Monday, December 10, 2012


Could it be? Maybe? Ummmm, possibly?
I think that I can safely total up how much I earned in free cash for this Christmas. It has been a hell of a ride.
First for more good news! I earned $7.05 from Saving Star. I took it in the form of an Amazon e-code. I also earned a free $10 voucher for Old Navy by cashing in change at Coin Star(I used our change and then repaid us from the Christmas fund). This is a good deal BUT I would do it differently if I did it again. I had never used Coin Star before and it didn't even cross my mind that I wouldn't be able to select the amount to put on the Old Navy voucher. And Coin Star takes dollar bills, who knew? Next time I will just feed the machine $40 exactly and get a $50 voucher back. Lesson learned. $56.16 is a strange amount for a voucher/gift card. Anna won't care what the voucher looks like or how much is on it, she LOVES Old Navy.
So the GLORIOUS total is.............make the drum roll noise...........................$1573.65!!!!!!,
Kohls Cash $15(from ordering $50+ online)
Old Navy $10(cashing in $40 earned an extra $10)
American Express $25 gift card(for loading $200 on a prepaid American Express)
American Express $10gift card (for loading $200 on a prepaid American Express)
My Points $35 gift cards(shopping rewards site)
Send Earnings $27.94(online rewards club)
Pinecone $78(surveys)
Toluna $80(surveys)
Amazon E-cards/Saving Star $22.05(buying groceries/household products)
Amazon Gift card/code $125(won)
Bank of America-$250(credit card points)
BP $325.67(credit card points)
HHGregg Visa cards $469.99(for buy appliances)
Jewel $100(from buying gift cards)
For a grand total of------$1573.65
AMAZING if I may say so myself. And the great thing is the free money that I started with helped me to make more free money. Hmmmm, I wonder if this is how the rich do it?
Do I think that I will be able to do this again next year? No, probably not. The problem is that the biggest chunk of money/gift cards came from buying the appliances. I got $469.99 from HHGregg. I converted it into cash and plunked it into the account. I doubt that I will have to buy new appliances next year. Well, let's pray that I don't!
I think that I will be able to gather at least $1000 for Christmas next year though. I am going to continue to gather and finagle and post about it. I especially love how I took the free money, used it to buy gift cards and earned $20 for the transaction, then used the gift cards to earn $15 Kohls cash for free. I used that money like a $5 hooker. Ok, that wasn't very Christmas-y.
I doubt that I will be able to win $125 again next year. When Donna Freedman uses the random generator, it favors me. What can I say, I'm a likable kinda guy!
I'm also not going to do Toluna again. It was just too much work for a very small payout.
Thank you so much for everyone's kind comments and sticking around to see what I could scrounge up. I really hope that this inspires at least one person to take the time to "Find" a few dollars for the holidays next year. It makes everything so much more enjoyable when you have a pile of free money to pay for your Christmas.
Happy and Free Holidays,
Sonya Ann


Annie at Haphazard Homestead said...

Ya done good!

I did not do as well as you, but I didn't work as hard at it as you, either. I had about $55 in Amazon credit from Swagbucks. That would've been around $85, but I spent some of it earlier in the year. I had credit card rewards points that let me get a gift for Kat that would have cost about $85 in a store. Granted, it took 6 years to earn that many points since we don't often use the credit card. I also got the $15 Kohls cash for buying $50. I got a $10 manufacturer rebate on an item in that same Kohl's purchase. Almost everything I bought was on a decent sale, so our bottom line this year wasn't too scary at all. :)

Frances said...

SonyaAnn, I am SO proud of you! You did work hard for that money. Harder than a $5 hooker, I am sure.

I have been cashing in my rewards points and gcs, but have not been keeping track this year. I know I didn't do as well as you, but I also don't have as many people to give to, thank goodness.

ChiTown Girl said...

You are a super star!!! I think I'm going to make a concerted effort to do this myself for next year. God willing, one or both of us will have a freakin' job by then, but still, how do you beat FREE money!??!

Mamma has spoken said...

You did a fabulous job!
Do you have a Target close to you? My friend just bought a $500 lap top for $125 by cashing in her rewards coupons, and stuff (I don't know what all since I don't like shopping at Target). You might want to check them out for 'free stuff' next year.

Cheapchick said...

Well done!

Sonya Ann said...

Annie-Well thank you kindly!
I think that if everyone saved like we do life would be a lot easier in January.
I'm going to save Swagbucks all year long and see how much I can come up with for next years Christmas too.

Sonya Ann said...

Frances-Thank you so much. Your praise means a lot to me.
I just need to be honest and admit that we are never going to cut back. Once I got that in my head and stopped beating myself up, it got easier to find a solution to our very long list!

Sonya Ann said...

ChiTown Girl-Thank you and my wish for you from Santa is a job!

Sonya Ann said...

Mamma has spoken-We do have a Target, it is about 30 minutes from me. I wonder if your friend has a Red card. That is probably one of the only cards that I don't have! Thanks for the heads up, I'll look into it. I'll take money anywhere that I can!

Sonya Ann said...

Cheapchick-Thank you!!!!

slugmama said...

Well you KNOW how I feel about ya and your insanely long gift list and how you solved this problem.

I don't know who works it harder, you or Donna Summer! ;-)
*Cue disco ball*

I hardly did ANY Toluna or Pinecone or rebates or whatever this year. I think I am just burnt out on all those online moneymaking schemes. Just not felling it, ya know?

slugmama said...

No Felling it, FEELING it.....good lord, the fingers don't even work anymore either!lolol

Sheila said...

Kudos my fine frugal friend ;)

McVal said...

You are amazing... I'll be in the hole about that same amount this year!! Look at that! We're twins!

Hawaii Planner said...

Amazing! I didn't know they did coinstar bonuses - I'll have to look for that next time I cash in our change.

I have been saving my Nordstrom rewards (we have the credit card, and the kids after school program gets charged to it.) i have a few hundred or so, but now I'm done shopping. Maybe I'll buy *myself* something. :-)

Sonya Ann said...

sluggy-Please tell me that you don't want me to add a disco ball to my Christmas list. ;) Because you know that I probably would but I would use a coupon to buy it.
Toluna is still giving out money but they are pushing this cyber world crap. You know, buy this "whatever" in the cyber world and use all your points sort of thing. Ummm yeah, give me the cash.

Sonya Ann said...

sluggy-No need to fix your spelling here. I can barely read anyways and I can't speel.

Sonya Ann said...

Sheila-Thank you!

Sonya Ann said...

McVal-I would say join me in January and start saving with me. But you are so busy that I know it might be too hard. Either way-I love my twin!

Sonya Ann said...

Hawaii Planner-You deserve something nice and if its free-hey that is even better!