Now, that we’ve touched on making money off of your old electronics and making your change and dollar bills work for you, let’s touch on ways to create gifts without using any money.
Whether you know it or not, there are quite a few sites that “pay” you with points just for reading e-mails they send off to you. One of my favorite sites that does this is called mypoints.
Mypoints sends you e-mails and asks you to click certain buttons to view the main page of their sponsors. You do get extra points for signing up at these sites or ordering from them, but that is NOT an obligation. With every e-mail, you attain 5 points. Now here is the way to really get this going: mypoints also sends you little surveys to do. If you qualify for the whole survey, you can earn up to 50 points, and if you don’t, you still get 10 points. Little Known Fact: This is yet another way I do giveaways on here! Since I started in February, I have gotten 7 gift cards!
The best part of getting all of your points is that you can trade them in for wonderful gift cards. Itunes, TGI Fridays, Restaurant.com, Regal Cinemas, they are all available. They even have gift cards for my two favorite national drug stores, CVS and Walgreens.
Another great site that I just discovered is Zoom Panel. After you fill out a short form about yourself, they send you surveys that they need your particular opinions on. Although the surveys can be long, you can take as long as you want to do them. The best part about this site is that their prizes aren’t just gift cards. Collect enough points and you can trade them in for earrings, toasters, coffee makers or even bluetooth items. I’ve only been at it for less than 2 weeks and already have 480 points. Since you need at least 1000 points to be able to pick from the prizes, I am well on my way to getting a good gift from just sitting on my bum at home.
Do you find yourself googling like crazy all day for all types of things? What if you could get paid bucks for doing so? Let me introduce you to swagbucks. I love swagbucks. You use their site to do your online searches, and for certain searches that you do, you get “swagbucks.” Sometimes it’s for 1 buck, sometimes it’s for 3 bucks and sometimes you are even picked at random to recieve 100 bucks. If you are going to search online anyway, this is a great way to attain goodies. Swagbucks also gives away gift cards, but they also exchange your bucks for credits towards online stores. This is wonderful when the holiday seasons roll around and the online sales start. You will be able to have instant money waiting for you without having to spend a dime. I call that a good deal.
How to take full advantage of these sites
Now when it comes to all three of these, the more you use them, the more points you will attain, obviously. For mypoints and zoom panel this is especially true. The more e-mails you answer, the more you will get back. They will send you quite a few a day, so leave your (junk) e-mail up on your computer and try to get to them when you can. I’ve had a few people say that they signed up for mypoints but didn’t get enough e-mails to make a difference. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Every little bit counts, and once they see that you are regularly answering the e-mails, they will start to send you the survey opportunites to help you attain even more points. Diligence and patience recieves the best rewards!
When it comes to swagbucks, you may want to add the small swagbucks toolbar to your screen. Where you have a google or msn search engine(usually at the top right of your screen), you can change that to a swagbucks search engine. This will help remind you to use it instead of google, MSN, or yahoo. Also, Fridays are the best days for searching! Swagbucks does Mega Bucks Fridays, where your searches can earn you from 3 bucks to 50 to 100 bucks. Some chat rooms, like the one on swaggrabber.com, does trivia games on fridays that revolve around you searching for the answer via swagbucks.
Now these may seem like little, tiny, tedious steps to getting gifts for the holidays, but just think of it this way: if you start with at least one of these methods now, by november you should be able to cross off 2 or 3 people from your gift list without using a dime of your own money. You can’t tell me that doesn’t intrigue you! If you can’t do all 3, make a vow to at least give one a try. Choose one that will be easiest for your lifestyle and just go with it. You won’t regret it once December rolls around.
Now what if you have some funds for the Holidays but want to stretch it as much as possible? Stay tuned tomorrow for the last part of the mini-series!