You can read the rest of the Ways to Make & Save Money series here.
Entering blog giveaways is not a surefire way to bring in money or keep from spending money.
I am one of those people who rarely wins anything. And yet, the odds in blog giveaways are so decent that I have won quite a few times – useful, wonderful things too, like a $50 Safeway gift card from Moneywise Moms, a $30 Walmart gift card from Common Sense with Money, Snapfish prints from Bargain Briana, and so on. All of these prizes are things that I can use to save my family money by using them to buy things that I would have bought anyway.
Example: I won a $50 Walmart gift card from Frugal Upstate and spent it on a new trashcan (our kitchen trashcan broke that morning), a bat and tee (we just started with T-ball), and food items. I ended up spending less than $2 on things that I would have had to spend $50 on. Even taking income tax into consideration, I come out way ahead.
I win much less frequently when I play instant win sweepstakes, but I have won – things like an iTunes gift card and a Starbucks gift card. Again, these are things that I can use to save my family money.
I spend less than 15 minutes a day entering giveaways and sweepstakes. They’re pretty mindless activities, so I can do them when I’m tired, stressed, or distracted with something else (on hold on the phone, for example).
My favorite source for finding out about “winnable” sweeps is Freebies 4 Mom. About once a week, she’ll list the current sweepstakes that have the best odds. If there’s a prize I’d like to win, I add the sweeps to my list.
My favorite source for finding giveaways is Prizey. I subscribe to their RSS feed, which unfortunately is just a headline feed, rather than a full feed. They force you to click through to their site to get the link to the giveaway, but the headline at least lets me narrow down the field to only those giveaways that I want to enter.
One thing about giveaways and sweeps: I don’t drive myself crazy over them. If a blog giveaway’s entry requirements are too demanding, I simply close the window. If I’m too busy to find 10 minutes to enter anything, that’s fine – my day goes on. However, if I have a few minutes of time to kill, entering giveaways and sweepstakes is a great way to use the time. It just might save me some money!