Sunday, October 16, 2011

Budget Schmudget!

BlogCruiseButton It’s time for another episode of the Blog Cruise with the TOS Homeschool Crew.  This week we’re talking about budgets for our homeschool books and supplies

For us, I don’t know that we’ve necessarily ever had a specific budget amount in mind.  For the past several years, we’ve been buying most of the needed items at the homeschool convention.  I do go with a very specific list of what we need.  Then, in addition to my must-haves, I also take a list of things that we want to look at or might like to add to our homeschool collection (things I may have heard about but want to look at before making final decisions). 

With my job at TOS and working with the Crew, I’ve been blessed to receive so many great products to use and review.  This has been such a Godsend and has really helped cut down on what we need to spend out-of-pocket at convention each spring.  For example, last year, when Ashley was getting reading to enter 11th grade, we had everything that we needed for her school year, with the exception of science! We’ve found that the older the kids get, the more expensive the homeschool curriculum becomes – so the blessing of not having to actually purchase much for her 11th grade year was a great one!

Because we do have so much available to us at our fingertips, though, I am a bit more willing to spend some extra money if needs arise throughout the year.  Last year, Ashley wasn’t the least bit pleased with our math choice (something that we had received for free), so I was more than willing to  go ahead and purchase something else to use to finish out the year.

And, what we do need to purchase – items on that must-have list – I tend to shop around for.  My must-have list is complete with the cheapest price I can purchase the items for online (and the website).  If I find it cheaper at convention, I’ll buy it there; if not, I’ll come home and order it. 

I’ve also been known to check the used curriculum boards online and buy used. There are some  things I don’t like to buy used; other things are just as good used as new. 

As for homeschool supplies, I’ve always been a sucker for those aisles at the store full of back-to-school goodies.  Give me a Trapper Keeper (yes, I’m dating myself here), some pretty colored folders, and a new pack of pens any day!  But, I’m also a cheapskate.  So, we really tend to watch for items to go on clearance, and stock up on them at that time.  We usually have a nice stock of notebooks, notebook paper, folders, and binder dividers that we’ve bought up when they were really cheap!  The only thing we find ourselves buying throughout the school year is usually mechanical pencils (my girls go through them like crazy!)

What about you?  Do you have a specific homeschool budget that you stick to each year?  You can read what other Crew members have to say by clicking over to the Crew blog.


Karen said...

We don't have a set budget. We try to keep it as low as possible though. I have bought stuff at a convention before. We need to be careful there though. We stick to a budget at a convention since we love books and we tend to overspend.

brandyb said...

I try to buy at conventions too, but I have to be careful because there is soooo much to look at!! I can easily get caught up in the "I want it all" mentality!! I too, try to keep a specific list for conventions, and I bring a notebook to write down stuff I want to check out online after. And the crew has been a GREAT blessing for us as well, supplying needs I didn't think we would be able to fill!

Bkeefe98 said...

I used to love Trapper Keepers! Do they still make those?

Heidi Strawser said...

They do still make them - but they aren't the same.

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