The convenience of shopping online is better now than it has ever been. Anything you can think of is available online, and rarely do you need to leave the comfort of your home to get what your heart desires. Most companies even offer two day shipping so you can get your purchases quick! Even the essentials such as food and toiletries can be purchased with companies such as Boxed and Amazon Pantry. Now take all those perks and add the word FREE to it. Yep – FREE. I’ll tell you my secret of how I shop on Amazon for free and you can do it, too.
[bctt tweet=”How to shop on #Amazon for FREE #FrugalLiving #swagbucks” username=”beingfibromom”]
Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post, but these are products I recommend and have verified and/or used. Read my full disclosure policy.
Shopping with fibromyalgia
Shopping is no small feat for our large family of seven and me dealing with fibromyalgia. It involves a lot of planning such as plenty of snacks, knowing where all the exits and bathrooms are for each store, getting into and out of the car, and on and on. It’s exhausting to think about all the planning that goes into just one day of shopping.
And it’s not leisure shopping either. I’m talking about grocery shopping, clothes shopping, back to school shopping, and any other shopping in between those trips. Nothing is a ‘quick’ trip, and usually takes an entire day if it’s anything other than grocery shopping.
Living with fibromyalgia, anxiety, and sensory sensitivities adds to the planning. Should I become ill unexpectedly or my senses become overwhelmed from bright lights or sounds, I immediately have to find a bathroom or leave. Right then. Each outing needs a backup plan in case one of those scenarios happens or if the kids become too much. Shopping isn’t something I like to do. Not in a real brick-and-mortar store anyways.
Keep in mind, five or six years ago was during the times when online shopping was still new to consumers, so I was limited on how to fix my shopping issue. My immediate solution was to either hire a babysitter to watch the kids while I shopped or leave the kids with my husband while I did the shopping. This was an okay answer in the beginning, but as time went on it became a hassle to schedule my shopping around my husband’s job or the availability of a babysitter. I needed something better and more permanent.
As the years passed, the availability of online shopping became more and more common. Pretty soon I discovered Amazon before there was Amazon Prime. I loved being able to get the items I needed without leaving home. As more and more stores offered online shopping, I began to leave the house less and less. The only thing that was stopping me from fully shopping online was money. It was costly to have items shipped, and it cost money to purchase those items I wanted. I realized I needed a more permanent solution.
Getting a better solution
The solution I needed came into my life in late 2012 in the form of Swagbucks. It was late at night and I was browsing my favorite blogger’s site for simple meals to feed my family. Throughout her site, she kept mentioning something called Swagbucks. She said it was her favorite way to shop online because of the cash back. It was a way for her to earn money and gift cards by simply shopping online. What?! Needless to say, I did some more researching about this company called Swagbucks.
Swagbucks is an online program that rewards its members with free gift cards and cash for various activities of your choice. Whether it be shopping online, answering surveys, watching videos, discovering new content, searching, playing games, or other activities, you earn points to redeem for gift cards and cash. AND THE MEMBERSHIP IS FREE! Yes, please!
Swagbucks in a nut shell
Now, Swagbucks isn’t a store to shop online like Amazon or Boxed, but is a means to get to the stores I wanted to shop. It’s like choosing which road you want to take to your favorite store. I choose Swagbucks because when I’m shopping online, I get points for every dollar I spend. If I’m already shopping online, why not use my Swagbucks link so I can cash in my points to get free gift cards and cash?
Another great part to Swagbucks is the referral program. Whenever you refer someone to Swagbucks using your personal link, then you get 10% of their points for life. So that blogger that referred me to Swagbucks five years ago? She’s still earning 10% of my points! How awesome is that?
How I Shop for FREE on Amazon
Because I do ALL my shopping online through my Swagbucks link, my points rapidly add up. All the people I’ve referred to Swagbucks also adds to my points. AND I do my researching for my articles through Swagbucks’ search engine to get additional points. My kids play the games and watch the videos at Swagbucks, so I get points for that, too. Basically, I get points every time I use my computer and I use my computer a LOT.
As those points add up, I cash in for Amazon gift cards. Now that Amazon has Prime membership and I can get free two day shipping, free music, free kindle books, free videos, and other free stuff from my prime membership, I do a majority of my shopping at Amazon. I always have a gift card to use at Amazon that I’ve redeemed from my Swagbucks points. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had to actually purchase something at Amazon without having a gift card to use. And whatever I can’t get at Amazon, I use either Target for the kids’ clothes or Boxed to get the bulk groceries for warehouse prices with free two day shipping, but I use my Swagbucks link when I do.
How much I have earned so far
I started using Swagbucks in 2012, but I didn’t start using it regularly until about 2014. The company has added more benefits and ways to earn points since it started, so I heavily rely on it all these years later. Another great feature at Swagbucks is that they track your points earned so you can see where you’ve earned points and how much you have earned. Checking today as of the date of this post, I’ve earned a lifetime of 166,339 points! I didn’t realize it was that high. That’s impressive!
I’ve earned a lifetime of 166,339 points! All of my earnings have helped pay for Christmas and other special occasions and holidays.
Updated: As of August 2018, I’ve earned 242,300 points.
All of my earnings have helped pay for Christmas and other special occasions and holidays. My husband uses Swagbucks to save points for Mother’s Day and my birthday. He’s an instant gratification type of person, so he likes see the benefits of using the internet in the form of points.
Swagbucks has promotions year round, so there’s always a special for clothes when back to school shopping, holiday bonus when shopping during the holidays, tax program discounts during tax season, on and on. If you take advantage of each promotion, your points add up quick.
If you shop online or get online for any reason, you should try out Swagbucks to get points while you are online. It’s a free membership and you can redeem your points for gift cards of your choice or cash.