One of the blog posts I came across in the Carnival is
Barbara Frank: Cacophony of Curricula and it just reminded me that when I first started homeschooling, some of the materials I used were on xeroxed pages, and some were actually mimeographed. (Does anybody else remember the buzz you got from sniffing that purple ink?)
Somewhat later, I can also remember getting some materials at a small Lutheran school that was closing and they were selling off all their textbooks. There were a lot of book publishers that would not sell to homeschoolers, so a textbook on New Jersey history for $2 was considered an amazing find.
It was so much easier when there weren't so many choices.