I just love that title, What’s in Your Wallet? Sounds like the opening to a credit card commercial, doesn’t it? Well today I’d like to focus not on credit cards but reward and discount cards that you, as a homeschooling parent may be eligible for.
Lately, I’ve found it more difficult to stay home and remain within our budget while I continue to purchase those little extras that can pop up as a result of choosing to homeschool. As challenging as it can be to live on one income while staying home with my children, I certainly wouldn’t want things any other way. Which is why I hunt out all the deals I can that will enable me to stay home while ensuring that I have the tools available to homeschool successfully.
So, what types of expenses can you, a homeschooling parent expect to encounter from time to time? And what can you do about it?
You know we NEED books! As much as I love the library, Paperback Swap, thrift stores and Amazon, sometimes I find it absolutely necessary to purchase a brand spanking new book. When I do I often visit Barnes and Noble, Books a Million or Borders, all of which offer discounts to educators, including HOME educators as well. Not only will you reap the reward of lower prices, saving up to 25% off the list price for items used for educational purposes, on occasion you will also receive invitations to special educator only events that offer additional discounts and freebies.
Copies, School Supplies and Laminating Services
You’ve probably invested in a basic printer for your home, but at some point, you may need to make mass copies, purchase school supplies, laminate posters or have your child’s book reports bound. In such a situation you’ll be thankful to know that you can save what can add up to a large chunk of change when you produce your Office Max, Staples or FedEx Office* equivalent of a rewards card.
Craft Supplies and Science Fair Materials
Why run to Wal-Mart when you can get a better selection and save money at Jo Ann Fabrics, Hancock Fabrics or Michael’s- The Arts and Craft Store? Jo Ann Fabrics offers you savings in stores and online of 15% plus you’ll also receive coupons periodically. I’ve heard rumors that Hobby Lobby will also give you a 10% discount, but personally I’ve not found that to be true in our area.
Computers and various Technical Gadgets
If we want our children to compete with their public school counterparts, at least they need to be familiar with the new technological advances and have proficient computer skills. Apple comes to the rescue by pulling together a special section in their store geared towards homeschool families while offering discounted merchandise. Dell computers will also offer a discount which is available for the members of the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op. The co-op is free to join and another excellent option when it comes to saving money.
Of course you know from reading my posts here at the Homeschool Classroom that my family loves to take field trips. One way that we’ve been able to do that is by taking advantage of museum and zoo memberships, which you can read more of at Reciprocal Memberships, are they really worth it? In addition to receiving a great deal when purchasing a membership, sometimes you can save an additional percentage by showing proof that your homeschool, making a great deal even sweeter.
Sometimes you want to turn your field trip into an extended weekend or full out vacation. If you happen to be a member of HSLDA, you’ll find that their Perx program offers hotel discounts at Choice Hotels, a chain that includes popular brands such as Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites and Quality Inn and Suites. Of course don’t forget to enroll in the offered rewards program, allowing you to rack up points at discounted pricing.
Finally, do you homeschool? Do you want to save money? Ask if an educator discount is available when purchasing tickets or making your arrangements. You’ll be surprised at the savings you may find but if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
A few moments of your time may entitle you to some fantastic savings, so what are you waiting for? What ways have you found to maximize your savings when it comes to purchasing homeschool related materials?
*Don’t allow the application for the FedEx reward card intimidate you. It is my understanding that you can easily show proof that you homeschool at the store to receive the same discount.
When Tonya isn’t busy trying to find the best deals for her family, you’ll find her happily blogging at Live the Adventure.