Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Recycle Bank

Recycle Bank is one of my favorite sites to visit. I learn something every time I visit. Recycle Bank is not a financial bank, however it is a site that is filled with information about how we can recycle to make the world a better place. Recycle Bank will give you points to learn stuff. The points can be used to purchase items such as, magazine subscriptions, beauty items and so much more. Recycle Bank rewards you for learning about recycling. What more could you ask for? Why not visit them and learn more.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Golden Rules For Sweepstakes

If you have been entering sweepstakes for a long time or you are just beginning your sweepstakes hobby, I have listed a few Golden Rules to keep in mind as you enter sweepstakes and giveaways.

1. The sponsor or blogger of the sweepstakes/giveaway does not "owe" you anything.
Over the years I have seen this attitude time and time again. I can not tell you how many times I have heard the phrase: "I can't believe they are "only" giving away a ..." Perhaps my favorite was : "I can't believe they are "only" giving away one car." Thankfully this sentiment is rare but it still happens. Giveaways and sweepstakes can be a lot of work for sponsors and particularly bloggers. In addition to making sure you reach your targeted audience, you have to make sure the entrants are eligible, followed the rules and did not not cheat. (It happens) If a blogger  is running the giveaway, the blogger has to make sure the sponsor will deliver the item to the winner. Sometimes, the sponsors will not send the winner the prize for various reasons.So the blogger  usually provides an alternative or pays for an equivalent prize. Keep in mind how much work goes into a sweepstakes or giveaway the next time you enter or hear the phrase "they are only giving away a.."

2. Follow the Rules 
Read an follow the rules. If you are not eligible move on to the next sweepstakes,giveaway or  contest. For example, if you are asked to send in a postcard to enter the sweepstakes, don't send in a 3x5 card in an envelope. Your entry will be disqualified. Please follow the rules.

3.Visit the Sponsors Website or Social Media Pages
Take a few minutes to visit the website and social media pages of the sponsor or blogger that is sponsoring the giveaway or sweepstakes.

4. Check your Email Frequently
The  sponsors of the giveaway or sweepstakes will contact you by email, phone or postal mail. Usually by email. Respond to the email immediately. Many people have lost prizes for not responding to a winning email.

5. If you win 
If you win a prize, do not share it on sweepstakes forums, social media or any public forum until the prize is in your hands.

6. Say Thank you 
Take a few minutes to go to the sponsor's website and social media pages to post a thank you note for the prize and if you are comfortable a picture of you using the prize. This shows gratitude and may encourage the sponsor to run more sweepstakes.

 7. Have Patience
On average it takes 8-10 weeks to receive a prize you have won. Of course the time to receive the prize depends on a number of things. The time frame to receive a prize is usually listed in the rules. I can say that I have received a prize a year after a sweepstakes ended. It is rare to receive a prize a year later but it happens.

8.  Have Fun
It's a hobby, have fun and don't take it too seriously. Enjoy the process and have some fun.

9. Stay Positive
There will be times when you will not when a prize. We all go through dry spells. During those times, take a break, evaluate how you are entering sweepstakes. For example, are you getting  all your sweepstakes from a website instead of finding them on your own.

10. Try Something Different 
Do you always enter daily sweepstakes? Why not try 1x only sweepstakes or blog giveaways. Why not try a recipe contest, radio contest or twitter giveaway. Remember,trying something different, increases your chance of winning.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Finding Sweepstakes Part 4

Part 4 of Finding Sweepstakes to Enter:

1. Connect with Your Favorite Brands on Social Media.
If you have a favorite brand,why not follow them on Social Media. Many companies offer sweepstakes and giveaways for their fans and followers on Social media. The company will have the giveaway posted on their pages.

2.National Department Stores 
National department stores(Macy's, Kohl's, Sears, JCPenney) may offer promotions on their websites,Facebook pages and even walk in sweepstakes. 

3. Musician/Artist Websites
If you have a favorite artist or band,chances are they have a website or social media page. Go to the website and look under promotions, sweepstakes or giveaways.

4. Professional Sports Organizations
Try looking up sweepstakes, giveaways and contest on the following websites and social media pages: National Football League, National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and Major League Soccer.

5. National Drugstore Chains
Try looking up sweepstakes, giveaways and contest on the following websites and social media pages: CVS, Rite-Aid and  Walgreens,  

6. Coffee and Tea Companies
 Look for National, regional and local coffee houses, cafe's, tea houses and manufacturers to find sweepstakes and contest.

7. Dessert, Cake and Ice Cream Companies
Search for National, regional and local Manufactures of dessert products. Search on their websites and socail media pages.
*The Entenmanns Dessert Company is very active on Social Media.

8. National Fast Food Chains
Go to the website  and Social Media pages and look under promotions, sweepstakes or giveaways.

9. Hobbies and Interest
If you have a hobby or interest, why not try to find sweepstakes geared towards your hobby. For example, if you knit or crochet, look for sweepstakes and contest from the yarn company you use most often. In addition, why not look up magazines related to your hobby, chances are they hold sweepstakes and contest as well.

10. Shoe Sellers
Go to the website  and Social Media pages and look under promotions, sweepstakes or giveaways.

* Eastbay is very active on its website and social media page.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Finding Sweepstakes Part 3

Part 3 On How to Find Sweepstakes To Enter.

1. Blog Hops
Blog Hops are when a group of bloggers get together to offer giveaways for their readers. Usually, each blogger will give away a prize and there will be a grand prize at the end.  Blog Hops usually have a theme and a short entry period. 

How to find Blog Hops:
Google: Blog Hop,(year)
For Example: Blog Hop, 2016
Underneath the search bar click Search Tools
Click on anytime and check Past Month

2. Flash Giveaways
Flash giveaways are giveaways that last for a short length of time
How to Flash Giveaways: 
Google: Flash Giveaways 

3.Community Blogger Giveaways
Community Bloggers are bloggers that write about a topic exclusively. Sometimes the bloggers form communities and they will hold giveaways. They are different from a blog hop because with a blog hop, any blogger can join the giveaway. The bloggers are sometimes listed in a directory.

 How to find them:
Google: (community) Blog Directory 
For example: Faith Blog Directory 
Here is a list of the largest communities of Bloggers I have found:
 Christain Blog Directory
 Frugal Blog Directory
Cloth Diaper Blog Directory
Fashion Blog Directory
Food bloggers
Coupon Bloggers

4. Amazon Giveaway has a new giveaway tool called Amazon Giveaway. You can instantly win prizes. You must have an Amazon account,  because if you win,Amazon will use your address on file to ship you your prize. Amazon will confirm the address before the prize is shipped to you.

How to find Amazon Giveaway
Search : #AmazonGiveaway on Twitter

5.  Sears Shop Your Way Giveaway
Sears has an instant win sweepstakes program that is open to member of  their Shop Your Way Program. This program is free to join. The instant win prizes can be anything from points to vehicles. 
How to Find It:
 Google: Sears Instant Win Games

6. Beverage Companies
Many beverage companies hold year round sweepstakes. Some of the sweepstakes are based on points or text to win. 
How to Find Them:
Google: Coke Rewards
Google:Pepsi Sweepstakes
Underneath the search bar click Search Tools
Click on anytime and check Past Year

7. Magazines
 Many magazine hold giveaways though out the year. You do not have to be a subscriber to enter.
 How to find them:
Google: Magazine Giveaways
Underneath the search bar click Search Tools
Click on anytime and check Past Month

8. Cable/ Satelite Television Channels
Many Giveaways and sweepstakes can be found on cable and satellite channels. You do not have to be a subscriber to enter to win prizes. But, read the rules to make sure.
 How to Find them:
Google: (cable channel) sweepstakes
For Example: Travel Channel Sweepstakes
Underneath the search bar click Search Tools
Click on anytime and check Past Month

I hope this list was helpful.


Sunday, February 14, 2016

How To Enter Blog Sweepstakes and Contest


 Most of my wins come from Blog sweepstakes. I have found the best way to enter blog sweepstakes is to do the following:

1. Sign up for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest
Many bloggers will ask you to follow them on some type of social media format for an entry into the sweepstakes or giveaway.

2. Comment in a Honest Unique Way
Most of the time a Blogger will ask a question about the giveaway product or ask you to visit a website and describe something about the product or website. Do with the blogger as and make an original comment. DO NOT copy and paste what someone else wrote, doing this can and probably will get you disqualified from the giveaway.

3. Read the giveaway/sweepstakes post
Many times people are focused on the giveaway and miss the point of the post. How long would it take to read the post? Usually when someone does not read the post, they will comment on the post incorrectly and have their entry disqualified. Please read the posts to avoid disqualification.

4. Read the Rules
Make sure you qualify for the giveaway. Make sure the giveaway is open in your country, state  or age group.

5. Check Out The Blog
Look around on the blog page for other giveaways and sometimes great content.

6. Check Your Email Often
Many people have lost out on giveaway wins because they did not respond to the email at all or in the time indicated in the rules.

7. Keep All Communication From Blogger
Sometimes it happens, a Blogger does not deliver the prize or the sponsor does not deliver the prize. Make sure you keep all correspondences until the prize is in your hands.

8. Say Thank You
If you had an excellent experience with the Blogger, post a comment on the blogger's social media page. This may encourage the Blogger to host more giveaways and it's a nice thing to do.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Finding Sweepstakes Part 2

Here are 10 more places to find Sweepstakes and Contest to enter.

1.Instant Win Sweepstakes are just like the name says, sweepstakes that you win instantly. This is how I find them:
Google: Instant  win sweepstakes, (year)
For example: Instant win sweepstakes,2016

2. Twitter Sweepstakes
Go to, on the search box type in #giveaways. You will see a large number of giveaways. If you want a giveaway for a certain item, type the name of the item and #. For example: #Target gift card giveaways. You can sort the give away by date:
Click on more options, click on advanced search,  in the Words box write Target gift card giveaways,scroll down until you see dates, choose a date range and click search. Find a sweepstakes to enter. Remember to read the rules.

3. Local Newspapers
Local newspapers are great for finding local sweepstakes and contest and the number of entries are lower compared to national sweepstakes and contest. I look for sweepstakes in the Art, Travel, and lifestyles sections.

4.Grocery Stores
There are two ways to look for sweepstakes and contest for grocery stores.
A. Go to the grocery store's website and look under promotions and contests. If the store has a sweepstakes, this is where it will be listed.
B. Search online for a gift card to the grocery store:
Google: Enter to win a gift card to (grocery store's name)
Click search tools, under Anytime click past week or past month.
 For example: Enter to win a gift card to Safeway 

5. Directly From The Company

Many companies have newsletters, panel programs and member reward programs. Most of the time by signing up to these programs you are automatically entered into sweepstakes and contest or the company will send sweepstakes information directly to your email.

6.Local and Regional Stores
Many local and regional stores ( especially furniture,mattress and carpet stores) run contest and sweepstakes for local customers and potential customers. Go to the store's website and look for promotions, sweepstakes and contest.

7. Local Tourist Attractions and Museums

Go to the website and look for promotions, sweepstakes and contest.

8. Local/Regional Sports Teams: Major, Minor and Amateur Leagues
Search online for your local /regional sports team website and look for promotions, sweepstakes and contest. In addition to Football, Baseball, Basketball and Hockey teams, be sure to search for Soccer, Lacrosse and Softball  teams.

9.Shopping Malls 
Search for local, regional and outlet mall websites. Look for promotions, sweepstakes and contest.

10. Local/Regional Activity Centers
Search for the websites of Bowling alleys, Skating rinks, movie theaters and the local symphony for sweepstakes and promotions.

* Bonus
Search your local/regional convention center for sweepstakes and promotions.
** Search your local/regional Fairgrounds.
*** Search any venue in your area that host concerts, shows or plays for contests and sweepstakes. 

I hope this list is helpful. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Five Ways to Earn Money or Gift Cards Online

There are many ways to earn money online. I have found a few sites that have earned me money and or gift cards consistently. I have listed a few sites that I know are legitimate and or I have used it. Some sites allow you to make money when other people join by clicking through your link. If I have a link to one of those sites (a referral link)  I will post a generic link, meaning I will not make money and my referral link, I will make money. I will give you both options, it's the right thing to do.

Amazon Turk
 Amazon Turk is run by On Amazon Turk you do a variety of task to earn money. You might do a survey for a researcher, you may click on a picture, you may  correct receipts. You could do just about anything. How much will you earn? It depends on you, last year I made about $1200.
Only open to United States residents.

Instant Gift Card ( referral Link)
 It's just what its name says, earn Instant Gift Cards. You perform different task to earn gift cards or cash instantly. You may do surveys, sign up to receive information, watch videos and click on websites. You can convert points to cash or gift cards very quickly.
Open to :
Australia, Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand.

Swagbucks  (referral Link)
On Swagbucks, you earn points by performing task. It may be sweepstakes, watching videos, searching online or clicking websites. You can convert your points to gift cards. You will usually receive gift card in three or four days delivered to your email address.
Swagbucks is open internationally.

Qmee is a browser extension. You search as usual and sometimes a screen will pop up on the left hand side of your screen. The screen will have a product and a dollar amount (usually between 0.03 - to 0.15) click on the screen and you will receive the amount listed. You can deposit this money into Paypal, gift card or a charity listed on the site. ( Referral link)
Perk is site that pays you to do different activities. You can get paid to take surveys, click on ads, search the web ,watch videos and many activities on your smartphone.  (Referral link)

Top 10 Ways I Find Sweepstakes to Enter.

It's not hard to find sweepstakes and contest to enter, it just takes a little time. So, to help you, I have listed my top 10 ways to find sweepstakes.

 Rule # 1
 Google : Giveaway ends ( put date)   or
                 Sweepstakes ends (put date)
For example, I would Google :  Giveaway ends 2/14/2016
I sort through the sweepstakes and giveaways and find what I want to enter.

Rule #2 
Google:  Enter Giveaway Below
Then click on search tools
Click on: past hour,  past week or past month
I sort through the sweepstakes and giveaways and find what I want to enter.

Rule #3
Google  exactly what you want to win. 
For example, I would Google enter to win  a $25 Walmart Gift Card. Then click on search tools
Click on: past hour,  past week or past month

Go to a FREE sweepstakes website and search  on the website for sweepstakes and giveaways.

Rule #5
Search the phrase: Low blog entry giveaways  on Google and other search engines
This is how I win most of the sweepstakes and giveaways I enter. These giveaways are sponsored by blogs and have very low entries so your odds of winning is higher.

Rule #6

Google the phrase : Cover reveal giveaway 
Then click on search tools
Click on: past hour,  past week or past month
I like to find giveaways this way for two reasons, First I get a chance o discover new authors and two they are usually giving away a copy of a book or an Amazon Gift card or something related to the book.

Rule #7
Google the phrases : Sweepstakes open to (your state) residents
                     or             Giveaway open to (your state) residents
 For example, Sweepstakes open to New York residents.
Then click on search tools
Click on: past week or past month
This is a great way to find sweepstakes that are local and have fewer entries.

Rule #8 
Google the phrase:  Giveaway link up list
Then click on search tools
Click on:past week or past month
You should find a large number of giveaways listed, pay close attention to ending dates.
Rule #9
Google the phrase: International giveaways

Then click on search tools
Click on: past week or past month
You will likely find giveaways open worldwide. Pay attention to what countries are eligible.
Rule #10 
Google the phrase: Use the Rafflecopter form 
Then click on search tools
Click on: past hour,  past week or past month
Rafflecopter is a giveaway tool used by companies and bloggers for sweepstakes and contest.
Then click on search tools
Click on: past hour,  past week or past month

Bonus Rule:
Google the phrase: Enter the Giveaway Tools form below.
Then click on search tools
Click on: past hour,  past week or past month
Giveaway Tools is a giveaway tool used by companies and bloggers for sweepstakes and contest.


How to Find Mail in Sweepstakes

Image courtesy of
I love mail in sweepstakes because the odds are better because most people will not go though the hassle of finding and mailing entries.

Rule # 1
You will need envelopes and 3x5 index cards. Buy white index cards without the lines.

Rule #2 
You will need postcards. I like to get mine from the post office because they are pre-stamped and they are the size that most sponsors want you to use.

Find a good quality pen to use for filling out the 3x5 index and post cards. You will need it. Most sponsors require hand written entries.

Rule #4  
Find inexpensive sources for your sweepstakes supplies. I like to go to thrift stores and dollar stores to find post cards and index cards.

Rule #5
Find a Free community of sweepers that like to enter mail in sweepstakes. You should not have to pay to find mail in sweepstakes or "good" sweepstakes. 

Rule #6
How to find mail in sweepstakes: 
1.Go to Google and enter the following: sweepstakes alternate method of entry or mail in sweepstakes
2.Click on search tools,click on arrow
3. Click on Past Month or Past Week
Look through the sweepstakes to see what you would like to enter.

 Rule #7
Read the rules and follow them. You should always read the rules with sweepstakes but be extra careful with mail in sweepstakes. Why? Some sponsors are very particular about the size of paper or number of entries. For example, one time entry is very different from one time Per day. Read the rules carefully.

Rule #8
Look in the Sunday paper. Look in the coupon section and look at some of the coupons closely. Many times you will find mail in sweepstakes this way. Also check the labels on foods you buy, you may find mail in sweepstakes.
Rule #9 
Search for Bank and Financial Institution Sweepstakes
Search Google for : bank sweepstakes giveaways
Click on search tools,click on arrow
 Click on Past Month or Past Week
Look through the sweepstakes to see what you would like to enter.
Rule #10 
To find restaurant mail in sweepstakes do the following:
Google :Alternate means of entry, restaurant
Click on search tools,click on arrow
Click on Past Month or Past Week
Look through the sweepstakes to see what you would like to enter.

Thanks for reading!


Finding Sweepstakes Part 1

I admit it, I am a sweepstakes junkie. It's an addiction I have no plans of giving up. I love entering to win prizes and I have won a lot of prizes. I appreciate every single prize I have one. I am going to share with you some of my tips and rules for winning sweepstakes.

Rule #1
Decide what you want to win. Make a list of some of the things you would like to win and write them down. This will be important later.

Rule #2
Create an email address just for sweepstakes and contests. Create an email address that does not include anything related to sweepstakes, just use your name, nickname or something else.   

Rule #3
Sign up for Twitter, Facebook,Pinterest and other Social Media platforms.They have many many sweepstakes available.

Set some time aside to enter sweepstakes. Go slow, first try an hour or two when you have the time. The number of sweepstakes  available is overwhelming so go slow.

Rule #5
Join a FREE sweepstakes community. Contrary to what people will tell you, you do not have to pay to find "good" sweepstakes. Free Sweepstakes communities can offer information on sweepstakes, contest, tips to enter, prize information and in most cases inspiration from winners. Be careful, many sweepstakes communities can be filled with, drama, envy, jealousy and fraud. Use caution when joining. Also, NEVER ,NEVER, NEVER, post a sweepstakes win in a forum or sweepstakes community until you have the prize in your hand. Why? Remember when I said that communities can be filled with jealousy and envy. People have lost prizes because someone on the sweepstakes board accused the winner of fraud and reported this fraudulent information to sponsors. Use extreme caution.

Rule #6
Finding sweepstakes is very simple. Remember that list I told you to write, grab it and choose something from the list. I'm going to use a Target gift card for an example. Ok, let's say you want to win a target gift card. Follow these steps:
1.Go to google and type in the following:ENTER TO WIN A TARGET GIFT CARD click search
2.Under the search bar click on search tools
3. There will be a arrow next to the phrase ANY TIME
4.Click on the arrow and highlight Past week
5. This will bring up all sweepstakes and contest for Target Gift Cards listed in the past week.
6.Look through the sweepstakes and see what you want to enter.

To find sweepstakes and contest on Facebook, go to Google and type in: enter to win on our Facebook page or Facebook sweepstakes,Under the search bar click on search tools,Click on the arrow and highlight Past week ,this will bring up all sweepstakes and contest for Facebook that was listed in the past week.

Rule #8
Read the rules.No really read the rules. People have lost prizes for not doing this simple thing. Please read the rules.

Rule #9 
Use a lesser know search engine to find sweepstakes. Why? I use lesser know search  engine to find sweepstakes with lower entries and websites that a new that do not have high a prominent place on Google. I will discuss low entry sweepstakes  in a later post. 

Rule #10
Look for contest and sweepstakes everywhere. Look in the Sunday paper, at the grocery store and one of my favorite places to find them, your local news  and radio stations. They usually have them under promotions. If you have a favorite product, chances are they have a Facebook page and website, go to these pages and look under promotions and search the website for sweepstakes and contest.
That's it for now, I have to go enter  some sweepstakes.