Mar 022014
 

When I was pregnant with our daughter, I realized that there would be less time for blogging in the coming year, while the need for helping out with our family budget would only increase. Not wanting to sacrifice on the special time with our little daughter and her three brothers, I decided to start looking for other ways than writing reviews to help stretch the budget. This is when I decided to give entering giveaways a serious try – and here is my How To Win Giveaways – the one year update.

When we initially began entering giveaways, we set a few goals.

  • To win a car seat for our new baby
  • To win clothes and clothing gift cards
  • To win grocery gift cards
  • To win shoes and shoe gift cards
  • To win gifts for the kids for Christmas and birthdays

 

Amazingly, we have been very successful. However, despite having entered 50+ car seat giveaways, we never did win that car seat.

We won about $300 worth of gift cards for clothing stores, and we stretched these gift cards by using coupons, clearance and sales to get more than $2000 worth of shoes and clothes for the kids. We won 8 pairs of shoes. We won a bowling party certificate, which we used for our oldest son’s birthday party, and we won lots of great gifts for the kids.

While we did not win the car seat, we did win a stroller, which we ended up selling to buy a new car seat.

Giveaway Wins

Giveaways that we have won and received during the past year:

    • A Gymboree gift card,
    • A Children’s Place gift card
    • A Zutano gift card
    • A Publix gift card
    • A Target gift card
    • A Kohl’s gift card
    • 2 Umi Shoes Gift Cards
    • A Peachy Bambini Gift Card
    • A ThredUp Gift Card
    • A Vtech Innotab
    • A Nuk Pacifier
    • A Nuk Bottle
    • A hot pink tutu
    • Girl’s headband
    • Girls Hair Bows
    • Girls Hair Accessories
    • A Monogrammed Gym Bag
    • A name bracelet
    • A Smoobee hair brush
    • 2 x 2 French Toast Uniform Tops and 1 Bottom
    • Nature’s Own Free Product Coupons
    • Clorox Free Product Coupons
    • A Dymo Label Machine
    • A Wahl Massage Hot/Cold Pad
    • A Barbie Color Mermaid Doll
    • A Tiny Love Follow Me Fred Toy
    • A Tiny Love Baby Book + Crab Toy
    • Baby Wash
    • Kids Headphones
    • A Mickey DVD
    • A Minnie CD
    • An AMF Bowl and Pizza Package
    • An Allergy Test
    • A Bamboo Baby Shirt
    • Soapberry laundry detergent
    • Calavera swimwear
    • A Leading Lady nursing bra
    • 2 Pink Blush nursing tops
    • A Glamourmom Tank
    • Bertolli olive oil
    • Mayapple Teething Toys
    • HearthSong HugglePod
    • Mega Bloks Skylanders Giants ZEPPELIN AIR SHIP ASSAULT
    •  Anthony’s Pasta + TFal Cookware Set
    •  Infinity Scarf
    • Citygrips for stroller
    • A PS Aeropostale Gift Card
    • A TV Wall Mount
    • Hands free ear piece for mobile phone
    • A Sight Word Pop set from Learning Resources
    • 2 pairs of Pediped shoes
    • A Safety 1st Safety Kit including a safety gate and baby proofing products
    • A Kids tool kit
    • A Go!Go! Sports Girl plush doll
    • A Springfield Doll
    • A Turbo DVD
    • Disney PLANES Pilot Pals Dusty Cropphopper Remote Control Plane
    • A 2 Red Hens Shopping Cart Cover
    • Therafit Shoes
    • A Bakestack
    • A Quinny Yezz Stroller
    • Scotch Duct Tape prize pack
    • Jovial food prize pack
    • A Grandway laundry bag
    • A pair of ear buds
    • Brownie and Mug set
    • A Mam pacifier and 2 pacifier clips
    • A kids tie
    • A handmade girl’s dress

We currently have about a handful giveaway prizes that  we are expecting in the mail, and we have three prizes that we have given up on.

When we win a giveaway, just winning is not enough. If we win free product coupons, we try to use them, when there is a BOGO sale so that we get two items for one free coupon. Likewise, when we win a gift card, we try to combine our gift card win with coupons, clearance and sales. Take a look below to see how much clothes and shoes we managed to get for a $75 Gymboree gift card. We ended up getting more than $491 worth of Gymboree clothing and shoes for our four kids for the $75 gift card.

 

How To Win Giveaways:

 

  • The more you enter – the more you win
  • Take advantage of daily entries – do them every day
  • Go through your twitter account, and click through to the giveaways every day.
  • Bookmark giveaways that can be entered several times daily, so that you can easily get to them.
  • Check your junk mail daily, so that you never miss a winner’s email announcement.
  • If there is a giveaway, which you really want to win…Google it. Then enter them all to increase your chances.
  • Follow the rules! It is easy to be disqualified, so follow the rules, leave verification links etc., so that your work does not go to waste.
  • Keep an organized inbox – put all winner announcement under one label, then check them off, once a prize is received.
  • Enter a giveaway as early as possible, so that you get the most out of the daily entries.
  • If you have not received a prize after 8 weeks, send the blogger an email.
  • It is always courteous to send the blogger an email, once you have received your prize.

 

As I have stated before, the biggest secret to winning blog giveaways is very simple – blog giveaways can be won!

I also still consider the biggest truth to winning blog giveaways to be that you need to invest the time that it takes to enter. I spend at least one hour a day entering blog giveaways, and the time pays off. The more time I spend, the more giveaways I enter, and the more giveaways I win. There are times, where I do not have any energy left over in the day to enter giveaways, and surely it will cause a bit of a winning drought. Still, it is nice to know that, when I put time and effort into winning (fair and square, no tricks or jumping hoops…), we actually see the result in the shape of an increase in winner announcements coming in our inbox.

We used to worry about how we would be able to put nice birthdays and happy Christmases put together on our very limited budget, but thanks in part to winning giveaways, we no longer have to worry. We win, we receive, we put aside, and when the time comes we have lots of great gifts to give our children.

Do you enter blog giveaways? Do you win?

Do you have any tips on how to win a giveaway?

  7 Responses to “How To Win Giveaways – The One Year Update!”

  1. Wow these are some great tips! Love the idea of bookmarking them and searching for thing i want to win on google! I rarely win its good to see you do! How awesome the gymboree deal!

  2. When my kids were born there wasn’t an internet. It’s a great idea and when my kids have grandchildren I will start entering for baby items. I have won a lot of things for my family like computers, TV’s Xbox 360, Nintendo Counsole. I also win a lot of gift cards Visa Walmart, Target, Walgreens etc which helps buy clothes, gas, groceries etc. We live on one income so that helps out. My tip for entering blog giveaways would be to enter for an many options as possible for each giveaway tweeting, FB, Pinterest, Those big creative blog giveaway can be won I have won 3 of them, most recently $500. Last year I won a $2500 Staples GC from a twitter sweep. I don’t use social media for personal posts but I use it a lot for entering sweepstakes.

  3. Thank you for sharing – great info. Just a few additional thoughts.

    Be wary of the few blogs that do not send win notices. Most ‘post winners name usually on the blog but sometimes in the newsletter in a way that does not show in the actual blog. You need to find your name and claim a short specified time or they redraw. After noting one bloggers consistent complaints about winners not claiming their prizes after she sends out win notices, I started regularly checking her list of winners. Found myself listed twice so far and her win notice (if it exists) never reached my inbox or spam folder. If you know when and where to pay attention, you actually have a better chance of winning at these blogs because they are redrawing for so many prizes. My 2 wins were on redraw postings.
    And watch for blogs that specify when you must ask for help w/prize fullfillment. Many do not want you to request before 6 or 8 weeks, but there is at least one that will not assist you if you wait longer than 30 days

  4. I’m a fellow blogger too and have been entering giveaways as well to stretch our budget. I won $500 in Earth’s Best goodies, a Hug Elmo, a baby ktan, and a few other things. I have been trying to win baby things mostly, but I’ve also been entering to win gift cards for clothing and food stores.

  5. Wow, I am amazed at how much you have won. Congratulations! I don’t have any tips, but your post inspires me to enter some contests. I like your idea of googling for a particular item you need and entering all the contests available for it.

  6. Winning sweepstakes and giveaways has really helped my budget too. I was so happy to win five nights in Florida this year for my family. It was such a blessing for us, and we have had so much fun: thank you for you tips and inspiration!

  7. Great tips! I have recently started entering giveaways for the same reason, trying to stretch our budget and hopefully get presents to put back for our girls for holidays!

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