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Monday, September 3, 2012

Unusual Savings

With the costs of everything rising and medical bills, repair bills, and just plain bills arriving seemingly daily I've had to find unusual ways to cut costs or make a little extra money. Sometimes it doesn't seem as though the little things will add up to make much of a difference but they do. I'm going to share some of my unusual ways this week; some off the links included in this posting are my own referral links but you can also sign up yourself without using my referral links. I share these ideas with you not in order to make anything off of them but because they are tricks that I use monthly, weekly, or even daily in order to save money. Everything I mention is free to sign up for, free to use, and legit ways to save money.
The first unusual way is one of my favorites:

I have mentioned Swagbucks many times before because I love it so much. It is a search engine much like Google but you earn points just for doing your regular searches. You can then redeem your points for gifts and prizes. There are so many to choose from (shirts, books, games, gift cards such as Target and Best Buy) but I always opt for the Amazon $5 gift cards, which are 450 points each. I looked through my Swagbucks history and saw that I signed up in November of 2009. That means I have been signed up almost 3 years now and I have earned $430 in Amazon gift cards. That is a lot of free money for doing something that I always did before for free.

What happens when you sign up is you download the search bar, much like you would a Google search bar. Every time you do a search (and some people increase their searches daily by typing in their favorite sites, such as Facebook, in the search bar instead of the address bar of their computer) you have a chance to win Swagbucks. The toolbar automatically keeps track of how many points you earn and there is nothing more for you to do! Once you earn points you can visit their "Swag Shop" (again, easy to do as the redeem option is right on their tool bar) and order whatever you want that you have enough points for.

By sharing your link with friends you can earn additional points because as they earn you will earn along with them, up to 1000 points for each friend referral. Every single person that I have mentioned Swagbucks to that has joined has been thrilled, it's not like selling them something - it is helping them earn free money or gifts.

As I mentioned before, I cash in all my points for Amazon gift cards but there are hundreds of prizes that you can choose from (you can even request money by "buying" a paypal gift card option with your points). I choose Amazon gift cards in order to buy Christmas gifts. I recently decided to use it for purchasing a health and beauty staple in our house - toilet paper. The brand we buy is Scott Tissue (because it's the only roll that lasts long in our family of five) but the four packs at the store are $4. It's rare that I can find a coupon for it and while it sometimes goes on sale it is few and far between. I saw that Amazon has the 20 roll pack for $14.xx and with the subscribe and save option it brought my total down a bit lower. Having it automatically shipped to me every month or two will mean that I don't have to worry about picking it up at the store. So, all in all, the price on Amazon is cheaper than most sale prices I have ever seen, it is convenient, and because I use my Swagbucks it is free. Getting free toilet paper may not seem like a big savings but it does add up to $100 or more a year of savings! You could do this on anything - baby diapers, wipes, food products that you always use, etc. It's products that you buy made free with Swagbucks!

That's just what I use my swagbucks for, there are so many more options that may be a bigger savings for you. Do you eat out? Earn a Chili's gift card. Get a Barnes and Noble Gift card. Shop at Wal-mart a lot, buy a gift card. Starbucks, Lowes, the options are endless as are the savings!

Tomorrow: How to save money on items that you purchase online.


  1. We love Swagbucks! Have you checked out the surveys? Once I found them I went from getting a $5 gift card every 5-6 weeks to maxing out my 5 $5 gift cards a month with points left over. It's great!

  2. No, I haven't done the surveys! Where do you find them? Thanks for the tip!

    1. If you go to swagbucks.com and mouse over "earn," they're under "trusted surveys" and "special offers." I do the trusted surveys before the special offers, although I usually get more of my points from the ones under special offers just because there's more of them.



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