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When we started homeschooling my oldest two who in preschool and I was prepping one for Kindergarten and I had no idea how easy to was to spend so much money on homeschool supplies, much less that you were able to get free homeschool curriculum. I will also be honest and say it's quite addicting to this momma to buy books. I love reading so I was buying books on EVERYTHING! At one point I had four huge bookcases two half bookcases a closet full of books. Yep hubby put me on a homeschooling budget!
How I get $3,600+ in Free Homeschool Curriculum Every Year!
I am now homeschooling three kids and have a 4th in ‘tot school' (learning numbers, colors, and letters) and baby #5 on the way! In a few years, homeschool could get really expensive!
When we had just the older 2 in Kindergarten and 1st grade, we used Abeka Academy it was nice to have the online lessons and everything planned out. But it cost about $700 a kid! It no longer works for our schedule, and we have pieced together our curriculum (another post for another day), and I am doing it all for free, cause taking the budget challenge from my husband wasn't enough for me!
The first step is to figure out what type of curriculum you want to use, and you will need a list of everything you need, where you will get it from, and a price. This will keep you accountable and know exactly what you have and what you still need. I just do this in a notebook, but many great homeschool planners have a page for this as well.
Now you know what you need and how much it will cost now let's start working to get it for free! The key to all this is planning. Use these sites all year long and stack up your gift cards to use when it's time to get new curriculum, for free! I want to state that all the sites mentioned below are free. I do not believe in having to spend money upfront to earn money online 🙂 (for sites like this anyway)
Ebates – $258+
Ok, when you are shopping online even using gift cards make sure you shop via Ebates to earn cash back and use that toward more curriculum. I love this option because I can connect it right to pay PayPal and they deposit money without me even thinking about it! I use this every time I buy curriculum online which is about 80%.
Swagbucks – $422+
I LOVE using Swagbucks for gift cards! I use Swagbucks as my main search engine, and I watch videos, do tasks and play games to earn points to trade for gift cards. I also use the coupon printing option and earn from printing coupons. Now when shopping online, I will compare the cashback percent on Ebates to Swagbucks. If one site is doing a special deal, they can offer a higher percent which means more money back in your pocket!
Other sites like Swagbucks – $475+
InstaGC – When I first signed up for InstaGC I did many of the site visits for points. Now I do more surveys here then anything. This site has many ways to earn from signing up for offers, visiting sites, surveys, listening to music, fantasy sports games, and more. As their name says, the gift cards are INSTANT. You click redeem and are given a code right then and there. They do tend to run out of some code, so I save up for the larger amounts. I just cashed in another $25 gift card from them! This is the one of these 4 I earn the most from.
iRazoo – Ok my #1 reason for using iRazoo is they allow you to earn 3000 points a day watching Tv (which can be on in the background) and that is equal to $5 gift card a day! IF you did that every day (though not many of us can!) you would be earning $1,825 a year just from this one feature. I LOVE IT! Plus they have games to play for points! Use code J2PWZ5 when signing up for bonus points.
Grab Points – This one is a little lesser know but still the same thing as Swagbucks, but in a much easier to use the site I think. I tend to do my web searching with Swagbucks and use Grab Points for their games and newly added radio to earn points. Use code MQN9K1G when signing up for a bonus 500 points.
Rebates – $175+
There are many forms of rebates I use here are the 6 of them, they all have mobile apps. Some I forget about or don't always qualify for I will tell you why below. But generally, you buy certain items then take a picture of your receipt and get credit in your around then cash out for PayPal or gift cards.
Ibotta – Ibotta is the one I earn most on. Ibotta started with just grocery stores but not you can earn at restaurants, clothing, home improvement stores and more. You pick the store you are shopping at and then if you bought any of the items you can unlock them (watching a video or reading a fact) Then you take a picture of your receipt and submit. They verify and then add the money to your account. I like cashing out for PayPal so
Checkout 51 – This one is a lot like Ibotta above, but they don't have as many offers. I like using Checkout 51 because they have a few choose your offers. Like, get 25¢ back when you buy your choice of produce.
Saving Star – Saving Star is kind of like the above two but not really. You add your grocery store rewards card into the system, and it tracks what you buy from there. You have to go in and activate each offer to get credit. Fridays they tend to put out a freebie where you get 100% cash back up to a certain amount. This is good only during the weekend. That is my favorite feature of Saving Star!
Receipt Hog – Upload your grocery receipts for points you can trade for Gift Cards. No specific products to buy!
ReceiptPal – Like Receipt Hog but for every four receipts you upload from anywhere, you get 100 points which equal about 25¢.
Punchcard – Punchcard uses the mPoints system which is used across many apps and tied to your Facebook account. For each receipt, you upload you get to spin for points.
User Testing – $800+
What is user testing? When a company wants to test out a new feature on their website, test out a whole new site, or even a new ad campaign, they turn to user testing. They pull the demographic they are looking for from the companies below and ask them to test out the feature and provide feedback for pay. Here are a few I work with.
User Testing – This is the first usability testing site I ever used and is now one of the most popular. They have a good mixture of short and longer tests.
Enroll – This is a site great for the smaller tests like helping a company pick a logo and make sure certain website features work.
uTest – Here you can get paid to test out mobile apps to make sure they are working before they are released.
Surveys – $175+
Next up are the survey's I'm sure we all know about. I have tested out probably over 100 sites in the last 10+ years of doing surveys. Here are the few sites I use now.
MySurvey – This was the first survey site I ever joined about eight years ago back when they only paid by check. I am still most loyal to them, and I love that now you can cash out for Gift Cards or PayPal. If I only do one survey site, this is the one!
Quick Rewards – Get paid to do almost anything! Reading emails, taking surveys, shopping and more! I do them mostly for surveys and paid emails.
Ipsos i-Say – Take survey's and get Gift Cards back! (make sure to confirm your email and fill out your profile!) They also do paid product testing where you receive free product to try out and get paid to give your opinion on it.
Springboard America – They are known for surveys and ‘think tank' panels. Make sure to confirm your email and fill out your profile to qualify!
Reading Emails – $125
I did a post a little while back on how to get paid to read your email. I shared how to avoid the spam companies along with the ones I use to earn money. These work very simply the company sends an email, and you open it click the link to verify you read it and then earn a small commission. The emails contain ads the companies are paying for your eye to see. Like the company? Sign up and earn even more money.
Selling Cell Phone Pictures – $100+
Did you know there are a ton of places you can sell your cell phone pictures? So if you have an eye for a good picture, you can earn some money from your cell phone pictures! You can straight up sell the pictures, or add them to a product to sell on sites like Cafe Press. I share all my tips on my post about making money selling your cell phone pictures.
Re-Selling Items – $650+
I love shopping thrift stores for my kids' clothes, items around the house and homeschool books 😉 Well I have found some amazing deals, and I realized there are a few items I will always pick up to resell even in just the local Facebook groups! Check out my list of thrift store finds worth money!
Amazon Trade-In – $750+
I LOVE the Amazon trade in program! In short, Amazon will pay yo to send in your used items! Things likes, books, textbooks, DVDs, electronics, phones, and more! Amazon then sells these as used or refurbished items. Just from items, I bought from Amazon, their trade in page says right now I have $150 worth of stuff I can send in! But you can pair this with the thrift store shopping above.
My total for homeschool supplies? $3,630
Keep in mind these numbers are what I earned the past year. My homeschool curriculum and supplies didn't cost this for the coming year, so I was able to roll that extra money toward Christmas and birthdays.
Think outside the box! There are many ways to earn some extra money. Here are some other ways to earn to get your homeschool curriculum for free!
Here are 45 Places to Earn Amazon Gift Cards. Many were mentioned above but there are many others in there, and if you can find your curriculum on Amazon it's a great way to go.
Yes, you can make some money blogging! While the income won't be as quick to earn money as some of the other options, starting a blog is a great way to connect with other homeschool families and help buy your curriculum!
Love to cook? Did you know you can earn money from selling your recipes? There are a few places you can let your recipes earn you a small income!
Love to read? You can earn money by reviewing books, plus you will most likely get your books free! With baby #5 on the way, I don't have time to read for myself anymore, or I'd be more active making money this way!
Do you own and actively use a Fitbit or other activity tracker? You can make money with your FitBit and activity trackers including the step counter on your iPhone!
I also want to point out one of my favorite ways to make money at home is via blogging! See what you need to know to get started blogging.