Thursday’s Thoughts on Home: Saving money

A couple of weeks ago our family of five went to see Cars 2 on opening night for $17.50 total!  That’s about $3.50 per person.  If it was 1981, that wouldn’t be so impressive, but for 30 years later in 2011, that’s a substantial savings.  How did we do it?  Living Social!

Warning: this blog post is really an unpaid commercial for some ways that I’ve found to save/earn money.  I’ve had many people ask me if these things are legit, so I thought I’d write about them.  If that doesn’t interest you, no need to read on, come back tomorrow for a post that I promise will not have any commercials!

About a month ago, there was a Living Social deal for Fandango – buy 2 tickets for $9 total.  The tickets were good for up to $14 each including Fandango’s service charge.  I purchased a deal.  I posted the deal on Facebook – I know that’s annoying to some people, but I did.  I then used the link to purchase another as my husband Jeff.  So that was 4 tickets for $18.  But then, 2 other people used the link and bought one, and when 3 people purchase through your link you get yours free.  So that was 4 tickets for $9.  Then we bought one more child ticket for $8.50 for a total of $17.50.  (Actually, we used a gift card that we had for that, so we really only spent $9.)

I also purchased a $20 Amazon gift card for $10 through Living Social.  I buy all my coffee and ebooks through Amazon.  I’ve also started using Amazon instead of itunes to purchase music.  I made the switch because I earn Amazon Gift Cards through Swag Bucks.  (You can click on the swag bucks box on the bottom of the screen to go to the site.)  Since November, I’ve earned about $175 in Amazon gift cards.  (You can also earn merchandise, pay pal gift cards, home depot gift cards, maggiano’s/chili’s/south of the border gift cards, itunes gift cards and many more.  Amazon is just the best deal so that’s the one I take.)

Basically I click on swag bucks everyday and do a couple of quick tasks that takes a total of 30 seconds which gives me 5 bucks a day.  If that was all I did, it would take me 90 days to earn a $5 gift card.  But I also use swag bucks as my search engine and I randomly (usually twice a day) get awarded swagbucks from the search.  (Advertisers pay Google when you search on their site, they also pay Swagbucks, but Swagbucks share that with us.)  So that usually ends up being another 15 bucks (at least) per day.  So add that to the original 5 and it takes about 23 days to earn a $5 gift card.  Also if you join through clicking on my link, I get swagbucks when you search too!  But then there are lots of other ways to earn bucks – I usually earn a $5 gift card every week.   There are games to play, videos to watch, stores to shop at where you earn more bucks.  They have codes to find that give you bucks, and here’s the best one: if you purchase a Groupon through the Swag Bucks site than you get 160 bucks.

Groupon is a site similar to Living Social.  Basically you sign up for your area and they offer local deals.  You purchase the deal and then have it to use when you want to.  I’ve bought a $20 Old Navy certificate for $10, 5 Redbox rentals for $3 instead of $5, 5 Blockbuster Express Rentals for $1 instead of $5, bounce passes for Bounce U, $30 at Ruby’s Diner for $15 and many more.  (Remember that each of those I also earned 160 swag bucks so just for those 5, that’s 800 swagbucks.  A $5 gift card is 450 bucks so that’s almost 2 $5 gift cards.  Here’s my referral link for Groupon if you want to sign up for them to email you deals: – I include my referral link because I get $10 Groupon bucks when someone I refer purchases a deal.

There’s some other tricks I’ve learned too, but I think that’s plenty for now.  I’m taking my advertising hat off and hanging it on the hook.  Tomorrow I promise no advertising!

Oh… wait, let me put that hat back on a second… I have a good friend who just adopted a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old boys to add to her family which already has a 7-year-old and 10-year-old boys.  She posted on her facebook page that she purchased today’s Living Social deal for picture people – I know she wants to get a new family portrait.  If 3 people buy from her link, she’ll get it for free… so here’s her link if you’d like to get today’s Picture People deal:

Ok… seriously, hat is off and hung on hook!  See you tomorrow.


4 thoughts on “Thursday’s Thoughts on Home: Saving money

  1. One more thing… we’re off to Bob Evan’s for dinner where C and B are getting free dinners because they are in their birthday club 🙂

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