People often ask me about the cost of homeschooling. Sometimes I think they’re surprised to learn that it can be done on a budget.
Here me on this: We’re just an average family and we live on a modest income.
In fact, I think most homeschooling families do. There are some families who have even masted homeschooling for free! That’s definitely not me, but I try to be smart about our purchases and homeschool expenses. I have to be!
Here’s a few practical ways that you can save money in your homeschool!
#1 Buy and sell used curriculum on Ebay.
I’m always surprised to find out that more homeschooling moms don’t shop on Ebay for curriculum. It’s the first place I look when I’m pricing curriculum. I don’t always find what I’m looking for, but I always check there before I run off and buy something brand new. It’s also where I sell most of our old curriculum at the end of each school year and that really helps offset new purchases!
#2 Ask about educator discounts.
Don’t be afraid to ask! I always thought you had to be a licensed teacher (something I am not) to take advantage of educator discounts, but I’m finding that more and more retailers are supporting home education!
Many of the retailers who offer student or teacher discounts also offer the same discount to homeschooling families. You just have to ask. In most cases, all you need is some kind of student/teacher ID. I just recently learned that Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million offer a 20% educator discount to homeschooling families with ID? That’s awesome, right!?
Need a homeschool ID?
We’re members of FPEA (Florida Parent Educators Association) and have a handy dandy ID card that’s all laminated and legit and it seems to suffice at most places.
Create and print this Homeschool ID Card. It looks official!
#3 Check local attractions for educational field trips and group rates.
Before you book your next family outing, check to see if it isn’t a place you can visit as part of a group or field trip during the school year. We’ve saved hundreds of dollars holding off on theme park visits until a homeschool day or field trip opens up. You may not even need a large group. Sometimes just 5 people is group enough. That could be your family!
#4 Take advantage of weekday admission pricing for non-educational fun.
One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that we can visit otherwise crowded places during the week. I’m admittedly a weekday snob now. I can’t help it! The freedom of schedule is a perk and I won’t even consider theme parks or museums on the weekends anymore. PLUS? Many places offer discounts during the week!
Check with the places your family loves to visit. Do they offer a weekday only pass or price?
Who should you check with?
- movie theaters
- theme parks
- local attractions and special events
#5 Master on-the-go meals!
There are some days we run the roads. It’s a pain to worry about food when we’re out and about. Especially in our family! Everyone almost always wants something different. I don’t like too much fast food and we also have a peanut allergy to consider. All of the above make grabbing meals on-the-go a pain. Not to mention eating out and doing fast food is expensive and quickly adds up! I have found that throwing a cooler in the back of the car is so much easier and cheaper.
How about an extra gem of information because I thought of one more?
#6 Join an ASTC Science Center near you!
ASTC (Association of Science Technology Centers) has a passport program that allows members free access to science centers and museums nationwide! By becoming a member of any of the participating science centers on the list, you are automatically granted access to all other participating centers. This can be a huge savings. Especially if you travel! Our local participating museum’s family membership fee is only $35. So for $35 we have access to any other museum on the list that we can get to around the country for the whole year.
I hope some of the ideas are new to you!
How do you cut corners to save money in your homeschool?