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Last year, I found out that our book store (Books-A-Million) gives homeschool educators a 20% discount card for free. We can use it for books and most materials at the store and online. It has saved us a lot of money so far.

 

I think we should qualify for more educator discounts. Does anyone else have any ideas and tips for saving money when buying books and materials for homeschooling?

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I enjoy my books-a-million discount. However, the discount is off of the retail price. If it is something that amazon carries I often find that it is cheaper to order from there. Especially since our tax rate is high and negates almost half of the educator discount.

 

It's great for items on their discount table. :D

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Last year, I found out that our book store (Books-A-Million) gives homeschool educators a 20% discount card for free. We can use it for books and most materials at the store and online.

 

You can use the discount card online? I knew and have had educator discount cards before, but could never use them online (and obvisouly over here we do everything like that online!) Currently I order as many of our books as possible through BAM, but we access it through the AFFES site and it saves us money. But being able to use the educator's discount card would be even better I'm sure.

 

Thanks.

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Um... this is probably a complete newbie question, but since I *am* a newbie to the entire HS idea, I'm going to ask it anyway... what do you have to do to get one of these cards? Do they ask for any sort of proof that you're homeschooling or do you just have to request it? I have a Books-A-Million that just opened near my house and a couple of Borders/B&Ns in town, and I'd love to save a few extra bucks.

 

Thanks!

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You can use the discount card online? I knew and have had educator discount cards before, but could never use them online (and obvisouly over here we do everything like that online!) Currently I order as many of our books as possible through BAM, but we access it through the AFFES site and it saves us money. But being able to use the educator's discount card would be even better I'm sure.

 

Thanks.

 

I was a member of their (paid) club and could use that online. It often made things cheaper than amazon and they had better free shipping for me too. Our BAM isn't close enough for me to "pop in" and use a HS card.

 

Joann's has an AWESOME discount card - 15% off of everything, including sale prices. Then it comes with a 20% off coupon that is good on anything too! I'm still saving mine for the year :D You can get it in store, or online. I did my first one online since they weren't close to us. I had to provide a membership number from a group (free). It sounded way more complicated than it was.....

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I've saved a lot of money by frequenting the sale/swap boards--

here at WTM, at homeschoolclassifieds, at amazon, and at vegsource. I look for stuff in really, really good condition--creases and stray marks don't bother me, but I won't erase a workbook again, and I like to have all the pages.

 

I've never been to our state's homeschool convention, but I'm going this year. I hear their sale of used curricula is well-worth it. I want to see what I'm getting, too.

 

I've also saved money by not always getting the latest edition of some text books. For example, the Spielvogel Western Civ is about 60-80 bucks for the latest version. One edition back (5th, I believe) is very good (and is the old recommendation from SWB), and I only paid about $25 for it--I've seen it cheaper now.

 

Another $ saver, esp for new homeschoolers or homeschoolers entering another stage, is to make sure your materials don't cover the same thing. Lots of us hear something is really good, so we buy it, only to find out we already had something that covered the same skills.

 

Finally, some people put their loose-leaf items in page protectors, so that they stay nice and can be resold. I don't like the feel of plastic, so I don't do that, but I've heard it can really help. Page protectors also allow children to share a workbook--they just write answers in grease pencil or dry erase right on the page protector, which can then be erased and passed on.

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I enjoy my books-a-million discount. However, the discount is off of the retail price. If it is something that amazon carries I often find that it is cheaper to order from there. Especially since our tax rate is high and negates almost half of the educator discount.

 

It's great for items on their discount table. :D

 

Well then I may have to get one because I find loads of really good books on their discount table. I mean good stuff, classics, not just a bunch of pop-up books and puzzle books like my Borders has.

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I've never been to our state's homeschool convention, but I'm going this year. I hear their sale of used curricula is well-worth it. I want to see what I'm getting, too.

 

.

 

Chris

If your'e referring to the HEAV convention, I went last year.

 

For the used booksale I have two pieces of advice:

Wear running shoes and bring a suitcase. Really. That's what people do.

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I buy almost all of my curriculum used, except the consumable ones. One of my favorite used stores is www.exodusbooks.com. He ships any size order for $3.50. He also sells new items also. If he doesn't have it used you can be put on a waiting list for when he does get it in - assuming you aren't in a real hurry for it. Besides this board, I also use www.homeschoolclassifieds and www.usedhomeschoolcurriculum.com. HTH

 

 

T

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I get great bargains on used books. Here is a site that lists library and other used book sales:

http://www.booksalefinder.com/

 

Scholastic has periodic "warehouse" sales:

http://www.scholastic.com/bookfairs/events/warehouse/

And, if you have some connection with a school (public or private), you can order from Scholastic's monthly brochures -- the deals can be incredible, and there is no shipping fee.

 

I also order a lot from Abebooks (after checking actual book in my public library). Many times the books I want are $1 or so, so, even with shipping, it is cheap. If a book is expensive, just keep checking -- prices vary a lot, not so by where you buy used books online, as when you buy them -- supply & demand. Most Abebook vendors offer a shipping discount when you buy more than one book.

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Paperbackswap.com and the same used curriculum sites other have suggested.

 

At Paperbackswap, you get credits for shipping your own books to others, but you can also buy credits for around $3.50 each and buy books that way. If you can't use the library and must buy the book, that's cheaper than even just the shipping via Half.com. I'm a terrible shipper, so I'm happy to pay the extra little bit to buy the credits, and I'm happy to help support the site (which is currently free). I've gotten most of the FIAR teacher's guides there, some other books like Mudpies to Magnets, most of our SOTW readalouds, and I've seen things like the RS4K books go through there. Obviously, some things have long waiting lists, but if you plan ahead, you can do really well.

 

Some posters here keep long lists of free resources too. I've been wanting to do memory work, but just can't buy Drew's book right now, so in the meantime we're using a free resource that someone here put together, and when I scrape together the money, I'll get Living Memory too.

 

People here often post random free resources as well. Someone posted a link to an SAS supplementary resource, and I know there's a free math curriculum out there. It helps to ask on the curriculum boards here if you're looking for something specific.

 

HTH!

 

Oh, and ETA that rgeular old used book sales, like library sales, often have random bits of curriculum for a song. In the last few months, I've snagged two Oak Meadow curriculum books and a D'Aulaire's Greek Myths for 50 cents each, brand new Saxon K math and phonics sets for $4 each (I spotted a lot of other books at that sale that people here talk about too, but was too overwhelmed to buy more at that point), several sets of Cuisenaire rods, and many, many go-along/readaloud books for a quarter or 50 cents each at our local library/VNA sales.

Edited by melissel
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I buy 90% of my curriculum used at yard sales, thrift stores, library sales, and especially used curriculum sales. There are 3 used curriculum sales in my area each summer. The biggest is one that I help organize and we do over $10,000 in consignment sales in one morning. (Yes, it is a lot of work!) I make a list and buy as much as I can at these sales.

 

I have discount cards for all the bookstores, but I seldom use them. This year I think the only thing I bought at a regular bookstore was SWB's new Ancient History book.

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I see some of the other big book stores listed. I don't know if you might have Half Price Books in your area, but if so, they also offer an educators' discount so it's like getting a double discount.

 

Also, I didn't notice all the office supply stores listed, such as Staples and Office Depot. They offer educator discounts.

 

I also shop book sales and library book sales, yard sales, Sam's Club, etc. for discounted items.

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I am crazy about library book sales. One must wade through junk, but there are gems aplenty in there. Lots of classics and lots of nearly new books. Mine has textbooks, which may or may not be what you want, and is hit-and-miss, obviously. I find what's there to be fascinating. Mine seems to have a lot of upper level math books; I'm not sure who's learning about ordinary differential equations (or not, since the books have been donated away!). I occasionally am tempted by library book sales I see advertised when I am out driving. Ahem. My library has a few days each year when they try to clear out stuff and sell by the bag. The stuff is often not quite as great (it's been picked over), but it's worth a look. I hauled a big bag of classics home last summer.

 

I've found some nice items on this board and homeschoolclassifieds, and various used book websites, too.

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Um... this is probably a complete newbie question, but since I *am* a newbie to the entire HS idea, I'm going to ask it anyway... what do you have to do to get one of these cards? Do they ask for any sort of proof that you're homeschooling or do you just have to request it? I have a Books-A-Million that just opened near my house and a couple of Borders/B&Ns in town, and I'd love to save a few extra bucks.

 

Thanks!

 

It sometimes depends on the individual store of what you have to show. Our states send us a letter of authorization that I use if asked. Most times I don't have to show proof. I also print up homeschool badges from this site. I carry those with me, you could even have them laminated.

 

Now WHAT is discounted can vary from store to store. Some stores will give you the discount on anything, some stores only give discounts on what you will use in the classroom.

 

Our BAMs has kind of cracked down on that. I told them we were using some travel magazines for geography, which we were, and they kind of gave me the evil eye. Sometimes it depends on which cashier you get too.

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