With back to school shopping and holiday shopping just around the corner, it’s no wonder our budget feels tight. The boy’s birthday is also coming soon. And, we are saving for our upcoming Disney holiday vacation. This means finding creative ways to spend and save.
Let’s begin with Swagbucks. Right now, I’m “swagging” my way to a new camera. Yes, it is neither a back to school basic or holiday gift. It is for me, well, for the family. I want an upgraded point and shoot that will go underwater.
Swagbucks awards it’s users for searching, just like you would if you were searching on Google. I downloaded the Swagbucks toolbar (I get 1 Swagbuck every day just for having the toolbar) and use the toolbar to do my internet searchers. I typically get awarded Swagbucks for searching twice a day. . . in the morning after 2-7 searches and again later in the day. There are other ways to earn Swagbucks such as taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, etc. There are also Swag Codes that can be found at various times and contests.
The Swagbucks I earn can then be redeemed for various gifts and prices at the Swag Store. My favorite is to redeem 450 Swagbucks—which you can earn in less than 2 weeks, for a $5 Amazon.com gift card. The cards are then added to my Amazon.com account and NEVER expire. Right now, I have earned enough Swagbucks to purchase eight gift cards and have $40 in my Amazon.com account waiting to be used for the purchase of that new camera!
It’s easy to get started with Swagbucks. Just click here and get 30 Swagbucks for signing up. Then, happy searching and earning!
There’s another internet application that will let me know when the price of the camera changes without me checking regularly and that is ShoppingNotes.com. I just create an account using my e-mail, paste in the URL’s of the items I am dreaming of purchasing, and ShoppingNotes.com will continually check the prices and send me an e-mail when the price changes. . . and hopefully goes down! I have the cameras I’m dreaming of already on ShoppingNotes.com along with a blouse I’ve had my eye on. The boy wants a Nintendo 3DS XL which is released on Aug. 19, 2012, for his birthday. Trust me, that URL will go into ShoppingNotes.com to help me find the best on-line price. ShoppingNotes.com checks prices like Kayak.com checks airfare rates.
When the price is right and I am ready to purchase, I check to see if the on-line store is on Ebates.com. Each time I shop on-line at a store on Ebates.com, I get money back. For example, our computer security software was about to expire and the store that sold the software was on Ebates.com. I went to Ebates.com, found the store and clicked “Shop Now.” A ticket window opened—just wait—then the on-line store appeared. I made the purchase using a 50% code offered on Ebates.com, downloaded the new software right from the site, and got 25% of the price back in cash in my Ebates.com account. I get a check from Ebates.com four times a year. So far, Ebates has sent me $92.
Back to school shopping at Target.com? Go to Ebates first and get money back! Booking a hotel for a Labor Day get-a-way? Go to Ebates first and get money back! Printing photos at Walgreens.com? Go to Ebates first and get money back! Needing pet supplies? Got to Ebates first and get money back!
So, when the boy’s Nintendo 3DS XL comes on the market, I’ll have ShoppingNotes.com search for prices, then make my purchase through a store on Ebates.com, which will most likely have a discount code and get money back! Sounds/reads complicated, but it is easy. Easy, fun, and less expensive! And, I’m not using my time to search various stores or sites for the best prices or using gas driving from one location to another. The internet is doing the work for me, for free.
These are just some of the creative ways to save and spend money. And, yes, I was skeptically at first, too. But I tried them and they really work without gimmicks or hidden fees. What’s stopping you? Get started!