Frugal Homeschooling: Ways to Save Pennies...Even If You've Spent Too Much on Curricula

If you ask my husband, he’d tell you I was most definitely the wrong person to be writing a post about homeschooling frugally. Despite his feelings, I do try to be frugal about homeschooling. Most homeschoolers live on one salary, so we’ve learned how to save what we can.

I will admit that I don’t always take the cheapest route when it comes to buying curricula. I have a compulsive curricula buying disorder. And I don’t always look for the cheapest curricula. Occasionally I feel as if I need to sell all our possessions to pay for my homeschooling curricula habits. But sometimes I can make up for it by saving money elsewhere. So, here are some ways to save (especially if you, like me, have gone a little over budget with curricula!).

Frugal homeschooling

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Look for the best time and places to buy school supplies. 

I shop Target and Staples. Beginning the end of July to the first of August, Target has bins of school supplies VERY inexpensive. I can stock up on things like pencils, pens, glue, crayons, paper. Staples will advertise deals beginning a month or so before school starts. They usually have a really good weekly deal. I check each week to see if I need that week’s deal, and I stock up. This can also be a good time to stock up on printer paper- something I use quite a bit of during the year. Amazon is also a great place to look for school supplies that are less expensive.

Know what your homeschool membership gets you. 

In South Carolina we homeschool through the “third option”- meaning we are part of a local accountability group. We register with them each year, and we get a membership card. With proof of homeschool, many companies offer a school or educators discount.

I know that Barnes and Noble gives me a free educator’s discount card. Staples offers an educator’s rewards card. Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach (not too far from us) offers a great homeschool discount. Many museums will give homeschoolers the educators discount. Even if you don’t see a homeschoolers rate advertised, make sure to ask because, occasionally it won’t be posted anywhere.

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Find free and inexpensive sites for the “extras.” 

Homeschool Share has great free unit studies and lapbooks when I need an extra literature study. For the cost of printing the materials we’ve found lapbooks to go with great books we’re reading, unit studies on various topics, and a delightful ABC lapbook when the kids were younger. has tons of free resources available. Notebooking pages can enhance studies you’re doing in science and history as well as literature. Although their lifetime membership is also a really great deal, you can access all these free pages without a membership.

Schoolhouse has been a HUGE money saver for me. It isn’t free, but for your monthly membership you have access to hundreds of classes for K-12th grade, parent resources, a video library from Right Now Media, and the World Book Library with reference information, lesson plans, and videos. We’ve found so many great electives from Schoolhouse Teachers, as well as supplements for other classes.

Want computer classes for high school? It’s a required class for graduation in our state. Webucator is a site with all kinds of computer classes. You can choose their self-paced classes and use the code HOMESCHOOL at check out to get the classes totally free. These are $99-$199 classes. And you can get them absolutely free. My son has used several of these this year.

Saving money on homescchooling

I hope that you will find something here that will help you save money in your homeschool. And, maybe, it’ll make up for some of that curriculum money!

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