Last Minute Rock-Bottom Deals on Gifts and Toys at Amazon!

December 15, 2009

Sorry for the long time away – the holidays with a family of 7 are a bit crazy ūüôā

We took a trip to Vermont for Thanksgiving and just finished the happy chaos of gingerbread houses last night (my next upcoming post!)


Since I’m¬†an avid¬†bargain shopper, some friends have been asking how I get such good deals on Christmas gifts.¬† Here’s my secret:

I do a lot of shopping this time of year at Amazon.¬† Combined with the Free Month Trial of Amazon Prime, I’m able to get many of my gifts on sale with no tax, and shipped right to my door.

But, you have to hurry – there are only 2 days left to get gifts delivered in time for Christmas with Free Super Saver Shipping.


Here are a few of the tips I use to find the best deals:

  1. Check out the Holiday Lightning Deals that come up throughout the day.¬† You can scroll through them in the morning, and see if there is anything you’re interested coming up that day.¬† Make sure to check back right on the hour, if it’s something popular.¬† There are usually plenty, but often for no more than 10 – 15 minutes.¬† For example, there has been a nice Lego set ($30-$50) come up almost every day for 50% off!¬† Or a big $25 Transformers toy for $9.99.¬† There are gone quick.
  2. Check out the Movers and Shakers Page to find items that have suddenly increased in popularity.¬† This is a great way to find items that have suddenly dropped in price and are worth buying.¬† Click on you catergory on the left, ie. “Toys” to see what’s a deal.
  3. Browse the list of items that are discounted 70% off or more on Toys.¬† Many toys are the cheapest they’ll be all year and make great additions to a ‘gift box’ you can keep in the closet and have on hand for future birthday parties, etc.
  4. Check out the 18 Days of Video Game Deals, with the Special Deal of the Day Рsomething new only for that day.
  5. And if you’re looking for FREE:¬† Check out 25 Days of Free Holiday Songs¬†– a new MP3 is added every day, and if you missed any, they are all available right now.¬† This makes for a great list to play for holiday background music on your computer.

Here are some examples of HOT deals today (Grab them quick, prices change fast!):


Lil’ Movers Vehicles – Tow ‘N Pull Tractor¬†– $5.99 down from $17.99


20Q Harry Potter Р$7.99 down from $24.99


Melissa & Doug Birthday Party Birthday Cake $9.99 half price from $19.99 (My 4-year-old LOVES this Рhe still plays with it a year later and ask me to make wishes and blow out candles!)


Trivial Pursuit Digital Choice $9.99 down from $49.99


Monopoly Family Championship $7.99 down from $24.99


Scene It? Deluxe Star Trek Edition$7.99 down from $29.99


There are seriously too many to list.  I enjoy browsing the lists above and finding gifts I know my family and friends will enjoy for half (or more) of the price.


Posted under Homeschool Bargains

Great Deals on Leapfrog with Amazon Coupons.

November 11, 2009


My younger kids love many of the LeapFrog learning products, so I though I’d share some great deals on Amazon right now.

Not only are the products marked down, like the popular Fridge Phonics down to $15 from $22, but if you use the code listed below for Fridge Toys (LPLFT900), it’s another 20% off, making it $12!

They say “while supplies last” so get what you want quickly!

¬†For a complete list –>Complete List of¬†LeapFrog Codes and Deals on Amazon


Posted under Homeschool Bargains

Could You Help Me Out With Some Video Ideas?

July 10, 2009


I’d love to add some homeschool videos to my blog, but I’m having a hard time deciding what would be the most helpful, interesting, and/or entertaining to all of you awesome people who read my blog.

Would you take a moment to comment¬†and give me an idea of what kind of video you’d like to see?

Here are some I’m thinking of.¬† What do you think?¬† Do you have any more/better ideas?

  • Science Experiments
  • Craft and Art How-to’s like making playdough, flubber, etc.
  • Toddler¬†and younger ages¬†hands-on activities ideas.
  • Actual lessons with ideas¬†– like, “Here are three ways we practice the times tables.”
  • Kid productions:¬†puppet shows, poetry readings, ‘special numbers’, talents, etc.

I’d love to make a few videos that are not only fun to watch, but also teach something.¬† Anyway, I’d love your input if you have a second to help me out.¬† Thanks in advance!

Posted under Homeschool Bargains

Share Science and Zoo Memberships – Tuesday Tips

June 16, 2009

If you’re looking to get a membership to the local science museum or zoo, consider sharing one.

Call and ask, but many museums issue two cards to two adults and while they don’t usually advertise it, many are willing to issue the cards to say – two moms from different families. In this case, it does usually mean that Mom has to go on every trip to the museum or zoo, since Dad doesn’t have his own card.¬† But, since one parent is usually the taxi-driver to most of these types of activities, the occasional inconvenience may be worth the savings.

P.S. This will often also be allowed for major shopping club memberships that offer two cards with each account. Simply fill one out with a friend and split the cost.

Do you have a good tip for us now that summer is starting?

Posted under Homeschool Bargains, Tuesday Tips

Quick Bargain Tip for Shoes!

May 7, 2009


I just wanted to share: My favorite online shoe store, (coupon link),¬†is having a 20% off Mother’s Day Sale.

(Edit – Sorry, I didn’t realize the sale is an¬†email campaign, but you can get the same deal using the code: EMLMOMDAY09 – I’m just not sure about combining it with the $10 off coupon)

Remember when little kids’ feet grew so fast that they didn’t have a chance to wear out their shoes?¬† You could get away with buying the ‘cheap-o’ shoes.

Here are my 9-year-old’s ‘cheap-o’ shoes after about 4 months of wear:


And then he convinced Dad to grab him another pair at Walmart while they were out on Saturday and a couple days later – the sole starts peeling off:


So, I broke down and got him some quality shoes from my favorite online shoe store: (Coupon link)

What I like about (Coupon link)

  • % off sales every other month or so – which I try to combine with an already discounted shoe for great deals.
  • Free shipping
  • Free returns¬†if you don’t like the shoe for ANY reason.
  • Awesome and fast customer service –¬†They really want to make you happy.
  • Lots of¬†customer reviews so I can see how others liked the shoes I’m interested in.
  • Big selection and sizes.

Sure, they have some overpriced items, but I usually buy¬†discounted items during a sale and we’ve gotten some great sneakers and sandles in the $30 – $50 range that retail for double that.¬†

P.S.¬† The¬† links above¬†are for a $10 off $50 coupon as part of their referral program, so you may be able to combine it with the Mother’s Day sale (code EMLMOMDAY09), and it’s a pretty good deal.¬† And they are very good to their email list – only sending out their sales emails once a month or so.¬† It’s very easy to unsubscribe.

Posted under Homeschool Bargains

UPrinting Contest Winners!

May 5, 2009


Thank you to everyone who entered our UPrinting giveaway!  Using to pick from our 7 entrants, the winners are . . .


Valerie at Sweeps4Bloggers wins the 1000 business cards! 

and . . .


Suz at FamilyCents wins the 500 brochures!

Enjoy them!!

Posted under Homeschool Bargains

Giveaway for Free Business Cards and Brochures from

April 23, 2009


Anybody up for a free giveaway on HomeschoolBytes?  Need some free business cards or brochures? 

Have you ever thought about using a business card to put your family homeschool info on, including websites, emails, phone numbers, etc.?¬† It’s very handy for the kids to give to new friends they make, or to exchange with other parents¬†at homeschool functions.

The Prize:

UPrinting just contacted me and offered to give 1000 free standard sized business cards for one of my readers and 500 free standard sized brochures for another reader in exchange for mentioning them on our blogs.  You can choose from any of their stocks for these items.

How to enter:

  1. Leave a comment to this post describing what you would use the free business cards and/or brochures for
  2. Post a quick blurb with your comment along with¬†the URL to this¬†giveaway on your blog – something like “ is hosting a giveaway for free business cards and brochures – check it out!¬† I could use some new cards!”

So, I thought there would be a couple readers that could use some new cards and/or brochures.  Enjoy!


  1. Contest is open to anyone – tell any friends you know that could use the cards and brochures.
  2. Contest will end Monday, May 4th, so you have a little over a week to enter.  I will use a random number generator to choose the two winners on Monday, and then send their emails to UPrinting who will then contact you with ordering information.
  3. Winners in the United States and Canada qualify for free shipping. Shipping fees will apply to winners outside these areas.



For over 25 years, UPrinting has been a trusted leader in Online Printing , featuring its signature easy-to-use website and the famous free file review, a complimentary proofing service which requires no upfront payment. UPrinting offers convenient marketing support services such as design, lists, and direct mailing to help grow small and medium-size businesses nationwide.’s high quality printing services include Brochures, Business Card Printing, brochures, postcards and more, all at the most affordable prices.

Posted under Homeschool Bargains

Teaching On a Budget: For Teachers, Homeschoolers, and Moms with Kids.

February 27, 2009

I’m a homeschool mom to five kids, ages 8 and under.¬† In some minds, that makes me either crazy or heroic, but I do have an interesting household most days.¬† See:

Buying school supplies for a large family means I’m always on the lookout for a good deal.¬† And there are plenty to be had if you know where to look.¬† Here are some of my favorites:

Educational Software

Did you know you qualify to purchase the education version of most mainstream software packages if you are a college student, a teacher, a homeschool parent, or on behalf of your child grade K through 12?  Yes, all you have to do is have a child in school to qualify! 

And these are full working versions of the software for a fraction of the cost.  You do need to read the education qualifications for the specific software to verify before purchasing, but usually it just requires an education ID of some sort.  A report card or one of the free IDS many children get now from the portrait companies at the beginning of the year works fine.  (Homeschoolers:  Get a free eligibility letter from Homeschool Buyers Co-op Рsee below)

For example, you can get the latest Microsoft Office Pro for $119.95 on The Academic Superstore, a discount of 70% off the same program sold for $395.99 on Amazon.  (If you decide to buy from The Academic Superstore, join Coupon Cactus first and get an extra 1.5% rebate Рsee this post)

The only downside is when an upgrade comes along you can’t get the discounted upgrade price since you don’t own a ‘Full Version’.¬† In the past, however, I’ve found that buying the educational version each time is still cheaper than a full version followed by the discounted upgrades.

Educational Internet Deals

  1. Freebie of the Day РThis is a great site with a free homeschooling resource you can download each weekday.
  2. CurrClick – They sell lots of high quality electronic curriculum for decent prices,¬†and if you sign up for their email newsletter you’ll get a free downloadable product each week.¬† We really enjoyed a recent free lapbook download about bees.
  3. Homeschool Buyers Co-op – For the homeschool parents out there:¬† Did you ever wish you could get the great discounts that schools get by buying bulk?¬† Well, that’s what the Walter family wanted, too.¬† So they started an awesome co-op that now has thousands of members.¬† They go out to suppliers and organize great discounted deals for all of us.¬† Best of all, it’s free to register.¬† Feel free to explore their site.¬† They also have lists of¬†many free resources.¬†

Where to find Used Curriculum

  1. Homeschool Classifieds is a goldmine of curriculum listed by¬†homeschool parents¬†for very reasonable costs.¬† And unlike EBay, it’s free to list up to 7 items, with only a $5 charge per year¬†to list more.¬†
  2. Ebay is always a good place to look for hard-to-find items.¬† Try using a couple newer features to help get what you want:¬† Saved searches can send you an email any time an item you’re looking for is posted.¬†
  3. Local Homeschool Co-ops usually have a curriculum sale once or twice a year with great prices and best of all, no shipping!  Find a local group here.

Teacher Discount Cards (for public school and homeschool teachers)

  1. Joanns Рget a 15% off Teacher Rewards card from Joanns here.  If you are a homeschooler, you need to get a PEAH number first here before registering with Joanns. 
  2. Staples РGet a Staples Teacher Rewards card here, print a copy online to use right away, or ask for a card to be sent in the mail.  (The best deals are found the last month or two of the summer.)
  3. And check out this great page for more homeschool discounts including Borders, Barnes and Noble, Kinkos, and more.  (Caution:  there are broken links on this site, but still good links for some of the major retailers.)

All-in-all the internet has not just revolutionized teaching with more resources than you have time to get to, but it has done the same with finding bargains to make teaching supplies much more affordable.  Please share your tips on getting teaching bargains with us!

Posted under Homeschool Bargains

Top 10 Signs You May Be An Extreme Couponer:

January 14, 2009

A fun list I jotted down for my bargain hunting friends out there ūüôā

Top 10 Signs You May Be An Extreme Couponer

  1. You have a network of friends who save their Sunday coupons for you and you thank them with gift bags of Glade products the stores paid you to take home.
  2. Your basement looks like a small mini-mart, complete with shelving and a year’s supply of all personal care items.
  3. You riffle through your neighbors’ recycle bins on trash day to get any extra Sunday coupons they happen to throw out.¬† You smile and wave at the strange looks you get.¬† What’s their problem?
  4. You regularly explain the store’s coupon policy to their own cashiers and have email documentation from corporate headquarter to ‚Äėprove’ it.
  5. It regularly takes you longer to check out than it does to shop, and you warn people not to get in line behind you since you will be using, “lots of coupons!”
  6. The word crazy has been used when others describe your shopping techniques, even in a lighthearted manner (and you enjoy it).¬† “She saves a crazy amount of money!”¬† “It’s crazy, how many coupons she has!”
  7. You save every receipt and use them to enter multiple totals (before coupons, coupon total, after coupons, etc.) into a spreadsheet, so you can bask in the glow of how much money you are saving.¬† You use above spreadsheet to prove to others how ‚Äėnot-crazy’ you are and post the totals on your blog.
  8. Unlike your friends who may sneak clothes and expensive shoe purchases into the house, you now sneak bags of deodorant, shampoo, and air fresheners into the house and put them away before your husband sees them.¬† “But, they were free,” doesn’t work with him any more.
  9. You fume over the shoulder of someone in front of you using a coupon that you don’t have.¬† Then you run home and look the coupon up on the internet to see where they got it.
  10. You’ve been proposed to in the check-out line by men behind you who watch in amazement as your total plummets to mere dollars.¬† (True story!¬† And when I said I was married, he said, “Your husband is a lucky man!”)

Posted under Homeschool Bargains, Top 10

$600 Online Shopping Tip – Search for Codes!

December 19, 2008

For my bargain hunting readers out there – here’s a very simple online shopping tip that has saved me hundreds of dollars:¬† Always do a Google search¬†for discount codes before finalizing an online order!

When you are buying something online, you will often see a box on the check-out screen that says one of the following:

  • Promotion code
  • Coupon code
  • Discount code
  • Etc.

What to do:

  • Before you finalize your order, ALWAYS Google the following:¬† “(the Merchant’s name)” and the exact code term listed.¬†
  • For example, I was buying something on today, and typed this into Google’s search box:¬† “ Promotion Code.”¬† In a few seconds, I¬†found a code that gave me 5% off my order.¬† It was very easy.
  • This fall, I saved $600 on a 2-week van rental with Advantage Car Rentals by typing in one little code word I found online.

The lesson? 

If there is a box for a code, there is probably a code out there somewhere, and hopefully someone has posted it where it’s easy to find using Google.¬† Sometimes I can’t find one, but the times I do give me that great bargain hunting experience:¬† easy money saved!

Share With Us:

Do you have an easy tip to save money online?  For homeschool supplies?  Please take a minute to comment.  Thanks!

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Posted under Homeschool Bargains