Wednesday, January 25, 2012

a thrifty way to home school

If you are like us sacrificing half (or more) of your earning power to stay home you have to find creative ways to save money.  While at the same time there is great stuff out there to buy for your child's education.  It's true, there are stores and catalogs and on-line pages filled with neatly packaged (& expensive!) teaching materials but you don't need any of that to have a wonderful home library filled with books, games, science & art supplies.  Most of our treasures we have found at local second hand stores for pennies on the dollar.
Using a library card & free download sites we fill in the gaps. How about utilizing the free-days offered by many zoos and museums (just remember to go early!).  
Local link: Salt Lake ZAP free events

Local Library Activities
Keep in mind memberships only save you money if you really use them.  And when purchasing memberships look around first.  Check for benefits to multiple places or events of interest or options such as money saving week days only pass. Don't forget to ask for any discounts you may be qualified to receive, you would be surprised by the amount of places offering discounts based on where you buy your giant bundles of toilet paper. 

Heading to The Children's Theatre of Utah
for a home school field trip performance
Community Centers and Libraries often offer free or low cost events along with Play Houses & Ski Resorts.  We love Alta's Ski-Free-After-3 program, no black out dates all season!  Skip the sticker shock of seeing movies on opening nights and hit the second run theater for huge savings.  Get creative- Airports, Government Services such as the Forest Service, Factories, Bakeries, and other business offer free tours & sometimes great give aways.
Depending where you live your local schools can also be a resource, from use of their library to joining in on a PE or music class.     

Community Center Jr. Swim Team

Ski Free After 3 Alta Ski Resort

Sometimes your best resources are your own friends or families.  Whether it is an organized swap of clothing & toys or hand-me-down sporting gear to the stack of old magazines your aunt sends your way, every bit helps.  Often we come home to find a bag of miscellaneous items left on the door step, usually it is crafting supplies we have asked our friends and family to look out for, for us.
There truly are so many ways to cut costs without missing out on all the fun.  I'm sure I missed noting some great ideas(please feel free to add your hints in the comments) but those are a few of the ideas we use the most.
Happy Savings!


  1. Such great ideas! We love the library, and the on-line library where we can borrow audio books. Hmm, what else do we use? The local college (Iowa State University) offers great children's shows during the day for very little money, and our conservation center offers some really neat programs as well. Many of them we can volunteer for which not only is cool in itself, we get to learn all the neat things they teach for free :)

    1. I love the idea of volunteering as a way to explore!