Note from Crystal: I think that this story illustrates how we all save for things in different ways and have different mentalities towards saving — and that’s completely okay! If Debi had asked me how to save to pay cash for a crock pot, I would have told her to skip eating out a few times over a one or two-week period and use the money saved to buy a crock pot at the thrift store or garage sale.
However, she has a very busy life so she chose to continue eating out and save up her Swagbucks to pay for the crock pot instead. In the end, it worked well for her!
A testimony from Debi at Bluegrass Savers
It dawned on me one day that having a crock pot might make my life a whole lot easier. Since I started blogging in addition to my full-time job, I had less time to devote to making dinner so we were eating out at least six times each week including lunches.
For a while it was fine because I was spending so little on our groceries and supplies using coupons. Over time, the cost was beginning to adding up, though. Frozen dinners were also becoming frighteningly popular — and my husband hates frozen dinners.
I love to cook and was really distraught over this situation at home. The weirdest thing is that we always have so much food in the pantry and freezer but it was rarely cooked.
I realized it would really help to get a programmable crock pot so that I could make dinner in the morning and it would be ready when I got home from work. The only problem was that a crock pot was not in our budget.
When I saw the $20 Amazon.com gift card for $10 through Living Social, a plan began to take root in my mind for how to get one with cash. I had also been seeing so many people talking about getting an $5 Amazon.com gift cards using Swagbucks, so I joined toward the end of January, 2011. I quickly started winning points and got my husband to sign on as well. Within a few weeks of doing that, both accounts were mysteriously canceled for violating the rules.
I contacted their customer service, only to find that it was against the rules to have more than one account per household! I had only redeemed one $5 gift card and was waiting for two more to be posted. Needless to say I lost those and over 1000 Swagbucks. (If I would have seen the series on Swagbucks sooner, I may have avoided this costly experience.)
I then created a new account and saw several daily deals that I could use, so I purchased them through Swagbucks, allowing me to earn points faster and I continued to search as usual using the tool bar. I redeemed $20 more worth of Amazon.com gift cards and added this to my Living Social deal to purchase the slow cooker for $2.21 to cover the taxes! The Amazon.com list price for the slow cooker was $59.99; they had it on sale for $44.54. I ended up only paying $12.21, including the cost of the Living Social deal.
I’m so excited to be able to come home and have dinner ready instead of having to eat out so often!
Debi Smith is 24 and has been married for two years. She lives in Kentucky where she works full-time in the medical research industry, and also writes Bluegrass Savers.
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