Sweepstaking is a great way to win prizes for items that you otherwise might not be able to afford, like a family vacation, new vehicle, or even a sizable cash prize. Between refunding and sweepstaking, going to your mailbox should be a very pleasant experience -- you'll receive more stuff in your mailbox than just bills. :-)
Entering sweepstakes online doesn't cost anything other than your Internet connection time, and online entries have the same chances of winning as the mail-in entries do. It does cost a little money to enter mail-in sweepstakes, but there are ways to save some money on your sweepstaking supplies. Here are some tips:
Start a sweepstaking budget. Begin with a certain amount of money and work from there. You could use some of the money that you saved shopping or that you got as a bonus or gift. Keep up your budget by adding in your winnings, or selling or trading the prizes that you win. You can also set aside a portion of your refunding rewards. Your budget doesn't need to be big in order to win good sweepstakes. Many successful sweepstakers spend less than $20 a month in postage.
Shop at dollar stores. Most dollar stores have great deals on items you need to enter sweepstakes, such as plain 3x5 index cards, papers, postcards, pens, and envelopes.
Buy in bulk. Shopping at warehouse stores will definitely save you money! We can buy 500 #10 envelopes for only $3.98 by buying in bulk. (We went to Sam's Club.)
Limit yourself. Always set a limit to the number of entries you are willing to send in. We usually send in 10-15 entries for the prizes we really want to win--however, it only takes one entry to win. Many successful sweepstakers only send in one entry to each sweepstakes they are interested in winning.
Focus on postcard entries. If your budget is a little thin one month, concentrate on the postcard entries rather than the 3x5 and envelope entries. Postcard entries cost less than envelope entries, which means you get more entries for your dollar.
Use basic supplies. Don't go overboard by buying expensive decorated supplies. If you think that decorated entries might be lucky, try decorating them yourself by using markers, stickers, stamps, and so forth.
You don't need to buy multiple sweepstakes newsletters. Many newsletters carry the same sweepstakes, just at different times. Choose one or two that are right for you.
Enter the sweepstakes that have prizes you need. Sure, that spa vacation might be nice, but if your car is dying, you might want to use an extra entry or two to win a new vehicle.
You don't need any special organizers for sweepstaking. A nice sturdy box holds all the supplies nicely. Cut up cereal boxes to make dividers to separate your supplies. Your kitchen table, office desk, empty counter space, or even the floor are some places to write out your sweepstaking entries. You don't need to create a whole new area in your house for sweepstaking.
Use items you don't need anymore for sweepstaking supplies. Used Christmas cards and greeting cards, when cut up, make great postcards. So do product boxes such as cereal boxes, macaroni and cheese boxes, and so forth. Check every piece of paper you throw away for blank 3x5 spaces, and cut them out to use for sweepstakes requiring 3x5 papers as entries.
After you sweepstakes for a while, you'll find a lot of different ways to save on your sweepstaking budget. Sweepstaking is a great hobby, and it can be very rewarding. With a little patience and perseverance, you will be able to watch your winnings and your sweepstaking budget grow and grow!
Susan Donahue publishes Winning Ways, a monthly sweepstakes newsletter,
filled with hunts, tips, and hundreds of sweepstakes to enter every
month. You can reach her at winningways @onlinesweeps.com
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