Buy Used Curriculum: 10 Days of Frugal Homeschooling

With six school-aged kids I buy a lot of curriculum. Even though I am able to reuse some of our books I still end up buying books every year. One way I am able to stay within our homeschool budget is to buy many of our books used. Here are a few of my favorite used curriculum sources.

Used Curriculum Sales

Many homeschool conventions have a used curriculum sale. The deals can be so good at these sales it is worth the registration price. Many conventions allow you to buy a shopping only pass which gives you access to the sale. Check your state homeschool convention to see if they host a used curriculum sale.

Homeschool Bookstores

I realize not every town has a homeschool bookstore, but I’ve been fortunate enough to live near two of them. Many homeschool bookstores sell used curriculum and will sell yours too. This is a great way to earn extra money to spend on books!

Amazon

You can buy used textbooks through Amazon.com and the prices are reasonable. Enjoy the convenience of Amazon with lower prices. Buying used books on Amazon is also a great way to build your homeschool library for less.

Ebay

For a while Ebay banned the sale of teacher’s editions, but it appears this ban has been removed. Depending on what you are looking for, ebay prices can be dirt cheap, just remember to buy from a reputable seller. Don’t forget you can click through Ebates to earn cash back on your Ebay purchases.

VegSource

VegSource was one of the earlier homeschool sites on the web and they still have a very active used curriculum board.  I haven’t used the site in years to buy curriculum, but it looks like it is still going strong.

Library Sales

I love library book sales because the prices are so good and you can find books that are out of print. Usually the books are a little worn due to many years on the library shelves but they are often sold for a quarter!

Yard Sales

Books at yard sales are usually priced at five or ten cents. If you find the right sale (preferably one in a kid friendly neighborhood) you can really hit the jackpot! I’ve found numerous history and science books at yard sales over the years.

What are your favorite used curriculum resources?

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Comments

  1. Deanna Martin says:

    One of my favorite places to get books and textbooks cheap is ABE Books: http://www.abebooks.com. They partner with local used bookstores all over the world. They are usually cheaper than Amazon used stuff and there are some booksellers that have free shipping. The site is easy to navigate.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Talking with real live people in person is my favorite way to purchase curriculum, but I’m a little limited out here. :/ I’ve used VegSource and homeschoolclassifieds.com with success. I’ve also found that Westminster Books, Monergism.com, and Reformation Heritage books have great prices on children’s biographies. I love the ones published by Christian Focus. :)

    • Merrilee says:

      Yes, I have used Homeschool Classifieds too (http://www.homeschoolclassifieds.com/). Also, if you are using a specific curriculum that have forums (Sonlight & Winter Promise are two I know of), they have “Sharing Used Curriculum” that are great for used curriculum & almost complete packages.

  3. stef says:

    I have NEVER bought used curriculum and unfortunately, pay way too much every year. (yet I give our stuff away constantly). I’m hoping to break out of this next year.

    • Cinnamon says:

      I’m in the same boat, unfortunately. The curriculum that I use tends to dictate that new editions and workbooks be bought every year. I’ve had almost no success in try to sell the used books. However, I have found that a missionary in my church uses the same curriculum, and I give them my used items. Somehow, I’m always blessed when I give away items instead of selling them.

  4. Mariposa says:

    Ah, I have many memories of homeschool book sales. Mom would have my brother and I take the money and count back change. She recorded it as our math for the day! :)

  5. Amy says:

    We have a few really awesome Goodwill stores where I live in Colorado Springs. I have found quite a few homeschool books there for under a dollar. Including some brand new Abeka readers, some Sonlight books, tons of “All about (fill in the blank)” books and my daughters favorite. . . The Magic Treehouse books.

  6. tuxgirl says:

    I don’t homeschool, and haven’t decided whether I will (my daughter’s 1), but I like to try to keep up on everything myself and continue my own education, and one option is definitely to look at the open e-textbook initiatives that have popped up. California, in particular, had a big push for open (generally free) e-textbooks. A group called CK-12 has released tons of high-school level textbooks free of charge, and these books actually meet California’s curriculum requirements better than any of the normal textbooks. They are available at ck-12′s website and also on most of the major e-reader platform stores.

  7. Lisa says:

    I agree, http://www.homeschoolclassifieds.com/ is my favorite site for buying used. You can find such great deals there and I have had only good experiences there. I always check there first before going to the other sites. I have found with Amazon, it is usually just as cheap to get their price with the free shipping and get a new book than to buy used. Thanks for the other tips! Also, our local homeschooling group has a forum where we can post curriculum for sale or look for curriculum to buy or borrow-a great idea if you live in an area with a good-sized group. There are a few things you can hardly ever find used-any consumables are pretty hard to find so those tend to be the only things I pay full price for (and even then I do lots of research to look for the best price http://www.homeschoolingbooks.com usually has a good discount off of retail). I can also find good deals on new curriculum through Christian Books.

  8. Kel says:

    The Homeschooler’s Curriculum Swap (“The Swap”) is the oldest used curriculum site on the Internet, having been online since 1996. In addition, the discussion forums are very active, informative, and fun! http://www.theswap.com

  9. Liz says:

    Oh, OH, pick me, pick me, I want to win a cookbook!

  10. Nicole P says:

    I have used http://www.alibris.com for a couple books and paid just a fraction of what they were listed at elsewhere.

  11. Heather says:

    I buy my homeschool books online too – I save a lot of money that way. Another great way to save money is to sell back your homeschool books when you are finished with them. I sell my books to http://www.mybookcart.com for cash. The service is free and they pay me fast for my used homeschool books.

  12. All of these are very good suggestions. I would like to suggest, if you have a lot of children, buying non consumable materials that can be passed down to younger children helps tremendously!

    We have homeschooled 5 children for over 20 years and have gotten by spending a minimum amount of money. I would like to recommend my family’s site: http://besthomeschoolbuys.com where homeschooling families can connect to a great selection of used curriculum. \

    Julie ( in Tennessee)
    —————-

  13. Alan says:

    I wanted to share with you our new homeschool curriculum website called Homeschool Trader.com. It is a new, easy-to-use site to find and sell used homeschool curriculum for free. We also have some subscription offerings for those who choose to place many listings.

    Please take some time to learn more about us at http://www.homeschooltrader.com

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