So how many of you watched the new Extreme Couponing show on TLC? I certainly did. I am just amazed at how those frugalistas can get all that stuff for basically nothing. Although I think it's a bit ridiculous to have the huge stockpiles like they do, I still think it's great to save so much money. I wish I was that good and knew how to save that much. But you would never catch me buying 35 bottles of Maalox just because it only was costing around 50 cents each. Come on....really??
Anyway, my point is, that ever since this economy went to the crapper a couple of years ago, I've had to really get creative with having to cut back expenses and save money. At the same time, I didn't want our daily lives to radically change either. So, that's when the couponing came in. I also hit the department stores sales' racks, search consignment stores for awesome name brand clothes, and even joined a "resale event" for moms to bring in all outgrown clothing and toys, furniture, etc and sell it, and also buy stuff from all the other moms. It's almost like a high when I can find brand new Justice clothes for Miss Sassy for less than $5, or excellent condition Tommy or Polo shirts for Bubbalicious for just a few bucks. Craigslist has also been a really great place to find things we need for great prices. Just an example, to help with my new weight loss adventure, I found a brand new elliptical machine for sale on craigslist for only $50. Can't beat that with a stick! Now if I could just get my butt on it everyday, it might be effective. hehehe!
Another thing I have started over the past year, is started entering sweepstakes and giveaways. I started out with just blog giveaways, and started winning. It was the first time in my life that I had ever won anything, and I can't even explain the happiness it gave me. So, I found more blogs and was entering quite a few, and then winning at least once a week. I was hooked! I only enter for things that I actually need or want. I don't think it would be fair for me to enter for something I wasn't going to use, when I know someone who does need it is also entering. Now for those of you that are new to giveaways, trust me, there was A LOT of them that I didn't win. Sometimes I would want something so bad, and try so hard to win it. I would do every single entry that was available, and then of course, I wouldn't win. It's a bummer, but it's just part of the game. I've been very blessed with all the great things I have won from blogs, and am very appreciative to the bloggers who run the giveaways and the sponsors who offer the items. Entering all those giveaways on blogs is ultimately what got me here, offering all of you lovelies of BeeCute the cool products that I love and think you will, too!
I have also added in regular sweepstakes that I enter on a regular basis. They are much harder to win, but the prizes usually have much greater value than blog giveaways. They also have instant win games with a lot of sweepstakes, and those aren't as hard to win. I've won several instant win games for things such as gift cards, t-shirts, and household products. I don't win on a lot of these sweeps, but I try to not get frustrated. Because I have won several smaller ticket items, that keeps my spirits up. Just last week, I won a swag pack from Nine West which will include shoes and a shirt, and I'm not sure what else. Of course, I have to brag about my biggest win--a trip to Jamaica!! I won the trip about 2 months ago from a one-time entry on a twitter contest, and it shocked the hell out of me when they picked me! I have filled out and returned the affidavit, and still waiting on them to let me know how I actually will book my trip. It's very special to me, because my hubby and I never got to go on a honeymoon when we got married, so this will more than make up for that.
The main reason I enter giveaways and sweeps is because that's the only way that I can "provide" all these awesome goodies and extras for my family. We just can't afford to go out and buy Flip cameras, or video games whenever we want to. We definitely can't afford to go on vacations, so that is exactly why I enter. I hope to win a family vacation some day, so my kids can also experience it. I know it's possible, and just keep hope that one day we will get blessed with something amazing for the whole family to enjoy.
So, do you like to enter sweeps or giveaways? What not-so-conventional things do you do to save money or get those extras for your family? I want to hear about your experiences, thoughts, and comments.
Speaking of saving money, Dollar General just started a new promotion called Rhythm & Race Rewards that I think is really cool. It's based on a point system, and you earn points in exchange for gift cards, Nascar items, or Grand Ole Opry merchandise. They have created a list of certain items that will will earn one point per item purchased. I looked at the list, and I was pretty happy with the items on it. It has things that I would normally buy, like Hellmans' mayo, Hamburger Helper, Betty Crocker fruit snacks, lotions, shampoo, and so on. It's a big list, and they also have monthly bonus item, such as Huggies wipes or Pull-Ups. The list can be printed off from their Rhythm & Race website.
When you purchase the participating products, they will give you a code on your receipt. After you sign up for the program, which began April 1st and goes thru July 31st, you will enter your code online or you can even text it with your cell phone. All it takes is 10 points to start earning prizes. The more points you get, the better prize you earn.
In addition to that, they are also doing an optional contest based on teams. Up to 4 people can be on a team, and when you enter your points, those same points will also go towards your team's balance. At the end of the promotion period, the team with the most points wins a really nice prize. Each member of the team will have their choice of a trip for 2 to a Nascar event, a trip to Grand Ole Opry, or a check made out to you! Pretty sweet, right? I know what I would choose already!
Ok, so here's the deal. I want to start a team. I go to the Dollar store a lot, because it's very close to my house. I know I can rack up some points quick! So I need 3 more people who want to be on my team. If you shop at the Dollar General and want to join in on this contest, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to include your full name and email address. Also, if you want to be on my team, please don't sign up yet and wait for my team invitation to sign up. I'll get them sent out quickly, so you can begin earning points. Of course, you can still shop and just hold onto your code til we are all set.
I hope to hear from some of you fellow DG shoppers and create a Divalicious team. I don't know that Dollar Store and Divalicious should really be in the same sentence, but hey, we can bring sexy back to being frugal, right. Oh, and by the way, they do take coupons there, and I heard they have a new revised coupon policy on their main website. I'm off to check it out, and will be anxiously awaiting to hear from you!