Homeschool moms get giddy with excitement over used curriculum sales. For me, it is like Christmas. There are certainly good deals to be had, but you have to do your homework first.
Used Curriculum Sales
- Set a budget and use cash - It is easy to over spend and over buy, with cash it is easier to keep yourself under control.
- Make a list of your needs, wants and desires.
- Look at what books you have already so you do not purchase doubles.
- Research them on the Internet or through catalogs - Besides reading reviews and sample lessons, look at the cover of the book so you can spot it easily. There are mountains of books at these sales, and some are better organized than others. Time is of the essence, lots of other moms are looking for the same books too.
- While you are researching, write down the least expensive price for the books new. Almost always at these sales, the homeschool mom, who is selling her used items, sets the price, so you could over pay for a used item or get the item new for $1 more.
- When you are buying consider where you are going to put it. If you are going to need a new bookcase, set aside the money before hand. IKEA has a great $30 bookcase. Also, before the sale, it would be a good idea to give away books you no longer want. You could also sell or Paper Back Swap your books as well, but I do love to bless other homeschool families with FREE stuff because we have been blessed so many times through the generosity of others.
- The early bird gets the books! - Homeschool moms are serious about these things, get there at the start or you will miss all the good items.
- Where comfortable shoes and bring a crate with wheels. While you are at it, eat a good meal - protein = ability to think.
Most Friends of the Library have their own used books sales to raise money for the library. You can get great books here dirt cheap. We have gotten heaps of books, videos, and audio books at our library's sale. The children's books are 50 cents or 3 for $1. This is where knowing the cover of the book comes in very handy, and can save you tons of money - .50 for a $20 book you need for school!
This is also a great way to build a home library or book nook. Besides memorizing the classic children literature, I will buy any book with an award or Reading Rainbow seal on it. At .50 they are so cheap, even if I buy a book that turns out to be stinky or unfit for us, I have not lost much money.
However, once back at home screen your books carefully for worldly ways or things that you do not want in your Christian home. Once I spotted a beautiful picture book with hidden images, my child would love the animals arranged by alphabet. At home I read the book carefully and looked at the hidden pictures, and low and behold a swastika. We through that one in the trash! The book was Animalia by Graeme Base, and there is more hidden than just that - such a shame. Read a review here, I disagree with the review's author that the swastika is a good opportunity to talk to my Kindergartner about its various meanings. Anyway, you get my point, be careful about what comes into your home.