Other Money Saving Tactics

Photo By P. A. M.

Well, this is it, the last post of my couponing series. If you’re just tuning in, you can get caught up here.

I have to be completely honest. As much as I LOVE couponing, I have been looking forward to writing this post since I began the series. Here’s why. For some people, clipping, organizing and using coupons, is just too time consuming or just too much of a hassle.

In those situations, it can be frustrating to feel like you need to be saving more money or even making a little money on the side, but just aren’t sure how to do it. Well, I’ve got great news if that’s you.

I’m going to introduce you to two very easy things you can do to save money and/or make money, in the form of gift cards and/or prizes.

Have you heard of Ebates or ShopAtHome?

Both Ebates and ShopAtHome give you cash back for online purchases. Seriously, I’m not joking. Let me explain how it works.

  1. You decide that you want to make a purchase online.
  2. You go to either Ebates or ShopAtHome to see if the store you’re planning on purchasing from is listed on their site.
  3. If  so, you click on the store name to see what percentage of cash back you can expect from your purchase and check to see what coupon codes might be available at the time.
  4. You click through to the website of the store from which you’re making a purchase.
  5. You proceed as you normally would in selecting and buying products on the store site.
  6. You earn cash back in your Ebates or ShopAtHome account within a few days of placing your order.

Once you get $5 of cash back through Ebates, or $20 through ShopAtHome, you get a check in the mail in the next payment cycle. (There are other payment options available also.)

Before making online orders, I check both Ebates and ShopAtHome to see if one offers a better cash back amount than the other. They do vary sometimes.

The reason I love this so much is because, if I’m going to be ordering online anyway, why not get some cash back in the process.

To put this on a more practical level, here is an example of some purchases I made through Ebates that helped get me my first check in the mail.

  • H&R Block        $59.95                      $8.39
  • Walgreens         $64.76                      $2.59
  • Avon                     $7.99                      $0.40
  • Disney Store        $5.99                      $0.18

Cash Back        $11.56

The middle column is how much I actually paid out of pocket and the last column shows the amount of cash back I received from the purchases. It may not look like a lot, but every little bit does add up.

Plus when you sign up on either of these sites you get a $5 bonus, just for signing up.

Really, if you make many online orders, you should to be going through one of these sites, so you can get some of that money back, and you have nothing to lose since they’re totally free. It’s really exciting to get checks in the mail too. 🙂

Okay, now let’s talk about Swagbucks.

First, I have a question for you. Do you search the web? If the answer is yes, then you could be earning prizes and gift cards with Swagbucks.

Basically with this site you earn swag bucks for searching the web. In other words, you use Swagbucks as your search engine and you earn swag bucks for certain searches. The fun part is you won’t know which searches will win you swag bucks.

The best thing to do is just search the web naturally like you would with any other search engine.

Then once you get a nice stash of swag bucks saved up, you can redeem them for prizes or gift cards. This site is also FREE and since you’re going to be doing internet searches anyway, you might as well earn prizes along the way. Right?

It may take a little while to save up for the bigger prizes but you’re not losing anything in the process.

Here is just one example of what you can do with your swag bucks. One of the prizes is a $5 Amazon E-gift card, which you can redeem bucks for once you have accumulated 450 swag bucks. There are many other prizes requiring more or less swag bucks.

I started Swagbucks in January and have not redeemed any of my swag bucks yet. My account shows that I have 4,278 swag bucks. If you want an idea of a possible amount of swag bucks you could earn in a given amount of time, I’ll give you a breakdown directly from my account.

  • Searching – 1,382 (This is from simply searching the web using the Swagbucks search box.)
  • Referrals – 1979 (You can earn up to 1000 swag bucks from each friend referral – when they win by searching, you win too.)
  • Swagcodes – 611 (About every day a swag code can be found somewhere, either on the Swagbucks blog, twitter, facebook, the toolbar, or on the Swagbucks widget.)
  • Special Offers – 160 (These are offers on the Special Offers page. You don’t have to do these. I do some of the easy free ones to earn some additional bucks.)
  • Other – 146 (For me, “Other” consists of two things. One is swag bucks I get everyday, just for using the Swagbucks toolbar, and the second is by simply skipping through the No Obligation Offers on the Special Offers page.)

That’s enough to get $45 worth of Amazon gift cards.

By the way, you get 30 swag bucks just for signing up.

5 Tips for Using Swagbucks

  1. Download the toolbar. You’ll get rewarded for it daily, plus it makes searching easier because the search box is easily accessible no matter where you are on the web.
  2. Don’t oversearch. Constant unnatural searching will not increase your chances of getting swag bucks. It’s very unlikely that you’ll win more than once in a one to two hour period.
  3. Become a fan on Facebook, a follower on Twitter and subscribe to the Swagbucks blog. You will get alerts to swag codes and other important information through these sites.
  4. Get referrals. One of the best ways to get swag bucks is by getting friends and family to sign up using your referral link.
  5. Use Swagbucks to visit your favorite sites. Instead of using bookmarks, just type in the site name and go through the search box. I’ve won swag bucks for typing in Mommy’s Idea Book in the search box. 🙂

Okay, now it’s time to start saving and searching, but most of all have fun with it. Saving money is a lot of fun!! Don’t you agree?

It certainly works for me.

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Posted on April 7th, 2010 in Money Matters | 2 Comments


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