Frugal Homeschooling: A Lifestyle Of God’s Best

Welcome back!

If you’re new to this series click here to start 10 Days of Homeschooling for Free & Frugal at the beginning.

Homeschooling for Free and Frugal

{Pssst….I want to let you in on a BIG secret: There is no reason to spend a lot of money in order to provide a top notch education for your children.}

When Jamerrill asked me to write a guest post for her 10 Days Of Homeschooling For Free & Frugal; it got me excited to share what our family has done over the past 8 years of homeschooling in order to keep our homeschooling costs to an absolute minimum. It is my hope to give insight and encouragement to those: looking into homeschooling and are overwhelmed by the price tag of new curriculum, current homeschooling families who are looking to cut down their costs, families with multiple children, and anyone who is looking to change their entire life by living frugally in every area possible.

First I want to start off by saying that I believe wholeheartedly that leading a debt-free way of life is essential to having God’s best for your family. It is my hope that each and every one of you out there reading this series, if you are not already debt free, are working on a plan to become debt free. I am in no way saying that if you have debt you cannot have God’s best, but I am saying that His best cannot be fully manifested in your life until you are. My husband and I learned many hard lessons in this area of life and currently have one debt to our name, a rental house in North Carolina, where we plan to live when we depart from the Army in a couple of years. And for this home, we are on a plan to pay it off very early, and working hard to achieve this.

There are many ways that your family can homeschool for free or nearly free. I am going to show you some of the ways we’ve been able to provide a top-notch education for our children at a bargain basement price! First I will share some of the top ways our family receives FREE homeschool curriculum:

  • Utilizing websites that offer FREE curriculum, FREE lapbooks, FREE printable worksheets, FREE Kindle/ebooks, FREE educational apps, and much more. You can find some great FREE resources like these on my blogs Homeschool Freebies page.
  • Entering blog giveaways. No kidding. I have won hundreds of dollars of FREE curriculum by simply taking less than a minute to enter blog giveaway contests offered by other bloggers. In addition to offering lots of giveaways on my own blog, I host a Friday {Giveaway} Day where you can always come to enter to win FREE homeschool/family friendly items and it costs you nothing!
  • Signing up for email updates from freebie sites is essential. The bottom line is, this will save you time, and make sure you get the widest variety of FREE things out there. If you are unsure where to start, do a Google search and you will be surprised how many people bless us with FREEBIE information!
  • Library, library, library! Local libraries provide a wealth of FREE resources for your homeschool. In addition to books, every library we’ve lived near has had complete preschool and Kindergarten curriculum, language sets (ie: Rosetta Stone), art classes, and even science classes. Check your local library for the details of what they offer, you don’t know if you don’t ask!

In addition to FREE homeschool curriculum we have also come up with a few simple ways to earn free money that cover curriculum costs and more. By using the ideas below, you can save the difference and virtually have “free” money for curriculum, zoo memberships, supplies, or anything else needed for your homeschool.

  • One way that is sure to help line your pockets with extra cash is to use coupons for everyday items whenever possible. We eat a diet of mostly whole organic foods but are still able to stock up on toiletries and other items with our usage of coupons. While couponing is a new trend surfacing these days as a by-product of our countries economical hard times, it is not at all new to me. I grew up couponing with both of my great grandmothers and one of my grandmothers. So the art of couponing has been ingrained in me over the past 36 years of my life. While this may not seem like it has anything to do with homeschooling: it does. By saving money on the things we buy every day, we are freeing up money to buy other things – like curriculum – for our family. And more importantly we are teaching our children to be wise with their finances which teaches them patience and a bit of math and economics.
  • Buying clothing and other essentials online saves you a ton of money you can put back into your curriculum. This way of shopping is cheaper for the consumer as it is shipped directly from the warehouse to your door. I save hundreds of dollars when it comes time to buy clothing for our family. The way to do this is simple: Only buy items that are on sale, have free shipping, AND you have a coupon code to use (if you don’t have a coupon try www.retailmenot.com or do a Google search to find one).
  • Sign up for Ebates to earn cash back on virtually EVERY purchase you make online. In the 4 years since we initially signed up for Ebates, we have received $681.95 cash back on our purchases. This is simply from linking through their site to purchase items I was going to buy regardless if I got cash back or not. Too easy to pass up. You can sign up for Ebates HERE (this is a referral link).
  • Buying USED curriculum. This has been a huge blessing to our family. We have done this through local homeschool group curriculum sales, used book stores, homeschool consignment stores, Ebay, Yahoo Groups, and Vegsource. We have been able to purchase almost all of the curriculum we use for at least 60-75% off of retail and sometimes an even deeper discount. You have to be very patient in this process as these deals are not always easy to come by. I suggest having a running list of what you will need for the next year and even several years down the road so if you see a crazy good deal – you can snag it! Last year I bought the current Deluxe Edition of My Father’s World (ECC) for 85% off of retail. Now that was worth waiting for!
  • Rule of thumb: IF IT’S NOT ON SALE, DON’T BUY IT! This way of thinking requires patience and self-control on your part, but becomes a life changing habit after a little while of making these decisions.

I know that those of us who value being good stewards of the resources God gives us are always looking for new ways to be wise with our finances. I pray that this article gives a little more insight to someone out there looking to “tighten” up their budget and find some ways to honor God through their finances. While this is not a comprehensive list of all the things we do to save money, it is a good start to a beautiful lifestyle of living frugally but still being blessed with God’s VERY BEST for your family! Here’s to saving!

Carlie is married to the love of her life, Michael, since June 2000. She is a blessed, stay-at-home, homeschoolin’ mama since 2001, to her 3 precious gifts she calls “children.” She enjoys family, photography, reading, writing, and being outdoors. You can find out more about her military homeschooling adventures while living in Germany and Christian faith anytime day or night on: So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler?, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+.

 

The 10 Days Series is organized by iHomeschool Network, a collaboration of outstanding homeschool bloggers who connect with each other and with family-friendly companies in mutually beneficial projects. Visit us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. And of course, click the image below to visit all the 10 Days posts from these homeschool moms of the iHomeschool Network.

You’ll be blessed with tips on how to handle bad days, cultivating curiosity, teaching with Legos, and much much more!

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Comments

comments

Comments

  1. says

    This is such a great list, and I love that it starts with getting out of debt. Being free of debt makes all of the other financial issues so much easier to deal with! Thanks for the great post!

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