Welcome to my blog! I love taking photos - and I love sharing said photos!
So sit back and enjoy a small glimpse into the life of me! :D

Monday, July 5, 2010

FREE STUFF?!?

♥♥♥Getting Something for Nothing♥♥♥
♥♥♥Using: Search & Win and Survey sites♥♥♥


Okay, I've been putting off this post for a while. Not really sure why - but I figure now is as good a time as any to explain some awesome things on the internet that I have found and LOVE!

First - let's get something straight. I'm a suspicious person by nature! I won't discount something right off the bat - but neither will I do it without first researching the heck out of it. And I always test the waters before I'll ever suggest it to my friends.

Now - I have come across a few things online that have turned out to be genuine (ie: I have been paid by them, or have been paid because of something I got from them). Some pay in money. Others pay in various prizes and gift cards (my favorite are Amazon gift cards - I'll say why later).

Without further ado - let's get right to it!



♥♥♥SWAGBUCKS♥♥♥

Search & Win

This is my favorite so far!! I joined back in December of 2009, and have made a total of $195 (as of July 5th) in Amazon gift cards (with extra swagbucks to spare).

~~ How it works: This is a search & win site. You search using the Swagbucks search engine, and randomly you'll win points (called Swagbucks) which can then be traded in for prizes. The most common prize are the $5 Amazon gift cards (which can be added to you Amazon account - and they'll never expire. And they do cover shipping & handling if you have enough saved up!). The $5 Amazon GC costs 450 swagbucks.

The average search will earn you around 10 swagbucks - though I have gotten many more at higher amounts. You can almost always win at least three times a day (though it is random, so there's no guarantee.) There is almost always a swagcode out every day - on average worth around 6 swagbucks. Plus you can get one for a few things (daily polls, no obligation offers, trusted surveys and having the toolbar - that's 4 swagbucks every day for just a few seconds of your time). This can add up fast! And that's just you! If you get a referral - you'll get a matching amount of every swagbuck they earn during searches (up to their first 1000 swagbucks)!

~~ Prizes: As stated - this can all add up pretty fast! Swagbucks has a pretty huge store (called a Swagstore - go figure, lol). The two most popular purchases tend to be the $5 Amazon gift card (which never expire once they're added to your Amazon account - and you can add more to you account -- meaning they are stackable). And there's also the $5 PayPal gift card - which costs more swagbucks to get - but can then be used anywhere.

By yourself, doing your daily searching and participating, it will take you about 2-3 weeks to earn enough for an Amazon card. For me - this was going to be a free book! Who doesn't like the idea of grabbing some good reading....FOR FREE! :) So that's what kept me at it! Then my friend Jess joined, and with her matching search wins - I was able to get an Amazon card in about 10 days! Oh Me Likey! A few more Amazon cards - my winnings posted every time on my Facebook - and I had a few more referrals. Soon I was getting 5 cards ($25) every month!

Click the image below to use my referral and get 30 swagbucks just for joining!!!

Search & Win





♥♥♥IRAZOO♥♥♥



After such awesome success with Swagbucks, I went searching for more! 99% of the things I found were either dead sites (or dying!) or sites that required you to purchase stuff before getting any sort of points (I'm looking for free people! hello!?).

I came across an online post (sorta like the one I'm writing now) that had something like Top 10 Search & Win sites! There was this site called Irazoo listed on there. I went and found out that it was a site very similar to Swagbucks, just not as hyped up and flashy. They definitely feel new, but I've only heard good things from them. Well - people complain (since I guess free isn't good enough - because they expect TONS of free stuff RIGHT now with next to ZERO effort! - whatever!!!).

~~ How it works: Same as Swagbucks - you search with their search engine, and win random points good for stuff from their store. The store is pretty tiny and the only thing I'm interested in is the Amazon gift card. The average search seems to give you around 35-60 points. They also have Treasure Codes every once in a while - usually worth some pretty high amounts (50-75 points). And they just added a recommendation aspect to their searching. When you click on a search result - a red bar will run along the top of the website. It still seems wonky (cuz it doesn't work with EVERY search) but a 30 second count down will appear on the top right, under the comment box. After the countdown is done, the "Yes" and "No" buttons will activate and you can choose to recommend (or not) the site you visited - and it will give you 50 points! You can do this twice a day for an awesome 100 points!

~~ Prizes: As I said before - the amount prizes are pretty slim right now. They have an Amazon gift card that I have my eye on - but I haven't quite gotten enough points yet! (I'm about 200 shy - but with the recommendations - I'll have it in a couple days!) Since they're still new - I'm thinking they don't have many sponsors. So I'm sure that they'll only get bigger as the hype of Search & Win sites grows! :)

Click the image below to use my referral and you and I will both get 50 point just for you joining!!!







♥♥♥MySurvey♥♥♥



When I first got the internet - way long ago, lol - I went in search of free stuff. I guess it's in my blood for find the easy money, lol. I came across tons of results for survey sights. The most popular at the time (this was in 2001) seemed to be MySurvey. I had no problems with it way back then, but I did find that getting points seemed an endless task - and the prizes were just too expensive. It required referrals to really get anywhere - and I had no real online friends who I could bother :)

Fast forward to a few months ago - I came across my old activation email and went back to MySurvey. The few points I had earned nearly 10 years ago were gone - but I did see that they added a HUGE amount of new prizes - including my beloved Amazon gift cards!! So I got to work getting my profiles all set up (they use these to prescreen you for surveys - that way they don't send you surveys for topics that will never need you {ie: wanted - male, 45, divorced ---- that would NOT be me, and would be a waste of time to send it to me, lol}). So after doing all my profiles, as well as the few surveys I qualified for - I was already halfway towards my first $10 Amazon card!!

~~ How it works: You'll get an email alerting you to a new survey (they never spam your email). If you choose to install their little alert thingy - that will give you a little pop up alert as well. Fill out the survey to the best of your abilities and hope that you qualify. If you don't qualify - you'll still get the 5-10 points for the prescreening questions. If you do qualify - you'll most likely get another 100-200 points for your time & effort!! And what's awesome - when you do qualify - there's a chance you'll get more stuff! I've tested products, watched TV show promos, and helped (I think) to develop products/movies and a bunch of other stuff into what they eventually were when released (I can remember doing a survey about those fabric softener bars that go IN your dryer - as well as what I liked and didn't like about the premise for a show - including the title: Life, Unexpected.)

~~ Prizes: I remember when I first joined - they had like 10 things and the stuff I wanted was so far out of my reach - it's not even funny :P But when I came back to them this year - and I browsed the prizes - I was just stunned at the HUGE list of stuff!!! Yes - they have the Amazon gift cards! They seem to be so popular (and why not - you can get nearly anything you want from Amazon!). They also have PayPal! And -- the prices for both the Amazon and PayPal are the SAME amount -- 1100 points for a $10 gift card! ((So far - from all the sites I've participated on - this exchange of point amounts for prize amounts is the fairest and best!!))

Click the image below to use my referral and get started. And make sure to do the First Chance Survey -- it helps me get my referral points and helps you get your info entered so that you can get more surveys!!!







♥♥♥SurveySavvy♥♥♥



Another survey site that I'm pretty happy with has been Survey Savvy. They don't give you prescreening points like MySurvey does - but the prescreen questions are pretty quick and to the point - so they won't waste your time. But when you do qualify - it's pretty nice. I think the best thing I've ever had happen was the invitation to a private HP Forum where I give my opinion about all things HP and then get paid with (yep - you guessed it, lol) a nAmazon card worth $15, every month. So, if for nothing else - I rave about Survey Savvy, lol. I also have $46 saved up in my account, but I have yet to ask for a check (I'm kinda waiting for them to give me the option to have it paid via Amazon - or for the total to hit something like $100 maybe, lol).

~~ How it works: You'll get an email (usually two for the same survey) and you'll do the prescreen questions. If you qualify, you'll do their stuff and then get whatever the amount specified added to your account balance (they'll say in the email what the prize amount will be - should you qualify).

~~ Prizes: You get paid by check with this one. So far, I've just let my balance accumulate, but you can request a check for your amount (or any amount I think) any time you want :)

Click the image below to use my referral and get started




And what, you might ask, am I saving for!? Well - I love photography (I guess you knew -- considering you stopped here on my Project 365 blog, lol). My Sony A100 DSLR camera has had a good run, but is dying. And instead of investing money to get it fixed, I'm taking that money and putting it towards a new camera. But when I went searching for the one I wanted, I decided that if I was going to get something - I should have it be an improvement (other wise I just might as well fix the one I have and just invest in nice lenses. No thank you, lol - Mama wants her dream camera. Thanks! lol).

So, I decided (I think!) on the Canon EOS Rebel T1i.



I chose this one for a couple reasons. One - the mega pixels is 15.1 -- FIVE more than what I have now! I saw a huge difference between my 8mp and 10mp cameras - so I'm so stoked at the idea of a 5mp improvement!! And two - it's got video capabilities! I'm lacking digital video right now - and I hate not being able to upload stuff online and share it with my friends :D

And that, my friends, is what I've been saving up Amazon money for!! With my work in Swagbucks, as well as my work with the HP forum - my account is currently sitting with $300!!! Isn't that crazy!! It was ALLL for free!! I'm so excited to get my camera!! I have a wedding coming up that I'm getting paid in advance for - as well as I'm working on doing my garage sale - so I plan to have this baby by the end of the month!!

Poo On Posting

As my little header (which I just updated) states - I was doing so great with my blog! I was finally (FINALLY) caught up and then summer stuck. I really got into sorting my stuff to get it ready for a garage sale that I swear will one day happen! The weather being nice had us all doing more outdoor stuff. And unfortunately, my depression took a nose dive - which affected me in all my creative outlets (scrapping, photography and blogging alike!) I forced myself to take photos, I made some awesome layouts despite not really wanting to, but I didn't get much done here :(

So, soon - oh so soon - I'll be doing some catch up posts :) Despite the depression, June was really an awesome month - full of fun times and awesome photos :) I'm eager to get my memories jotted down before more time passes, so catch up posts are on my to-do list for sure :)

A quick recap - I'm not dropping my P365 efforts. I've been diligent (mostly) with photos. And catch-up posts are coming soon :D
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