I have been known to be quite the bargain hunter. I am a confessed shopaholic, but I am also extremely fiscally responsible. I love to shop at places like Macys, Old Navy, Gap, etc, but I simply can not see paying full price for anything! I do have a certain style, but I am not fashion-conscious. I really don't give a shit what's "In Style" or what the hot new look is for the season - shit, I live in Miami, there are no "Seasons".
So...I frequent the clearance racks. Honestly, I can not remember the last time I purchased anything at full price. Don't get me wrong, I buy some really nice things - name brand, designer labels, etc - but I am probably not buying those items when you are. Even my Coach handbag obsession is kept in check by only purchasing new handbags at the Coach Factory Store, when they are on clearance - and yes, with a coupon to get an even larger discount. PS - thank you to the handbag gods for opening a Coach Factory Store.
With this bargain hunting mentality, I signed up for a website called MyPoints around 1999. I received points for purchasing things at my favorite online retailers, through their special links, which I in turned redeemed for gift cards. Over the years, I have been asked to join several survey panels that pay actual money. Many times, at least 4 times a year, I receive free product samples to try in the mail. Don't get me wrong, I am not making a living off of these survey panels. But its fun and I do get little incentives. Two weeks ago, I received two free tubes of Neutrogena UltraSheer Daily Liquid Sunblock (which works great, btw), and this week I received a package of frozen blueberry waffles to try (taste as good as Eggo waffles and I think they might be, but the survey panel did not disclose which brand they were).
Over the years, I was on the panel for the pilot episode of Better Off Ted (wish it would come back on air, I loved it!), received food products, doggie treats, body wash, shampoo, etc. You name it and I have received it free in the mail. Every few months I have earned enough to cash in for a $25 gift card, or a $10 check. I wish I could refer all my friends so that they could participate but these panels are by invite only. I think I was put on some sort of list due to my heavy internet shopping habits!
Oh, and all those Best Buy, Target, Home Depot and Walgreens surveys that are on your receipts? I absolutely ALWAYS do those surveys when I get home. I haven't won any prizes yet, but I think its just a matter of time!
I was just entering in the Coca Cola reward points that have been accumulating in my kitchen junk drawer for about a month. I usually redeem them for $10 promo codes for Live Nation but today I think I will just spoil myself and order a new magazine subscription. Honestly, I already have tickets for all of the shows I really want to see this year.
You may think that these little things are dumb and a complete waste of your time. But if you have a few minutes to spare, do it! It really does add up in the long run. I have received a total of $50 off the price of my concert ticket purchases this year. It makes a difference!