Saturday, August 24, 2013

how i (almost) never pay for anything from amazon.

this past week has been a really great week for free stuff. first there was this trip to target, then alices baby book got here:

this was also free. and not like the usual shutterfly promotion where the book is free but you have to pay for shipping, I won it from McDonald's monopoly and it was actually free. and im really glad I won this, because alice is about to turn two, and I hadn't even started her baby book. I know, what the heck kind of first time mom am I? but now i can stop feeling bad because at least she now has a record of her first year (in exactly 20 pages because im cheap like that). 

but the best part was when my package from amazon got here:

i got a desperately needed new pair of my favorite jeans (ive just accepted that im that kind of mom, that only wears one kind of jeans), some sweet rice flour so we can finally go back to making béchamel on a regular basis (i couldnt seem to find it anywhere i normally shop and yes, béchamel is kind of a staple over here, is that weird?), and some replacement spouts for the only sippy cup alice has that doesnt leak or get disgusting things growing in it (this one, if you have a baby/toddler i highly recommend it). i got three things that we totally needed, that would have run about $50, for free. 

how, you ask? by using those dumb websites that send annoying emails that everyone ignores. 

really, if youre patient, you can earn free amazon giftcards. and its pretty easy. it took me maybe 3-4 months to save up the $50, but since it didnt take much effort on my part, im not complaining. im sure there are more ways you could do this (and im sure the "serious" money saving blogs will tell you all about it, but im all about whats realistic for a normal person with a life to do), but i only use these two:

1: honestly i remember how i first came across plink, and at first it seemed kind of scammy, but after some research it seemed legit so i signed up out of curiosity. basically, you make an account (email me at for a referral and we both get a bonus), link your debit/credit card to it and when you make "qualifying purchases", you earn points that can then be traded in for giftcards. honestly i really dont shop or eat at any of the places that they offer rewards for (ok weve been to 7-11 a couple times), and i was about to get rid of my account. but then i got an email saying that i had eared points for no reason. and this kept happening. at least once a week. so i kept it around, and so far ive earned about $20 in amazon giftcards, for doing nothing. so if you were to actually shop at any of these places (old navy and gap give a lot of points), you could make a lot more. 

and 2. valued opinions is one of MANY online survey sites, and of the several sites ive personally tried, its the only site that 1. actually pays a worthwhile amount per survey ($1-5 depending on length), 2. has surveys that dont take forever (most say theyll take 20-30 minutes, and usually only take half that), and 3. pays out quickly (once you earn enough credits to cash them in, they immediately email you your giftcard). this wont make you a lot of money, but if youve got a few extra minutes a couple times a week (i can usually do a few during naptime), its not a bad way to get a little extra spending cash. 

between these two sites, i usually have enough credit to at least pay for part of my order whenever i need something from amazon, but in this case, since my jeans went on sale, i was able to get the whole order for free. not bad for spending a few extra minutes checking emails, right?


  1. I always sign up for the doozy survey sites that I never get anything from. Thanks for recommending these - I will def check them out!!!

    1. i hope they work out for you, i mean, $20 every couple months isnt a lot, but its nice to have some extra treat money now and then.