I know when I see other homeschool families pins on Pinterest and photos on their blog I get excited. “Wow, that looks fun,” “I could do that!” “That would fit perfectly in our homeschool!” Then, reality hits. The price tag.
It doesn’t matter how “cheap” and “frugal” the craft or activity is, most of the time you will need to BUY something to make it work. And the little things add up. A can of spray paint here, some glitter glue there, before you know it you’ve completely spent what you normally spend in a single grocery trip buying materials for your homeschool!
The way I look at it, is, if I feel like I NEED it NOW, then I probably shouldn’t buy it! It’s like when I take my kids to the store. They see a shiny new something or other and just HAVE to have it. Of course, I nipped that in the bud immediately and say, we are just looking, if you want something just add it so your wishlist. And believe it or not, it works!!
I’ve learned to simply take a mental note of what I want and then wait. And wait. And wait.
When I go “back to school” shopping for our homeschool I have a mental note of what I need. Supplies, storage units, etc. Then, I choose to be creative. For example, today I was looking for a decent white erase board. Rather than going to Office Max and buying the top of the line model, (Even though I wanted to, I mean a white board IS kind of essential!) instead I hit second hand shops. I didn’t find a state of the art new board, but I DID find an easel in good condition with a white board on it. And, get this, for only $1.95!!
Perfect! Now, not all my great finds come so quickly. Often times I do have to wait. But it usually is for things that I don’t need right away anyways. I would have loved to decorate our space with nice curtains the day we started homeschooling. But curtain rods add up. We have close to 30 windows in our house. Buying rods and curtains adds up and fast! So, the homeschool room windows have kind of been put on hold. Fortunately, today, I found roads at 95 cents a piece. And just enough for the homeschool room and stairway windows leading to the room. A much brighter price tag than $6 a piece for new ones.
Remember, I am a THRIFT schooling mom here. If I think I can find it at a lower price, I am willing to wait! My advice to help you avoid paying full price is to wait it out. Be patient and keep your eyes open for used or clearance items!