Saturday, April 16, 2016

Homeschooling: How to Save Money on Next Year's Curriculum

It's hard to believe we are in the month of April!  Like many homeschooling families, we are trying to get a handle on getting things wrapped up by the end of May.  We have had some unexpected things happen this month, and unfortunately, I haven't been able to coach The Youngest as much as I would have liked.  And now that it is half way through the month, I feel the added stress of deciding what to do for next year, along with knowing how much money to spend.

We haven't been homeschooling for too long, but I have learned that April appears to be the month for curriculum planning. To try to stay ahead of the game, I designated a day last week to get my plan in gear, mostly to take advantage of sales and auctions.  

Here are some ways that may help you as you do your curriculum planning:  

1.  Look for sales from the major companies. For instance, this month Alpha Omega that has a 20% off sale until April 30th. Order direct from their website or purchase through where you may be able to qualify for free shipping. (And they accept Paypal, which is helpful!)

2.  Look for textbooks on eBay.  Many homeschool textbooks are beginning to appear on eBay.  Now would be the time to get in on auctions for needed items before it gets crazy!  I was able to get our Saxon math set for half the price of retail through a Buy It Now option.  Last year I didn't start looking until June, just to lose many auctions and pay too much for a book that we planned to use.  

3.  Look for offers through group buys.  The best place to look into for specials on curriculum is at Homeschool Buyers Co-op.  They also offer Smart Points, which are redeemable towards other subscriptions, etc. for your homeschool. 

4.  Don't forget to check Amazon. If you cannot find your choices through the main store, keep checking since more and more items are showing up through the participating booksellers. 

How do you save money on your homeschool curriculum?  Share in the comments below!

Monday, April 04, 2016

#musesofamom: This App Pays the Most on My Groceries!

Many of us moms use couponing to save what we can on our weekly grocery bill.  I have two, constantly hungry teenage boys, so I will deliberately set aside time planning my grocery trips, looking at the ads and matching what coupons I can for items we need, or what I can add to the pantry that will keep these guys fed.  And like you, I will clip coupons from the Sunday paper inserts and visit websites such as to print coupons. 


However, there are times when there are not any coupons for available items (produce is a good example).  Or -- I  just don't have the time for couponing.  Life is hectic.

However, if you haven't yet tried Ibotta, you need to download this app as soon as possible!  Ibotta gives cash back on many grocery items at the most popular grocery stores, including Target, Whole Foods and even gas stations!  Ibotta is extremely helpful because they offer rebates on items and brands that we use every day -- not obscure or expensive products.  Savings can accumulate quickly if you use it on a regular basis.

For instance: this week you can get a $.25 rebate on produce if you need bananas or onions, and a $5 rebate on Luvs Ultra Leakguard diapers at Target.*  Easy savings without using coupons.

And of course, using coupons with the app can help you save even more. You can get a rebate of $.50 this week on Honey Nut Cheerios, so if you also have a coupon to use at the store, you can probably double your savings. There have been times when a good coupon and a rebate hit at the same time that allows me to get an item free or almost free.

Download the app and try it. There are many grocery saving apps out there that are pretty good as well, but I have found that Ibotta is the easiest and the most used savings app I currently have on my smartphone.

And lucky you!  if you use this link for Ibotta, you will receive FREE a $10 bonus when you redeem your first rebate!  Don't wait!

*Savings change on a weekly basis, and receipts need to be submitted when offer is active.  See website for details.