Amazon Christmas Toy Deals!

December 11, 2008


For the bargain shoppers among you, here’s a quick tip on some great toy deals on you can buy while sitting at your computer in your pajamas.

I did this last year right before Christmas and got a ton of $30 to $60 toys for $5 to $20. I think my average priced toy was around $10. And not only did I get Christmas toys, but the deals were so good, I bought enough to stock my ‘gift closet’ so we had a ready supply of gifts for birthdays all year long.

How I do it:

  1. Check Amazon’s Best Seller Toy List to see the top 100 items selling.  They are usually of two types – the most popular toys, and the best bargains (what you’re looking for).
  2. Check Amazon’s Movers and Shakers list.  This is a great list I just found this year and all the best deals hit this list first.  It includes any product that has suddenly started selling much faster than usual and is moving up the sales ranking.  The most common reason for this is that the price has dropped a TON – like this Panasonic camera that has just droped $90 in price from $239 to $149.
  3. For great toy deals, check the Movers and Shakers Toy List.  Here are some current deals (remember they change FAST!)
  4. One last great page is the December Deals page with all the discounted toy categories.

 And some shopping tips:

  • Prices change daily and even hourly.  Make sure to check back regularly.  Once you’re sure, buy quickly, because the price in your shopping cart is NOT guaranteed until you actually purchase it.
  • Set yourself a sale price that you buy a product at and stick to it.  It’s easy to get sucked into buying too many ‘good deals’.
  • Always buy $25 worth and make sure to check “Free Super Saver Shipping” so you don’t pay shipping.

And if you’re going to buy from Amazon, consider clicking the links in this article since Amazon will give this site a small commission for each purchase.  Thank you and let your friends know!

Posted under Homeschool Bargains

Earn Swagbucks and Gift Cards for Searching the Web

December 4, 2008

Search & Win

Do you spend as much time searching the internet as I do?  It has become our personal set of homeschool encyclopedias.  In any case, you can combine your searching with your bargain hunting side with SwagBucks.

It’s pretty simple:

  • Sign up for a free account.
  • When you first get on the internet, go to SwagBucks first.
  • Search or shop on the internet from SwagBuck’s portal site.
  • Earn more SwagBucks if your friends sign up.
  • Pick out gift cards (Subway, Amazon, B&N, etc.) or other prizes with your SwagBucks.

Give it a try if you’re interested in earning a few gift cards before the holidays!

Posted under Homeschool Bargains

Homeschool Freebie of the Day

October 4, 2008

Here is a site I’ve really enjoyed over the summer:  The Homeschool Freebie of The Day.

They offer a free homeschool resource every day.  The only catch is that each freebie is only available for that day, so you need to click to their site every day if you don’t want to miss something.  Most of the freebies are electronic resources, like ebooks, sound files of classics being read out loud, seminars on homeschooling topics, etc. 

I find that I’m not interested in every freebie, but there is usually at least one a week that I really enjoy.

Which brings me to the last point:  To get a sneak peak and an extra freebie every week, you can join their mailing list here.  At the beginning of each week, they will send you a list of that weeks upcoming freebies, along with a link to a bonus one available only to mailing list members.

They do occasionally mention resources that are for sale, but there is no obligation to buy, and many of them are excellent resources themselves that are often available for a discount.


(Do you know of any great homeschool freebies that you’d like to share with us?  Please post in the comment section.)

Posted under Homeschool Bargains

Coupon Cactus – How to get money back from Online Purchase

September 19, 2008

We loved the library version of Rosetta Stone and were very saddened when it was discontinued. So, after thinking it over for a quite a while we decided to take the plunge and buy the Rosetta Stone Homeschool German series. But, with a hefty over $500 price tag, I searched high and low for a deal.

Happily, I stumbled across a great site called Coupon Cactus. They have links to many major retailers with lots of coupon codes and percentage cashback offers. Get money back on purchases at Target, Overstock, Blockbuster, Shoebuy, T-Mobile, Verizon, and on and on.

Basically, you go to Coupon Cactus first, do a search for the store you want to shop at, like Rosetta Stone or Overstock. You click on the coupon link and you’ll find yourself at the regular website, only it will now have a code that tells the website to send a discount to your Coupon Cactus account.  They mail out checks or send the money to your Paypal account once a quarter.

Some of the deals:

  • 12% back on our Rosetta Stone purchase.
  • Small rebate when I bought a replacement for our stolen cell phone from T-mobile.
  • If you’re looking to buy any computer software, you get an extra 1.5% rebate for purchases at The Academic Superstore.  (Most major software companies offer the much lower priced, full function, educational version of their software to homeschoolers.)
  • 1.5% rebate for Gap purchases.
  • 4% rebate from Books Online.
  • 3% cash back from EBooks.
  • Lots more!

It is really easy and free to register.  And finally, when your friends sign up for Coupon Cactus with your referral number, you get a bit of a kickback every time they buy something, too.

(If you’d decide to register, you can help me out by doing it through this link, or use my referral number #107632.  You’ll still earn the same amount of cash back, and I’ll earn some too. Thanks!)

Posted under Homeschool Bargains

Looking for used homeschool curriculum cheap?

September 18, 2008

Paying for schooling on our own means most homeschool parents are always looking out for a deal.

Here are some of my favorite sources when I’m looking for used curriculum:

This is a great overall homeschool resource, but I especially love the classifieds section.  You’ll find TONS of curriculum listed for very reasonable rates, usually cheaper than ebay.  If you see ‘ppd’ next to the cost, that means shipping is included.  It is also free to post up to 7 of your own items at a time.  There is a tiny ($5) yearly charge if you’re going to post more than 7 at a time.  I have received all my items very quickly and in good shape.  I haven’t had a single bad experience buying through their site.

You can find almost anything listed on ebay these days, and that includes used homeschool curriculum.  A helpful features you may not know about:

  • Favorite searches:  If you search for something and can’t find one being sold right now on Ebay, you can click on “Save this Search” right next to the line that shows the number of items found in your search.  Then you can choose to get an email any time a new item that fits your search is posted on Ebay.  This helps a lot when you’re looking for a specific book or homeschool item that is hard to find.

Homeschool Co-op Curriculum Sales

Call your local homeschool co-ops to find out if they have an annual curriculum sale.  It is usually close to the beginning or end of the typical school year and provides a great chance to clear out your shelves while picking up on some bargains (with no shipping costs) yourself.

Your favorite source?

Do you have a favorite source for good deals on homeschool supplies?  Please share them with us in the comments section.  It would be helpful if you could post the link, pros and cons of the source, and your experience with using it.  Thanks!

Posted under Homeschool Bargains

Homeschool Teacher Discount at JoAnn’s

September 9, 2008

Here’s how to get the JoAnn’s 15% teacher’s discount card as a homeschool teacher:

  • First, join PEAH (Parents Educating At Home) for free here, and get an ID number.
  • (You can also check out PEAH’s discount partners here
  • Go to JoAnn’s teacher reward sign-up page here.

You’re done!  In 6 – 8 weeks you should be getting a card in the mail that you can use for 15% off of your purchases.

Posted under Homeschool Bargains

Staples, 25 Free Bottles Of Elmer Glue, And A Lesson In Charity.

September 4, 2008

My husband, a very patient man, gave me a bit of an incredulous look when I came home from Staples with 25 bottles of Elmer’s Glue. Even with our five kids, 25 bottles is a bit much. When he asked what on earth I was thinking, the only response I could come up with: “But, it was free at Staples!”

He doesn’t appreciate the allure of ‘free-ness’ anywhere near as much as I do. So, I had to come up with another rational reason to have 25 bottles of glue . . .and 25 free rulers . . . 25 packages of pencils . . . 25 erasers . . . Ok, what can I say? I can’t resist free. What frugal shopping mom can? And free school supplies?

So, after some searching, I found that our church humanitarian organization makes school kits to send to children in underprivileged countries, and we have almost all the supplies.

Tadah! We now have a service project and a lesson in charity on our homeschool schedule. (And my husband will be happy to see some of the glue go to a good home.)

How to get the deal:

Homeschool parents are finally being included in the classification as ‘teachers’ by national companies, and they’re giving us the same discounts.

Staples is very generous to teachers during the ‘Back-to-School’ shopping season. Each week during the latter half of the summer, they have a few rock-bottom items for pennies or even free. There is usually a limit of 2 or 3 of these items, but Staples generously lets teachers buy or have up to 25.

  • All you need to do is show some kind of homeschool ID at checkout. One from a homeschool co-op works well. Or, in true homeschool tradition, you and your family can decide on a name for your homeschool, break out the artistic talent, and design and print your own. You can even include pictures and laminate them for a professional touch. A homeschool ID will come in handy for many discounts, as I’ll mention in future posts.
  • Read More…

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Posted under Homeschool Bargains