Homeschooling can get expensive fast! The options out there for curricula are endless. The temptation for purchasing all.the.things. is real! This is not a post about which curricula to choose (although I will offer some suggestions). Rather, this post is about saving money on whatever curricula you settle on.
The suggestions I offer are, as always, super simple. So you may have thought of them before. But maybe there is some small blessing in here you can pass onto another. Let’s get started.
This post may include affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase based on my recommendation, I get a small remuneration at no extra expense to you. I only recommend things I actually use and believe to be a blessing.
Shop the Sales
A few times a year homeschool curricula companies put their offerings on sale. Those times are obviously the time to buy them. You can be notified of these sales by signing up for your favorite curricula providers newsletters.
The curricula I get when they are on sale are:
- Saxon Math – I usually purchase Saxon through Christian Book Distributors when it is 30% off. I rarely have seen it at a greater discount. Pair it with free shipping (offered a few times a year) and the savings are phenomenal.
- Well-Trained Mind – I have also purchased WTM’s First Language Lessons (an absolute favorite around here) through Christian Book Distributors when it is 40% off. You can get the same discount at their site, too. This sale happens a couple of times a year.
- Classical Conversations Books – Classical Conversations is so good about offering discounts and incentives to their community members throughout the year. Plus, when you purchase $150 of curricula, they offer free shipping. If you are planning on a large purchase (or want to order with a friend), they offer a 10% discount on orders of $250 or more.
Use a Cashback Card
What do I do when the curricula I want is not on sale?
I have been purchasing from All About Learning press for years now and I have never seen a sale. Not sure if I have just not been paying attention at the right times of year or what; but I have always paid almost full price for their All About Spelling program.
Why almost full price? I wait until I can get extra cash back and pay with a cash back card.
I have been a Discover card holder for years. I like the cashback aspect, without the fees. They offer cashback on every purchase. Plus, they have categories for extra cashback throughout the year. Quarterly, they will offer 5% back on categories like restaurants, groceries, gas stations, and wholesale clubs.
PayPal + Discover
I contend the best time of the year to buy curricula for my homeschool is when Discover is offering 5% cashback on PayPal purchases. This year (2020) PayPal purchases are included in the cashback bonus from July through September.
Pairing a PayPal curricula purchase with a sale on curriculum websites is a great way to save some serious pennies. I can use PayPal + Discover to pay for some of the sale-priced curricula above. Since PayPal is accepted almost everywhere these days, I can even save money on more niche items for my homeschool (like items sold on individual websites and Etsy).
To use your Discover card when you are using PayPal, simply add your Discover card to your “Wallet” on PayPal and select it when you are at the checkout for your individual purchase.
Some of the items I buy from individuals using PayPal + Discover card’s cashback bonus are:
- Amy Snider’s Design’s Classical Conversations workbooks. These are seriously awesome. I put them together in a big notebook for my kids to use throughout the year. They can’t wait to get them each year.
- You ARE an Artist’s art lessons. These are seriously so special and so wonderful. We have some budding artists around here. These videos are so worth the price, but I love that I can save a bit more with PayPal + Discover.
Ahem…If I may just insert my own shop in here. I am all about trying to save you money on all your homeschool purchases. I am currently working on the Gathering placemats for 2020-2021 and they will be available during the PayPal + Discover window. Yea! Savings for you on a phenomenal resource for your family.
Use Buying Power
You can also get discounted prices on various curricula using buying power. Join the free Homeschool Buyers Co-op and purchase through them to get your curricula at great prices. I have seen one of my favorite curriculum providers, the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) on there at various times.
The HBC offers lots of free things, too. I got my Homeschool ID card so I could get the Teacher’s discount at Barnes and Noble. More savings!!
Become a Member
The one resource I cannot do without in my homeschool, the one that, hand’s down, saves me the most money throughout the year is: Scribd. I have shared my love of Scribd here before.
Since we are big time readers (utilizing the free book lists from Ambleside Online) around here, I use Scribd every single day. My students can listen to audiobooks and read along (independently) as I teach another student. I can read directly to my kids from their vast library of ebooks. And I can read for myself – one’s education is never finished.
By the way, you can try Scribd free for 60 days to see if it is worth it for your family. I cannot imagine you would be disappointed. It is seriously amazing!
I do hope this list was helpful to you whether you are starting out in homeschooling or you are a seasoned “professional.” We can all use a few pennies from heaven to sprinkle around our homeschools, right?
Like my simple homeschool saving tips?
- I think you will love my simply genius Homeschool Printing Hacks.
- Or my tips for preparing to teach Saxon Math just 2 times a month.
- Or some ideas for keeping All About Spelling organized.