The following is a post from guest writer Paula.
It’s that time of year again when homeschool moms are planning for the next school year and assessing our current curriculum. We’re thinking about what works, what doesn’t, and what should change. Once we decide on what we want, we fill out the order form and put down our money, right?
Here are a few steps that I take before I actually put my money down for that “perfect” curriculum.
Make a list. I make a list of all of the curriculum and books I want for the upcoming school year and put it into a spreadsheet. I include the author if I think it may be necessary as I search.
Check my inventory. There may be a book that was required for one of my older children that I can reuse for the younger ones, or something I just had on hand. Another resource may be a friend or family member that may have something they will not be using this year. It won’t hurt to ask around a little.
Look at the top retailer’s prices. I look at the publisher’s site, Amazon, CBD, and Rainbow Resources. I make a column for each of these retailers on my spreadsheet and enter in their prices. I also write down their shipping policy. Sometimes it may appear cheaper at one place until I add in the shipping costs.
Highlight the best price. Seeing all those numbers in one spot can become dizzying. I factor in the shipping rates and highlight the best price. Sometimes I can get a lower shipping rate if I reach a certain amount, so I make sure to keep that in mind.
Start shopping! I don’t have to shop only at the retailers listed. I can try and get a better price. I check Ebay, Craigslist, or used book sales. I also check the state homeschool convention. There I can buy directly from the company, usually avoiding any shipping charges and sometimes getting an additional discount.
Having a list prepared with a base price will help you get the best deal on your next year’s curriculum. On the other hand, if you receive quality service or time with a certain retailer or company it’s sometimes worth spending a little more and giving them your business.
I hope these tips are helpful to you as you start preparing for the upcoming homeschool year.
How do you prepare for curriculum shopping?
Paula is the homeschooling mother of three. She writes about homeschool, God, homemaking, ways to save money, healthy living, and her family at Average Housewife. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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