Extra Special Earnings ... Swagbucks

As you've most likely seen ... because of the current economic conditions in America ... we are doing lots of extra things to try and save more money.  So far, this has led us to use pretty drastic measures in our food budget.  Implementing these have had AMAZING results on our emotional well-being.

Imagine getting essential supplies for free - every week, and what that can do for you emotionally.

Now, however, I have also uncovered another extra little source of earnings.  This resource is not something that I would call income.  I would call this program a perk of being thrifty.

What are these extra special earnings I am talking about?

It's a service called

Ok, Chris ... since you are going to talk about this crazy new program ... tell us ...
What is Swagbucks?

Alright, since you asked ... I will tell you.

Swagbucks is a search engine tool, like, or, or  However, unlike just a standard search engine, you also earn bucks for doing searches on   The more searches you do, the more bucks you can earn.    Over time, you trade in your points for actual prizes and gifts offered by Swagbucks.

What are swagbucks?
When you do searches at, some of your searches earn you points.  Basically, they want you to do natural searches, like you would normally do on other sites.  These points are called Swagbucks.   That is, essentially, how you earn your Swagbucks points when you are first starting out.  You can get banned for several hours, if you just keep searching, and searching, and searching, without actually visiting the sites you are searching.   (I don't suggest this)

My Swagbucks Suggestion:
I suggest using Swagbucks to search those sites you visit often - facebook, your email accounts, the Speer Family blog, twitter (if you like that), and maybe Youtube.   Just use this engine to find those sites, instead of going straight to them.  For example, in the morning, I usually search my favorite sites until I get points.  This is usually about 3-5 searches.  Then, you can do the same in the evening.  Of course, you can do more searches throughout your day - but this strategy makes it more reasonable for those with normal lives and jobs.

Swagbucks prizes:
Over time you earn more and more bucks.  Once you have collected enough Swagbucks, you will then be able to trade them in for high-quality gifts and prizes.  This is the reason I call this 'extra earnings', and not income.  In a way you are making extra money.  But the payment of this money is in the form of gift cards, gifts, or digital payments which you can use personally, or for your family or friends.

So far, we have been using our points to amass $5 Amazon gift cards, which we will use to buy things on Amazon, during upcoming gift giving seasons ... like Christmas, or birthdays, or any special event.
For example, you can see in this photo that I have saved up 344 bucks towards my next prize.  Currently, the $5 gift card takes about 450 bucks.
You can get a maximum of 5 - $5 Amazon gift cards per month. 
I was able to get all 5 this month, plus I'm still collecting points.

Here are some other Swagbucks Prizes you can get.  As you can see ... there are a LOT of options.
  • Starbucks gift cards
  • Southwest Airlines gift cards
  • Paypal money deposits
  • Apple (store) gift cards
  • Target gift cards
  • iTunes store gift cards
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Lowes
  • Nintendo
  • REI
  • Bass Pro Shops

** ONE Super Important Note **
Only one account per household. 
If you have more than one, they will deactivate your account,
and you will lose all the points you've gained.

How to get swagbucks?
Well, we've already talked about the basic idea of Swagbucks ... you search, and you earn.  Additionally, you'll get 30 swagbucks just for starting up your new account.  However there are other ways for you to earn Swagbucks as well.
  1. They also have Swagbucks Swag Codes.  These are codes released throughout they day, by  When you find these Swag Codes, by following the clues, and hunting down the codes, you can plug them in at and earn extra points. 

    Typically there about 2-5 extra Swag Code hunts per day.  You have to keep your eyes peeled for these, because they are like a treasure hunt giving you extra spending power everytime you find one.

  2. Additionally, if you ever buy or order sample products online, you may be able to earn extra Swagbucks for buying online.  Up to now, I have not made any purchases through Swagbucks like this, but many people make their purchases this way so they can earn those extra points. 

Finally, I wanted to show you my proof, because many of my friends are asking ...
Does Swagbucks work?

Obviously we all are going to have different results, because no person will have exactly the same searching, buying, and time strategies.  But, since I joined Swagbucks in January, I have earned $50 Amazon gift card dollars that Al and I are planning to use for Christmas gifts for the girls this year.  Actually it's $60 now, since I've started writing this article, but $10 of them are still waiting to show in my Amazon account.

If you are at all interested in joining Swagbucks, and you have any questions, I'll be glad to talk with you about it.   You can email me at Chris  {at} ScrapbookRadio {dot} com.

Talk soon!


Right On ... Target!

So ... Chris has been holding onto some coupons for several weeks.  She told me about this body wash about a month ago.  She saw it at the Target closest to us.  She went back later, and the washes were gone.   Since then, we've been watching and waiting for them to show up at our store.  So far ... no luck!  Zilch.  Zero. Nada.

But today, we made it over to the beach.  And on our way home, we passed by a Super Target.  I thought we were just going to cruise by, but Chris almost gave me whiplash ripping the wheel over, careening into the parking lot.

I tried to talk her out of it.  I told her the girls and I were exhausted after our day out.  But she wasn't hearing any of it.  She was a woman on a mission.

We spent a few minutes walking around the store, getting the lay of the land.  Finally ... after feeling like we might never find what we were looking for, Chris tracked them down. 

The best part of all ...

It turned out to be a truly killer deal for us.  I was so excited, she even let me join in on the whole process.  I'll let Chris give you all of the details.

**The above statements were based on a true story but have been embellished for your reading pleasure.**

Now on to a truer version of what happened...
 We had a great time at the beach! It is always so good to go and enjoy the place that we live.  On the way home I wanted to stop at a Target that I thought might have the things that I have been looking for, and not finding, at the Target by me. And I was in luck!
With the purchase that I made I actually came out of the store with more money than I went in with! And 16 items!
Now a note of disclaimer. The coupons that I had gave me overage. At Target I never count on overage because the cashiers are supposed to change the value of the coupon to the price of the item. You can get free items but not overage. But I got a ROCK'N Cashier and she gave me all the overage that my coupons would allow! And it was a lot!
This is what all I got...

I actually gained .96 cents in purchasing these items! And here is how.
The Gillette Body washes are $1.79 each and I used a manufactures coupon for $4.00 off 2 body washes. I purchased 8 of them and used 4 coupons. So that gave me a $1.68 overage for all of that.
The Gillette deodorant was also $1.79 each. the manufactures coupon that I had was for $3.00 off any 1 Gillette deodorant. I purchased 5 of them and used 5 coupons making for a $6.05 overage.
the Dial hand soap was $1.37 and I stacked a Target store coupon for $1.00 off one and a manufactures coupon for .35 cents off one. The final cost for each was .02.
The Kellogs cereal was on sale for 2.50 each, and when you buy 4 at one time you get a $5.00 gift card for use when next purchase. I did not have any other coupons for the cereal, unfortunatly, but it was still a good deal as we love this cereal.
So with all the overage from the coupons the total for the above was $4.04. I was given a $5.00 gift card for the cereals and I used a $5.00 gift card from the purchase earlier in the week. Leaving the remaining balance on that card .96cents.  Can you believe it!!
Not only was I excited to get the things that I had given up on getting, the Gillette items, for free But I actually gained money in this purchase!
This is truly something only God could have made possible for me to learn how to do.

I have a couple more purchases that I made during last week that I wanted to share as well.

The first is CVS and all these deodorants. I paid only $1.10 out of pocket for all of these.
They were all part of the Extra Care Bucks rewards that CVS has. making them all free after the coupons that I used and rewards received for the purchase. I also paid with Extra Care Bucks that I had so my out of pocket was very little. I was happy with this purchase because I was finally to get free deodorant that Al will use, He will only use the kind that is just deodorant and not antiperspirant. and all 6 of the Degrees are just that!

And here is a purchase that I made on Friday at Publix. I found a deal that would let me get FREE lunch meat buy combining an unadvertised store sale, a store coupon and a manufactures coupons.  So that made me want to go back even tho I had just been shopping there the day before. Free is a very good price!
The total savings for this purchase was $60.88 and my out of pocket was $3.34.

Here is what I got...
10 - Packages of Buddig lunch meat  FREE
2- Sundown Vitamin D  FREE with 2.00 overage
4- Bottles V8 Fusion juice  $1.00 each
2- Bottles salad dressing .69 each
That makes for 7.5lbs of FREE lunch meat!

If you are beginning to wonder what we will do with all these extra things I am getting. Fear not we are not turning in to hoarders. I will keep a stash of things that we will use. The rest we are putting together to donate to a local food pantry. It feels good to have cut our grocery budget by over half and to have our pantry and freezer full and to still have enough left over to be able to donate. And to have all of our personal care items included in that. Especially at a time when I am not working and bringing in the income that I used to God is still working and making BIG things happen for us. Because of His blessing to us we are able to extend that blessing to others!

If you have any questions that I can help with please let me know. I would love to help you get these deals too!


Thursday Publix deals!

I did really well at Publix today! It seems like for the last few weeks there just has not been much that was all that good that I wanted to buy. I still had great savings but just not a ton of things. But that was all different today! And not only that they had everything in stock that I wanted, I had a wonderful cashier and the ladies behind me in line where congratulating me on my savings. As well as being completely blown away by the final price that I paid.
Here is everything that I got. It filled half my dining room table!!
The total for all this before sales and coupons was $167.13. And after sales and coupons the total was$15.14!! A savings of 91%! Also I paid with the Gift card that I won, so nothing out of pocket again this week!  I have used a little over half of my gift card so far. I am excited when it is done to add up the totals and see how much I really got with that $100.00 gift card. I think it will be huge!! What a blessing from God! The Success rice purchase is part of a rebate offer, So I will be sending this receipt in for a $5.00 rebate.
And here is the list of everything I got and the final prices for each thing.

4- Bottles Welches Grape juice,  .99 each
2- Bottles Vitamin D,  FREE with 2.00 dollar overage
2- Boxes Success Rice, ..69 each
8- Boxes Uncle Bens Long grain rice, FREE
2- Loaves Natures Own Wheat Bread, 1.25 each
1- Sure Deoderant, FREE with .11 cent overage
2- Muller Whole Wheat Penne Pasta,  .15 each
4- Muller Whole Wheat Spaghetti ,  .15 each
2- Cartons College Inn Broth,  .24 each
6- Bags fast Fixin Chicken Nuggets,  1.00 each
2- Bags Tostitos Tortilla Chips,  3.00 each
2- Jars Tostitos salsa,    Free
2- Dove Shampoo and conditioner,  1.04 each
2- Dove Hair Mouse ,  Free
2- McCormick Spice Grinders, FREE with .10 cent overage
2- Bottles All Small and Mighty Laundry soap, .24 each
1- Box Kashi Granola Bars,
2- Boxes Kashi cereal,
3- Boxes Kashi cereal, 1.00 each
1- Yoplait Greek Yogurt,  FREE with .30 cent overage
 That is a total of 52 items!
If you are thinking that the math is off, I used a $10.00 off coupon in addition to all the other coupons. So That made for the total saving of 91%!!


Target Deals!

I will have to make a confession. I LOVE Target! I have for some time now. And in the past I have spent more than I should there. But never again. I still love Target just as much but now I see the adds and sales in a different way. And I make them work to my advantage. Today I had a fabulous trip to Target! They had everything that I wanted except for the eggs that were on sale. But a quick trip to the customer service desk and I was able to get a rain check for them. I will not miss out on that deal!
Here Is everything that I got today...
 So what do you think I paid for all of this? According to the receipt my savings was $73.29.  I paid a total of .71cents out of pocket for all of this! And I was given $15.00 dollars in gift cards for later use! Here is how.

The cereals are on sale this week for $2.50 a box. I got 4 because there also is a deal where if you buy 4 you get a free $5.00 gift card. I also used two printable manufactures coupons for 1.50 off of 2 boxes.  Making them $1.75 each box.

The Pop tarts (a big treat in our house as I never usually buy them) are on sale for $2.50 also and they have the same deal of buying 4 get a free $5.00 gift card. I used two manufactures coupons for $1.00 off 2 -12 count boxes of poptarts. Making them $2.00 each box.

The Dial hand soap was $1.37 I used a Target store coupon ( that you can print from their web site) for $1.00 off any dial liquid soap and I also used a Manufactures coupon for .35 cents off one Dial Nutri skin soap. So the final price for each of the hand soaps was .2 each! Also the awesome thing about this soap is that it is not antibacterial! We do not use antibacterial soap in our house!  I will be getting more of these for sure!

The Airwick motion things are on sale for $6.00. I used a Target store coupon for $1.00 off. And  manufactures coupons for $5.00 off any airwick kit. Final price was FREE!!

The Kids Crest toothpaste is on sale for $1.49 each. I used a Target store coupons for $1.00 off and a manufactures coupons for .50cents off. Making the final price FREE!!

And the Johnson's and Johnson's Buddie bars soap is a regular price of .97 each. I used a Manufactures coupons for $1.00 off any J&J baby product. Making the final price on these also FREE!!

I had a coupon that I got on a Target mailer the other day for spend $50.00 and get a free $5.00 gift card good for your next purchase. It is before coupons so I used that as my total was 54.something before coupons.
The total after coupons was $15.71. I had 3 $5.00 gift cards that I had gotten from other purchases in the last couple weeks. So I used them to pay making the final total left to pay just .71cents!!
And I was give 3 more $5.00 gift card to use later.  Because I purchased 4 kellogs cereals and 4 pop tarts I got 2 of the $5.00 gift cards. The other came from the coupon that I had of get a $5.00 gift card with a $50.00 or more purchase. So that is a total of $15.00 to spend later!!
And just to show you that I am not making this up here is a photo of the receipt and git cards!
 This was such a great trip for me. I have been frustrated because that last few times I have tried to shop at Target they have been out of stock of so many things. It can be a huge bummer when you go to a store expecting to get good deals only to have them out of stock of nearly all that you wanted. But thankfully this time that was not the case. They had everything except for the eggs and I was easily able to get a rain check for them. They are on sale this week for $1.00 for a dozen eggs. I have a buy one dozen get one dozen free so it will be .50 cents a dozen for me!! It may actually be better that I had to get a rain check because I can get the close to Easter now so that the girls can dye them! Unfortunately the grocery stores do not seem to have very good sales on eggs even for Easter.
But this will work just fine!


Pine Derby Payback

Last year, the Speer family did excellent at the AWANA pine derby races.  The girls took home trophies for best design and for speed.  You can check out that post here.  Both girls won trophies for both categories.

However, this year was quite a bit different.  The girls designed killer cars.

The cars turned out pretty cool.  At least the girls had fun designing and painting them.

However, we didn't end up pimping out the speed capabilities of the body or wheels.  So, you can see they ended up with some rather dismal results.

Thankfully the girls weren't too terribly disappointed.  Oh ... they were bummed out by losing so badly.  But, they were more bummed out that they hadn't won for design concept.  At the end of the night, the best thing they could say was ... 'at least we got to build them'.

And Kait has already set her mind determinedly on an innovative design for next year.  And she wants to enlist the help of my buddy (Tim), for some pine derby speed tips and tricks.  So, I guess, maybe they took losing a little harder than they let on?

Here's a little bit of the action from our night:

Talk soon!



Yesterdays deals!

I am still not sure where the time went yesterday. There really was not a ton that we had to do and yet the time just was gone. And for what ever reason I never got around to posting last weeks trip either. So I am finally posting my grocery trip from yesterday.
We made two stops yesterday. The first being Publix. The total there before sales and coupons was $82.28. And after was $12.94. A savings of 82%. I paid with the gift card that I won so there was nothing out of pocket. And I will be submitting the receipt for a rebate on the sure deodorant of $2.00. 
This is what all is included.
1- bag of Publix salad mix
3- small tomatoes
1lb- Ground beef
4- boxes Delmonte fruit chillers
4- bags 8O'Clock coffee
8- boxes Whole wheat pasta
2- bottles Vitamin D
10- multi packs of Yoplait yoplus yogurt
1- Yoplait Greek Yogurt
1- Sure deodorant (rebate item)

And this was my trip to Winn Dixie. Now the cool thing about this is there is a promotion going on where if you buy $20.00 worth of selected Proctor Gamble Products you get a catalina coupon for $7.00 off your next visit. And if you spend $30.00 worth of Proctor Gamble products you get a $10.00 off coupon for your next visit. So the purchase that I made qualified me for the $10.00 coupon even tho I did not spend nearly $30.00 out of pocket!
The total for this stop before sales and coupons was $77.74. And after $15.46. And I got the $10.00 off coupon that I will most likely be using at Publix next week! Great deal!
This is what is here.
4- Swiffer Duster kits
4- Swiffer wet jet refills
8- Oral-B tooth brushes.
I had coupons for buy any Swiffer kit and get a refill free. Since both of these items are part of the deal I chose to get the wet jet refills free. I also used a $1.00 off any swiffer kit coupon for the dusters.
The Toothbushes were on a store sale of Buy One Get One and I had a Buy One Get One coupon that I used to get them all free! I love when that happens! What is funny is that the normal privce for these tooth brushes is $4.49 each. The cashier just about had a heart attach when she saw that price. She (and I) think that is a crazy price to pay for 1 tooth brush. But then I explained that I was getting them for free because of the store sale and the manufactures coupons that i had. She thought that was better!
Also there is a promotion going on with Proctor Gamble where if you buy $50.00 dollars worth of their products and mail the receipt in they will send you back $100.00 dollars worth of coupons. And the total of $50.00 os before sales and coupons. So With this one receipt I reached that amount easy and I will be sending it in for my coupons!
How great is that!


One Day in Oregon

Finally, I've thrown together enough time to go back through some of our pictures from Oregon.

Since we only had one day to get out and about, this was the extent of our outdoor adventures. I gathered together some of my favorite pics from the day. If anything, just getting this minimal taste of the Great Northwest again, has made both Christy and I want to get back outside again. Plus, watching the winter Olympics was like stoking my desire for cold weather.

We just started talking about camping again. It's been almost three years since we've been in a tent. Unbelievable! It's almost sickening to think about it.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share these pictures.

Talk soon!

P.S. If all of the pictures seem to have snowy mountains in them ... well ... that's because I pretty much can't get enough of seeing them.  Love it!


The cooolest thing happened to me...

So on Monday I go out and get the mail, not really expecting anything special. Just the weekly grocery adds!
And in the mail is an envelope that was addressed to me. It is very uninteresting and there is only a return addresss and no name. Now since I started mega couponing I sign up for all kinds of things to get coupons and free samples that come with coupons. So I thought that it would just be that. But when I opened it up there was a letter of congratulations! It said Congratulations you have been selected as the First Prize winner of the PepsiCo Super Bowl KLIV Sweepsakes at Publix. You have won a $100.00 Publix Gift Card!!
I am So Excited about getting this gift card! Do you know how far I can make that 100.00 go now!?!?
What a HUGE blessing this!
I had entered that contest back in January and totally forgot about it. Was never a thought about it again after I had entered. But I guess that God had it all worked out for me already.
Here is a photo of the letter and gift card! 
So Thank you Publix and Pepsi Co.!!!  I will be putting this to good use and stretching it as far as possible!


Thank You Walgreens!

Before I started couponing I rarely ever shopped at stores like CVS or Walgreens. (or Rite aid in the North West) I thought that they were way over priced and not worth my time to shop there. But now it is a different story all together. You can get some AMAZING deals at those stores that I never knew about. The amount of free things that I get there is unbelieveable! I have been able to get several hundred dollars of personal care items for pennies. I am am so not exaggerating here.  Here is the Super Wonderful deal that I was able to score today at Walgreens!
So in this photo there are 16 bottles of Purex 2x Laundry detergent.
2 cans of black olives and 2 bottles of starbucks mocha frapachino drinks.
Before sales and coupons this would have cost $106.20 So what did I spend to take all this home? $4.84!! Yep you read that right, only $4.84 came out of my purse to the nice checker at walgreens to take all this home. And nearly all of that ($3.36) was tax. So for those of you back in Oregon you would not have to pay even that much for all this.
So here is the breakdown of the deals...
The olives are on sale with a Walgreens in ad coupon for .99 each. I also used a manufactures coupon that you can print right from the Lindsey olive web site for $1.00 off of 2 cans. The total for both was .98 cents
The Mocha Frapachinos were onsale, also with a Walgreens in ad coupon, for $1.25 each. I used 2 more printable coupons for $1.00 off each bottle making the total for both bottles .50cents.
And the best deal of them all the Purex Laundry detergent! They are on sale for $5.99 each but they also have a month long sale of buy one get one free (for the month of March). And I had manufactures coupons from the Sunday paper a couple weeks back for Buy one Purex product get one free! So when I used that coupon with the sale that Walgreens has I was able to get both bottles for free!! Thankfully I buy multiple copies of the Sunday paper so I had 4 of these coupons. (also my mom sent me 4 of the flyers because they actually mail them to her and she is able to get multiple copies. So I get the added blessing of getting more coupons. Thanks mom!!) Now I could have used that coupon the very same week that I got it. Or because it had a value of up to 7.99 on the coupon I could have even gotten a bigger bottle for free. But I would have only gotten the 1 free. Because I held on to the coupon and waited for a good sale I was able to get both bottles for free! And each of the bottles will do 32 loads of laundry. Times that by 16 and I will be able to get 512 loads of laundry done with out paying for the soap to clean them.
So that was my Super Bargain of the day!
Praise God His blessings continue!!