Homeschool Freebies & Cost Cutting Ideas
Let's face it - most of us are living on one income. When it comes to homeschooling, we need all the help we can get financially. This page will have links to various cost cutting ideas & freebies on the internet. Don't forget to check out the Used Curriculum , Lesson Plans & Teachers Helps, Unit Studies & Software Catalogs & Low-Priced Vendors pages for free & low cost curriculum. Enjoy!
Shopping Bots & Comparison Price Engines | Free Internet Service Providers | Other Freebies, Coupons, & Savers
Shopping Bots & Comparison Price Engines
There are lots of comparison-shopping sites, also known as shopping agents or shopping bots, on the net. You just put in the information about the product you are searching for & they will do the rest. Below are the ones I know about so far:
abebooks.com (formerly Advanced Book Exchange) is a large database offering access to over 21 million books. Many of these listings come from smaller, offline stores that you wouldn't normally have access to.
AddALL Book Search & Price Comparison searches 40 bookstores online. They also have a Used Book Search engine which searches 12 online sources.
Best Book Buys searches for the best price on books.
Bibliofind is a search engine for used books.
BookFinder.com specializes in new, used, rare, & out of print books.
Bottom Dollar searches through net stores only.
BotSpot: Shopping Bots lists almost 50 comparison shopping sites on the internet for both auctions & regular vendors.
Excite Shopping searches through classifieds, auction sites, & net stores.
mySimon searches net stores, auctions, & classifieds.
RoboShopper is a little clunky compared to some of the others, since it does a search by each store & you must repeat it every time you change stores.
SalesCircular.com comparison shops using your local retail store flyers. Simply choose a state & a catagory & you will see what's on sale in your area. They also have a listing of what is free after rebates.
Shopper.Com, from C-net, will only comparison shop for computer products such as software & hardware.
Shopping Explorer is a special shopping bot that you can try for free but, like shareware, must eventually be purchased.
Shoppinglist.com allows you to put in your zip code & find sales that are local to you. You can either search by topic (anything from food to toys), store name, or put in the item you are looking for & search through for all of the listings. Clicking on a piece of notepaper to the left of the item adds it to a shopping list for you which arranges items by store name. They are so up to date, they even listed a 5 hour sale at Walmarts! They also have a comparison area, info on rebates, coupons, & will help you find the store location closest to you (you may want to double check what they give you since they didn't list some stores in my area that opened within the last 6 months or so).
Visa Shopping Guide by Yahoo allows you to choose a category & then search for particular items.
Free Internet Service Providers
Free internet service providers are very similiar. In exchange for free internet access, they send pop-up ads onto your screen. If you do anything special, such as online gaming or IRC, check & make sure that they will allow you to do this if you sign up. Also check for a local access number.
Juno (10 hours a month)
NetZero (10 hours a month)
Other Freebies, Coupons, & Savers
AABA Cruise Superstore has put together cruises for homeschoolers for reasonable prices. You can choose between the western Carribean & Alaska.
About.com Homeschooling Free Stuff is a listing of freebies that they consider useful to homeschoolers.
Amazing Bargains lets you know about tons of coupons & other offers from online stores. You can either select them by catagory or expiration date.
American Coal Foundation offers Booklets, Kits, Videos, Activities, & Science Fair Ideas, some of which are free. This page gives you info on how to contact them.
Apple Computer is planning on offering discounts to homeschoolers. For now, they are suggesting that groups band together to buy enough computers to receive the discount. The link above will take you to the letter that they e-mailed me.
ArcaMax offers a listing of free software (you pay the postage), catalogs, & magazines.
Astrostar's Free Stuff for Kids is a listing of freebies on the web aimed at children.
Best of the Best Links to Free Stuff offers links to lots of freebies & other freebie pages.
Building Big is a new 5 part series on buildings & the science behind them premiering on PBS in the fall. You can pre-order the activity guide here for free!
Cataloglink is the place to look for mail-order catalogs. Many do charge a small fee though.
Book Sales in America posts info on library & other non-profit sales going on across America!
Clever Mom's is an online consignment shop that carries everything from toys to books to clothes! They also have an area that lists online coupons & codes.
Curriculum Associates offers a nice listing of free sample pages from the curriculae they publish.
The Dollar Stretcher has all kinds of helpful ideas from saving on your heating bill to checking into leasing a car. They even have a Homeschool Savings page.
E-coupons offers offline coupons for you to download & print out.
E-Smarts has coupons, info on net specials, stores on the net to avoid, freebies, contests, & more!
Earth Science World has a free kit available to celebrate Earth Science Week. Just choose the "Request A Kit!" link.
Flamingo World offers coupon and discount codes for online shopping.
Freakie Freddie's Free Funhouse has 70 categories of freebies!
Free-Ed.Net contains links to hundreds of free online classes & tutorials.
Free Stuff - The Ultimate Source For Bargain Lovers! is chock full of freebies & shipping only charged items.
Free Stuff O-Rama has info on coupons, activity books, kid's stuff, magazines, games, & more! They even have info on a free satellite system!
Free Things For Educators is a huge list broken down by subject.
Homeschooling On A Shoestring offers ways to cut costs on homeschooling, projects to do with things around the house, some unit studies, & more!
Human Genome Project is offering a free multimedia kit! It includes a CD-ROM with seven varied segments, an award-winning video documentary, The Secret of Our Lives, a commemorative poster & an informational brochure, Genetics: The Future of Medicine.
Internet Offers has an extensive list of online coupons, rebates, freebies, & more!
The Journey Inside is a free curriculum about computers from IBM for grades 5 - 9.
Just Free Stuff is a huge listing of freebies broken down by catagory.
Kachina Web lists coupons & freebies.
McGraw-Hill Aha Free Samples lists 24 worksheets from K-8 that you can download.
National Postal Museum Free Educational Materials offers a handfull of curriculum kits. One of the most popular, for grades K - 6, is out of print but will sooon be published online.
netLibrary is just that, a library on the net! They have a large selection of free titles available as well as e-books you can either "borrow" or buy.
NEA: Free Education Resources OK, so they are not our biggest supporters BUT they have a nice selection of freebies listed here.
PC's In Space is a Nasa site that allows you to order various CD Rom programs or download them for free!
Pizza Hut Book It Program is a great incentive for reading & is open to homeschoolers! Why did I put this link here? Free pizza in exchange for reading!
Net2Phone offers low cost phone calls all over the world over the net. I haven't tried this out yet, but if anyone knows how it works, please let me know!
Pumpkins Toll Free Phone Freebies is loaded with totally free goodies,; you won't even find a shipping charge here!
Shephard's Software info on About.com gives information about free software available to homeschoolers from Shephard's.
USS Constitution Museum offers a free curriculum called All Hands on Deck: Learning Adventures Aboard "Old Ironsides"! This interdisciplinary curriculum comes with an accompanying video tape and integrates geography, math, social studies, arts & crafts, history, science, language arts and more in 14 lessons for grades K-12. To order, follow the link, print out & fill out the order form, & send it to the address listed.
Virtual Freestuff lists over 3,000 offers broken down into 90 catagories: everything from kids stuff to videos!
Your Daily Freebie offers info on freebies & coupons & also has a message board aimed at coupons on the web.
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