As we are getting closer to completing our current curriculum, I am beginning to think about ordering our curriculum for next year. Of course, being a complete cheapskate, I have to make sure I am getting a bargain. In comes my price sheet……………………….. I use this sheet to:
- check prices at homeschool conventions
- check prices at used curriculum sales
- check prices at online sites selling used items
- check prices at online sites selling new items
Here is how I do it……..
Step 1: Make a table
Step 2: Label the Columns and Rows
Step 3: Open a tab for every site that you are comparing.
Step 4: Check the prices and record them on your table.
Step 5: Use this sheet as a baseline when shopping for new and used curriculum.
Other Factors to Consider
- Shipping: How much will shipping be? When I write the price on my price sheet, I am not factoring in shipping costs. For most items, Amazon will offer free shipping on purchases of $25 or more. When ordering from Christianbook.com, I ask the salesperson for free shipping. As long as I am spending over $100, they have always told me yes…..so far! I have heard rumor that Rainbow Resource offers free shipping, but I think it is for very large purchases. So, while their prices are a little cheaper on a few things, I might choose another supplier to avoid shipping costs.
- Taxes: When shopping at homeschool conventions, please remember that you will have to pay taxes! Many online stores do not charge taxes! That can be a huge savings! I found a curriculum that I wanted to purchase at my local homeschool convention. But, I would have to pay close to 9% sales tax. While the base price was a little cheaper at the convention, the taxes made it more expensive overall……and I didn’t have to haul it all over the convention hall for the rest of the day!
- Shopping Used: While I am incredibly thrifty, I rarely buy used books for my core curriculum. Why? I’ve been burned. Thinking I was getting a great deal, I have unknowingly purchased curriculum with broken or missing components. Currently, I am struggling through a used math book that is missing all of the reproducible math sheets. If it is an art book, read-alouds, readers, or an educational puzzle, then I will scour the used sales. But, for the subjects that really count, I usually buy it brand-new. Also, many times the used prices are only a few dollars cheaper than my rock-bottom new price with free shipping. I would rather pay a few dollars more for a guarantee that I will have all the pieces.
What are your money-saving tips for buying curriculum? Tell me in the comments!