Many people scoff at me for taking the time to sign up for freebies, submit rebates and fill out surveys. At the end of last year, I became curious exactly how much money I make by taking advantage of freebies and rebates, and participating in surveys, focus groups, etc. Throughout the year, I've been keeping track. Here are my results for 2010.
The total value of all merchandise received, including free samples, items which were free with a coupon, and items that were free after rebate, including those store gift cards for $10 free at Kohl's or JC Penney, was $995.84. I did not include savings from regular cents off coupons, or my free magazine subscriptions, mainly because I pass them around to my friends and relatives, and I'm not sure which subscription is whose anymore! I estimated the value of each free sample at 25 cents, which may be a little low. Some samples are just a dab of lotion on a card, while others, such as coffee are worth more. I figured it would average out.
The total earnings from surveys, pay-to-click sites, participating in online communities sponsored by brands and programs like Nielsen Consumer Panel and Amazon Mechanical Turk was $890.22.
This comes out to a grand total of $1,886.06 from all sources for the year. This has not been a particularly good year for surveys or samples, with the state of the economy. If I had been keeping track in previous years, I'm sure the total would have been much higher. Is it worth it to do all the little things I do to earn extra money? I say definitely! With relatively little time devoted to these activities, you can really augment your household budget. Many of these things I do while watching tv, so they don't really take up much of my day.
I plan to write some posts in the future that go into greater detail about some of these programs. In the meantime, feel free to comment and ask any questions you might have.
Happy New Year to all my readers. Let's save some money in 2011!