Frugal Homeschooling ~ The Adventure of Used Book Sales

Thursday Mar 26, 2009

Are you buying all new curriculum and books each year? Do you wonder, in this fluctuating economy, with salary reductions and job layoffs rampant, food prices creeping up weekly, fuel costs all over the map, how you are going to afford homeschooling this next year?


The next two columns in “There’s No Place Like Homeschool” are going to deal with Frugal Homeschooling, an idea near and dear to my heart, so be sure to check back next month for more money saving ideas!  You can always sign up for my free newsletter at for a great moneysaving email each month!


We all want to give our children the best education possible, with the best books, curricula, games, toys, etc. Attending homeschool conferences each year keeps us wanting to buy the newest, latest, greatest, new cover out there. Opening emails from our favorite publishers and magazines keeps us wanting new things, but is there a frugal alternative?


Absolutely! Why pay full price for educating your kids at home, especially in a slow economy, when there is a world of opportunity out there with a frugal homeschoolers secret weapon, the Used Book & Curriculum Sales!


5 Tips to Help You Get the Most out of the Used Book & Curriculum Sale


The first tip to make every dollar work harder is to make a list of what you are going to need the following year. Just like shopping for groceries, write it all down, both the absolute must haves, kids interests that year, pulling together a unique wish list. Like a shopping list, this will  help you stay clear and focused, helping you avoid the curse of the homeschool mom, buying duplicates, and passing up books that you “think” you have, but don’t and end up paying full price for later. A wish list has it all there and helps you navigate the aisles, grabbing up the great deals and avoiding temptation! Don’t forget to put books on the list that will encourage Mom too, especially the homeschool help books often sold very affordably at used curriculum sales!


Second: Check out which of these books on your list you can get at the local library! Yes, the library, packed with books, video, music and inter-library loan is the single best resource for the frugal homeschooler. Figure out what books you can get at the library and can live without purchasing. The library also has used book sales, a phenomenal way for homeschoolers to get great books for their home libraries.


Third: Go through your books to determine what you have finished using. As kids graduate and grow older, you can resell books no longer needed. As you purge books, think about your children. What are their personalities, interests, and bents? Will you need this book again? Should you save it for younger kids? Or has it served its purpose and it is time to recycle and let it go on to another family at a great price?


Fourth: Save tons of money by going to used book sales and both selling and buying for the next school year! Selling books is easy, you would be amazed at how many people will want what you have. Throw what you no longer need on a table, and you can often make enough money to buy used what is on your wish list for next year.


Five: Check your list twice, marking off books you need, and books you have. Stash an extra copy in the car, until the Used Book Sale season is over.


There are tons of GREAT used book and curriculum sales in the Tri-Cities area, so put them on your calendar and plan to check out the website, especially if you plan to sell (some have different rules and ways of selling, others you just show up with books and sell)


All of these will be listed on my blog, with live links and more information as it unfolds. Homeschoolers tend to put information out closer to the date, and I am writing this a month EARLY, so you can put it on your calendar!


Local Homeschool Curriculum and Used Book Sales

  • GraceEducators in Abingdon, VA will hold their sale on Monday, May 4th, at 7pm Pleasant View United Methodist Church in Abingdon. This is well worth the drive! It is easy to buy and sell.


  • KACHEA in Kingsport will be holding their sale on Monday, May 18th at Bloomingdale Baptist Church on Bloomingdale Rd in Kingsport. Set up will begin at 5 and selling will be from 6-8. KACHEA has a great sale every year, with tons of bargains! It is easy to buy and sell.


  • The NETHEA/Used Book Curriculum Sale has the largest sale by far in the Tri-Cities. It is a huge operation and has some rules to make things run smoother for buyers and sellers, so you will definitely want to check out their website to make sure you can sell. Buyers just show up early on Saturday, May 30th to a huge gym full of books.


Library Used Book Sales (Contact the library for more information.)


Be sure to attend at least one to get the 2009-2010 school year off to a fantastically frugal start. Confirm dates and times and more shopping tips on my blog Don’t forget to read the column next month for more Frugal Homeschooling ideas.


Knoxville Area Sales! Only 2 hours away!


If anyone wants to sell:  As long as their books are labeled for the NETHEA sale, this same label with the number will work for these 2 fairs.  Those that sell will register their code number just like they do with NETHEA. So they need not have to relabel their books.

Who:  SMHEA  (Smoky Mountain Home Education Assoc.)

What:  Used Curriculum Sale
When:   May 9, 2009
Where:   Knoxville Christian School
Times:   10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Physical Address:  11549 Snyder Road, Farragut, TN  37932
Can you sell?:  Yes  (Check info at <> under Events or call 865-671-3059).  Drop off will be Friday, May 8, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM.  NOTE:  You might wait a day on the web site.  They are still getting the info edited to put on it.


Who:   BHEA (Blount Home Education Assoc.)
What:  Used Curriculum Sale
When:  May 16, 2009
Where:   Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church Fellowship Hall
Times:  10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Physical Address:  860 Louisville Rd., Alcoa, TN  37701
Can you sell?:  Yes (go to <> for more info).  Drop off is Friday, May 15, 2009, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM.

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