A How-to Guide on Entering and Winning Sweepstakes – Part 2 – Sweepstake Organization

PART 2: Sweepstake Organization

You may have seen those irritating flashing banners on websites that say you’ve won an iPad, or that you’ve won $100,000,000.00.  While those are just scams, you may be surprised to find out that there are legitimate sweepstakes and contests sites online.

Sweepstakes sites are, we feel, the best way to organize, so you’ll get the most return from your time and energy entering sweepstakes.  Sweepstakes sites have already gathered sweepstakes and contests from around the internet and put them on their site, which ends up saving you hours and hours (and hours…and hours).

You’ve got to be careful, because a real quick way to get a computer virus is to just Google ‘sweepstakes site’ and click any random link that comes up.

The site we use and love is Online-Sweepstakes.  We’ve used it pretty consistently since 2005/2006.  Even if you don’t want to invest the $12 for a premium membership, you still have a lot of sweepstakes available on the site.  Online-Sweepstakes lets you organize your sweepstakes by type (daily entry, weekly entry, monthly entry, single entry, etc.), which is really important so you don’t enter too often and disqualify yourself.  We’ve found that Online-Sweepstakes has the most complete, updated lists of sweepstakes and contests, hundreds of which other sweepstakes sites either miss or post too late.

Another site we have used is Sweepstakes Advantage.  It comes with fewer features, but it is completely free to use.

Once you’ve found a reliable, legitimate sweepstakes site, you’ll often find a ‘links’ page.  If a sweepstakes site you trust  has a link to an other sweepstake/contest site, you’re probably okay to click it.

Search around until you find a site you really like and understand.  It is really important to find a site you’re comfortable on, since you’ll be spending quite a bit of your time on it.

If you decide to find sweepstakes on the internet without the aid of a sweepstake/contest site (which we do not recommend), you’ll have to get creative.

Again, Googling ‘car sweepstakes’ is a dangerous way to go since you’ll have to sift through the real and fake (think back to the flashing ‘YOU WON!!’ banners) sweepstakes.  Instead of wasting time Googling, think of the type of prize you want.  If it is a car you want to win, think of all the different makes of vehicles you’d be interested in winning.  Get on Facebook and ‘like’ Ford’s page.  Check back often to see if they have any promotions going.  Do the same with Chevy, Dodge, whatever kind of car you’d want to drive.   Along with this method being time consuming, we find that it is unnecessary since most sweepstakes you can find on your own will already be listed conveniently on most reputable sweepstake/contest sites.

Another way to find sweepstakes is to look on packaging.  Do you eat lots of crackers?  Soup?  Candy bars?  Those are all great places to find out about promotions.  Sometimes you’ll be required to log on to their site and enter a special code from the can/box.  Other times you just look on the inside of the can/box and see if you’re an instant winner.   Even though most of the promotions on food products will already be listed on sweepstakes site, you may still need the unique code from  that product to enter.

Local contests and sweepstakes are a good way to go since they often have far fewer entries than a state/country/worldwide promotion and typically aren’t listed on major sweepstakes sites.   For  example, one of our local businesses was giving away an iPad a few months ago.  Total entries were less than 400.  If that would have been a contest open to the entire U.S., there could have easily been 1,000,000 entries.

What sweepstakes and contest sites do you use, if any?

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A How-to Guide on Entering and Winning Sweepstakes – PART 1 – Getting Started

PART 1: Getting Started

Part 1 of our How-to Guide on Entering and Winning Sweepstakes will focus on the things you can do before you start entering to make the process simple and effective. It makes sense to want to start winning now, but in the long run you will be glad you got organized first!

  • Set up a new e-mail account.  – We use and love Gmail, but go with what you’re most familiar with. Sweepstakes often require you to subscribe to newsletters that you may not necessarily be interested in reading. Sifting through those advertisements to get your personal or work e-mail gets frustrating, so this is our number one tip.
  • Set up a Facebook account.  – If you already have an account, create a new one with the new e-mail account you set up.
    So many sweepstakes these days do giveaways on their Facebook pages.  Most of the time you’re required to ‘like’ the company’s Facebook page to enter the sweepstakes.  If you use your personal Facebook page to ‘like’ all of these company pages, your news feed (where you see your friends’ status updates) will be filled with advertisements. 
  • Set up a Twitter account – If you already have a Twitter account, create a new one with the new e-mail account you set up.
    While not as common with Twitter, sweepstakes on this social platform do exist.  It is wise to set up an account now.
  • Download RoboForm* – Go to http://www.roboform.com and download it!   RoboForm is a form filler that will help you enter sweepstakes in less time and with more accuracy.  You enter your information once and from then on you’ll be able to fill out sweepstakes forms with the click of a button.   Eventually we will be doing a RoboForm tutorial, but until then, you can find tutorials on YouTube and by Googling ‘Roboform’. 
  • Always have a notepad and pen handy  –  You never know when you’re going to need to write something down.
    Once in a while a sweepstakes requires a special code that you may need to jot down.  This notepad will also be handy for keeping track of questions you have about a certain sweepstakes (feel free to ask us!) or reminders.  
  • Decide how much time you’re going to dedicate to entering sweepstakes -
    As with any new hobby, you’re probably going to want to enter sweepstakes a lot.  That’s fine, but since the key to winning sweepstakes is consistency and the actual number of them you enter, you’ve got to pace yourself.  Figure out what is reasonable for your life and try not to go overboard.  Slow and steady wins the race!

    and last but not least…

  • Have clear goals –  Decide what you need or want to win and don’t waste time. If your microwave just broke and you need a new one, that would be a great place to start.  It is really easy to get caught up in entering and especially winning, but if you win something you cannot use — diapers when you don’t have a baby, a gift certificate to a restaurant that isn’t in your area, etc., — it isn’t worth the time and effort you’ve put into it.   Your time is worth a lot, so be selective in what you choose to enter!

Stay tuned for Part 2 and happy winning!

The Single Housewives,

Karen and Kate

*Please note that we are in no way affiliated with RoboForm and were not compensated for our opinion of their product.

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Coming Soon: A How-to Guide on Entering and Winning Sweepstakes

“How did you win that?” and “How do I get started?” are probably the questions my mom and I get asked the most when we share our winnings with others.

 

We are excited to announce the start of our blog series – A How-to Guide on Entering and Winning Sweepstakes.

 

Start to finish, we’re going to have you covered!

 

Please ‘like’ our Facebook page The Single Housewives so you’ll know when our next post is up!

 

 

Karen and Kate

The Single Housewives

 

 

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Instant Wins

Instant win games are great for instant gratification.  You can snap a screen shot and share it with friends and family.

We’ve compiled a list of instant win games that we have won over the last 8 months or so.

Click on the photo to enlarge.

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I received this shirt quickly, it was black, XL (didn’t pick the size) and nice quality.

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Received a coupon for a full size belVita product.

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*

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Woof. Dogs enjoyed!

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Coupon came in a couple weeks.

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This was an interesting instant win.  I actually won about 10 times (which equals $200 in Fanatics gift codes).  Initially they had free shipping on every order, but ended up not honoring the free shipping after a month or so.  I scored lots of reusable bags from this promotion though, so I’m not complaining.

Even though we aren’t huge sports fans in our house, we found something we could use on the site!

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Came quickly and with a coupon for $1.50 off.

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Beer companies always have nice giveaways.  Won this shirt my first time playing the game. Came within a couple weeks.

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The tumbler is a Marlboro win and the 16 pack of Snapple K-cups are the win from Brew Over Ice.

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I’ve won from every Lunchables promotion I’ve entered since 2006.  There’s an affidavit you have to sign to claim prize since the promotions are targeted at children (I use my oldest son’s name).  Great prizes!

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This was another Lunchables win from the last promotion.  A Kre-o Transformers set.  Works with Lego brand..kids love it!

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Even small wins are fun..especially for the kiddos!

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Marlboro Win.  Retails for over $60.  It came quickly and is amazing quality! Better than pictured.

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Another Marlboro win. Marlboro doesn’t have a limit on instant win prizes apparently.

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Won this $5 from Orville.  Amazon codes are always appreciated!

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The kids loved this too!

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Won these ski gloves from the Amp promotion.  The ARV is $50.  I can’t use them personally, but it is always nice to pass things along!

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As a single mother, you don’t often get to go out and buy yourself something really nice.  This instant win is for an $80 Bobbi Brown palette.  Exciting!

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I can’t remember what came out of this win.  It may have been a t-shirt.

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Arizona key chain was from a different instant win.

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Actually ended up getting two coupons between mom and I.  Good shampoo!

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Love pens!

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Used it and loved it.

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Gave this away to someone who could use it more!

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My kids got to go see Free Birds for free right around Thanksgiving time!  This was a great win.  ARV was $24.

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This was a nice instant win.  My son used them in his lunch!

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This was another fun one.

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I use this daily.  Nice quality win from UPS!

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This was a $25 Amazon gift code.

As you can see, if you play, you win!  Unfortunately we’ve lost quite a few photos of other instant win prizes.

Happy winning!

The Single Housewives

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A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

“A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned”

When you hit hard times financially, and I think we all have, it is normal to ask yourself  ‘do I really need this?’ or ‘can I wait on this?’.

You may find ways to cut bills, stop eating out or buy used instead of new.

During our house search, you’d think that we would really have to cut back on the luxuries to save money, but because our hobby is entering contests and sweepstakes, we never go without…even the luxury stuff!

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Mom won this beautiful set of home fragrance products from The Good Home Co.

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I won these Bath & Body Works products from Lucky Magazine.

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I won this prize package from Myjellybean.com.

If you put in the time and effort, you do get something in return.  During this financially trying time, products like this make you feel like you’re still ‘normal’!

See you next time..and until then, happy winning!

The Single Housewives

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Preparing For Change

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished. “

- Benjamin Franklin

If this is your first visit to our blog, you may not know us very well.

Our family consists of my mother, myself, my three young sons, two dogs and a bird.

Our lives changed about six months ago when we decided to move in together.  We both decided that while we were happy enough living separately, living together may be beneficial to us and my kids.

We’re currently in a two bedroom duplex.  We’re working on finding a new house that is more spacious and a better fit for our unique family situation.

In future posts we will show you how we use the items and money we win from our contest and sweepstakes hobby to help us lighten the financial burden of moving.


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