Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Homeschool Bling!

OK, maybe bling is too strong of a word, but here's a short list of places that offer discounts or other rewards to homeschoolers. Most require proof of homeschooling. This will vary by state, but in Georgia most places simply ask to see a copy of your declaration of intent to homeschool that must be submitted to the state board of education each year. If you're wondering if a retailer near you offers such a discount, I find the best way to find out is simply ask if there is an "educator's discount" rather than a discount for homeschoolers. They tend to take you more seriously that way. : )

JoAnn Fabrics & Crafts - Sign up for the educator's discount and receive 15% off all purchases. Upon registering, you also receive a 20% off coupon for one time use. The best part about the JoAnn's discount is it can be combined with their 40% off coupon that comes in the Sunday paper and it can be used on every purchase. I've used the discount for everything from art supplies and home decor items to fabric and patterns to make Spice clothes. Hobby Lobby may have a similar program, but I have not been in there recently to find out. I've also heard Michael's offers a discount, but the last time I was there and asked the cashier looked at me like I had turnips growing out of my head so who knows. I'll have to try again next time.

Borders/Waldenbooks/Barnes & Noble/Books-A-Million
- Each of these stores offers a 20% discount to educators. The discount is supposed to apply to "classroom materials" only, but I find that is left up to the discretion of the cashier. I hand over my card with every purchase and see what happens.

Hancock Fabrics - The Red Apple Card gives you 15% off.

Staples - Sign up for the Teacher Rewards card and earn points for each purchase you make. I don't spend enough there to get much out of this, but I do love their ink recycling program. If you have the Teacher Rewards card you earn $3 for every ink cartridge returned to the store - regardless of the brand or type of printer. You earn credit for up to 10 cartridges per month. I had fun spending my $30 recycling rewards check last month on magazine holders and dry erase markers. Office Depot has a similar program.

Scholastic - When I was a kid I loved bringing home the little flier each month full of books. Once my mom narrowed my original 20 or so selections down to a more reasonable number, it was so exciting to bring home a new stack of books to delve into each month. When I started homeschooling Sport I knew one of the things I would miss was those darn catalogs. Now we get it all shipped straight to our house and while we do not get a discount, we do get to earn free books and bonus points to be redeemed for other cool items just like a classroom teacher does. To sign up as a homeschooler, you have to send in your first order pre-paid. Go to their website, check out the fliers, then call 1-800-scholastic to place your order and mail the check. Once your first order arrives, you will have a customer # that can be used to access the book clubs online. While you're at the site, check out the book fair section and see if there are customer appreciation warehouse sales in your area. If so, get on the mailing list! We love the warehouse sales and have found huge deals there.

I've also heard Blockbuster offers free rentals on educational materials, but I haven't tried it yet. Let me know if you've tried this one or know of a place offering a discount that's not on this list.

This post is part of We Are That Family's WFMW carnival. Check it out for lots of great tips and ideas!


Sharon said...

COOL! I didn't know about any of these... Guess that shows you that I'm not a homeschooler (yet!). Our son is 19 months old, but we're hoping to join your ranks in the next few years. Do you think I could ask for a "future eductor's discount"?

Just kididng!

By the way, I'm hosting a blog carnival about JOY and would love to have you link up.... You can share anything that you've written that brought joy to your life! Hope to see you there!

Anonymous said...

My sister is a homeschooler, so I'm taking this link to e-mail to her. Great information! Thanks for sharing it and have a great weekend...
pk @ Room Remix

Mama Said said...

Thanks so much for that info! That's great!

Aaaagh! I am so jealous of the Oreo moons! We did the phases of the moon a couple of months ago. Man, I wish I had known this then. Maybe it's time for a review. LOL!