//Guest Series//Homeschooling Supplies

Nerd in the Brain

Hello there! Emily and Grace from Nerd in the Brain back with you today on The Budget Maven. So, we’ve covered curriculum materials and field trips that won’t break the bank. What about all of those other nifty supplies you find yourself needing? You know, things like construction paper, crayons, paper clips, and all that iodine you find yourself needing for science experiments. There are some simple ways to save in this area, too. Here are some tricks we use:


  • Plan, plan, plan – I usually keep a list of all of the materials we’ll need for the next couple of weeks. Why? This helps us not miss opportunities. For example, we once needed sand for an upcoming experiment. The week before, we happened to go to a park with a lake and lovely, sandy beaches. With permission, I grabbed a container full of sand. Rather than going to the craft store and spending money, our sand was free of charge. If you know what you need ahead of time, you won’t be kicking yourself that you didn’t buy those pipe cleaners when they were on sale for 25 cents per giggledy jillion. 🙂
  • Dollar Stores – If you have a list of needed supplies, you are likely to find at least half of what you need at a dollar store. Why pay $6.00 for construction paper when you can get it for $1.00?
  • Be that person – It may make me strange, but I reuse just about everything. Folders, paper clips, jars … heck, I even reuse craft sticks. If it hasn’t been drawn all over or had its parts bent into unrecognizable shapes, I use it again. We have a “school box” where we store all of our strange items that may come in handy again someday. You’d be surprised how often that gets used!
  • Be creative – If a science experiment calls for “clear plastic cups,” I don’t hightail it to the store. Unless there’s a frightening chemical reaction involved that requires plastic to contain it (never), I just use what we have. Jars, glasses, vases … whatever works. An activity calls for a jump rope just because it’s the right length? We use twine. Twine that I then roll back up and put in the school box for future use.
  • Stock up when public school starts – Whenever public school starts in your area, hit the stores for supplies. This is when folder are 10 cents and glue is a quarter. Even if your school year starts in March, keep an eye on the public school calendar for amazing savings. Oh, and don’t forget to buy all the cardstock you need for printing out Nerd in the Brain games and activities. 😉


Check back tomorrow to see a bit about what Grace thinks about being homeschooled on a budget. Before you go, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a $25 credit for the Nerd in the Brain store. {Below is just one of the many math games offered.}

Practice least common multiples with this twist on Rummy.

All you have to do to enter is (choose one of the three options below or do all three for extra entries):

  • Leave a comment sharing your best tip for saving money on school supplies OR mention your favorite item in the Nerd in the Brain shop.
  • Follow Nerd in the Brain on Facebook. (Comment that you followed).
  • Follow the Nerd in the Brain blog. (Comment that you followed).

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