Welcome to FHD’s 3rd annual event, Homeschooling for Free and Frugal Series! Click here to begin reading all of the new Homeschooling for Free and Frugal articles. This article is by Carlie Kercheval of Today’s Frugal Mom.
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How We Homeschool for Next to Nothing
Hey friends. I am excited to be a part of another phenomenal series about homeschooling for free and frugal on Free Homeschool Deals!
If you are reading this article, my guess is that you are already a frugalista who is open to learning more or someone who is looking to learn what homeschooling for free and frugal really looks like. Well, I’m hopeful my words will help provide a little bit of insight for both!
If you are anything like me, you like to get a good return on investment (ROI) in everything you do during your day – particularly in relation to time management.
It doesn’t matter what it is, whether I invest money or time, I am always looking for the best way to maximize my investment. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I don’t do things out of the goodness of my heart for free with no strings attached, I am more referring to time management. I think as homeschool parents it is our duty to live out stewardship of time and money to the fullest–it is a great way for our children to learn about it too. And it’s biblical!
Most of us are aware of the obvious ways to homeschool for free or cheap:
- Take free and nearly free field trips like those mentioned in 40+ Free & Frugal Family Activities.
- Subscribe to sites like Free Homeschool Deals to get the latest and greatest homeschooling items for free or next to nothing.
- Utilize your local library instead of buying books you may or may not ever need again.
- Shop at used curriculum fairs.
- Sell your curriculum and use the funds towards purchasing next year’s curriculum.
- And then there are sites like vegsource.com and Ebay.com and even amazon.com (and others) where you can find used curriculum for cheaper than retail.
A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned
Now on to something that you may or may not have considered: every penny you save is a penny you earn.
I, for one, grew up with this saying coming at me from both of my great-grandmothers. And while they would always tell me this, and it was a part of my vocabulary, it wouldn’t be until later in life that I understood how solid the truth in this statement really is.
Consider this: make a note of every time you save money on something. That’s right. Every.single.time. This will give you a good indication of just how much money you are actually saving by making frugal choices. For our family, we tallied up our savings from January 2014 – March 2014 and found out that we had saved a whopping $2,769.13! Yes! We saved that much money by making wise financial decisions.
What do I mean by wise financial decisions? Let me show you.
Here are some of the ways we earned $2,769.13 in the first three months of 2014:
1. Using printable coupons. While we are not extreme couponers, we have found that doing a quick online search for coupons of the items on our shopping list and printing them off pays off big. You can find a great coupon database to do so here. Not that we are against clipping coupons, but the truth is, we’d rather not have to do that.
2. Using apps to save big on groceries and other items. You can learn about 5 apps that can save you hundreds on your grocery and household budget here.
3. Earning cash back for all online shopping. You can find some amazing cash back sites in this article: Get Paid To Shop Online!
4. Menu planning. We have been using eMeals for the last several years. There are several plans (including special diets like GF and Paleo) you can choose from. This takes the guess work out of meals and helps curb any waste by assigning each item on your list to a meal. This alone has cut our grocery bill down by at least $200 each month compared to last year.
So what’s next?
We take every last dime that we save from the aforementioned ways (and many other ways) and put them into our savings account. This ensures that when it comes time to purchase our homeschooling curriculum, it ends up being entirely free. Isn’t that exciting? We have found, as with anything, the more you do it, the better you become!
I encourage you to continually come up with creative ways to make your budget thinner and your savings account bigger! Happy savings!
Carlie Kercheval is a happily married work-at-home homeschooling mom. She and her college sweetheart have been blessed with 3 precious children to raise while traveling the world as a military family. Carlie is the founder of Today’s Frugal Mom™ and Managing Your Blessings. She and her husband co-author the Learning to Speak Life™ family Bible Studies and co-host the Learning to Speak Life™ Radio Show. When she is not busy enjoying her family and the great outdoors, you can typically find her cozied up somewhere under a blanket with a good book. You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
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