5 Tips For Finding Frugal Homeschool Supplies at a Yard Sale

by Donna on May 25, 2012

It’s the most wonderful time of the of the year…

Yard Sale Season!

Every spring my mother-in-law and I LOVE to go “yardsaleing”(which I think should be added to Webster’s Dictionary!).  We love finding a bargain, we love the treasure hunt, and we love to just hang out together.  I know, I’ve said it before, I am so blessed to adore my mother-in-law.  She is a wonderful second mom to me and “Super  Mimi” to our children!  Ok, back to our yard sale adventures…

Since we will be homeschooling starting this summer, I have been stocking up on books for our family library as well as looking for any toys, games or curriculum for our classroom.  I have had GREAT success so far this year!  If you haven’t searched at your local yard sales for Homeschool items, you might be surprised at what you’re able to find!   To encourage you even more I’m sharing 5 tips to prepare you for the hunt!

 

5 Tips For Finding Frugal Homeschool Supplies at a Yard Sale:

1. Know what you are looking for.

Carry a list with you.  I know that I’m always looking for books, we can never have too many!  I also love to find age-appropriate workbooks, educational games, and arts and craft materials.  I always keep an eye out for used homeschool curriculum, although it is a rare thing, you might just find what you are looking for (just like I did….keep reading…)

 

2. Be ready to hunt.

Be prepared to dig through boxes and boxes of books or toys. Many of the ‘treasures’ I’ve found were not out in plain sight, I had to work for them! 

 

3. Go to a development/neighborhood sale.

This is the key to my success. Going to a big neighborhood that is having a “community sale” or “neighborhood sale” is the best way to get more ‘bang for your buck’!  I have saved so much time and money by looking for local neighborhood sales in our area.  We park the car and walk up and down the roads stopping at any sale that looks promising.  This saves you tons on gas and if you find a yard sale this just isn’t great, you haven’t wasted precious (and expensive) gas getting there! 

 

4. When you find a great yard sale, make a note! 

Especially if you find a homeschool family!  If you are comfortable you can leave your name and number with the person holding the sale.  I’ve done this once in the past and the mom called 2 times before she had her yard sale.  She even invited us over the day before the sale to have first pick!  I also write down the address of great yard sales and the dates that they held their sale. This way you remember the specific neighborhood again next year.   Be bold and keep good records, you might just meet a great local homeschooling family that is happy to sell their used curriculum to you when they are done with it! 

 

5. You never know where you’ll find the treasure!

Great finds can be anywhere: an elderly retiring teacher’s house, a young homeschooling mom’s house, a grandma & grandpa’s house even at your local Goodwill or Salvation Army!  If you have the time, it never hurts to check out a sale or consignment store. 
 
** These tips are also great for when you are going to yard sales to find kids clothes. Before our daughter was born we had sizes newborn – 2t clothes stockpiled because of all the great yard sales we hit! 


6. BONUS: 
Library Book Sales!!!

 
Don’t forget about Library Sales!!  I’ve become a recent Library Book Sale addict… I just can’t believe the great deals!!
You can search for public book sales at BookSaleFinder.Com!   

So what can I really find at a yard sale for my homeschool?

Here are just a few of our recent yard sale treasures!

 

  • This Montessori Clock was a bargain for $2.00!

Montessori Clock

  • Reference books are always a great find!

Reference Books

MY Awesome find this year has to be the Primer Teacher’s Guide and CD for Math-U-See, an excellent math program that we were hoping to use this year!  the DVD and Teacher’s Guide retails for $30.00 on their site (and worth every dime).  I was able to purchase it for just $10!

 

Primer Math U See Can you say “SCORE!!!”   I was planning on ordering it the next week! Saved $20 plus shipping!!  I still ordered the student book and blocks but it was great to save $20! 

 

Pattern Blocks and Cards ($1.00 – They retail for over $30!)

Shapes and Cards

  • Manipulatives (ABC magnetic squares, ABC chips, Magnetic shapes, Paper shapes, etc) ($0.10 – $0.50/ set!)
  • Chalkboards and mini white boards (perfect for handwriting practice!) ($0.25 – $0.50 each)

Manipulatives

 

Have you found any great deals at local yard sales? What are your tricks for finding a real ‘treasure’?  I would love to add your tips to this article, leave a comment below!

 

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica May 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm

New to your site because of the CTB giveaway. (thanks BTW) So glad we found you. Great tips! My son is 3 and we are already starting to look over curriculum and getting ideas to be ready.

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Donna May 26, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Jessica, I’m so glad you stopped back over! I’m sure this first year for us will be a journey! I hope to take good notes and post my experiences here!

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aurie May 25, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Great tips!! Way to go on Math U See – that’s one of the programs I’m looking at as well :)

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Donna May 26, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Aurie, We started Primer and Claire loved it. She did 2 lessons and wanted to keep going. She loved the videos and the blocks really do help to keep it fun! I’ve always heard great things about Math U See, let me know if you decide to use it.

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Brittney May 26, 2012 at 12:58 am

Love the clock! I can’t make myself get up and out of the door early enough to be productive at yard sales, but I make it a point to go to goodwill more during yard sale season, especially after community yard sales. I have found numerous books, puzzles and unique board games this way. Many of the games I’ve found are older/unique games from the 70′s and 80′s that I’m not familiar with and do not seem to be available any longer. I’ve even found bags of cookie cutters for the kids to use for play-doh!

Oh, and I love the Book Sale Finder website! I even used it to find a great sale when we were on vacation last year!! ;-)

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Donna May 26, 2012 at 9:21 pm

The clock was such a great find! I love your idea about going to Goodwill after community yard sales! Brilliant – I’ll add that to my post, also your tip to use the Book Sale Finder when you go on vacation, I’ll be doing that this summer!! So smart, Brittney! Thanks!

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Daniele @ Domestic Serenity May 26, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Great tips and info Donna!

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Donna May 26, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Thanks Daniele! :)

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Christan Resz May 26, 2012 at 8:01 pm

I’ve found a few things, but nothing as good as you! I’d love to find a discount Math-U-See primer somewhere! And that clock is fantastic! I have found some great books. We’re also tackling beginning sewing next year, and I found some fun easy sewing felt pieces. I’ll be on the lookout for the rest of the summer!

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Donna May 26, 2012 at 9:23 pm

I’m telling you, Christian, that Math U See curriculum was an amazing find! I was giddy! I thought I was acting a bit TOO excited but the mom selling it totally understood my joy! I’m excited to see what other great things I find this summer. Happy Bargain Hunting!

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Karyle May 29, 2012 at 7:16 am

Those are definitely great sales and great products we can have at a cheaper price.. This is what I am looking for actually.. Thanks!
Karyle recently posted..Learning a Foreign Language Can Be Challenging but RewardingMy Profile

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Jennifer S June 4, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Great finds! Isn’t it exciting when you stumble across something you need for so much cheaper at a yard sale? I think I squealed out loud when I found one of our core MFW texts for next year for only $1. :) I like your tip about making a note of addresses that have homeschool resources at their yard sales–it would be great to be a ‘repeat customer’.
I usually check our local craigslist site before the weekend. Sometimes folks don’t put an ad in the paper but they’ll list their yards sales online. I just search for homeschool and see if any pop-up.

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kat August 5, 2012 at 5:49 am

I’ve found many cheap books from Goodwill over my 10 years of homeschooling, I love to pick up a Landmark book for $0.50, when I know the used book store sells the same volume for $10. My best find was a Saxon math book for $1 and a Kingfisher’s Encyclopedia of the US for $0.50.

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Jessica August 19, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I love to yard sale! Kid clothes are the #1 reason I go. I find children’s clothes for the upcoming season from $0.25-1.00! Another good tip is to find a homeschool group and advertize online to do a homeschool exchange with many homeschool families. I was able to score Story of the World for $20 for both books. Not to mention finding alphabet games, shapes, manipulatives, clocks, etc.

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emilia June 19, 2014 at 7:06 pm

thanks!!

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susan June 19, 2014 at 7:09 pm

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