HOMESCHOOL MONEY TIPS

At the Co-op, we save our members lots of money on curriculum, but what about other budget categories? Many of our members are absolutely EXPERTS when it comes to saving money, so we have a proposition for you:

Share your best money-saving ideas below. You'll get a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card AND get the satisfaction of helping other homeschoolers in these tough economic times.

Our winner will be randomly drawn in the first week of each month from posts in the prior month that get at least two "Likes" on this and our "Teaching Tips" and "Success Stories" pages. We announce the winners on our Facebook wall and in the Co-op newsletter. Your posts will remain on this page to provide ideas and inspiration to other homeschoolers! (Need help?)

RULES: Please do not use this page to promote your own business. We will remove self-serving posts. (Report abuse.)


Mamma Bear

I am WAY too tired to type very much tonight and have to leave for Walter Reed in a few hours, but I teach coupon classes and do semi-extreme couponing. I would be more than happy to share coupon match up strategies and tips and tricks in the next few days :)

1 month ago · Like · Comment

prvtutor

Write something...

1 month ago · Like · Comment

prvtutor

Hi! I am homeschooling my three children with special needs, so we really needed to be on the look out for good supports, ongoing assistance and amazing deals. I have not been disappointed. Some of my go to shops are our local Salvation Army, Goodwill, Reuzit Shops, Dollar Tree and country bookshops. I also use craigslist, Amazon used, and freecycle to find resources. We have been blessed to find many amazing supports along the journey, not least of these was the Homeschool Buyers Co-op where I immediately had our ID tags made and checked out the resources found inthe field trips section!! We have found fidgit toys, posters, workbooks,page magnifiers,pencil grips,pocket pages and more at Dollar Tree, Hooked on Phonics Curriculum at Salvation Army, as well as Fall , Winter and Spring Bible Curriculum . I have picked up children's cookbooks, yoga dvds/vhs and any other tools to help build our physical education or art/home arts curriculum. Our local five below has been a treasure trove also for yoga mats, health and educational dvds, and art supplies for oils, pastels and charcoal mediums, as well as individual kits to purchase. To build our art and music curriculums, I went online to youtube and found a music teacher who offers music lessons for free if you subscribe to the channel, which is also free to do. We had a piano given to us through freecycle. Our local library has been an enourmous assistance. We love the programs offered, books available, audio or classic. And of course , the free passes offered to local museums and places of interest for field trips. We have had amazing opportunities through looking up our local parks and recreation department website and taking part in their programming and resources. Most are free or very low cost about $1-2 per person for a class. We have signed up for things such as Fall tree walks, Learning about the Native Americans through education stations, Making butter and maple syrup and Life in the Ocean. There are so very many more as well.

I comb the internet for websites that allow download or have a plethora of free resources available. Some of the many I really like are : superteacherworksheets,123homeschooling4me,education.com,currclick, scholastic and the mailbox. I also use a tremendous online virtual record keeping site that is wonderful for computing grades, keeping track of our schedule and teaching hours without fuss or muss. It has been a godsend! It is called Homeschool Skedtrack and is completely free to use. A trick I have learned for websites that may be too pricey to subscribe to or maybe not so accessible is to register and many times this is free . With registration to many sites , there is limited or sometimes extensive access to download , print or use a large compendium of material. There are many other resources but I feel that I have taken up a good portion of this post already. Blessings on everyone's homeschooling adventures.

1 month ago · Like · Comment

angelruebear

I have really tried to not just save money on things, but try to figure out a way to not spend it. And that obviously saves you $. I'm not perfect at this, but looking at it from this point of view, really makes me think if I'm getting a good deal or just spending money I shouldn't be spending! I think about my husband's face when I say, I got such a good deal and only spent X amount of money. But I can see he's really thinking, it's not a good deal if we really didn't need it at this time. He's totally right! I spend little bits of money all the time thinking I'm getting such good deals, when I am just really spending money! I think he'd rather hear me say, I saw some deals today, but passed because we didn't really need them at this time. Now, do we do things that we don't need to do and buy things that we don't need to buy, of course! But, I am much less apt to just buy things because of it being a good deal all the time! Hope this helps! :)

1 month ago · Like · Comment

angelruebear

I have really tried to not just save money on things, but try to figure out a way to not spend it. And that obviously saves you $. I'm not perfect at this, but looking at it from this point of view, really makes me think if I'm getting a good deal or just spending money I shouldn't be spending! I think about my husband's face when I say, I got such a good deal and only spent X amount of money. But I can see he's really thinking, it's not a good deal if we really didn't need it at this time. He's totally right! I spend little bits of money all the time thinking I'm getting such good deals, when I am just really spending money! I think he'd rather hear me say, I saw some deals today, but passed because we didn't really need them at this time. Now, do we do things that we don't need to do and buy things that we don't need to buy, of course! But, I am much less apt to just buy things because of it being a good deal all the time! Hope this helps! :)

1 month ago · Like · Comment

shj

I follow many homeschooling blogs and they regularly post links to free or inexpensive resources, or make free resources themselves. Heart to Heart with Diane gives a lot of practical parenting/homeschooling advice. Meet Penny, Many Paths of Natural Learning, CurrClick, John Zimmerman, and Homeschool Giveaways are just a few blogs which post links to free resources.
Sometimes when I search for "free math resources" or whatever subject I'm interested in, something good will come up.

2 months ago · Like · Comment

funkymunky613

I like to have my kids use Edison (NJ) Library online. In the children's portion, they have a section called Tumblebooks which reads books by well known authors to the kids with pictures. It saves on books on tape for the really short books and gives hours of non-tv time if you don't have/want tv. Here is a possible link:
http://www.edisonpubliclibrary.net/child-linkshomework.shtml

5 months ago · Like · Comment

childsVOICE

I pulled my (ADHD) daughter from the public school after her 3rd grade year, not knowing how I was going to pay for her homeschooling. My husband is disabled and we are on an extremely tight budget. To get a good idea of where to start and of her educational level per subject, we started with a few Spectrum workbooks (~$7 - $12 ea) and some other workbooks which included multiple subjects (such as Comprehensive Curriculum) found at Sam's Club. I check out Sam's Club's book section for good deals every time I go there but only buy things we absolutely need and are a good buy. I've saved about $5 or more per workbook compared to buying them at the big chain book stores. However, I have found good deals at the chain stores, as well.

I take the workbooks apart by tearing the binding making sure to save the page area beside the perforation to be able to hole punch the pages without the holes going into the text. Then, I separate them by subject, then by topic and add them to a 3-ring binder using page dividers from the dollar store. I use one main workbook's index (or the VA SOL or CCSS) to sequence the sections, then add the other workbooks' pages accordingly. I usually have one binder for just the Spectrum workbooks (in some cases, our main book) and a separate binder for the "extra" workbook we use for extra help.

During the summer, our local Books-A-Million had items on sale up to 80% off. As it happened, there were a lot of specific encyclopedias on sale, so we were able to stock up, especially on books for our science section.

Of course, the local dollar store has loads of goodies, if you know what to avoid (like pencils and erasers). I found some great posters, which from some I was able to cut apart, hole punch and bind to make mini-books. I did this with the Multiplication Table poster and the Parts of Speech poster.

Then, I fell in love with the used books offered on Amazon.com and Ebay. I've gotten many textbooks for as little as $5 which included the s/h! I've had good success with the on-line bookstore from Goodwill found on Amazon.com. The textbooks were in very good condition. Last year, I even found a Saxon 3 homeschool edition for about $5.

Just before Christmas, I was able to get a great discount on the entire Saxon Math 5/4 homeschool program which included the DVD from Christianbook.com.

IXL.com has one or two free daily practices. Last year, I purchased a yearly subscription but really didn't use it. My son loves it but my daughter didn't. My son public school supplies his subscription at the school so we didn't renew it again this year because it just is not my daughter's style.

BrainPop.com / BrainPopJr.com have FREE videos with coordinating games, lessons, quizzes, etc. My ADHD daughter responds well to BrainPopJr and this is, by far, our most used and most loved curriculum / ed resource. Ultimately, we purchased the subscription and they have the option of monthly payments. We were able to get BrainPop and BrainPopJr (and I think the ELL version as part of the package deal) for only $17 /mth but that may be a special pricing grandfathered in from when we ordered it a few years ago.

Of course, Pinterest.com is addicting and a regularly go-to source full of FREE ideas.

TeachersPayTeachers.com and Teachersnotebook.com are full of FREE resources with the only cost being the ink and paper to print off the teacher made items. You can order / download and pay for individual, specific lessons for all subjects of your choosing. So, no real need to purchase an entire book when there's only a specific unit / lesson you may want. You can create a free profile and sell your own teacher-made resources, as well.

YouTube is your best friend when homeschooling. :) It's FREE and full of great stuff. The downfall about YouTube is that you do need to monitor your kids more closely when using it. I always preview the videos and accompany my daughter as we watch a video to be sure other inappropriate videos do not display in the side bar and to make sure someone hasn't played a prank by mislabeling a video compared to its true content.

And finally, I've saved the best for last...Homeschool Buyers Co-op. I love the Freebies tab and the fact that we, homeschoolers, have this way of pulling our resources together. Our family has been able to save a ton of money using the discounts offered here. We've been able to make additional purchases, expanding our resource library, with the savings. :)

8 months ago · Like · Comment
Teenhope: Because your child is ADHD you can apply for a grant. I'm trying to remember the site I saw it on. Try www.ehow.com
I found a lot of good stuff on their.
2 months ago · Like

Perfect.

9 months ago · Like · Comment

Blessed2bhome

If I get rid of Direct TV, how does my husband watch the football game?

1 years ago · Like · Comment
-G-: We got rid of our Direct Tv too and my husband is a crazy sports fan. We use antenna channels for local broadcasted games and of course ESPN.com. But there is also a website called Justin.TV that is free and shows sports games. My husband loves it.
5 months ago · Like

Kit

I Home school my Daughter she is starting 4th grade. We are financially good, i am just cheap. So to help pass on the it is better to save for something big then spend on little things that are forgotten. We started letting her keep half of what she earned. So we go to estate auctions, goodwill so on and purchase sports gear (cleats, leotards etc ) and sell them on Ebay. My child loves finding stuff cheap, looking the item up to see what it could sell for, and then listing it. We practice basic math skills,teach about taxes, probability, spelling, researching.. so many things on these trips and the stories she hears from the people at the auctions are priceless, it also teaches her the value of money. She buys boxes of books and sells them on Amazon.... there are millions of ways to turn one persons trash into s treasure while making a profit in the processes.

1 years ago · Like · Comment

javamom7

I have a large family-seven boys. I try very hard to make a one-pot meal big enough to eat for dinner and then serve again for lunch the next day. Some common meals are: burger stew (with potatoes), skillet hash (with potatoes), spaghetti and meatballs (turning into meatball sandwiches for lunch), and some kind of meat dish with noodles and/or potatoes.

1 years ago · Like · Comment

I am excited to see all the ideas that are so practical. I implement quite a few already. I use Freecycle, and have received items from school supplies to dressers for my girls. I also like to donate good things as we outgrow them. The library has been a great resource to go to museums for discounted/free prices. We have a foundation in Massachusetts called the Highland Street Foundation that has Free Fun Fridays for the summer months. This give families an opportunity to visit the zoos and museums they may not of been able to afford otherwise.
I wanted to mention one I haven't read yet. I freeze my milk. When it goes on sale, I open it up take out 1/2 cup, cap it and freeze it. I use 1% so you don't see as much milk fat separation but it defrosts in the fridge fine. I am not sure how long you can freeze it for because my family uses it within the month but it has helped save money & gas. We live in the woods and the convenient stores are outrageous on the price of milk.
Hope this helps. I really enjoy reading all of your posts!
Happy homeschooling :)
-Gilda

1 years ago · Like · Comment
: I forgot to mention a place called ReStore. People/businesses donate items from their home projects that are in good shape This is a great resource for homeowners trying to upkeep their place for pennies. It's like the Salvation Army for Homeowners. It also helps the Habitat for Humanity.
1 years ago · Like

GKhomeschool

We've been using Freecycle for years. We've received construction paper, art supplies, office supplies, a printer, a scanner, a wireless router, a cell phone, a wooden playhouse...even fresh figs. ALL FOR FREE. We give also. We've given bookcases, infant co-sleeper crib, toddler beds, and more. Freecycle is a worldwide organization where people "gift" items they don't want anymore for FREE. (http://www.freecycle.org) If you have something you don't want anymore, but it's still usable, you post it in your local Freecycle group. Then people will ask for it and you decide who you want to gift it to. Typically you then give your address to the chosen recipient and leave it out on your porch or driveway for them to pick up. Very simple! It's not "handouts", it's making sure that usable things don't end up in landfills. We do donate to charity whenever we can but charities don't take everything (ours wouldn't take the infant co-sleeper crib that was in perfect condition) and large items can be a pain to get to a donation center. Freecycle works best when you're in an active local group with many members.

1 years ago · Like · Comment

J's Mommy

Our local multi-generational centers offer field trips. The trips are not free, but they are significantly cheaper ($3-10 per person) than going on our own, IF they are to places we could actually go as individuals. They offer tours of neat places like the newspaper is printed, movie studios, etc. The trips are half-day or full-day, so you take a sack lunch. Also, since the trips are during the day and originate from the multi-generational centers, there are lots of senior citizens who go on the trips, thus a great opportunity for our homeschool kids to enjoy the company of people of all ages. One of my favorite aspects of homeschooling! (Check with your local multi-generational centers. If you don't have multi-generational centers, it wouldn't hurt to ask the senior centers about taking your kids on a field trip. Maybe the seniors would be open to spending some time with your children!) :-)

1 years ago · Like · Comment

Scrimp & Saver

I am a stay at home mom with 3 children. I am picky about where I spend my money. I am also very picky about what I consider a good enough deal. So, here's a deal that you may appreciate if you're like me. Kroger offers $25 reward for every prescription TRANSFERRED to their pharmacy. You have Kroger pharmacy call your other pharmacy to retrieve a prescription on file there with refills. Then, Kroger picks up the rest of the refills. Immediately, you have $25 to use on your Kroger Plus Card. As far as I know, you may do this with all your prescriptions, so long as they're being TRANSFERRED from another pharmacy. With just 4 transferred prescriptions, you'd walk away with $100 free groceries for the day. That adds up to a lot of free groceries quickly! I have even had Walgreens "buy me back" three or four times by sending me a $20 check toward their store! This just seemed too good to be true at first, but it's their way of competing against each other. Being caught in the middle benefits the consumer! If you're not satisfied with Kroger pharmacy, you may transfer your prescription back later. The key is to begin a prescription at another pharmacy and transfer it to Kroger later.

Be careful with this. Kroger pharmacy is only open during the day. With young children, some things just need to be retrievable in the night! Walgreens is my mainstay for 24 hour needs and emergency type meds. This money saver option is one of my larger, more satisfying ways of saving a lot of money. Hope you benefit from it!

1 years ago · Like · Comment
J's Mommy: Target also offers a rewards system, though not as good as Kroger's up front $25. We routinely get an additional 5% off card for the entire day of shopping at Target and along with our 5% discount Target Red Card debit card, we get 10% off everything for that day. Augment that with coupons, and sales, it works out to a nice savings. I moved all our prescriptions from a small local pharmacy to Target to utilize the savings. I hated to leave the family-owned pharmacy, they are so nice. But it was far out of the way and only open on weekdays, and I'm always going to Target anyway so this cut down on extra driving and fuel usage. I've had them consolidate my prescriptions to be ready on the same day, and that cuts down trips to Target.
1 years ago · Like

Karen m

We did a lot of the things mentioned here but one I didn't see that I bet a lot of y'all are doing already is price matching at Walmart. There are lots of ways to do it but using online flyers works well such as Kroger.com. You can make your own list with the items from the flyer and then print it and take it to Walmart. They officially state they do not need the ad itself anymore. A new resource a friend just showed me was a blog for price matching in the DFW area called dfwpricematcher. She makes the list for you every week from all the local flyers, plus she has details of how and why to price match so even if you do not live in the DFW area you can glean a lot of info.
One other item I have found that has saved our family some money is we bought a huge container of Charlies Laundry Soap from Amazon. I bought it on the subscribe and Save and bought it with 4 other items so I got it for 15% off with free shipping. it was still around $100 but it will probably last our family of 6 2-3 years. And it is non toxic, and all that good stuff too. :)

2 yearss ago · Like · Comment

NatalieAnn

I am a stay-at-home mom with 7 children. Yes you read that right, I have 7 children. For us, saving money isn't just a neat idea, it's crucial. Some of the things that we do to save money is shop at our local Health Food Store Co-Op, where we buy things in bulk, like flour, oatmeal, raisins, etc. We also shop at Sam's Club to get better deals on food. We do not have Cable or Satellite TV. We have a Netflix account and a Roku player which we use to watch educational programs. We have tons of documentaries saved in our Instant Queue on Netflix, and the kids love watching shows like Super Why, Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go, Liberty's Kids, and so many others. I'm a big yard saler in the summer time, and my kids enjoy going with me. We save money by buying gifts that way for birthdays, and we've gotten great deals on things for homeschooling. I once got a whole box of paper for FREE! I've gotten CDs for the computer for like a buck, and my daughter even managed to get a bouncy horse (the old fashioned kind with springs) for 50 cents! I also look for great deals online. On FaceBook, I'm part of a local group where people in my community buy, sell, and trade just about everything. I've gotten tons of great deals on there quite often. My husband is a big fan of Amazon, while I love eBay. Both are great places to get some of the best deals on things. And we both love Google. I've gotten many free printable worksheets and coloring sheets for my kids because of Google. This website has been the best homeschooling tool by far for me. I was really excited to find free DVDs, free curriculums, free worksheets. I mean, that's awesome! I'm really excited to dive into some unit studies with my two 8 year olds (I have identical twin boys) who are going to be learning about the United States this year. And thanks to this site, I found great tools to do a unit study with them. Thank you so much for creating this website to help a busy mom like me find awesome deals to help me homeschool my children. :-)

2 yearss ago · Like · Comment

Shelly-2

I am a single at home mother of 2. A 2 and a half year old daughter and 8 month old son. My daughter knows her alphabet, numbers to 25, colors, shapes, can memorize a whole book just by hearing it, can write and is learning to read. The best advice I can give for education an infant/toddler is invest time not money!!!! I have been "teaching" my daughter since she was around 6 months of age. around 13 to 14 months she became familiar with sight words and her alphabet song. by the time she was 24 months she could recite all of her letters. Parents may think it costs lots of money to educate their child(ren) but let me ASSURE you, you don't!!!
Alot of schools in your area may be ok with letting go of some of their paper, crayons, pencils etc. Ours did. Also a library card opens sooooooo many doors. My little girl LOVES books. I have to read her at lest 3 books at nap time and bedtime. It is wonderful! All you have to do is turn learning into a game. use happy and excited facial expressions, lots of enthusiasm in your voice and bingo---you just struck a learning cord in the child's mind. Also, check newspapers for the local Office Max, Target, Walgreens, WalMart and other stores that sell school supplies. Coupons help alot. Or if it may be easier for your family, buy a dry earase board with a few different color markers. Children love the colors and the idea of writing and it can save on your finances as well. I will continue to do research and everything I learn I will share with you all. Happy parenting and teaching!!! God Bless

2 yearss ago · Like · Comment

Bella843

To save EVERYONE money, I started a Lending Library for our support group. Our friends donated books, supplies, curricula, teaching materials, etc. to our Lending Library for families to check out for the entire school year. When they're done, they return it for another family to use. The only thing they would need to buy if they wanted to are the workbooks since these were consumables.

Here is another MONEY-SAVING IDEA: I am hoping to one day afford binders and clear sheet protectors for the workbooks donated to our Lending Library so that students only need to use a dry erase marker on the sheet film and wipe off when finished.

2 yearss ago · Like · Comment
Cheryl06: Bella, I use clear contact paper for any worksheet I want my son to use over and over. It works great with dry erase markers. Wal Mart carries it as shelf liner. That might work for your books.
2 months ago · Like

vicks

I haven't watched cable in years. I use a ROKU which streams everything and I can get netlix for 7.99 per month. Works like a charm saved me tons of $$$. Good bye to direct TV or cable. I watch all my favorite shows movies, my kids miss nothing. Even my hubby watches his favorites. If you're an Amazon Prime member you get free acess to movies through your ROKU too... Too many free channel to mention. I love it love it love it. No longer a slave to cable and I make my own rules.

2 yearss ago · Like · Comment
Karen m: just did the same only using a blu ray player we already have. wonderful, wish I had done it years ago
2 yearss ago · Like
Mom2RocketBoy: Yep! We've been doing this for 4 years now but we use our Wii system to stream Netflix at $7.99 a month. We also watch various FREE (mom-approved!) videos on YouTube, Hulu, and many of the network channels. (We watched Downton Abbey each week on the PBS site . . .) We also have several library systems in my area so we get DVDs/on-line streaming from them as well at max of $0.75 per week, but most are free! There are so many great resources available that don't have a monthly cost and will also give you better viewing options!! ;-D
2 people like this. · 1 years ago · Like

Girl4God

Our money tips was to create a workable budget. We did FPU (its like 89 bucks for the kit) and it was so worth it. While most of the information was stuff we had heard before, having the accountability of the group helped. We also have learned to say NO. The interest you pay in Credit Cards is not worth what ever you typically buy... its hard to condition yourself but in the end of the day, it is worth it.

2 yearss ago · Like · Comment

I'm sincere when I post this. I'm really not trying to knock anyone down.
Save on medical bills:
Be careful while making your own chemicals. Natural chemicals are still chemicals and absorb into your skin. A little bit for you may be a lot for a small child.
I'm all for cheap but don't go to extremes. Anything that is strong enough to help you is strong enough to hurt you.
Be careful that you don't over protect your child's immune system. Just as you teach them to count before you teach them algebra, their immune systems need to practice on little bugs so they know how to handle the big ones.
Keep things balanced. Don't be scared to do your own cheap tricks but make sure you check with your doctor. Sometimes they're there to point out the simple things we overlook.
If you line dry your clothes, check the pollen and mold count and find out if there is a tic problem in your area.
Do you know how much alcohol it takes to kill a brain cell? Then don't give it to a teething baby. Don't use rubbing alcohol on babies for fevers. They're still absorbing alcohol.
Don't give babies honey. It can contain botulism spores (Botox). Their bodies are to immature to stand up to it.
Baby Aspirin is NOT for babies. No matter how old the bottle is. Even if you've given it to them once or twice and everything was fine, don't. There may be certain viruses that cause a bad reaction to the Aspirin.
Tylenol is safe only when used as directed. Too much is fatal. Keep current weights on your kids and call your doctor for dosage information each time they are sick.
Perscriiption bottles are not toys. Seriously. It's okay to throw them away. No crafting necessary.
Lastly, don't be afraid to upset your doctor. They are people. As a physician, they are replaceable. Your child isn't. Your doctor can go back to sleep.
***********
I am not a doctor. I'm not always right. I may even be wrong in this post. Do your own research and correct me if I'm wrong.

2 yearss ago · Like · Comment

Java

Find out if you have an Oroweat Bakery Outlet in your area. I buy 6-10 loaves of bread at a time and freeze all but one. We average about $1.25 per loaf. The dates aren't as fresh but we don't notice any difference in quality. Our outlet also carries Entenmann's, San Francisco Sourdough, Sara Lee, and Mission. Huge money saver on sandwich bread, buns, english muffins, tortillas, bagels, etc.

2 yearss ago · Like · Comment

booemmy

One thing that I have done since my girls were young to save money and to open up opportunities for them is to organzie a group for whatever activity we wanted to do. Many businesses do not have a full schedule during the day when kids are in school and would make extra money opening up for us homeschoolers at a discount. I reached out to moms I knew and moms I didn't from our group to get enough participation to get a discount.

We begn with gymnastics when the kids were young and did the same for dance class. It is also a great way to go on field trips or do classes. I always tried to find a way to make it work on a very limited budget doing this.

2 yearss ago · Like · Comment

lovinlife

To save money on field trips I buy memberships to the zoo, aquarium, science, and other museums. I go online and buy each from the cheapest location. This way our family of seven can not only make multiple trips to that location, but we can also get into other museums for free. Some years it cheaper to buy at a location far away, and not be members at a local spot. You will need to shop around. Last year my daughter and I took a trip to Philadelphia and with all of our memberships were able to spend two days in the city for under $100 with food.( We had a family discount at a hotel and packed some of our meals) Which leads me to another tip national parks are usually free and most of Philadelphia's historic sites a consider part of the park system. We also take advantage of special exhibits and free classes that take place where we currently have our memberships. Words of caution always check your museum website to make sure the reciprocating museums have not changed their policies.

2 yearss ago · Like · Comment

Misha

My youngest child has a lot of allergies so I make a lot of household products and food - it helps keep my child healthy and it saves a lot of money as well.

I make my own household cleaners and laundry detergent. I have a drying rack that I am able to hang two loads of laundry on - it is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

I make pizza dough (which can be rolled out and frozen for later use) and my own tomato sauce, to which I add a lot of vegetables and then puree. It saves a lot of money and is very healthy as well.

We grow our own cooking herbs, use rechargeable batteries, and one of my favorite money saving resources is the library - we can get most books that I'm interested in there and they have fantastic resources besides books.

I pore over the free Kindle book offerings and find a plethora of great offerings there. I also earn swagbucks and get Amazon gift cards with them, which I can then save up to buy holiday gifts or birthday presents.

2 yearss ago · Like · Comment
tadaafamily: what is your tomato sauce recipe? Is this for pizza? And your pizza dough recipe? We have pizza every Friday, and I would love a way to make this healthier, cheaper, and easier each week!
4 people like this. · 2 yearss ago · Like
Tiara: I'd love that recipe as well. Our pizza night is on Thursdays and I've been looking for a healthy, cheap and easy recipe. Please share.
4 months ago · Like

Kat

Last year we purchased a small loaf bread maker....love it. Fresh warm bread in the morning is great. It saves cost on bread. The maker cost a little but I got a great price on Zappos with free overnight shipping (yes they have more than shoes and free shipping and free return shipping). You quickly pay for the machine and you know what is in your bread..no chemicals! You can make gluten free items too. Don't forget you can make any type of dough in them too including pasta! The small loaf maker is great for our family of three....no waste!

2 yearss ago · Like · Comment
Kat: Great idea. I'm going to look into this too.
2 yearss ago · Like
Kat: Oops my husband was messing with me!!!!
2 yearss ago · Like

Katie K.

I noticed that many of you mentioned issues with dryer sheets and fabric softeners, and I have a GREAT money saving and totally natural tip for you! =D
At Joann Fabrics, or other craft stores, you can purchase 100% wool yarn for $10 a skein. Look for a 40-50% off coupon prior to shopping.
For 5-6 dollars total (after purchasing one skein of yarn with the coupon), you can make 3-4 dryer balls that work beautifully and indefinitely, with no chemicals, and a one-time cost.
It is VERY easy to make these dryer balls. Here are the directions:
Supplies- One skein of 100% wool, one pair of scissors, one to four socks (based on number of dryer balls you make), and a few peices of POLYESTER yarn or cotton string etc (anything that IS NOT WOOL, but can go through the washing machine), a crochet hook or anything to tuck the loose string into the ball when finished.

1) Find the loose end of the yarn, and wrap it many times around two of your fingers, until it is half an inch or so thick. Remove it, and begin to wrap more yarn around it in the opposite direction. Begin to wind the yarn around this ball, in a circular pattern to create a round ball. It's very easy. It will look like the yarn balls in the children's stories with grandmas and kittens. =D

2) When the ball has become 2-3 inches around cut the string off of the skein, and use the crochet hook to tuck the string into the ball. (This is a good time to go ahead and make 2-3 more dryer-balls, reserving half of the wool to be used later on in this project, then move on to step 3 with ALL of them at once.)

3) Place the ball into a sock (use one sock per ball), and tie it shut with a POLYESTER or cotton piece of string. If you use the wool it will "felt" and be very difficult to re-open the sock.

4) Run this yarn-ball that is in the sock through the laundry when you do the wash, over and over again. Wash it and dry it multiple times, during your normal laundry routine. The wool is going to "felt" during this time... it will connect to itself basically, and won't come apart.

5) Remove the balls from the socks, and you have now got your CORE. Continue winding the string around each ball, making all of the balls nearly equal in size, until the wool is used up completely.

6) Again, tuck the string into each ball, place into the sock, tie sock, and run through laundry again.

When this is finished, you can just pop the dryer-balls into your dryer, and leave them there LOAD after LOAD after LOAD. They are WONDERFUL.

BE SURE to ALWAYS check your lint filter, after EVERY load please. You will not have much more lint than before, but you will accumulate a small bit more than you used to, and there is no reason to risk a fire.

ENJOY!!!!!! =D

2 yearss ago · Like · Comment
Mom2RocketBoy: Awsome tip!! I'm going to make two this weekend! ;-D
1 years ago · Like

Twiz

To save money, I cut my dryer sheets in 3rds. I also have a machine that converts the ions in the water, so I do not need to use detergents, I also hang my laundry on the line when i can. We use old sheets instead of paper towels to clean windows. For school I look for sites that are free to help supplement our cirriculum along with movies, audiobooks and books from our local library

2 yearss ago · Like · Comment

eeejunesgirl

To save money (and the environment) my family makes all our cleaners - from spray multi-purpose cleaners to laundry detergent & dryer sheets! We use simple ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, salt....we also bought a hand held steam cleaner to sanitize the bathroom & kitchen without having to use chemicals. Then for non grocery items that we use - pads/tampons, toilet paper, paper towels, etc we only buy at Dollar stores and shop for the best value. Our family of 8 spends literally $100 a month to have all our cleaners and non food groceries. We also grow our own fruits & veggies and then can & freeze everything while it is fresh to consume all year long. That has slashed our grocery bills by the thousands yearly. Once a year we purchase a whole cow and a couple of chickens and then pay to have it processed - it ends up being right around 0.50 a pound for the meat and I can make it last for a year. We normally pay about $1000 for a years worth of meat.

For the kids arts & crafts I save up items like creamer containers, kleenex containers, milk jugs, etc and we use those to base crafts off of. Helps the environment while keeping my costs down for arts & craft supplies. There are also local school supply stores (like Holcomb's) where I can use my homeschool ID card and get discounts on supplies that I need to purchase. I also check at Dollar stores to see if the item(s) I need will cost less than at Holcomb's. Using the Dollar stores to buy things has saved hundreds on school supplies.

For kids clothing, books, toys, games, etc. I have a couple of friends that also have large families and we will do trading on things that we no longer need. I have set up a quaterly barter "sale" where we bring things we no longer want and set up tables then start trading! It's also a great way for the kids to get together and have fun! Everyone brings a dish and we set up the yard so the kids can play while the adults trade & visit. Saves us all money to get things we need or want without having to buy them!

3 yearss ago · Like · Comment
holysoulsacademy: We have also invested in a sewing machine. My girls wanted to learn how to sew and this gives us a chance to recycle and upcycle a lot of the fabric we have for diapers, baby wipes, sanitary pads. My girls are excited about their projects, doggie vests, stuffed toys for the little ones, and coordinated accessories for their room. The boys are excited to make Vests, holders for their bric-a-brac (nuts, bolts, rubber bands, etc.), and their "new and improved" doggie leash (since they do most of the dog-walking).
2 people like this. · 2 yearss ago · Like
eeejunesgirl: I have wanted a sewing machine for years! Now I can see there are many more reasons to have one than I originally thought.... Out of pure curiosity how do you make sanitary pads? That is one expense I have that I hadn't figured out a way how to cut from my budget (obviously because I NEVER thought of making them!) and with 2 daughters who will one day need them as well....kind of just makes sense!
2 yearss ago · Like

Girl4God

Our way of saving money is by using programs like Time4 learning as a test prep. They have really awesome games and tutorials that help reinforce the skills they know. It also helps test them to see what they don't know. LOVE it. We looked at other test preps and this was the cheapest.

3 yearss ago · Like · Comment
eeejunesgirl: My family loves Time4Learning!!!
3 yearss ago · Like

lissahaze

We have a "kitchen organizer", a binder in which we plan out the entire month of meals. Then we make the grocery list accordingly. Only buy what is on the list! This not only helped us to spend less at the grocery store, but helps in the 'Life Skills' lesson plan we incorporate into our home school curriculum. We also, find a way to use everything at least twice. Fabric softener sheets, can be used after they were used in the dryer to get stuck on foods off, simply run water in the pan, place sheet in let it sit for a few minutes and voila! As far as books and stuff we use for school, many of the book stores will allow you the same educators discount that they allow teachers to use. Don't be afraid to ask them if they have an education discount program, and ask to be in it. YOU ARE AN EDUCATOR TOO! We are currently members at the Half Priced books, and Hasting's.

3 yearss ago · Like · Comment
eeejunesgirl: GREAT tip on the fabric softener sheets & the educator's discount! I just want to add to that - some places need proof that you are an educator and those FREE HomeSchool ID's can REALLY come in handy!!!
3 yearss ago · Like
holysoulsacademy: I knew I could use those fabric sheets for something else! Good thing I have been saving them.
2 yearss ago · Like
booemmy: I also do the same with shopping and food. It is a great thing! We save so much money buying just what we need and it is also a great thing to already be organized and know you have the things to make each meal when you need it.
2 yearss ago · Like
J's Mommy: Using the educator's discount is wonderful! I made up a free homeschool ID from this very site and have had no problem with stores. I now have discounts at Barnes & Noble, JoAnn Fabric, Michael's and a few others.
1 years ago · Like

marksmom

most state have art disount cards and a lot of places do give you a discount if you say you are a homeschooler I live in New Jersey NJart.com to get discount card and it can be used in PA

3 yearss ago · Like · Comment
J's Mommy: Using the educator's discount is wonderful! I made up a free homeschool ID from this very site and have had no problem with stores. I now have discounts at Barnes & Noble, JoAnn Fabric, Michael's and a few others.
1 years ago · Like

lauren b.

To save money on field trips, check your local library. Frequently it will have arranged discounts with museums, state parks, and other attractions. We recently visited the Norman Rockwell museum for free! (a $30 value). All you need is a library card.

3 yearss ago · Like · Comment
eeejunesgirl: I NEVER knew this! Thanks for sharing.
3 yearss ago · Like
SchoolMeMommy: Thanks for the tip!!!
2 yearss ago · Like

tmaue

We wanted to take an inexpensive vacation this year, so I decided to try Chicago which is a 3 hr car drive away. We specifically wanted to visit the Field Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry. I checked their websites and found that they offer free days, some on the same days as the other. So I picked a time to visit where we would be able to get into both museums free during the same week. We also are staying at my husband's sister's house to save on hotel costs. I plan on bring food with us from the grocery story so we don't have to eat out that often and the kids will have food that I know they will eat. It should end up being a rather inexpensive trip.

3 yearss ago · Like · Comment

ipeoples

About 3 years ago I learned how to make my own laundry detergent for my clothes. The other money saving thing I do now is I buy fabric softener and mix 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of softener, then I soak a sponge in the solution, add it in with my clothes right before they are drying and VOILA! You got dryer sheets! This little trick has saved my family so much money!

3 yearss ago · Like · Comment
: I also make my own detergent. I make my on fabric softner by mixing 2 cups of vinegar with 1 cup of softener fragrance made by Purex and then filling the remaining recycled fabric softener bottle with water. It works brilliantly and the clothes come out soft and smells wonderful. I also make my on dishwashing liquid.
3 yearss ago · Like
Homeschool Veteran: Unfortunately it was dryer sheets that sent me "overboard" with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities/Environmental Induced Illness the summer before our first-born was a senior. (Fabric softener could do the same thing.) Please, moms, go non-toxic! Toxins are cumulative and you DON'T want to live the nightmare we lived for years trying to homeschool. Praise God He gave us grace and that is behind us. The library will help you finding resources on choosing a non-toxic lifestyle.
4my2boys likes this. · 3 yearss ago · Like
eeejunesgirl: These are some great tips on alternatives to regular use of fabric softener. Thank you for sharing! I am going to try to make my homemade fabric softener stretch even more using these tips!
3 yearss ago · Like
holysoulsacademy: Any thoughts about making your own detergent if your machine requires to use HE detergent?
eeejunesgirl likes this. · 2 yearss ago · Like
eeejunesgirl: "The Happy Housewife" has a recipe specifically for HE washers....low sud soap...and it works GREAT! Here's the link to the recipe on her blog: http://thehappyhousewife.com/home-management/homemade-he-laundry-detergent/
2 yearss ago · Like
twinsmama: From all the recipes I've seen, and the ones I've used, homemade laundry detergent doesn't sud anyway. So you are good there!
2 yearss ago · Like
SAHM3: I use white vinegar in the laundry. 1/2 Cup in the tub as a detergent booster and 1/2 in the rinse cycle for a fabric softener. Also I use white vinegar as the dishwasher rinse aide.
1 years ago · Like

lauren b.

Buy a haircutting kit at Walmart (Wahl is a good brand); you will spend under $30. For the men in our family, this saves at least $30 per month. The girls need haircuts far less frequently, so we go to the beautician school, which charges only $10 per haircut.

3 yearss ago · Like · Comment
Homeschool Veteran: We did the same thing. It's great! Now, the guys are old enough they can pay for their own haircuts if they want to use a stylist instead of mom or their sister.
3 yearss ago · Like
holysoulsacademy: Our 2 boys got tired of getting their hair cut and have actually grown their hair - long enough that if they keep it tied back it looks pretty neat (which is actually really nice and healthy). They have saved a lot on hair products by using coconut oil instead of petro-chemical commercial products. And since coconut oil is natural, it has actually helped their hair look and feel healthier and more full bodied. (A lot of other people, especially girls, have commented on how they have really nice hair)
Mamato7 likes this. · 2 yearss ago · Like
SchoolMeMommy: coconut oil is FANTASTIC! We use it for our hair and skin. Not greasy, and has all of the minerals your hair and skin need. Also works great for when you go out in the sun, you get a really bronzy tan.
2 yearss ago · Like
Noah's Ark Homeschool Academy: I have been doing this and it truly saves a ton of money :-)
2 yearss ago · Like
twinsmama: JC Penney is starting to give free kid haircuts on Sundays in November. They always do free haircuts for kids before school starts, but now they are starting this!! I'm excited :)
2 yearss ago · Like
SAHM3: JCP is now offering free trims on bangs and beards in June (2013). See the website for store locations with a salon.
1 years ago · Like
Mamato7: Been married 25 yrs and have 7. Never taken anyone to get haircuts. Always do our own. :) Thanks for sharing. Maybe someone will be encouraged to do it themselves to save money!
1 years ago · Like
Mamato7: Been married 25 yrs and have 7. Never taken anyone to get haircuts. Always do our own. :) Thanks for sharing. Maybe someone will be encouraged to do it themselves to save money!
1 years ago · Like

lauren b.

If you will not be using a vehicle for a week or more, call your insurance agent. He can usually reimburse you for the time you are not using it. Be sure to make sure the coverage is reinstated before you drive the car again!

3 yearss ago · Like · Comment
holysoulsacademy: I did not know you could do this. Is this for all states in the US?
2 yearss ago · Like
HayleyM: I have a feeling it is only for certain states. In NJ you are required by law to insure any vehicle you own, even if it is sitting on blocks.
2 yearss ago · Like

lauren b.

Hi!
Laundry detergent can be very expensive , especially for a large family. Twice a year, I go to Sears hardware store to buy their store brand. It is less expensive than name brands, and comes in boxes to wash 180-265 loads of powder. (sometimes it is even cheaper if you order online and pick up at the store). I generally pay $25 for a 6-month supply, which I dump into a plastic storage bin. If this soap is on sale, it only costs about $15! Saves money and time.
Lauren B.

3 yearss ago · Like · Comment
Homeschool Veteran: My only concern is that the skin absorbs toxins. Most laundry detergents--especially cheap conventional brands--contain toxic, cancer-causing ingredients and oftentimes hormone disrupters and neuro-toxins. You see, the manufacturers don't care about the health of your family! They just want your money! We walked through a toxic laundry nightmare while trying to homeschool. Please, reconsider. There are much healthier ways to do laundry that are affordable. Do the research and you'll see many health hazards of toxic laundry--especially for women and children.
holysoulsacademy likes this. · 3 yearss ago · Like
lauren b.: Dear Homeschool Veteran,
I am certain that many detergents contain toxins. That is why I buy the Sears brand that contains no perfume and no dye. Also, I WILL NOT use fabric softener, because it caused a raw sore on my daughter's back and the doctor could not explain where it came from. It went away when I stopped using the fabric softener.
holysoulsacademy likes this. · 3 yearss ago · Like
holysoulsacademy: My boys are ultra-sensitive, which is what drove me to seek alternatives. Castille Soap (Dr. Bronners) has been a big help, I use it for everything I need to clean, from dirty floors to dirty bottoms. You can dilute it according to your needs and if you shop around you can save a lot. My local Bed, Bath, and beyond sells them for $10.5, and if you sign to receive their mailed circulars you always get a "high coupon value" coupon in the mail. I just can't get it to work on my HE washer, because I am supposed to only use HE soap. Any thoughts on this matter?
2 yearss ago · Like
tadaafamily: About Dr Bronners - if you have a Seventh Day Adventist store nearby, theirs is the cheapest as their margins are the lowest. Under $10 without a coupon. Also, some ship to you as well!
2 yearss ago · Like

chaj

In order to save on groceries i go to local store and buy fresh produce that is in season cause it has better prices i also look at the meat deparment for meat that is on sale and purchase ahead for two weeks i have been able to save about 50 a month like this I also avoid going frequently i wait till i have used all my fresh fuits and vegetables and I avoid shopping when im hungry otherwise you shop more.

3 yearss ago · Like · Comment
holysoulsacademy: Yes, buying fresh and in season always helps. As for meat, I have found chicken quarters to be one of the cheapest cuts for chicken we have at about 99cents/lb. BUt I found out I can get a bulk discount from the butcher department if I ask them for a box (app. 40lbs), and the rate goes down to 69cents/lb. The same goes for other pieces of meat, so I normally check out what is on sale on the circular (ex. pork chops for $1.79/lb,I can get them for $1.40/lb). This only works though in my local grocer and not a national chain.
2 yearss ago · Like

Joe\'s mom

Whenever we want topurchase books, cd's or dvd's for our family(kids and parents both) we start with half.com. They have amazing deals, often you can get nearly new books etc for only a few dolars. Sometimes the cost of shipping is even higher than the cost of the products, but if you are clever, you can often find mltiple items from the same seller and save on shipping that way. It is a part of Ebay but no auctons are involved. We just bought 6 books for under $15.00 including shipping!! It is my go to site for all media items and always beats the prices at Amazon.

3 yearss ago · Like · Comment

I look for used textbooks on paperbackswap.com and amazon.com before buying them new. This saves a LOT of money!

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
SAHM3: THANKS! I just checked out this website. I'm off to round up books I want to swap. I've already found titles on the website I want to request. Awesome!
1 years ago · Like
Mamato7: PBS.com is GREAT! I have been using it for yours. Love getting txtbooks and old books from it. Wonderful to get credit for a book I do not want or need anymore! Give it a try. :)
1 years ago · Like

KendraH

I like to look at some of the blogs that have the weekly ads to my local grocery stores with coupon match ups. This way I know what I need, can make a list and print coupons to the items that have them right from the links they have on them. Two of my favorite sites are Southernsavers.com and dealseekingmom.com. These sites also have great info on sales they find as well as freebies they may find.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
holysoulsacademy: Definite To Do! In NJ I have Living Rich with Coupons.com to go to, she even addresses organic deals. Saves me a lot of time.
2 yearss ago · Like

KendraH

I like to look at some of the blogs that have the weekly ads to my local grocery stores with coupon match ups. This way I know what I need, can make a list and print coupons to the items that have them right from the links they have on them. Two of my favorite sites are Southernsavers.com and dealseekingmom.com. These sites also have great info on sales they find as well as freebies they may find.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

KendraH

I like to look at some of the blogs that have the weekly ads to my local grocery stores with coupon match ups. This way I know what I need, can make a list and print coupons to the items that have them right from the links they have on them. Two of my favorite sites are Southernsavers.com and dealseekingmom.com. These sites also have great info on sales they find as well as freebies they may find.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

BrownFamily

I hunt down FREEBIES!!! --- These are ones I found this week from discounts on books and supplies to FREE amazing things.... also found a national chain that is double and tripling coupons on the 19th! If you want me to post what I find each week, I'll happily do so :)

Carson Dellosa is offering FREE SHIPPING if you have an order of $50 or more Coupon code is CTF151 http://www.carsondellosa.com/cd2/default.aspx
Teachers Supplies - Carson-Dellosa Publishing - Workbooks & Educational Supplies
www.carsondellosa.com


Free subscription to Thriving Family Magazine
http://family.christianbook.com/thriving-family-magazine/pd/1TFUSA6?event=SHAREFB

Free pet toy? Go here and sign up for this pet site and they will send you a free toy for your cat or dog :) http://thepa.ws/bne9

HOMESCHOOL friends and MOMS want free books for your kids? Have them go here and complete the two worksheets for their age level and they will earn free books from scholastic! http://www.scholastic.com/kumon/learnandearn/

Would you like a FREE Subscription to Road and Track Magazine? Fill out the form here http://mercurymagazines.com/pr1/169/16959 and get a free 1 year subscription!

Any other COUPON Queens out there??? Some Kmarts are doubling and some are TRIPLING coupons on 4/19 http://dealseekingmom.com/kmart-next-super-double-coupons-53-possible-triples/ This is a GREAT deal if you are looking for candy for the easter baskets, shampoos , make up cleaning supplies etc..... Check your state on the list and call your local kmart

You can get a FREE Tea of Coffee on Earth Day at Starbucks Bring in a travel cup and receive a free coffee or tea at participating stores Mark your calendar now and call ahead to validate your store s participation Earth Day is April 22nd :)

FREE subscription to Working Mother Magazine http://www.mercurymagazines.com/pr1/121/121567

Free Subscription to Runway Magazine http://www.magazineline.com/studentmags/freerunway.htm?utm_medium=02-2011-Drop3&utm_source=Universal&utm_campaign=Studen

FREE SKI magazine :) http://www.mercurymagazines.com/pr1/101/101468

Hey homeschool moms and dads I am buying supplies for next year and stumbled upon this great coupon.... It gives you $5 off your $10 purchase at http://schoolbox.com/ The coupon code is FRIEND232M I'll be doing more searching and shopping over the next few days and will post other deals and coupons I find here in this thread. :)

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
sillymom: Most of these websites are now out of stock for the books and magazines. Just wanted to save some time for those who are looking.
3 yearss ago · Like
wasson6pack: Do you have a blog, I used to do this when I was in high school, but haven't had time and don't really know where to look. I would LOVE suggestions and anything you have for Freebies for youngsters would be great too!
3 yearss ago · Like
wasson6pack: Do you have a blog, I used to do this when I was in high school, but haven't had time and don't really know where to look. I would LOVE suggestions and anything you have for Freebies for youngsters would be great too!
3 yearss ago · Like

ilovemy4kids

Honestly one the ways we same money is by cooking and eating at home......Now some people say that cooking from scratch with healthy food is just too expensive....NOT TRUE.....cooking exotic food can be expensive....but the basics...grains, veggies, meats, fruits, eggs, milk....If you learn how to be creative yet simple....you can save money! Sue Greggs cookbooks are an invaluable resource.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
holysoulsacademy: We hardly ever eat out ourselves. We are a family of chefs/cooks (three generations, culinary school and self-trained). And when you crunch down the numbers (definitely part of our math lessons), even "exotic" foods come out cheaper than buying them at a restaurant. Plus, the quality of food at a lot of restaurants leave much to be desired (as evidenced by the TV show Kitchen Nightmares - I knew it was bad out there, but serving you microwaved food from a can at a resaturant is not my idea of dining out). Plus we have incorporated cooking, baking, preserving, and yes, shopping in our home ec class, the boys definitely have to learn it too.
ilovemy4kids likes this. · 2 yearss ago · Like

nancymomoftwo

During these trying times, and being a one-income family, we all have to be very creative in how we use our resources. One way we save money is by using coupons and looking for sales in the store flyers. We also try to schedule all our trips to the different stores at the same time we have to do our homeschool activities....this saves on gas since they are all in the same area.
Homeschooling can be expensive, so I buy most of our books used online or from friends as well as sell the ones we no longer need. This is a good way to make a little extra money to buy needed resources.
We use a lot of free online programs such as Spelling City, Honor Point, Fun Brain, etc. Spelling words can be downloaded for free, multiplication tables can be learned and books can be read....all FREE!
I hope this bit of advice can help someone else save some money. (o:

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
holysoulsacademy: Yes! Spelling City is great! I incorporated our vocabulary list into a spelling list and penmanship list made on their site. This helps to reinforce learning.
2 yearss ago · Like
tadaafamily: You sell books?! Wish I had the strength to do this. I just can't part with any of them, and we keep accumulating them. I love abebooks.com Books for under $3 including shipping.
2 yearss ago · Like

thegoatlady

We make our own laundry soap - have no idea how much that has saved us over the last 6 years... Since DD8 is on a restricted diet (no gluten, cow milk, or corn) and we live in the exact middle of nowhere, we have a small farm flock of goats and I make all our cheese, butter, ice cream, etc. I try to buy our gluten free staples (flour etc) in bulk and on auto-ship when I can get free shipping. Since we are so far from town, it saves money and time. A trip to town can easily cost $100 (gas) so when we make our monthly trip to town to get groceries, we always contact the neighbors to see if they need anything - and in return, they do the same for us.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
backtoorganic: I also have a daughter that is allergic to corn, and another that is allergic to conventional cow meat and dairy. We have discovered that they can, however, eat ORGANIC corn, meat and dairy. I don't know if you've ever tried that with your daughter, but it sure has made life a lot easier for us having discovered that.
2 people like this. · 3 yearss ago · Like
holysoulsacademy: I have a son who has special needs and have decided to address this problem from th einside out. First what he puts into his body, and what we can detoxify in his environment. And I can tell you, within three months his learning and behaviour has changed and is consistently and constantly changing. His older sister (15) even developed an absolutely delicious organic high-protein, gluten free brownie just for him.
thegoatlady likes this. · 2 yearss ago · Like

JDorsey

we use a lot of these tips already. One thing we also do is use our local library to get passes to the Museums. They are free and we can keep them for a week. We can also get DVD's there and read magazines that we no longer have subscriptions too. We use lots of coupons and get freebies from company sites. Our newest way to save is to use Skype. It is a free download on the computer and no we can hear AND see our family from all over for free when they also use their Skype.As far as homeschooling goes. We use Homeschool Buyers Co-op to get great savings and we also ask the retired teachers in our family to teach our children Art, Spanish etc....

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

girl921

In order to reuse workbooks for subsequent children, I take a sheet protector and cut the edge with 3 holes off, then I can slip it over the workbook page. The kids can write their answers with dry erase (or wet erase for lefties), I check them, erase the protectors and the book can be used many, many times.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
cmac: Make sure you are abiding by copyright laws. If the publisher allows multiple use copying within a family, go for it. But if the copyright intent is one copy per student, this is no different than copyright violation. Many homeschooling materials are created by homeschooling families trying to leverage their experience into some extra money, and sometimes they specify that workbooks are for individual use only.
3 yearss ago · Like
eeejunesgirl: GREAT tip for using the sheet protectors! I was trying to come up with a way to save on printer paper & ink from having to make so many copies of things! THANK YOU!
3 yearss ago · Like
holysoulsacademy: I have scanned workbook sheets into my computer to save them from being damaged/scribbled on. Then you can create a spreadsheet program on googledocs that is an answer key. Then take the answer key and delete the answers but maintain the formatting. They can then fill out their answers and you can easily align them with the answer key for ease in checking. Not only are you able to copy for other kids to use, but also have a digital copy for future reference. As for copyright laws, you need to ask yourself if these laws have any sense at all. Are you saying that if one child stared the book and another child continued and finished it that you should be fined? Or if one child answers the workbook with a pencil, and another one comes by with an eraser, erases the work and puts his own answers in, should he be fined? If the teacher read the questions out loud and required a verbal answer, is she prohibited to do so for more than 1 student? I would not consider this a copyright infringement simply because I am not making money and selling this copyrighted material. When you purchase this workbook, you purchase the content, to use. Just like in iTunes, when I purchase the song, I can listen to it, my daughter can listen to it, my sister can listen to it, and my mom can listen to it.
3 people like this. · 2 yearss ago · Like
tadaafamily: cmac - I find it difficult to imagine how a workbook could be used for more than an individual's use. That it is done with a sheet protector is fine, as this does not create a new copy. It is simply reusable - like erasing pencil marks.
2 yearss ago · Like
: From http://www.copyrightkids.org/cbasicsframes.htm
The copyright law provides that reproduction "for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research" is not an infringement of copyright. The law lists the following factors, which courts must consider together in determining whether a particular use of a copyrighted work is a permitted "Fair Use," or is instead an infringement of the copyright:
2 yearss ago · Like

Tami6410

We just moved from NE to VA and the cost of living difference is kind of scarry! We have gone from 2 incomes to 1 (I am re-starting my home based business and it takes patience). I take my price book everywhere with me....I track prices at the grocerie stores so that I am informed and REALLY know when a sale is a true deal! There have been many eye opening moments doing this! I also break prices down to cost per item or per use. I also try to coupon, but am not that great at it, am trying a new un-clipping method at the moment, hope it helps. I also do a weekly menue for our family and try to work my menue around what is on sale that week.
THANKS EVERYONE ELSE FOR ALL OF THE GREAT USEFULL TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS!!!! I SOOOOOO APPRECIATE IT!!!!!

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
holysoulsacademy: I myself have also started to track and record diligently what I spend.This slow economy has also meant slow business for us. Slow business means less take home pay. Everything has to be meticulously counted, and extra consideration has to be made for EVERY purchase. Calculating down to cost per serving and cost per use will give you the most useful information in decision making.
2 yearss ago · Like

mommasita

We go through a lot of milk (10L weekly), so I buy powdered milk and reconstitute it for baking /cooking purposes and leave the fresh milk for drinking.
Also, if there is a culinary school or trade high school close by, many sell great meals (with fresh and exotic ingredients) at great prices; you can stock up and freeze them for those overwhelming days when time is not your side.
My neighbour and I prepared different parts of a meal and got together to share it; the children played, we conversed; it felt more like an event rather than a cost sharing ritual.
Our local grocery store discounts perishables 50 per cent off in the late afternoon, I will buy bananas and other fruit and veg for baking pies, muffins, soups & stews; I will also freeze fruit for smoothies or "popsicles".

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

berryhill

FIELD TRIP SAVINGS:
A. ANNUAL PASSES Even if you will only visit once, sometimes reciprocity arrangements make passes worthwile. Having passes means we do not feel like we need to stay long enough to get our money's worth on an expensive admission, so we visit more often and enjoy our visits more, concentrating on a particular area and leaving before we are weary of the place, and sometimes adding a short stop when we're in the area for other reasons.

1. I bought family passes and planned our field trips around
a) The North American Reciprocal Museums. http://sites.google.com/site/northamericanreciprocalmuseums/north-american-reciprocal-museum-listing

b)Association of Science and Technology Centers Passport Program http://www.tryscience.org/fieldtrips/ASTC_passportProg.html

c) National Parks America the Beautiful http://www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm

d) our local zoo/aquarium, a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums http://www.aza.org/uploadedFiles/Education/Kids_and_Families/Special_Admissions_Program/Reciprocity%20Chart%202011(1).pdf

e) stand alone local attractions that we'd like to visit frequently.

2. I searched online for days when admission is free... museums especially are likely to have one day a month when admission is free in the evening.

3. I searched for free parking days/hrs, and I asked at the attractions about availability of free parking on specific days.

4. I use Microsoft Streets and Trips to plan field trips. Once I get my known stops on the route, I look along the route and search for attractions near the towns between those stops. We have a long drive (estimated at 2 hrs 20 minutes) to a birthday party coming soon; we'll leave early in the morning and stop at multiple attractions along the route, then drive straight home afterwards. With Streets & Trips, I can put in the time to stay at each stop and create a very pleasant itinerary that makes the gas money very worthwhile.

5. I searched for free music concerts (lots of these in our area) and special educational concerts.

6. Some attractions offer discounted admission days for homeschoolers - arranged by regional homeschooling organizations. Check h/s organization websites and get on their mailing lists if they offer these. If the organization requires paid membership, it might be worthwhile just for discounts available, and sometimes additional discounts are available for members willing to do a bit of volunteer service.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
holysoulsacademy: We are in the NYNJ area and we usually pick out one Museum to "support" and grab a family membership with them for a year. We then schedule to go at least once a month, to make the most of our membership, and also, as members you are usually entitled and invited to special events throughout the year for Members only. This has definitely paid off more than the cost of membership, and if you have older kids like I do, they can easily go on their own for free anytime. As in the case of the Met, they always have lectures throughout the year, the older kids attend, and write a report following the event. And if you keep a record of these, they are all definitely noteworthy to mention on HS transcripts.
2 yearss ago · Like

mactammonty

LOL I forgot one other thing we do in the summer to save money. We walk or bike every where. With the cost of gas so high it has saved us quite a few dollars, and we have become very fit as well.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
holysoulsacademy: We also recently adapted this into our lifestyle, mostly due to health benefits and astronomical gas prices. We have also gone down to having one car instead of two, cutting down on the cost of insurance.
2 yearss ago · Like

mactammonty

Many of the ways my family saves are already listed here. One major one is budgeting. I budget weekly, and like another family, while doing the baby steps in Dave Ramsey's books.
Some things not mentioned are 1. We have a family membership at the local YMCA. My children participate in swimming lessons, karate lessons, and 3 hour gym sessions, all included in our membership. My husband and I get programs like yoga, swim aerobics, kick boxing, and more included in our membership. This has saved us more than $368 dollars a year. That is in costs for swimming lessons alone.
2. Each week we write a menu, using the grocery flyers. Using recipes that use the ingredients on sale means that our family of four spends about $400 a month in groceries.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
holysoulsacademy: Also check out Rec centers sponsored by the city. Sometimes most of their programs are free especially for kids.
2 yearss ago · Like

Momto4

I try to get the kids involved in helping us save $$. Not only does it help the pocketbook but I feel we're teaching them important lessons too. They get an allowance and help decide our extracurricular activites. When it's their money having friends come over and have peanut butter sandwiches suddenly seems like a fabulous idea!! LOL! We also homemake as many things as we know how ...laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, face wash, homemade meals, etc. And we set aside part of our backyard for a garden - its saves us on food, the kids learn a lot, and they're much more likely to try a veggie that they "grew" themselves!!

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
holysoulsacademy: Yep, my oldest has started on a garden this year. He is so excited.
2 yearss ago · Like

Here is how to give yourself up to a $12,000 raise

1. Coupons for Groceries: Start couponing. Learn all you can. We gave ourselves an average $500 a month raise. If I can do it, you can do it! I never used a coupon in a grocery store before this year.
2. Utilities: Cut out excess utilities.
A. Satelite/Cable: We cancelled our satellite which gave us a $80 a month raise. We watched shows online at cbs.com, abc.com, nbc.com and mtv.com.
B. Home Phone: Cancel your home phone and use your cell phone (metro pcs). Up to $80 a month raise.
C. Yard: Cancel the yard treatment plan/yard maintenance. $20 + a month raise.
D. Negotiate: You will be surprised also with how GENEROUS these companies will start being to keep you as a client. **We just got our satellite back after 3 months (when we got a tenant for our condo) with a great package (HD, DVR etc.) for $40 a month for 12 months.
3. Drugstore Game: Learn about the drugstore game. I get $200 + a month (raise) worth of cosmetics, hair care, over the counter medicine etc. for less than $10 a month.
4. Eating Out:
A. Make yourself a couple of delicious soups or buy ingredients for your favorite sandwich instead of going to a fast food restaurant 3-4 times a week $15-40 raise a month depending on whether you are buying foods for your kids as well.
B. Go out to eat only once a week. $160-300 a month raise.
C. Quit going to get fancy coffee and brew your own. I just started using a cappuccino maker that I got as a wedding present. Instead of going to Starbucks, I started my own home coffee shop, Savebucks Around $40 + a month raise.
D. Take your kids to McDonalds or Chick-fil-a AFTER lunch to buy them an ice cream cone or yourself a coffee so that they can have an opportunity to play in the Play Place without buying a Happy Meal. $20-40 a month raise.
5. Salon Discounts: Go to a salon like Bob Steele Salon for the first time and get 50% off your first visit. Or go to a New Talents division of a local salon. That can be up to a $100 or more raise this month.
6. Preschool/Private School: Struggling financially? Pull Johnny or Janey out of preschool and enroll him in some classes or sports in your community. $180-700 a month raise. Or better yet pull them out of private school and either put them in home school or public school. You will give yourself a $280-$2500 raise per month.
7. Cars: Sell the cars you pay payments on and buy a nice used car that you can pay cash for. $200-1000 + a month raise.
8. Books: Use the library for you and your kids instead of buying new books. $15-40 a month raise.
9. Sell and Buy: Sell the stuff you don t use or need and buy used on craigslist and ebay. $20-100 + raise per month.
10. Accountability/Sticking to your budget: $$PRICELESS$$
A. Married: Put together a Cash Flow Budget EVERY MONTH giving every dollar a name until you have spent your last cent WITH YOUR SPOUSE.
B. Single: If you are single, have an accountability partner who will hold you accountable to your cash flow budget and for meeting your financial goals.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

Do you eat naturally or organic? Here are ways to save:
1. Shop your local farmer s market. Most of the time you save an average of 33%
2. Buy most produce in season.
3. Buy in bulk. For beans, grains, lentils and nuts, go straight for the bulk containers. Just make sure you have a cool, dry place in your kitchen to store your dry goods for a couple of months. You can save on storage space by splitting your goods with a friend.
4. Frozen- In the off season buy preserved foods including frozen fruits and vegetables.
Shop Sales and house brands. Look at the circular for your grocery stores to find the loss leaders.
5. Shop on-line. The GreenPeople directory from the Organic Consumer Association is a good place to begin your online search for cost-effective organic foods. A list of additional organic directories is also available on the site. There are also plenty of on-line stores offering organic products from Organic Kitchen and even Amazon.
6. Be flexible. Use store discount fliers when planning your weekly menus. More mindful shopping can save you money. Shop Aldi and other smaller stores. They have a small, inexpensive selection of organic foods. Combine shopping at smaller stores and bigger grocery stores to buy the loss leaders and stock up when they are on discount.
7. Buy a share in a community-supported agriculture program.
8. Coupons- You will find a few in the Sunday paper as well as online coupon websites like coupons.com.
9. Sign up- Sign up for the following newsletters: Kiwi, Whole foods, Mambo sprouts and Eating Well. They e-mail great lots of coupons and meal ideas.
10. Less Meat- Eat less meat. Organic meat can be expensive. Also eating vegetarian is healthier.
11. Grow your own- Start your own organic garden.
12. Solicit- Look on the websites of your favorite organic companies and print out your favorite companies coupons. They do not provide coupons? Contact them, pay them a complement on their foods and they will most likely send you more coupons to keep you as a faithful customer.

BTW, I run my own money saving website :)

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

13 ways to save money on your grocery budget without using a single coupon
1. Buy fruits and vegetables in season. 30-50% savings.
2. Buy chicken, beef and all other meats on sale. Boneless, skinless chicken breast is on sale for Or better yet, you can debone chicken and use the bones to make your own chicken broth. 65% or more in savings.
3. Buy fattier ground turkey and beef for meals that require ground meat. Brown the meat and then rinse it in a collander. You will make your own healthier (leaner) ground turkey and beef. 30% or more in saving.
4. Buy a whole head of lettuce instead of bagged lettuce. Is it really that hard to cut lettuce? Wash the lettuce and put it in a salad spinner. It takes less than 5 minutes but will save you 40% or more.
5. Shop BUY 1 GET 1 FREE sales. You do not have to buy 2 items on BOGO sales (unless in select locations). I would stock up during these sales (4-6 week supply). (Also, 10 for $10 does not mean you have to buy 10 and 3 for $10 does not mean you have to buy 3. This is just a marketing strategy.) At least 50% savings.
6 Don t buy deli meat. Grill extra chicken, steak and turkey to make your own sandwich meat or chicken salads etc. 66% savings.
7. Quit buying bottled water. Leave tap water in a pitcher in your refrigerator. The chlorine taste will nutralize after 24 hours. Another way to save is use refrigerator filtration or use a Brita or Pur water pitcher. 78-100% savings.
8. Kick the soda habit or at least buy 2-liters on sale. Or, if you buy soda, buy it on sale and preferably 2-liter bottles. **2-liter coke products are on sale at Kroger for $.88 a bottle (stock up for 6-8 weeks). 60-100% in savings.
9. Make your own desserts and birthday cakes. 72% savings.
10. Buy frozen fish unless it is on sale. Did you know frozen fish is fresher than fish found at most supermarkets? 25% or more in savings.
11. Learn how to make your own yogurt. I know our kids love yogurt, and I would love to know that the ingredients are all natural.
12. Make your own cleaning products like our grandmothers did using natural products like baking soda, vinegar, salt, mineral oil etc. The ingredients are cheap and green. 60% or more in savings.
13. Use linen dishcloths to dry your hands and clean your counters in the kitchen rather than paper towels.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

Buy at Publix...here is why: 1. Buy One Get One Free sales or sale items-50% off is a GOOD DEAL! 2. Numerous Clubs and Programs- Sign up for each of their clubs and programs. You will receive NUMEROUS Publix coupons and tons of savings plus they are FREE! Here is the list: Publix Upromise Program, Publix Grape Magazine, Publix Baby Club, Publix Preschool Pals, Publix FamilyStyle Magazine and Publix GreenWise Market Magazine. 3. Double coupons- My Publix doubles manufacturer coupons .50 or less EVERYDAY! 4. Rainchecks-They offer rainchecks if they are out of an item on sale where you can get the item at a future date for the same sale price.
5. Liberal coupon policy-Publix takes manufacturer coupons, store coupons and competitor coupons. Some Publix locations consider *drug stores, Target, Walmart, Kroger, Save-a-lot and Food Lion and more as competitors. Ask your local Publix who they consider as their competitors. 6. Stacking coupons-You can stack coupons. You can use ONE Publix coupon /or competitor coupon and One manufacturer coupon per item. 7. Advantage Buy Flyers- There are always a green and yellow advantage buy flyer at the front of the store full of store coupons.
8. Customer Sevice- It is their pleasure to help me ALWAYS! They offer cookies to the kids in the bakery and always offer to help you take your groceries to the car without having to tip the bag guy.
9. FREE groceries- With all of the deals I find in the stores, I get lots of groceries for free every week!
*Some Publix locations take Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens etc. coupons.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

I am on the South Beach diet. One of my favorite treats is the Non-fat sugar free Vanilla Latte at Starbucks, but I hate spending $3.34+ tax every time the mood hits me. This is how I save on my Non-fat Sugar free Vanilla Latte addiction:


I go to the StarbucksStore.com or by my local store
Buy my Espresso Roast for $10.95 for a pound (1 pound = 64 - 5 ounce cups = .17 a cup of coffee)
Buy my Sugar free Vanilla Syrup $10.95 for 1 Liter with pump (2 pumps per cup = .16 a cup of coffee)
I already own an espresso machine. If you do not already own a capuccino maker, buy a capuccino maker through the StarbucksStore.com, Amazon or your local Target or Walmart.
Starbucks vs. Savebucks at home

* $3.34 + tax vs. 40 for each tall vanilla latte (.17 espresso coffee + .16 for syrup + .07 for milk )
= 88% savings!

No big deal right..think again!
If you buy 1 tall vanilla latte at Starbucks once a week for a year, the cost is $173.68 + tax. If you make your own at Savebucks for a year, the cost is $20.80. It is the little things that add up! That is 88% savings!

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
eeejunesgirl: I am a HUGE Starbucks nut. I would live there if I could afford it! Lol I recently bought myself a french press for $10 off of Amazon.com and purchased the espresso beans & syrups through Amazon as well. I spent $60 for everything - including a bean grinder - and have enough to last for a long time. To save money I will take the extra coffee form the press and freeze it in ice cube trays. I can then put them in the blender and make Frappuccino's as well! Plus you can download a free recipe guide for making the drinks just by Googling "Starbuck recipes for free" - GREAT ways to save on those expensive drinks!
3 yearss ago · Like

Mama__B

I haven't bought fabric softener in a decade and a half. I started substituting white vinegar for it (leaves no smell), and then I got some reusable fabric dryer sheets which work every bit as well, but don't leave any residue like fabric softener does.

We also save money in more traditional ways, like making jam and pickles for the off-season, buying mainly in-season produce, eating soup and pasta each week to cut grocery bills, etc....

I also make my own bath salts and scrubs. For the cost of a little jar of something chemical laden, I can buy a whole bottle of essential oils, plus salt or sugar and other things, to make my own products.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
Homeschool Veteran: Good for you!!! Just make sure your "reusable fabric dryer sheets" are non-toxic. Dryer sheets sent me "overboard" with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities/Environmental Induced Illness the summer before our first-born was a senior. That led to several years of living a nightmare while trying to homeschool. Praise God for His grace! I've heard of using vinegar in the rinse water. Glad it works for you! Dryer sheets and fabric softener typically contain neuro-toxins, hormone disrupters, and cancer-causing chemicals. Yuk! You're wise to look our for your family's health, too.
3 yearss ago · Like

jnpmom

Instead of using commercial dishwasher detergents, I mix equal parts Borax and baking soda and store it in a large cleaned-out peanut butter jar under my kitchen sink. I use one heaping tablespoon per load. I have had the same box of Borax for over a year, and I run my dishwasher at least every other day, if not every day. I also use vinegar for the rinse aid. My dishwasher was making a high-pitched noise and when I started using this combination of cleaners, the noise stopped. I imagine it cleaned out my dishwasher as well as my dishes.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
Homeschool Veteran: I must try this! I remember trying Borax alone, but never with the soda and the vinegar as a rinse aid. Thank you!
3 yearss ago · Like

ladasa3

My husband works 8-5 and I was schooling the kids and going to work from 6p.m. until 1a.m. and money was still tight. I quit my job and figured out how we could live on less. The first thing was realizing that the extra expenses incurred by my working outside the home only left us with about $500 more a month. We sold our second car, eliminated the landline that no one uses and have a prepaid cell phone for our home #, it only costs $10/yr to keep it active and serves the same purpose as the answering machine did. I make my own laundry soap (.02/load), we garden which is always great for school projects (studying compost, decomposers, plant cycles,etc..), we have the lowest tier of internet service available and no cable tv. We know several people that give us their magazines when they finish with them which eliminates the cost of subscriptions. My kids look forward to shopping at the thrift store for "new" things. I've found that in our area the stores that seem more patriotic (DAV,AMVETS) seem to have a better selection and often get clothes (especially jeans) that still have store tags for under 3 dollars.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

Demetria

Our family's BEST money-saving idea is Dave Ramsey! We've always lived frugally on a budget, but Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and Financial Peace University allowed us to do an overhaul on our financial life so that I could securely come home to homeschool our kids. We used his Baby Steps to become completely debt free and are now building our savings so we can buy a home. To save money on the day to day things of life, we also follow advice from Steve & Annette Economides, a homeschooling family of 7 who lived on an average income of $35K/year! Their first book, America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money helped us to disect pieces of our budget so we could live on even less and put more toward our bigger financial goals. Their second book, Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half, also looks promising. They're coming out with a third book about kids and money soon. Finally, I highly recommend Erin Chase, the $5 Dinner Mom, www.5dollardinners.com, for ways to healthily feed your family on a tight budget. Gleaning from people who are winning with money has helped us to save money all-around, not just on a one-time deal. It buys us choices on a modest income for this family of 5 :)

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

Julsand

I can make one bottle of liquid fabric softener last for months! (I wash several loads per week) Pour one half cup of liquid fabric softener into a spray bottle. Fill with water. Instead of using it in the washing machine, spray a few squirts into the dryer with your wet clothes. Dry as you normally would. Your clothes will be wonderfully soft and fresh smelling for a lot less money!

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
Homeschool Veteran: The only problem is you probably now have very toxic clothes. Fabric softeners often contain neuro-toxins, hormone disrupters, and cancer-causing chemicals that your family inhales and their skin absorbs. We went through a toxic laundry nightmare years ago--that lasted for YEARS. Please, do the research and make sure your family has safe laundry products in their clothes. Your library will help you. God gave us grace. Praise Him! The manufacturers want your $$$ not your good health.
3 yearss ago · Like

Katiebug_1976

When it comes to book/curriculum, I want the best for my kids (this doesn't mean the most expensive), but even what I call the best is sometimes out of my budget range. So what I do to try to stretch my budget as far as I can is buy used (if at all possible), sell books we don't need anymore to add to our budget, use Swagbucks to earn $$ at Amazon (this is my new favorite resource! I've earned $20 in less than a month of just normal activity). In addition to these ideas, I also try to cut the costs at home to allow more $$ for school. We rarely eat out (and when we do it's cheap!), I cook from scratch, try to buy in bulk when possible, only use my clothes dryer if the weather is bad (otherwise I hang my clothes out on the line to dry). We only use the heater/air conditioner if it is necessary (why heat/cool your home when you don't need to?). We also have chickens, so we sell eggs & occasionally bake bread to sell. Twice a year we have a childrens consignment sale, so during "yard sale" season I am constantly shopping for nice clothes, toys, books (anything kid related) that people just want to get rid of (cheap). The I take my finds to the sales and have made quite the profit on them. We also use cloth diapers with our little one (you wouldnt believe the amout of $$ we save not having to buy diapers!), and only buy new clothes if they are on clearance or we cant find what we need second hand. Doing these things keeps my kids clothed, everyone fed and well educated (we even have some $$ left over occasionally for extras).

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

AtHome

Winter heating is a huge part of most families' expenses. We try to save by using the heat as little as possible.

During the day, wear socks and slippers or shoes in the house (along with other warm clothes) to help stay warm. Layer clothing for even more warmth (two pairs of sock, along with long underwear under street clothes). Drinking hot drinks also helps. Set the thermostat as low as possible.

Most people will find this one too extreme, but it's a great money-saver.

Turn the heat off overnight in the winter. If it gets below freezing where you live, then just set the heat to 40F/5C degrees to prevent the pipes from freezing.

To stay warm, wear winter pajamas and pile on blankets. Sleeping close to another warm body also helps; kids can double (or triple) up in the same bed. Put the little one (NOT a baby!!) in the middle to help keep the blankets on. Or use a sleeping bag, which is harder to accidentally squirm out of.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

MTgirl

We use the library as much as possible, then check resources like paperbackswap.com for books. We try to keep our extra-curricular activities to to minimum to save on fees & gas money. We don't have cable or satellite and only have a Tracfone for cell service (mainly for emergencies).
My husband is a hunter, which can be expensive, but he often gets enough meat that we are set for the year (and gets to participate in his favorite hobby). Not having to buy meat is a huge money saver.
We also save ahead for vehicles and only pay cash. Think of the savings when you don't have to make a vehicle payment or pay interest on a loan!

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

sharon

I get lots of free magazines at the public libraries where they can be borrowed or swapped. At the swapping table, I donate my magazines and take whatever other magazines I am interested in that others have left. I often leave with at a half dozen magazines.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

sharon

Our family does not subscribe to cable TV. We rent or buy DVDs and use the internet a lot instead for information and entertainment. We go over to relatives' homes to watch special broadcasts occasionally (certain sporting events, for instance). DVDs are only a dollar for a week's rental at the public library.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

cawestacademy

4+ yrs ago a friend of mine said she was going to grow her hair long and then donate it to Locks of Love. The hair donation is used to make wigs for cancer/chemotherapy patients. Well, I love a challenge so I joined her and I discovered it saved quite a bit of money! Less hair cuts. This is my second time to donate. I think I save about $250 per year!

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
AtHome: ...not to mention helping a great cause!!
4 yearss ago · Like

homeschooldoc

My family gives shared holiday gifts so we have only one of an item and learn to share more. We got a Kindle for Christmas and we find free downloads to use on it. We save up holiday gifts to buy Kindle ebooks and also read the sample chapters from Amazon before we purchase the real thing.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

homeschooldoc

As opposed to alot of families we DO NOT shop at stores that sell bulk items. I find that those items sometimes go to waste, spoil or entice us to eat/use more than we normally would. I have even cut back on the sizes of our cereal boxes.

I have now mounted a Sharpie in my pantry and I put the date purchased in big numbers on the box so we know if it is getting old. We will try to eat everything we have in stock and NEVER WASTE and never let food SPOIL.

I also find that the less shopping at Costco, BJs or even Target that I do, the less I am likely to spend money on impulse items. I am not an impulsive shopper but even small treats and greeting cards eat away at savings.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

AtHome

I enjoy doing various types of word and number puzzles. But buying puzzle magazines can get very expensive! There are two things I do to cut costs.

First of all, lots of puzzles are free! A family member gets free newspapers at work, and brings me the puzzle section. (Almost all newspapers now have sudoku and crosswords, and some have lots more.) Our local free newspapers also have puzzles. And the Web is a great source; you can find just about anything. One of the biggest puzzle magazine publisher has daily free puzzles, along with samples of many of their puzzle types. There are tons of places to find sudoku and cross sums (kakuro). And even the less popular puzzles are available if you look hard enough. Some types of puzzles need to be printed up to use, but others you can do directly from your screen and write the answers on scrap paper (envelopes from mail you've finished wtih are great for this).

When I do buy puzzle magazines, I get them cheap. The publishers often sell batches of magazines for a fraction of the newsstand price. You don't get to choose the exact issues you receive, but you can choose groups such as "logic puzzles", "all crosswords", "sudoku", etc. I recently bought magazines at a book fair from a distributor, where I got them at similar prices (about $1.50 each), the advantage being that I could choose exactly which issues I got. The newsstand price is usually between 3 and 6 dollars.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

Momoftwo

Whenever we go out to eat, we take the individual Kool aid packets for the kids. We order water and magically end up with fruit punch. Also, we rarely go out to eat unless it's kids eat free night.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
AtHome: It's not appropriate to bring food into a restaurant. They are in the business of selling food, so you are almost stealing from them. Save the Kool Aid for the way home.
4 yearss ago · Like
Demetria: I disagree with AtHome. There is no theft involved if you are a paying customer and are not taking anything that does not belong to you. Accusing someone of theft is a strong accusation. You do not have to agree with Momoftwo's choice, but accusing her of theft is harsh.
3 people like this. · 4 yearss ago · Like
: I bring my kids flavored water to McDonalds and Chick-fil-a. I do not like them drinking juice and fav. water is a low sugar alternative. Nothing wrong in my book.
4 yearss ago · Like
: I agree that if you are a paying customer at a restaurant, adding your own mix to a glass of water is not theft. I will many times ask for a glass of water with some lemon slices, add an envelope of sugar, and make my own "lemonade". :)
3 yearss ago · Like
Wendy R: I eat a restaurant's all the time and my family has owned on since I was born. We have many families that bring their kids food in and order their food. We are glad they are glad they are there and picked our restaurant to bring their family too. as the kids have grown up they have learned to love our food also. why would anyone be upset you chose their of business to patronize?
Mamato7 likes this. · 3 yearss ago · Like

homeschooldoc

I would say that there are three things that I do to save money that are part of our general philosophy of limiting resource use by our family:
1. Subscribe to a listserv in which a medium sized group of homeschooler sell each other gently used books and learning materials at slightlyto greatly reduced prices. Because we moderate the group, there is less risk in the purchases. We are virtual friends and want to be honest in our transactions. I have purchased and saved alot of money and I also keep a pile of books that I know I will not use again and sell them to recoup alot of money. I also purchase books on commercial sites (Amazon marketplace, Ebay, Alibris,etc) but have gotten the best deals from fellow homeschoolers.
2. We started our own small garden last year and that saved us money on our favorite summer veggies. I will expand and tweak it slightly next year...alot like homeschooling!
3. We joined a community supported agriculture farm as a shareholder last year. I saved so much on fruits, veggies, and herbs and rarely went into the produce section. I split a share with a neighbor and this year will do it with a friend. I saved hundreds of dollars and ate much better!

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

checkvier

One of the things we do to save money is to take our own trash to the dump. It is not a messy process, as we put anything food related or biodegradable in the compost bin. We also recycle everything our recycling center will take, so our actual trash only needs to be taken every 6 weeks or so, and at that point, there's only about 6 black trash bags. It saves us appx. $140/year.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
eeejunesgirl: While my family doesn't take our own trash to the dump (I don't even know if my city would allow it), we have started a compost pile for our garden & we recycle EVERYTHING we can - I have even found that we can actually save up the empty cans & aluminum foil and get PAID to recycle it! I can then use the "extra" money for field trips or a special purchase. So many people just don't know about this - it's a great way to actually save money on groceries because you will get it back after you take the metal in.
3 yearss ago · Like

SamIam

There are many things I do to save money and some have been already mentioned in other posts. One thing I do use and it is a big timesaver is the newsletters from other "moms" who have their own blogs. A few of my favorites are Moneysavingmom.com, Southernsavers.com, and Dealseekingmom.com
If you are new to couponing, these sites have great tutorials. They have coupon databases where you can type in a specifc product name and if there is a coupon out there, it will tell you where to find it.
These sites are great for telling you the best deals at different grocery stores and drug stores each week. They match up sales with coupons to save you the most $
and you can even create your own shopping list to help you save time. I don't even go through the sales ads much anymore as these ladies have done all the work for me.
There have been MANY rebates, deals, and sales that I would not have known about
if it hadn't been for their sites. I am a firm believer in never paying full price for anything and I do shop around on the internet. For books used for homeschool I check out ebay, half.com, and cheapestbookprice.com. Shopathome.com is also a good site to do your internet shopping on as you can earn cash back.
By using these sites I have been able to purchase items and get them free by using coupons and rebates or store cash back. I am able to get products and donate them to the local shelters for the needy. All I use is my time. Watch for cheap school
supplies in August. Staples offers pens and pencils for one cent! If you take in some form of "proof" that you homeschool, you can get up to 25 of those one cent items. I did it last year and had pens and pencils to fill shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. I could go on, but I think I better stop now!

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

Shaperofthenextgeneration

If you need to purchase meat, many grocery stores will reduce the price of their meats in the evening. One local grocery store reduces their meat from that day at 8 p.m. each evening...so the highest quality gound beef, for example, will be reduced to under $1/lb. Ask the meat department when they reduce the price of their meat each day and then be there as close to that time as possible as it can go quickly!

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

AtHome

My very best tip for saving money is...think twice.

Other than normal, fixed expenses (supermarket, for example), we almost never buy something the first time we see it. If I see something that I want to buy (books, for instance), I either write down or remember the details (e.g. author/title) and price. When I return home, I may check online stores to see if I can get it cheaper somewhere else. I may check for reviews as well. I usually discuss it with my husband or other family member. Then, the next time I'm in that store, I have a better basis for deciding whether or not to buy it than, "Oh, wow, look!! That looks interesting!"

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

mommykicksbutt

Plant a garden and grow your own food. Nothing like grocery shopping in your backyard!

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

aesmom

From the time our first son was born, my husband and I have been committed to my staying home with our kids. I have always seen my "job" as stretching his income to meet our needs. One of my favorite ways to do this is couponing, especially with the help of coupon sites, I cook from scratch as much as possible. I look at grocery store ads on the internet (no need to buy a paper) and shop the sales. Most of the time I "comp" the sale prices at our local Wal-Mart. I get all of the sale prices without spending gas running all over town. Besides, who wants to run all over town with a bunch of kids in tow.
I do shop yard sales and thrift stores, especially for pants for my husband and myself, but I also watch the sale and clearance racks. I can often get new clothes as cheap or cheaper than thrift stores.
One of the most important things I do is encourage my kids to be good stewards of what God has given us, by taking care of their things. Our two-year-old son, is playing with toys that have been passed along from our oldest son who is now 15!
As far as home schooling, which can be very expensive, I buy used as much as possible. I try to reuse books with my kids when I can, but have learned that what works perfectly for one kid, may not be the best fit for another. Our homeschool co-op hosts an annual book sale. This is a great way to make a little money from the things we are done with and pick up the things we need.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

We cut down to the barebones cable plan in our town $8.95/month - only because our internet is tied to cable-otherwise we would not have cable. We bought a ROKU box and get Netflix for $9 a month. We can watch many shows and tons of educational videos on ROKU and Netflix that we used to pay a lot for on cable. We don't eat out a lot but when we do we alway s have a coupon- it's usually from Groupon - -you can get, for example a $25 gift certificate to a restaurant for $10. If you use Firefox it has a great little addon called Book Burro - if you are on a website looking for a book it will pop up and list prices for that book at many different websites and even if it's available at your local library - when searching for homeschool books it has really come in handy.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

Smith Mom

A friend and I each purchase a different year of an all-inclusive unit study by Learning Adventures. At the end of the year we pass it to the other family, and we've each only spent $110 for 2 years of materials!

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

macinabox

This year I have begun using www.paperbackswap.com. I love it! You post 10 books that you are willing to mail to someone else that are in good (no writing) condition. Once 10 books are posted you automatically receive two credits to request other books. Every book you send you receive a credit for, every book you receive you subtract a credit for. I have begun receiving curriculum for next year, have a wait list of items I'd like for the future, and have gotten Bible study materials for free! The only cost is shipping to those who request your books.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
eeejunesgirl: great tips - thank you for sharing!
3 yearss ago · Like

smons

Never say "can't." Really, I've discovered that most "can't"s are really "won't"s in disguise. You CAN coupon, or cloth diaper, or ditch cable, or sell the second car, or stay home more to save on gas, or eat less meat (beans and legumes are so much cheaper), or thrift store shop, or turn the heat down or the AC up, or garden, or whatever it is that stands in the way of meeting the budget! It's very liberating to say "I CAN!"

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

DavidN223

Their is a lot of classic books on "archive.org". They are no longer copy right protected so public and college libraries are copy them and putting them online for free. So you can download them and print them out for your kids to read. You can also save money by just having them read it from a pc or tablet reader. Also some libraries will give away old books. My kids have complete, "Little house on the prairie" set this way.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

wvmomma

I just discovered ecoupons from Kroger. I collect those paper coupons and invariably forget to hand them to the cashier. The ecoupons can be loaded onto your Kroger shoppers card online and are automatically applied when you swipe your card at checkout. Great tool for absent-minded mommas like me.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
sunshine24k: A friend told me that you can combine the ecoupons with regular manufacturer coupons and save even more. I plan to try this next time I'm there.
4 yearss ago · Like

mommykicksbutt

Free Meal!
Whenever there is just a spoonful or two of something from the dinner table I save it to a large container in the freezer. A spoon of green beans, a spoon of corn, a half of a chicken thigh, a 1/2 cup of gravy, etc, whatever is leftover. When the freezer container gets full it is time to make soup or stew! Dump the whole contain in a big pot, add water of broth (see below), you favorite seasonings, bring to a boil then simmer until dinner.

Left over bones from dinner get saved too! Again, into the freezer they go and when I get enough bones/carcasses I boil them up and reduce it down and strain it for homemade broth. This can be used for anything from the liquid to make rice, to soup and stew, and gravy. Freeze the broth in ice cube trays then bag the cubes so you only have to use what you need without thawing the whole batch.

Nothing goes to waste in my house!

Food prep scraps go into our compost bin for later return to the garden. The cycle of life.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

BreadbakingMama

We've started buying our textbooks for high school used on Amazon or through Barnes and Noble. Sometimes a book is only $5 with s/h included. We buy a beef share through a local farm, we garden and buy local produce to freeze for the year, and we buy our grain in bulk from a reputable company and store the grain for hte year in a bucket in our garage. We buy almost no processed foods, so couponing is not an option...We also shop for groceries at local Amish community. Even though our initial food costs are higher this way, in the end, we spend 1/3-1/2 of the average family of 4...and we're a family of 8.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
BreadbakingMama: I also make most of our Christmas gifts. I don't shop thrift stores, but do watch clearance racks/websites. I too make some of our cleaners. And we do eat a lot of legumes and grains.
4 yearss ago · Like
Laurainbow: Wonderful! I do many of the same things you do. I would guess we live nowhere near each other but wish we could get together!
4 yearss ago · Like

racermom

I have my kids use page protectors for some of the workbooks they do (math and language arts), so all we have to do is wash off the wet erase markers and they can do exercises over if needed and hand the books down to the next kid.
We buy most things we need in bulk from a health food warehouse, so we always have the essentials at hand.
I used cloth diapers with all my kids, which saved thousands.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

sssmom

We coupon and thrift store shop for almost everything. I also don't use a lot of processed foods. It is much healthier and cheaper to make things.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

We are a couponing family! I save so much money at stores by using little pieces of paper. A little planning and sales makes a small budget turn into hundreds of dollars saved.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

September

We save a lot of money on books by using Paperback Swap. I can usually easily find books that we need for our literature studies, or put them on a wishlist so that I can be in line for a particular book when it does get posted. Also, this is a great way to move out books that we will not be reading a second time, so it reduces clutter.
To save money on groceries, I made a monthly meal plan, shop once a month for all the main ingredients, and try to stick to the schedule. This also saves time because I don't have to think about what to cook each meal.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

karenhaury

We are saving money by eating less meat. I have found lots of quick and easy vegetarian recipes taste really good. When we do have meat in a meal, I do what I can to make it go farther such as adding beans to taco meat.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

Rebagv

For my family of one paycheck earner, I shop at thrift stores, yard sales, and flea markets. I save a lot so I can buy the kids their computers and accompanying components, like a drawing tablet. I look for clothes for my oldest son. I hand down his clothes to his younger brother. I also look for books that my children might be interested in, like World War II material, whenever I shop at those cheap places. When I am able to save that way, I can afford our groceries and cooking helpers, like new pots and pans. I am now teaching my two teenagers how to cook, which should also reduce the need to buy takeout. As for electricity, I make sure to turn off all lights that are not needed and open the curtains to let in the sunshine. I also do a lot of comparison shopping online to find the best deals when considering a sewing machine, internet service, and/or homeschool curriculum. Hope this information helps someone.

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

jayme

I make our own laundry soap and dishwasher detergent, as well as other homemade cleaners. Baking soda and vinegar clean a lot of stuff!

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
Brett: How about sharing your formula?
Parish Family of 7 likes this. · 4 yearss ago · Like
BizzyMom: I'd like it too...
4 yearss ago · Like

To save money on groceries we started using Angel Food Ministries about 4 years ago. We went from spending $100+ a week on our primary groceries (not counting items like bread/milk/lunchmeat which we get from a local market) to under $250 a month! We were going to the grocery store every week...now I only go about every 3 or 4 months to buy canned foods and pasta/side dish stuff. We get quite a bit of stuff from Sam's Club, but that dollar amount is all factored into the $250 a month!

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment
: What is angel food ministries?
4 yearss ago · Like
30with5kids: Angel Food Ministries is a nonprofit group that brings affordable, great quality foods to everyone. There are no income limits and the food is distributed through centers. More information is available at http://www.angelfoodministries.com/. I've purchased through them before and the food is really good and it is really a good deal. Most of the time it's off brand but occasionally you do get name brand products.
eeejunesgirl likes this. · 4 yearss ago · Like

Brett

To kick off the contest, here's an idea for you: If you are like me, you on your second or third or fourth cell phone, and never gave any thought to making money from those old phones. There are now companies who will buy them from you, refurbish them, and resell them, often in other countries. You can get a few bucks up to several hundred for an old smartphone. According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), it's a growing business. Copy the following link and paste it into your browser to see the WSJ article:

http://tinyurl.com/67388w4

4 yearss ago · Like · Comment

"I watched the Colonial Williamsburg video with my son. We enjoyed the parts with actors and the reenactment of history but the Q&A with student questions was horrible. The sound feed was bad, the kids taking the questions were untrained and unprofessional and the questions were silly. I felt it was a waste of time and my child was bored with that part of the program. We wanted to turn it off but felt we might miss more reenactment. I'm very glad we only paid $50 for the entire series or I would would be very upset."
Jack's Mom, Co-op Member

"Thank you for the opportunity to view Colonial-Williamsburg and the plethora of resources attached to the unit. The timing could not have been more perfect, as we were offered at the same time a viewing of a play of the same time period. Our son so enjoys visual and auditory components to his schooling and this study aided in his pleasurable learning experience. The resources that were offered to complement the video were spectacular! As we review, I play to go back to some of those resources as well. So, I guess one could say it is a gift that keeps on giving! Thanks again!"
Belinda, Co-op Member

"Only buy this product if you have plenty of time to waste every couple of weeks with RS Tech Support on installing, trouble-shooting, and reinstalling either Application or Language frequently. And that's only during the first three months of use. Don't even attempt if you're using Windows 7 OS or higher. Very frustrating for instructor and student. Have lost a lot of time.



Who knew that simply unplugging and replugging 3 times, or restarting your PC 3 times, is an good as an old-fashioned swift kick? Ridiculous. On the positive side, I'm slowly learning to be a Tech myself.



Appears as though would be a great product theoretically, but technically flawed in application. At least saved money through the Co-op, but now thinking should have gone with what looks like an online subscription program through RosettaStone.com."
CB Harrison, Co-op Member

"We love the progress our 14-year-old Ukrainian-born son has made using Rosetta Stone English this year!!! He finished Level 1 in about 5 months and immediately began Level 2. We plan on continuing over the summer so that he will not forget what he has learned. The difference in his confidence and ability to speak English is remarkable, and most people who meet him cannot believe that he has only been studying English for about 9 months! We know that part of his success comes from his own determination, but we also credit Rosetta Stone for the excellent multi-faceted approach to reading, listening and writing the language. We plan on pressing on through all the levels as we work to prepare him for college. We are pleased, to say the least!!!!"
N Rush, Co-op Member

"Both my 11 year old daughter and I are enjoying the Visual Latin course. We have completed a Latin course already so we are entering the course with over a year's Latin experience.



We find the instructor very entertaining. He speaks directly to the students and doesn't is very human. His humor adds to his teaching. His love for learning languages is infectious.



The pace the program moves at is very nice. The variety of lecture, sentence practice, and Latin readings is nice. The short (less than 10 minutes) videos are the perfect length to explain the lesson without being too long and our eyes glazing over.



The lessons are very focused and not repetitive to the point of boredom. There is just enough reinforcement to grasp the topic.



Where was this guy when I was offered Latin in high school. If this was an option for me I would have JUMPED on it. The instructor makes a potentially dry subject fun and entertaining.



My daughter already enjoyed learning about Latin and this just re-enforces her desire to learn. This program is very complementary with our previous knowledge. We are both pleasantly surprised when get to demonstrate that we have retained our previous teaching. It is always her first choice of what we do during the school-day.



That said, I don't think there is an issue entering this course with no prerequisite knowledge. The instructor starts out assuming you have never seen any Latin before.



Not being a deeply religious family, I would have preferred the readings come from a source other than the Bible, but I am not put off by it.



I would highly recommend Visual Latin to any family who is considering Latin instruction whether they be religious or not."
Sue A., Co-op Member

"My 13 y/o daughter and 12 y/o son are learning tons and ENJOYING learning Latin. Just enough info without going overboard and no jingles which my son really appreciates. My husband was impressed when after 4 weeks my daughter spouts out in Latin during a conversation together. I would recommend to anyone who likes a no nonsense approach to learning Latin that is engaging. Children are able to complete lessons on their own and require very little support on my end."
Abihake, Co-op Member

"We love Little-Passports. My son is 7 and he looks forward to the new package each month. He enjoys printing out the pictures from each country and the on-line games associated with it. We also love the gifts with each country. We will continue to use it and tell our friends how much fun it is!!"
Beth, Co-op Member

"I was VERY disappointed in this program! I didn't expect a full geography curriculum by any means but there was almost nothing to this! Not enough to even suppliment. I cancelled it after two months."
Stacy Rogers, Co-op Member

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