We LOVE books in this home and if you're a homeschooling family you know just how many books you need to have (LOTS). But we also all know how quickly those books can break the bank. This year (being our first year of officially homeschooling) I want to really track how much we spend on books. I am not counting curriculum text books such as Math but will include books I get to go with our reading program or other supplemental books to go along with Science and History and any other books we get for our home library. To do this, in a small journal I will right down how many books I got and how much total I spent. Whether I got the books on sale, free, or full price I will be tracking it.
Here is how we will build a better home library without breaking the bank:
1. The Library!Some libraries have little "stores" in them where you can buy books that they have multiple of for really cheap. Others have a donation area where they just give out the books they don't need that have been donated to them for free or even have a donation day where they save all the books for six months to a year then do a day where they set them out for anyone to take. Our library looks through the donations they get and anything they don't need they have in a box for anyone to take. This doesn't happen to often but when it does the books I have found have been pretty good! The photos below show our latest finds!
2. Thrift Stores!Sometimes you really have to look through the thrift stores to find good deals but its normally worth it. If you have multiple thrift stores in your area you could spend a day scoping them out to find what ones have the best price and selection of books. Some will have great prices but they will put any quality of books out while others may be a little more costly but the books are mostly new. Some of them are not worth the time to search though in hopes to find a few good books in good condition so that is why I highly recommend taking that one day to find the best stores in your area.
3. Garage Sales!Give the kids some money and take them on an adventure to see how many good condition books they can find for the money you gave them that fits their interests/reading level (and that you allow in your home). Or if you live in an area that doesn't do many garage sales look online! There are lots yahoo groups and facebook pages dedicated to online garage sales.
4. Freecycle!I have seen so many books being given away on www.freecycle.org . Some are in good condition and some not. But they are all free so even if you find just a few good ones I still find it worth it. And that site is not just for books so you can find some other really cool things sometimes!
5. Book Swaps!Gather some friends and some books that are in good condition that you no longer want and do a playdate or a coffee date at someone's home or a local play area or park and every one can pick through some books to find some they would like to add to their collection. (I will have another post with some practical ways of hosting a book swap hopefully in a month or so, be on the look out for it!)
6. Book Clubs!There are a good amount of book clubs you can find online for kids, teens, and adults where you get a few books for free for signing up and then you pay a monthly fee and get more books. Sometimes these deals can work out great and other times they really aren't worth the cost. I haven't personally tried any of them so I'm not going to share any links with you at this time. But I know many who love their book clubs so I felt it would be a good thing to mention. If this is something you have interest in just look online! But please do the research to find the best fit for your family.
7. Online Stores!Many online stores offer great discounts from time to time that are too good to pass up. One of my favorites is Christianbook.com. Their deals are always changing and I have found some great books for myself and the kids most for $5 or less!
8. Discount Cards!Some stores offer discount cards that help you save a little bit on the books. Sometimes you have to pay for the cards and other times they are free. Sometimes they make up for the discounts by raising the costs of the books so you're really not saving that much. But if you learn how to shop the sales and use the discounts (especially from Black Friday through January) it can be worth it.
Well that should get you started.... I hope that at least one of these suggestions will help you and your family grow your home library without breaking the bank.
Want to see how much you are spending this year on books? Track it with me! I'm sure you can find a little journal somewhere in your home and start writing down every time you bring books into your home how much they cost and how many. In a few months at the end of one of my posts I will give an update on mine and would love to have an update from you!
Did I miss any ways to save money on books? Please share with us!
~~~ Please whenever you are meeting someone you don't know to get books (or anything) whether it be from Freecycle or online garage sale sites and such, don't go alone (no your kids don't count!). Its always better to be safe then sorry.~~~