Friday’s Hardwired Homeschool Hints: Bargain Hunting

It is almost August! Can you believe it??!! As a homeschooling mom, August has often been a time for me to finalize my curriculum choices, and actually purchase my materials for the upcoming homeschool year. (And once in a while, it is also the time I have my “another-entire-month-of-summer-happy-dance”…just thought you might want to know.) So anyway, how do you get the best deals on curriculum for your children? By bargain hunting, of course! And there are some great online destinations for getting some super prices on just about all things “homeschool.” Here are a few of my all-time faves:

Christian Book Distributors – If you haven’t at least perused CBD’s homeschool catalog sometime in the past, then you are either a brand new homeschooler, or have been living in one of those caves that is so dark and remote it makes the fish in it go blind. CBD is the go-to place for almost any kind of homeschool curriculum or tool. They are also a discounter, along the lines of Amazon and other bulk distributors. Don’t forget to check out their bargains page for even more cut-rates on filler items.

Ebay – Especially in the month of August, Ebay is a great source for curriculum deals…both used and new. Homeschoolers often get into panic mode right about now, cleaning out their curriculum shelves to make room for new stuff, and are getting rid of the old stuff – – often at a large discount. You can even use the “search reminder” function of Ebay to let you know when a product you are looking for comes up for auction.

The Swap – This is the oldest used curriculum site on the web, and includes classifieds, want-to-buy ads, and a large forum area. It also has built in safety features to help you deal with any problems you might have during buying/selling.

Best Book Buys – This site lets you put in a book you are searching for, and find the best price across the web. It will search through both new and used sellers, and tallies the shipping costs for you, so you know exactly what you will be paying.  (Don’t ya HATE how much shipping costs have gone up??!!)

1001books – This is a Yahoo Group email loop that lets you post and search through tons of different ads for new and used books, curriculum, and supplies. There are dozens of new items posted daily to the group. As with all Yahoo groups, membership is required, but it is free.

Homeschool Buyers Coop – This is quickly becoming one of my favorite all-time homeschool resources. The idea behind Homeschool Buyers Coop is to pool together the resources of homeschooling families, so that they get similar discounts to the large school districts on educational programs. Once you become a member (free), they begin sending you emails about upcoming deals. You get to choose the level of savings you want, depending on how many homeschool families sign up for the promotion. Just in the last year, I was able to get incredible discounts on programs like NetTrekker, SpellDoctor, UnitedStreaming, SmartDraw Homeschool edition, and Educationalestore.

Educational Estore – Speaking of the estore, this is one you won’t want to miss out on! The estore will be opening this fall, and Homeschool Buyers Coop members will get automatic 25% discounts on anything they buy! The great thing about estores is…no shipping! And, no wait! The books and materials are instantly available through PDF download, right to your computer. For workbooks, this is ideal, because you can use the book for as many kids as you need to, without having to purchase multiple copies. The estore will carry over 10,000 eBooks, music files, audio files, MP3’s, online software, and more.  

 

Buy Local !!!- Online retailers are wonderful, and convenient, and cheap, but they don’t put a cent back into your local economy. And goodness knows, in these tough economic times, we should do all we can to boost local commerce. So if the difference of what you can buy locally, and what you can buy online is negligible, you might want to consider ordering from one of your local small businesses. Many times, locally owned bookstores will special order just about any book or item you need – – without shipping costs!  Call around and check out the policies about shipping costs and times from your local businesses before you plunk down your credit card online. Just my two cents…

If you have other favorite online or local sources for your homeschool materials, how about sharing them in the comments section? Have a great weekend, everyone!

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One Response

  1. Well, apparently I have been living with blind fish as I have never even heard of Christian Book Distributors. Please don’t think less of me 😀

    One of my favorite catalogs is Rainbow Resource Catalog. In fact, I just placed another order with them for a catapult and trebuchet kit for Cody.

    I also like currclick. Every week they give away a free e-book, and for Mother’s Day they give away 20 or so free e-books. Not all of them our right for us, but we’ve probably used at least 15 over the last year.

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