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How to Get Free (or Nearly Free) Art Supplies

Feb 24, 2020 | Artist Life

Get Free Art Supplies Blog Graphic

One of the sad truths of being an artist is this: Art Supplies Are Expensive.

I know, I know. I can hear you saying, “Bran, they don’t have to be!” This is 100% true. I’ve seen amazing art made with #2 pencils and ballpoint pens on envelopes.

But if you like paint, pastels, alcohol ink or pretty much any art supply you won’t find in a back-to-school supply list, chances are you’re going to be spending some money. Even the greats of the past were hindered by the cost of making art. That’s one of the reasons we don’t have many Vermeers hanging in galleries. He liked to use vivid colors, and in his day some of them could only be achieved by using ground gemstones.

Luckily we don’t have to grind up malachite to get our bright greens, but high-quality pigments are still spendy. So, how do I get extra cash for art supplies? I don’t have a huge following on social media that gets me freebies from sponsors (although that’s one way to do it!). I use a combination of cashback and rewards apps that I’ve found gives me the most bang for my bandwidth.

And yes, these are referral links. These apps give out rewards if you download them from the app store using my links here. What’s really neat is that inside the apps you can get your own links to share with your friends, and then you’ll get a kickback, too!

Anyway, on to the apps!

General Rewards Apps – These give you rewards for downloading other apps, playing games, answering surveys, ads, etc. Do as you like with these!

Dabbl – Download it Here – Guys, this is THE APP. I love it. I’ve only been using it for less than a month and I’ve already cashed out $10 in Amazon Gift cards. And I don’t even go hard-core on the surveys. I’ll just have it open and click on the ads. You can also get points faster by completing their offers, but I’ve yet to find any that I like.

Giftloop – Download it Here – This one may take a while, but it’s super-easy. You sign in every day for “coins” from the daily bonuses (and gift card drawings, because why not?) and use the charging screen. That’s mainly what I do, although I will gladly use my grocery-store-queue-time to swipe through ads and get points for looking at cat memes. I’m not joking, that’s a thing you can do. I’m not one for downloading all of the extra apps or completing offers to get points, but you can to get faster rewards.

Swagbucks – Join Here – I mostly use this one for shopping online and getting points via videos. I like that I can just leave it on while I’m showering! Of course, there are also polls, offers and surveys, but I keep my usage of this one pretty light.

Inbox Dollars – Join Here – This one gives you cash that goes straight into your PayPal. You can cash out when you hit $30, which isn’t as daunting as it sounds, given the variety of ways you can earn. There’s surveys, videos, games, special offers, and lots more. You can get money for just printing coupons, and more when/if you use them! You don’t even need to have the special rewards emails delivered to your inbox, because you can look at them right in the app or on your desktop.

Survey Apps – You answer surveys, and some of them will even notify you when you have one available. I don’t get a lot but I get enough to make them worth it, and they never take long.

1Q – Sign Up Here – I’ve only earned .50 so far with this one, but what I like is that it puts everything right into PayPal ASAP. Just be sure to sign up with your PayPal email so things don’t get confused.

Surveys On The Go – Download Here – You can cash out once you reach $10, and even if you don’t fully qualify for the survey, you’ll often still get some change for your time.

Qmee – Join Here – A simple survey app, but it lets you cash out directly to PayPal whenever you want! Bonus: If you sign up with this link we both get .50! How cool is that?

Google Opinion Rewards – Join Here – Okay, so this isn’t an app you can use for money for art supplies, but if Google’s going to gather all of your info anyway, you might as well make them pay you for it, right? You can get money to use in the Play store, so you can spend your actual cash on art supplies, and not on apps.

Shopping Apps – So, slightly more effort than the others, but these are wonderful! Just remember to save your receipts. After a day out it typically takes me less than ten minutes to scan all of my receipts in, so it’s totally worth it.

Ibotta – Join Here – So, this is my least favorite, but that’s mostly because I don’t buy a lot of the brands they list deals for. You first select the offers you want to redeem, and then scan in your receipt to get points if you redeem the offers. What makes this nice is that they always have a few “Any Brand” offers. Also, if you have a store loyalty card you can link it to your Ibotta account, which means you don’t have to scan the receipt. It applies the offer automatically. And they do more than just groceries, so I think they’re worth using, especially if you can just link your store loyalty card and call it a day like I do. Sign in once a week, click the “Any Brand” offers and anything else that looks good, and you’ll be good to go. They also have a “Pay With Ibotta” service but I haven’t used it.

Fetch Rewards – Download Here – This is what Ibotta could be. You don’t have to select offers beforehand, and they have way more brands that I and most people I know actually buy. You scan in your receipts and the app will read them. You get points no matter what, but you get more if your receipt matches up with an offer. Easy!

CoinOut – Download Here – This app is very bare-bones, but beautiful in its simplicity. You scan in a receipt, any receipt, and you get money. That’s it! You can cash out to PayPal when you hit $10. The payouts per receipt aren’t as big as other apps, but given how easy it is and that you can scan ANY receipt, I can deal with that.

Receipt Pal – Join Here – Another super-simple app, but one that has you redeem points for gift cards. There’s also the added bonus of sweepstakes entries. The only weird thing is that you need to have this connected to your email for 30 days before you can redeem anything.

I know it’s a long list, but these are the things I use and in the past year, I’ve gotten well over $100 in gift cards and/or direct PayPal transfers. Many of these only take a few minutes each day, but if you decided to just go hard on a few select ones you could probably hit the three-digit mark pretty quickly!

I hope this helped! Do you have any reward apps that you like to use?

About the Author

Brandy is the one who draws the art here, writes the blog posts, and makes the books. She’s a mom, jeweler, and a lifelong history lover who’s obsessed with art.

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