Many preppers make the choice to homeschool their children. Many teachers who are preppers also collect textbooks in case of the fall of society, and plan to help rebuild it through education. Education is extremely important for all of us, and we should be striving to always be learning. Being a prepper and homeschooling can become expensive easily.
This is just that much more important in an emergency situation. Schools may not be available, or even safe to go to one day. I always hope that day never comes, but I also always hope everyone is ready for it to happen. The one key component to this is books. How do you obtain books to homeschool without destroying your bank account? Well, there are several great ways! Books can be very expensive, especially if you are collecting them.
Thrift stores are an excellent source of many things preppers can use. The best part about this is the discounted prices. Some stores run a color tag sale. Like, all white tags are full price. Yellow tags are 25% off. Green tags are 50% off. These are fantastic because you can find some even better deals this way. Or, if you know an older person who is willing to go with you, they automatically get a discount, typically.
You never know what you will find at a garage sale, and that is the fun of it. The search. Sometimes you may find something amazing, and sometimes you may come away empty handed. There is absolutely no guarantee that you will find what you’re looking for. But, if you do, you can pick it up for next to nothing. Typically when someone has a garage sale, it is simply to get rid of excess stuff taking up space in their home or garage. They are just happy to see it go away.
Some libraries will sell used and/or possibly outdated books, and even have free events. You’ll want to check with your local library and see if they do run these kinds of events and when they are. Who knows what you will find there, but it is always worth checking it out.
At the dollar store that I go to, I’ve noticed an increase in the volume of books they sell. All for $1. Some of it is just junk, and some of it can be a big score. It is very hit and miss, as many of these options are. There is no guarantee of success. But, it is always worth the time to check it out.
The last time I was there, I found a book by a favorite author for $1. I’ve since made a list of her books I have, but even if it turned out to be a duplicate, I could turn around and give it as a gift or donate it to a library, give it to a friend, or anyone. It was brand new and only cost $1.
The biggest annoyance with this is it can be time consuming is that there is no organization to it. The books are simply stacked on a table. If you happen to find some at your dollar store, be sure that you have some time to really sort through these.
Neighborhood Free Libraries
I’m seeing these pop up more and more around town, and they are the coolest thing. It is a little covered box with shelves and a door to protect the books, and it is free to anyone to come and take books or donate them to it for others as well. I am always stopping to check these out when I see them. Who knows what I’ll find, and I always keep track of them when I am ready to get rid of books as well. You could even put one up at the corner or edge of your yard or driveway.
Many small local bookstores will do trade-ins and give you store credit. Chain stores do not do this, but many small stores do. This is a great way to get rid of the books you no longer need, and not break the bank for updated or newer ones. The ones that I have been to generally sell books for 50% off the cover price, and give 25% back in store credit when you trade in a book.
If you are going to a chain store, they have bargain and clearance sections that can be great as well. It is always worth it to take the time and check things out. I actually found some other “school” supplies when I was in the bookstore the other day on clearance. I found some file folders, binders, and a few other things. They are for a specific project, but they are still school supplies. I’m always amazed at what I can find in the clearance sections.
This is an excellent way to not only acquire books you need, but help family and friends find the perfect holiday gifts that are useful for you as a prepper, or your kids who are homeschooled. I am always asking if my family wants books or has a wish list that I can buy from for books around the holidays, especially for those who have kids. If their child is reading a series, I’ll find out which ones they have and then pick up the next couple for them.
As a prepper in a catastrophic situation, this option may be useless. But, in the meantime with no emergencies currently, it is a very viable option. I personally prefer real books though. Because after let’s say an EMP, our eReaders aren’t going to be much more than a paperweight.
The great thing about this option currently is that you can find really cheap and even free books. If there is a way to convert these to a PDF file and print, it would be extremely useful. Although ink and paper can be expensive. But it is certainly an option. Just think about the possible issue with it being digital and not printed on paper.
Do you know other parents who are homeschooling their kids? They may be happy to trade books they are no longer using, or you have some they need. It is always worth taking the time to ask and see if you can do some sort of trading for what each of you needs. This is a great prepper trait overall too. Trading, bartering, sharing. Helping others will come back to you in more ways than one. I happen to enjoy it, when I can help someone else.
When looking for books, no matter what kind, I would recommend making a list of anything specific you are looking for. I would also make another list of books you already have to avoid buying duplicates. I have a favorite author that I collect all of her books. However, she has written so many that my husband keeps a list on his phone so that when we find any, we check the list to avoid buying duplicates. That is a huge waste of money. List making is definitely the way to go for us!
If you are saving money on books, you may be able to do more with homeschooling in other ways instead. Maybe you can afford more for art supplies, or even upgrades to the room you use to homeschool. Build an area specifically for it for your kids, which will help them focus on just school and learning.
Or, that money may be able to go toward other prepping items for your family as well. That is all up to you, really. I always say that when I save money in one area, it affords me the opportunity to use it in other areas.
Where are the places you buy cheap books that you love? I’m always looking for new ideas.