All sweepstakes aren’t about extravagant vacations or brand new cars – you can actually win some smaller, more practical prizes! Many cash and coupon prizes may seem small, but they can add up to make a big difference over time. Entering a sweepstakes is one of the easiest ways to win a little extra money. Here are a few tips to help you boost your bank account with contests and giveaways.
Be An Optimist
When I was about 12, my little sister spotted a Wal-Mart gift card sweepstakes. The prize was $100. She wanted to enter, while I thought, “Why bother? It’s not like we’ll win.” She talked my dad into entering the sweeps and a few weeks later, we got a phone call informing us that we had won the grand prize! Our family split that $100 gift card four ways and that was how I got my first keychain pet – the beginning of a lifelong video game obsession. The moral of this story? Don’t assume you won’t win! Enter and you may be surprised at how lucky you are.
Let’s admit that we’re mostly creatures of habit. We get up, have our coffee at the same time of day, buy the same faithful brand of shampoo, and generally get into ruts. However, sometimes the greatest rewards come to us when we venture away from the norm. Don’t enter only the grocery store sweepstakes – dive into opportunities offered by home and garden stores (think Home Depot), the electronics and entertainment stores, and the big name department stores like JCPenney and Sears. All of these companies will give away coupon booklets, gift cards, and sometimes even cash! Safeco is giving away gas for a year in the form of gift cards – that’s a prize that could help anyone’s budget.
Be Smart With Your Time
You don’t need to enter every sweepstakes that comes along. If you are looking for a cash infusion and don’t have time for the movies this weekend, don’t bother entering that contest that is only giving movie tickets. I’m in the minority, but I really hate the smell of lavender. I wouldn’t waste my time filling out an entry for coupons for lavender hand soap! Narrow your focus to the type of prize you want. You can easily find the categories you want on sweepstakes sites like SweepstakesFanatics.com. Easy to find instructions, prize listings, and entry links can save you hours of time!
Enjoy The Process
Sweepstakes listings will emphasize their grand prize, but there are tons of giveaways that offer hundreds or even thousands of runner-up prizes! While you may win a big prize every once in a while, be aware that small wins will be more frequent. You might not win baby formula for a year, but a $50 grocery coupon is still free money. Enjoy sweepstakes for what they are – not a sole source of income, but a fun way to get your hands on gift cards, high value coupons or product samples, and yes, maybe even that $100 Wal-Mart gift card!
Stefanie Hamilton blogs at www.sweepstakesfanatics.com and can be found entering premium contests and blog giveaways after her husband and two kids have turned in for the night.