Living & Homeschooling On A (Very Tight) Budget

This post was updated September 17, 2013

Homeschooling is a priority in our family.  My husband and I do whatever we can so  that our children can stay home and learn with us.  Simple living is our key to living and homeschooling on a very tight budget.  We don’t drive fancy cars, live in a fancy house, or have all of the current high-tech gadgets and we are totally okay with that.  We are living a simple and happy life with our children, honestly what could be better?

Even though we don’t have all of the fancy things in life we do have things and things cost money.  Many of the ways that we save money due to simple living.  We make many of the items we need and we often buy secondhand items.  There are several ways that my family cuts corners so that we are able to live, and homeschool, on our tight budget.

ClothesLiving & Homeschooling On A Budget

The majority of our children’s clothing are used and they are totally fine with this.  I find this is a great perk to homeschooling, they have no clue what the current fads or styles are.  Alex and Ava get really excited for the annual clothes swap at a nearby church when we gather up some of their used clothes and go trade them in.  We often find great clothes at thrift stores as well!

Media

We cancelled cable in our house over a year ago (you read about that transition here).  We subscribe to Netflix streaming and have Amazon Prime streaming.  These both provide a wonderful selection of shows for everyone in the family.  There are also awesome documentaries that we use for home learning.  Cancelling cable saved us over $100 a month!

Home Learning Materials

We use limited amounts of traditional school books.  When I do buy workbooks for teaching I make copies.  Any workbooks that Alex has worked in I have made copies.  I copy every page and put it in a binder for him, this way when Ava and Audrey come to this level I do not need to buy another workbook.   If any of the workbooks are not a ‘fit’ for the girls I can easily resell the workbook (which I intend to do when they are done!).

We utilize the library and internet for the majority of our home learning.  I cannot even imagine homeschooling without the resources that are available on the internet, most of them are free!  Most of the books that line our bookshelves have been purchased used at thrift stores, online, or through homeschool groups.

Health Care & Hygiene

I use homeopathic remedies as often as I can.  I think that they are better for our bodies and also cost less than the drugstore medications.  I also make most of our hygiene products.  My kids love to help make deodorant, lip balm, and sunscreen.   Making our own health care and hygiene items is so much better for our bodies and saves us a ton of money!

Recently I started making many of these items in bulk to share with friends, give as gifts and I even sell them in my Etsy store.  Every little bit helps!

Cleaners 

I make most of our household cleaners.  I make it in bulk and it saves a fortune!   Making homemade cleaners is not difficult and is so much better for our health and the environment.  Making homemade laundry detergent can be a science lesson as well!

Food

We are continually making changes in our family to improve the foods that we eat.  I purchase mostly organic…especially the dirty dozen.  We also eat mostly real foods, we avoid processed boxed items and eat out very little.  Making our own food saves us money and helps to keep us healthy.  I bake our own bread, yogurt, snacks, and so much more.  I buy many items, like brown rice and quinoa,  in bulk.  It takes a more time and preparation to prepare real foods but it is worth it!

Of course before I shop I hunt for coupons to use at the store.  My favorite coupons sites are I Heart Publix and Common Kindness.

Gardening

Well, we have not been so successful with this one but we keep trying!   I am hoping that one day our garden will be productive, delicious, and save us a bundle!!

Simple living and cutting corners allows our family to live the life that we desire.  I enjoy discovering and learning new ways to lower our expenses all of the time.  I seek out new information on savings and I have a great network of friends that inspire me with new ideas constantly!

I look forward to discovering ways that  you save money on household or homeschooling expenses…please leave a comment if you have any ideas!!

7 thoughts on “Living & Homeschooling On A (Very Tight) Budget

  1. Gardening in FL can be maddening, but I keep trying! We have to be careful not to run our well dry, plus the water is loaded with salt when we’re in drought (which is all the time the last several years!). I really want rain barrels or a similar water storage system, but we have so many other projects that need to be done and limited $$.

    • Angela says:

      I just recently thought about water barrels when I was at the Environmental Learning Center in Wabasso. They had theirs painted so cute.

  2. Lindsey Sullivan says:

    Its great to read this and feel like there really are other people in the world like me I just don’t personally know them, unfortunately! I am surrounded by people that tend to think I’m a bit crazy or “extreme” mostly…yeah. Anyways, we do everything you just wrote about except making our own bread, and I totally should buy our brown rice in bulk! We are also planning a garden for veggies and fruits next spring. I wanted to be very organized and really have a plan before we dig up our beautiful yard for this project, but boy will it be worth it! We eat organic and real foods also and I am doing loads of research currently on organic gardening…thank goodness I know for sure my hubs has a green thumb and will be a huge help in the tending process, my thumbs are brown lol. We do use rain barrels but I never thought of painting them! What a grea idea…maybe I will get the kids on this for an art project for school = ) So far I make all of my household cleaners homemade myself and some hygiene products as well, I’m currently working on getting started on deodarant and hair care though but that will have to wait while I put a rush on jumping into homeschool this fall…it seems like it will be here tomorrow and I have a lot of work to do to prepare…I think…I’m nervous haha! Wish me luck, thanks again for sharing your blog on my fb page for me to read about your journey thus far. I look forward to keeping up with it and I hope you will read about our first year someday too. As far as the media goes, I tried to cancel ours but we are in a 2 yr contract, ugh, and they want me to pay for every month of the contract whether it’s on or not, go figure. Sooo planning to asap, paying for it anyway, no fun. Not thinking I’m looking forward to all the ink usuage…looks like I better adjust my estimated budget! Thank you!!

    • Angela says:

      Good luck on your journey! The best advice that I can give is try not to get too overwhelmed with homeschooling (easier said than done!). Over the course of our first year we changed up how we ‘schooled’ at least a dozen times. That being said don’t plan to far in advance. This year I set up a loose skeleton of what we want to learn about and then I broke it down into months. At the beginning of the month I will try to break it down into weeks. Sounds good for now but it could all change…ummmm…tomorrow 😉 I will certainly be checking in at your blog to follow your journey. It is so nice to have ‘like-minded’ people around, even if it is in cyber-land!

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