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Monday, October 11, 2010

easy money, free prizes, cheap stuff

As you've probably already figured it out by now (probably just by reading the oh-so-catchy title), the whole theme of this little blog of mine is living well, spending less--the adventure of finding style and luxury on a budget.  It is based on the premise that (for most normal people) money is limited.  Thus, in order to do or buy the things you want, you either have to a.) spend less on other things or b.) make more money.  And that's where I'm here to help!

There are a few different online resources that I've discovered recently that can either earn you money or prizes, or get you great discounts on stuff you need.

The first is PayBox, which I first blogged about last week.  This new service is still in the development phase, but it is set to launch in 2011 as a major competitor to PayPal.  So why is that relevant to you?  They are asking for EarlyBird subscribers to help them get all the kinks worked out of their system.  Just for signing up, they will deposit $50 into your account, and you then earn more money each time you log in.  Seriously.  The "catch" is that the money will not be available to spend until PayBox goes live in 2011, so you can think of it sort-of as a free & easy savings account.  

It should come as no surprise that there are a few rules for this free money.
To keep your account active you need to log in regularly (at least once every 2 days), you must stay subscribed to their e-newsletter, and you have to fill out a short survey once a week.  (And by short, I mean 20-30 seconds!)  I signed up two weeks ago and with only a few minutes of effort every day I have already earned almost $400.  I suppose nothing in life is guaranteed, but if there is even a chance that I may end up with thousands of dollars by next year, a few minutes a day doesn't seem like much of a sacrifice.  At this rate, I'm hoping to have enough saved up for a luxury cruise vacation by the time they go live!  To sign up, click here.
Search & WinThe next cool site to earn you free prizes is Swagbucks.com.  According to their website, "swagbucks.com allows users to earn virtual currency by doing the things they do every day-search the web, shopping at their favorite retailers, and by engaging in other activities such as phone recycling, submitting polls, and completing offers." The easiest way that I have found to earn swagbucks is to download the free search box for my toolbar, and then to do all my search engine searches via swagbucks.  

In just over a week I have already earned enough swagbucks for a $5 Amazon.com gift certificate, and at this rate I figure I will earn enough to put a nice dent in my Christmas shopping expenses.  To sign up for Swagbucks, click here.

Coupon shopping is an amazing way to save on food and drugstore items, which is great.  But what about all that other stuff?  Clothing, entertainment, gifts....once you get in the habit of saving 50% or more every time you shop, it is pretty hard to go back to paying regular price for anything.  And with the holidays coming up, it is definitely time to start thinking about how to save on gifts!

I am a huge fan of sites like Groupon and Jasmere, which are both essentially the same concept of a "group coupon." Each day they present one deal that will only be available if enough people purchase it.  For Groupon, the deals are generally specific to the particular city you are in, although there are often "online" deals available in several cities each day that can be purchased from anywhere.  (Today, for instance, on the Chicago page you can get $45 worth of treats from ChocolateGourmet.com for only $19.  Go to Sioux Falls to get a $30 RedEnvelope.com voucher for only $15.)

  Jasmere is slightly different.  Each day they feature a voucher from one online retailer.  The voucher generally starts at 50-60% off, but the more people that purchase a particular deal, the lower the price.

A few weeks ago I blogged about our family photo session on the beach which I purchased on Groupon earlier this year.  It was a phenomenal deal and our pictures were amazing.  But I have recently purchased a few other great deals as well.  Just this weekend I received 6 bottles of fine wine from WineInsiders.com, which, including shipping, I paid $25.87 for.  That is only $4.31 a bottle!  (FYI, that deal is still available today on the Jacksonville, Sacramento, and Milwaukee pages!)

Click here to sign up for Jasmere.

Click here to sign up for Groupon.

Once you have signed up you will receive a daily email highlighting that day's deal.  (Groupon will only email you the deal for your city--you have to manually visit other cities to find online deals.)

And I am such a huge fan of Groupon that from now until Christmas, I am going to post my favorite Groupon deal of the day so that you don't have to waste time searching!


  1. I have been a member of Jasmere for 45 seconds and I am hooked! Thanks! I'm in the "score a great deal for Christmas" mode myself!

  2. Thanks for the follow..Following you back girlfriend!! Barb

  3. Thank you for the follow Ruth! Following back and look forward to learning from your blog :)


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