things can be really expensive. So how do you get theses types of resources without breaking the bank? Below are several tips for finding the homeschool resources you need for your kids at prices that won’t blow the budget.

1. Check the Dollar Tree Regularly!

I have discovered that you can buy almost anything at the dollar tree! If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you check out their school supplies and book section! They have a lot of little resources for the classroom. I have found a foam clock (for teaching time), letter and number puzzles, bingo daubers, (similar to do-a-dot markers, and are a great toddler/preschool activity) craft supplies, notebooks, stickers, dry erase activity books, reading comprehension and math workbooks for grades Pre-K-5, world maps, inflatable globes, mini science project kits, and I could go on and on! Also, at least where we live, the inventory changes very regularly so you may see new products each time you go. And remember the best part… Everything is only 1 Dollar!!

2. Shop your Local Thrift Stores.

I have found tons of great used school books and resources at local thrift stores. You never know what you are going to find at a thrift store until you look. My husband and I both love thrifting! It’s how we started our home business! I almost always find used reading textbooks (which are great for extra stories for your kids whether you are following that curriculum or not). Often you will find a selection of children’s books that will be great additions to your homeschool library.

I have found Abeka books, and workbooks (a great christian homeschool curriculum), math books, and even an entire set of the Hooked on Phonics program levels 1-5. You also can find other resources for school in the toys area like legos, small toys for counters, and other STEM Learning toys. Prices for books are usually $2 or less. Children’s books are usually just $0.25 cents – $1.00.

3. Look for local library book sales.

I love to go to big book sales!!! Probably because I really Love books!! Many people do not know that a lot of county libraries throw a huge book sale each year. They clear out inventory they no longer need. Also, many libraries take donations from the community to sell as well. Most book sales I have been to have had a great selection of homeschool curriculum, teaching resources and children’s books. The books are usually reasonably priced and in good condition!
Many are like new! Also, they usually have a good selection of media, (DVDs, books on tape or cd, and music) puzzles, and games! If you really want to save money ask the workers if they will be having a half price or a bag sale! I have come out of a bag sale with whole curriculum sets for under ten dollars!  Watch your local paper or ask at your library if they do a big book sale. Another place to find out about book sales in your area is the website booksalefinder.com.

4. Shop online on Amazon.com

If you are looking for an individual book or workbook you can find almost anything new or used on Amazon.com. If you have Amazon Prime you may be able to find what you need at a low price new and get free 2-day shipping. You can buy used books on amazon.com by looking under the main price on the “more buying choices” link. It will give you a lowest price for the item used. When you click on more buying choices you will see a lot of options from individual sellers. You may not get free shipping this way but many amazon sellers price there books for as low as $.01 and shipping is usually only $3.99. Check out the sellers feedback to make sure you are buying from someone trustworthy. Also, if there is a problem with your order, Amazon has a money back guarantee, and provides great customer service.

5. Check on ebay.com

Ebay.com is also a great place to find homeschool resources and curriculum.  Often sellers on ebay.com will list items in lots, enabling you to get a good deal on a set of homeschool curriculum that you are looking for instead of having to buy each individual book. Another advantage to ebay.com is the ability negotiate with the seller and make the best deal you can. Some items may be listed auction style, enabling you to bid what you are willing/able to pay.  You will also see that many sellers set a price but add the “Best Offer” option.

My husband and I buy and sell a wide variety of items on eBay.com, including books and homeschool curriculum.  We, and I believe most sellers on eBay.com, want to work with you and make a deal.  My husband an I sell curriculum, taking best offers on items regularly and I have successfully bought many homeschool resources I wanted in this same way. Again, just like on Amazon.com, make sure to check the sellers feedback so that you know you are buying from someone trustworthy! If you would like feel free to check out our eBay store. This link goes to directly to our educational materials category, however we sell a variety of items, so check out the rest of our store. We get in new books and resources quite often and we would love to help you find what you need.  So, contact us using the store link above if you would like.

6. Shop at Friends of the Library Used book stores.

Some counties have a local friends of the library book store open year round. They take donated books and also sell withdrawals from the library. It is a great place to check regularly! They often get in used teaching resources curriculum, and children’s books. You may find just what you need! Also, another benefit from shopping at Friends of the library used book stores is that all proceeds go to supporting your local libraries! Which means, you are able to buy what you need to homeschool your kids at a great price and you are putting money into an amazing organization.  The libraries then use that money to provide more amazing resources for the community and especially us homeschool families!!

7. Watch for used curriculum sales

Many homeschool groups will hold annual used curriculum sales. This is a great opportunity for you to buy used curriculum from other homeschool families at a great price, and sell some resources that you are finished with! You also will have an amazing opportunity to meet more homeschool families in your area. The great thing about going to these curriculum sales is that you can actually talk to other families who have just finished using the curriculums and materials they are selling. Most other homeschool families would love to share with you what they liked about it and how they used it. In my experience I have found that most people price their items very fairly and usually want to help you get what you need for your homeschool.

8. Follow Free Homeschooling sites/social media groups.

There are so many resources available online to help us homeschool!! More everyday!! Homeschool giveaways and Freebies and Free Homeschool Deals are two websites I follow that list new resources available everyday that can help supplement your homeschool. Most are downloadable printables. Sometimes you can find entire courses for free!

There are so many homeschool families out there that love to share their resrouces with each other. Most of us want to give away or offer resources at a price that is affordable to help and encourage other homeschool families! Search and find your favorite bloggers and follow them, to get great affordable ideas and resources to help you homeschool!

9. Buy (or download) before you need it!

One thing to remember, is to plan ahead. If you are going to shop for you homeschool resources and try to get the best deal, you can’t be in a hurry! You need to shop ahead. If you find a resource you may not need for a few years, but you like, at a thrift store or book sale, go ahead and get it. I keep a box in my closet where I store “future” homeschool finds.  I promise if you pass it up you will be sorry in a few years if you end up having to pay a lot more for the same or similar book! If for some reason you end up not needing it you can always resell it or pass it on to someone who could use it!

Make sure to keep your eyes open for good resources you could use for your kids in the future, as you check in thrift stores, bookstores, and book sales.

Now the only thing left is for you to get out there and look!

Thanks for reading!! If you enjoyed this, then check out some of my other posts:

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