Buy Nothing Groups: Why Homeschoolers Need to Join!

box left for a buy nothing group pickup

Cleaning out your home and have things to get rid of? Need supplies for a homeschool science project, but on a budget? Join your local Buy Nothing Group! Homeschoolers, of all people, should totally be in their local group if they’re not already!

Why join another group?!

I used to be in a ton of resale groups on Facebook. I’d visit the groups throughout the day because items were often sold cheap and fast…and to the first person that would be able to type “interested!” in the comments before someone else did.

Don’t get me wrong, I did score some awesome deals on those sites, but it was frustrating and, quite frankly, sometimes anxiety inducing just keeping up with the groups to make sure I didn’t miss out on something awesome.

Don’t even get me started talking about claiming items, driving over to complete the purchase, and finding out the item was NOT as described or…even worse…reeked of cat pee (true story).

When I wasn’t purchasing items in these resale groups, I was selling items. It was nice to get a few extra bucks for selling items my family no longer needed, but…let me tell you…sometimes the effort put into making a sale actually happen was NOT worth it.

Most of the sales went through without trouble, but SO many people wouldn’t show up as promised leaving me to put even more effort into trying to sell an item. Oh, and then there were the times people would agree to a price online, but, when we met in person, would try to haggle or get me to accept less claiming they “didn’t have exact change.” Um. No.

Why join another group? I can pretty much promise you, if your local buy nothing group is anything like mine, it will be a million times better than participating in a resale group. You probably won’t even miss getting pennies on the dollar for the action figures your kids are done playing with. So, while it might initially be a pain in the butt to join yet another Facebook group, trust me. The Buy Nothing group is a group you WANT to be in.

Sidenote: since you’re a homeschooling parent, you also want to join That Homeschool Family Hangout on Facebook!

an adult putting a folded plaid shirt into a donation box

How do Buy Nothing groups work?

So, let me tell you how the Buy Nothing Groups work. They’re nothing like the resale groups.

The Buy Nothing Project is a grassroots project, completely run by volunteers. Now, you could read the official criteria for membership, but I’m going to tell you about how it works in my group (which, really, should be similar to other groups).

Ok, so, there is no money to be exchanged in the Buy Nothing Groups. You can barter, give, or ask for anything, or any service, with the individuals in your community.

Yes, your community. You won’t be driving an hour to pick up a bike or have someone asking you to ship your item to them three states away. Buy Nothing Groups are location-specific and you are allowed to be ONLY in the group for the town in which you live.

Remember those feelings of being bummed when you missed out on a super awesome item in the resale group because you weren’t fast enough to comment? That won’t be happening in the Buy Nothing Facebook Groups. No sir!

When you list an item or service as a “give” in your Buy Nothing Group, you are asked to wait at least 24 hours before making a decision as to which person gets that item or service.

Why? Because Buy Nothing groups encourage community building and actually getting to know your neighbor instead of just letting the person with the fastest typing fingers (for lack of a better word) “win.”

If you have an item to give, you can ask interested group members to tell you how they’d use that item or even ask them to tell you a funny joke or share their favorite recipe. It’s totally up to you.

Then, after 24 hours have passed, you choose a person. Fun, right? I totally love that the Buy Nothing Groups encourage building relationships within the community – it’s been a refreshing change from the cutthroat resale groups.

click find your new homeschooling community in our FREE Facebook Group! That Homeschool Family Hangout. homeschooling our kids, one adventure at at time

How do I find my local Buy Nothing group?

Oh, I can help with that! To find your local Buy Nothing Facebook group, you can either do a quick search on Facebook for “Buy Nothing” and the name of your town, but you can also find a directory of all the groups on the official Buy Nothing Project website.

Since there are some towns without groups and even some towns with multiple groups (for instance, my town has an “east” and “west” version), you should definitely check the website if you’re not able to find your specific group on Facebook.

If you don’t see a group for your town, you might consider starting your own group! If you would like information on starting your own Buy Nothing Facebook group, you can find all that information on this page.

a child sitting with a box filled with toys to donate

What Can you Find in your Buy Nothing Group?

Just in case you’re not yet convinced that, as a homeschooling parent, joining your local Buy Nothing Group can be extremely beneficial, here’s a list of just a few of the things I’ve either given or received through my group:

  • clothes for kids
  • rainboots for the kids (perfect for their forest school classes!)
  • science experiment kits
  • art supplies
  • so many books!
  • martial arts gear (the boys decided to stop, so we no longer needed the equipment!)
  • moving boxes for our move to Georgia
  • plants (I somehow kept a Golden Pothos alive in 2020 and have loved houseplants ever since!)
  • furniture
  • educational posters
  • a piano (!!)
  • food

Not every Buy Nothing Group is the same, but I totally stand by my belief that they’re totally worth joining!

a person holding a donation box overflowing with clothes

You’ll love it!

I hope this article has helped to open your eyes to how awesome the Buy Nothing groups on Facebook can be! It’s just one of many ways that I am able to both save money for my family and give back to the community.

As soon as I hit “publish” on this article, I’m heading off to box up some of the children’s books we no longer need for a community member who manages a local Free Little Library! No surprise, I found her in my Buy Nothing group!

Until next time, stay safe and enjoy quality time with your family,

- Elizabeth (and the kids. and the husband. even the dog.)

Elizabeth Dukart is a proud Georgia-based born and raised Jersey Girl, wife, and mom of 2 human boys & 1 canine boy.

Created in 2021, Elizabeth owns and publishes That Homeschool Family: a free resource for homeschooling parents and beyond! A seasoned blogger, Elizabeth previously published a popular location-specific family resource blog, but decided to “Pivot!” her blogging focus after she started homeschooling her two boys in 2020. In addition to this blog, you can follow Elizabeth’s homeschooling and family adventures on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She can also be found in her Facebook Group: That Homeschool Family Hangout.

When she’s not busy taking over the world or homeschooling, Elizabeth can be found listening to music (especially The Beatles & Harry Styles!), being silly with her boys, watching movies with family, shopping, or traveling!

Have a question or want to work with Elizabeth? Send her an email!

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