Is it possible to homeschool on a budget – or even FREE? Yes! It’s absolutely possible, and I’m going to tell you how you can do it. I’m going to share my tips for saving money on homeschool curriculum, printables, field trips, books, and supplies.
Curriculum can be one of the biggest expenses of your homeschool. But you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars every year on your curriculum! This post on choosing your curriculum will help you to avoid wasting your money on curriculum you don’t need or won’t end up using:
Here are some things you can do to save money on curriculum:
- Buy used or borrow from a friend. Look on Facebook marketplace, eBay, local homeschool groups, etc. to find used versions of the curriculum you want to use. I’ve been so blessed to have gotten many boxes of books and curriculum gifted to me from moms who have finished homeschooling their kiddos.
- Find free options. Check out websites like Easy Peasy Homeschool for free curriculum options. The Good and the Beautiful has free options for language arts, math, and even some science.
- Use books as curriculum. This is what we use for the bulk of our curriculum – we do literature based unit studies (I go into great detail about this in my course Homeschool the Non-School Way – complete with printables on how to create your own unit studies and templates for building your own unit studies)
- Use subscriptions. There are websites like education.com where you can get subscriptions to have access to all their materials. These can be used to supplement or in place of a curriculum, and you don’t need to pay for each individual printable.
- Get on mailing lists for a curriculum company and watch for their sales. Many bloggers or homeschool influencers will have discount codes you can use as well (I’ll include any that I have at the bottom of this post).
There are so many free or inexpensive printable options out there! I have many in my shop and free printable library, but even just a quick Pinterest search will get you hundreds of choices.
Use dry erase sleeves like these to extend the life of your printables and save money on printer ink. Or laminate them so that they can last a really long time!
If there is a printable creator or company whose printables you really like, get on their email list (you can get on mine right here ;) so that you can watch for sales or freebies. You can also keep an eye out for bundle sales, where multiple creators get together to sell printables at a steep discount for a short time.
Books are my favorite way to save money on curriculum. Instead of purchasing an entire curriculum, you can borrow a book from the library or a friend and learn everything you need to about a topic, instead of investing tons of money in a curriculum. Public libraries are great resources for this, of course, but you can also find many free books on audible or your library’s audiobook app. You can even find books read aloud on YouTube!
We get 90% of our books used from thrift stores, rummage sales, or used bookstores. Read all my tips on how to do this here:
When it comes to homeschool supplies, less is more – really! You don’t need to buy all the supplies, manipulatives, or learning materials available. I have a bunch of favorites listed in my Amazon storefront, but you can do a lot with just pencils and paper.
Many of the supplies we use in our homeschool I’ve purchased at thrift stores or rummage sales. Watch Facebook marketplace or other advertisements for rummage sales from former teachers who are selling off old books and supplies – you can find a lot of great deals that way!
Dollar Tree is one of my favorite places to buy paper, notebooks, craft supplies, baskets for organizing them, etc. Target dollar spot is also a great place to buy supplies, especially right before school starts.
You can check out this post for other supplies I recommend, but don’t feel like you have to buy supplies if they aren’t in your budget:
Field trips are an easy way to learn about a topic, often cheaper and more hands-on than a curriculum! Check your local library for passes to your local zoo, museums, etc. Many art museums and science centers will host free days or homeschool days where you can attend at a discount. We find it much more cost effective to buy a membership to these places so that we can attend many times instead of just once – this is especially good for a large family like ours. Many museums will often have reciprocity in other states so that you can attend other museums for free with your membership.
If you join a local homeschool group (either an official group or just a casual group of friends), you can attend performances or other events at a group rate.
Want more help with how to homeschool on a budget?
Affordable Homeschooling goes into much more detail about how you can afford to homeschool on one income – and ways you can make an income from home as a homeschooling mom!
Here are some discount codes for curriculum/printables:
Need more homeschool support? Use code BLOG10 to get 10% off any homeschool course or workshop in the Silo & Sage course vault (not valid on the membership).