We're sitting here all sick with the flu. It wasn't a very fun Christmas, let me tell you. It gives me some time to post though, so here I am!
I mentioned in an earlier post that sweepstakes and contests can be a good way to score extra goods for the holidays. On Facebook alone, many of my favorite companies had giveaways. There were gift cards, books, tinctures, and vegan sweets - awesome prizes in my opinion, and usually all I had to do was comment on a post.
Branching out from Facebook, there are sweepstakes all over the Internet. Over the past month, it's become a sort of hobby of mine and I devote about 30 minutes a day to filling out forms for fantasy prizes.
It's tricky because it can quickly become an addiction, so moderation is key. I try to do my entries at night before I go to sleep, after I get my son to bed - that way, I'm not cutting into any time that I share with him.
Another thing to keep in mind is that prizes are only things, things that we can be happy without. I do not live the stereotypical consumer lifestyle. I do not buy things all the time and when I do acquire "new" possessions, I often try to get it second hand. Thrift stores and freecycle.com are awesome ways to procure items. I say all of this because I feel that it's important to realize that these contests are about fun chance, the thrill of winning, and less about the objects we don't need, though prizes certainly have perks. I like thinking about winning trips I would never indulge myself with and fancy gadgets I would never buy. It would be cool, but I'm okay without those things. My advice: don't get too invested in it; it should be fun!
Now that I got all that out of the way, I'll tell you how I go about it..
I follow a few different websites, these are my two biggest:
From those websites, I pick out my favorite contests and I enter. If the contest happens to be one that can be entered daily, I bookmark it into a folder that I use just for giveaways. Inside that folder I have two more folders, 1 and 2, and I prioritize my sweepstakes and put ones that are cooler or instant wins in the first and less cool ones in the second. Then when I have spare time, I go to Folder 1 and click through each bookmark until I work my way through them all. Since the contests in Folder 2 aren't as neat, I only do those if I have extra time.
I enter all of these on my phone and I switched my settings so that safari will autofill my information from my contact information. I usually have to input and fix information that the autofill botches, but it's a relatively quick process.
I use the same email address for each contest and all contest related emails go into a special folder on my inbox, so that I can easily go back through it if I need to.
It's easy to get burnt out from entering every day and not winning or even waiting to find out if you've won. When that happens, take a break from it or do less a day. Don't necessarily give up altogether though (unless you find you're wasting too much time doing it.) One person said that it can take months before winning anything. I try to be patient and to remember that it's all in good fun. I've managed to win three contests since November, just little things, but it was neat. I like free stuff!! ^.^
Have you ever won anything cool? Tell me about your experience!