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10+ Legitimate Ways to Earn Free Gift Cards for the Holidays and Beyond



The Holidays will be here before you know it and there’s no time like right now to start planning your holiday budget.  While you should optimally try to budget and save for gifts all year long, you should also look at earning as many free gift cards as you can.  It is fairly easy earn them to help pay for gifts, and to pay for regular stuff you need through the entire year.

Yes, you heard me right. Earning free gift cards is an awesome way to make your budget stretch a bit farther than it normally would.  There are a ton of different ways that you can earn them, but these 10 ways to earn free gift cards for Christmas are my absolute favorites, and totally legitimate.

Holiday budgets don’t have to be a scary thing. Use these 10 sites and apps to help you make it more manageable, and make sure you check out the BONUS site at the end!


Amazon Trade In Program Did you know that Amazon will pay you for items you no longer want?  Items like Books, DVD’s, Video games and more can all be sent to Amazon to exchange for Amazon gift cards.

InstaGC Do you like taking surveys and filling out offers or watching videos?  If so, InstaGC is right up your alley!  The selection of gift cards to choose from is huge and payout is instant when you cash out.  100 points = $1.00 gift card and you earn an automatic 10 points for signing up, plus easy to earn more fast by confirming your email and other easy tasks.

SwagBucksSwagBucks is still the standard when it comes to search and win. Use it in place of Google, take surveys, play games and more to earn points.  Those points can then be exchanged for gift cards or even Paypal!  I really just use the search engine portion and I earn $10 worth of Amazon gift cards a month (my choice – they have lots).

ShopKick Do you have a smartphone?  Are you constantly running in and out of stores?  If so, put that to work for you!  When you head to a store on the list, you’ll be given kicks just for walking in the door of stores like Target, Walmart, and more.  You can also earn for scanning barcodes in the store. Trade your kicks in for awesome gift cards like Target, Walmart, Best Buy and more!  Best part — the app reminds you when you are nearby so you don’t forget to get your kicks when you walk in.

iBotta If you’re not already using iBotta, you should be.  When you buy certain items and iBotta will pay you cash back!  It is so easy even a child can do it.  And kids love helping with this.  Look through the iBotta offers before you head to the store to help you make your list.  There are even offers to save on things like eggs, milk, and produce.  You will have to do something quick like take a one question survey to unlock the offer – it literally takes seconds.   Then, shop as normal.  When you get home you will need to scan the item and your receipt, then you get the offer amount given to you as a rebate.   You can choose to cash out your rebates via Paypal or you can get gift cards!  Join iBotta and earn $1 extra when you earn your first rebate.

Perk Another awesome way to use your phone to make yourself some free money is by using the Perk app to watch commercials!  There are other apps that will earn you points.  They have a very large selection of gift cards to choose from and points generally rack up quickly!

Receipt Hog Do you shop?  Of course you do! Scan your receipts into Receipt Hog and you’ll earn spins to win points. Trade your points in for Amazon Gift Cards.

Bing Rewards Another search and win that can score you gift cards for Amazon, Sephora, X-Box Live and more!

Harris Poll Online A true survey company, Harris Poll pays its members for taking surveys in Amazon gift cards.  (A Nielsen Company) – Get Paid For Your Opinions!  Easy to do.

MySurvey – Another true survey company, with MySurvey you can earn either cash or gift cards.  A group of consumers from throughout the United States who influence future products and services by volunteering to participate in consumer research.

Here is a BONUS for you! — 

Ever wish you could share an idea directly with a brand (like Walmart) to help create positive change?  C Space specializes in bringing the customer and the brand closer together to share ideas directly. Earn Amazon gift cards for monthly participation!  I worked with this company last year to connect readers with some MAJOR brands and they are awesome.









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FREE things you can get in your mailbox!



Usually the mail is blah blah bill bill bill bill…you get the idea.  How about some FUN mail for a change?  Order these freebies and get some fun mail for a change.  These things are REALLY free, no strings attached other than usually signing up.  I recommend starting a free email account to use for these offers so you don’t get newsletters in your regular account.

FREE Samples from U by Kotex

FREE Sample of Restoralax (complete survey)

FREE Sample of Poise

FREE Sample of EmergenC

FREE Sample of Truvia

FREE Sample of Biofreeze

FREE Sample of Nivea

FREE Sample of Always Discreet

FREE Samples from Palmer’s Cocoa Butter

FREE Sample of L’Oreal Advanced Hair Care

FREE Sample of Argan Oil

FREE Samples from Depends

FREE Sample of Breathe Right Strips


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Check out these FREE Summer Reading Programs for Kids



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Ok the harsh truth is that no matter what, kids are going to get bored this summer.  Don’t let them get away with doing nothing or spending hours playing video games, watching TV, or being online.  Offer them books instead.  Here is an awesome list of FREE Summer Reading Programs for Kids.  There are a LOT of great programs that your children can take advantage of to earn FREE books, prizes, and cash! You can print out this list of ►FREE Summer Reading Programs or bookmark this page!

Junie B Jones Reading Club – Sign up and get a FREE starter Kit that includes a copy of Junie B Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, Activity sheets and a membership ID card while supplies last.

Book Adventure – Sylvan offers this FREE reading incentive program. Basically your child reads books and then takes a simple comprehension quiz to make sure they understood what they read. The quiz is usually about 10 questions long. They earn points based on how much they remember from reading the book.

There are hundreds of books to choose from in all reading levels. These are common books that can be found at your local library. Once they have earned enough points they can trade them in for some really neat prizes!

Half Price Books – They are offering kids ages 14 and under a chance to earn a $5 Gift Card for reading just 15 each day throughout the summer!

Showcase Cinemas Bookworm Wednesdays – Your child can earn a FREE movie ticket from National Amusements Theaters when they read a book and complete a book report.

Barnes & Noble Imagination Destination – This summer reading program through Barnes & Noble gives your child the ability to earn a FREE book after reading 8 books and keeping track of them in a reading log.

Local Public Library – Don’t forget to check out your local libraries to find out which programs they’ll be offering this summer. My kids have participated in several Summer reading Programs through the library and it always includes FREE books & prizes.

TD Bank Summer Reading Program – Read and keep track of 10 books this summer and your child will get $10 added to their Young Saver Account FREE!

Chuck E. Cheese – Earn 10 FREE tokens every time your child reads for 2 weeks in a row. Just fill out the form and bring it in to claim your free token.

Scholastic Summer Challenge – Log in your reading minutes to the Scholastic site and your child will be able to participate in a World Record challenge as well as earn digital prizes!

Pottery Barn Summer Reading Challenge – Open only to children under 10 years of age on any day during the promotion period. Must present completed Award-Winning or Early Reader book list to receive a free book at participating Pottery Barn Kids stores.

Programs like these are a great way to encourage our children to continue reading throughout the summer months. If you know of any other programs that aren’t listed here, please feel free to leave the information in a comment below.   Thanks Saving Dollars and Sense

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Pampers Gifts to Grow – Free 10 Point code – Expires 5/8



Head over to Pampers Gifts to Grow and enter code:  FBJMAY8973CV014 for 10 free points (Expires 5/8/14).

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Free Sample of Tone Bodywash – Grab one while supplies last



I love samples like this one.  Perfect to take on vacation!  Score this FREE sample of Tone Bodywash.  Ends June 15th, 2014 or while supplies last.

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Grab this FREE Spring Coloring Book for Kids



I love free offers like this one!  Grab this FREE Spring Coloring Book for kids and grab yourself some FREE time!

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Say Thanks! Teacher Appreciation Week Deals and Freebies




It is Teacher Appreciation Week. Here are some great freebies and discounts for teachers. Some of them are valid for a limited time, but most of them are good all year long. Make sure you let all your teacher friends know also: You can print the Teacher Appreciation List and give it to your child’s teacher to let them know about all that is available to them, and be sure to print a copy of the list to include with the gift you give. Well done teachers, and thanks for another great year!!

AC Moore – Teachers receive 15% off your entire purchase

Ann Taylor Loft – Enroll in the free Loft Loves Teachers program and save 15% off full-price purchases.

Apple – Apple offers special pricing on Apple products including computers, software and select third party products. This special pricing is available to college students, parents buying for a college student, or teachers, homeschool teachers, administrators and staff of all grade levels.

Barnes & Noble – Save 20% off the publisher’s list price on all purchases for classroom use when you join the free B&N Educator Program.

The Container Store – Offers special discounts to educators to help organize the classroom. This program ends December 31, 2014.

Chick-fil-A – Select locations offer a freebie on May 7th to teachers who present a valid teacher ID. Free offer may vary by location.

Chipotle – Show your school faculty ID on May 6th at any Chipotle from 4pm – close and they will hook you up with a buy one/get one burritos, bowls, salads or tacos! (call ahead and make sure your store is participating)

Crayola – Artful lessons, classroom resources and the latest information regarding special programs and offers.

FedEx Office – Offers teachers, professors, faculty and staff members 15% off on most products and services at participating FedEx Office nationwide. To receive your discount, simply present your discount card when making a purchase in-store or at and the discount will automatically be applied.

Joanne Fabric – Sign up for a free Jo-Anne Teacher Rewards Discount Card and receive 15% off all purchases.

Lakeshore Learning – Join the free Teacher’s Club and save 15% off purchases everyday and receive special offers every month!

New York & Co – Teachers who show a valid ID can receive 30% off May 1-7 to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week. Plus sign up for the Teacher Program and you’ll receive a 15% discount all year long.

Staples – It pays to be a Teacher Rewards member. When you sign up, you’ll earn 5% back in rewards, and an extra 5% back in rewards on teaching and art supplies. Plus, get free shipping on every® order.

Teacher’s Lists – Teachers sign up and submit your supply list and refer other Teachers to get FREE Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes and Westcott Scissors.

Thanks to Saving Dollars and Sense for sharing the list.

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Free Paper? Staples says Easy!

Free Paper?  Staples says Easy! 

You can get a  5 ream CASE of paper free with coupon and Easy Rebate.

I was not a lover of rebates before but after doing this with Staples a few times I’m a Beliver!  They are fast and easy.  We go through a lot of paper at home but with a deal like this its really easy to help out our schools.  So if you don’t need it maybe think about a donation for your child classroom .


Staples Paper Coupon

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FREE Superbowl Party Printable Props – Exclusive to Couponista Queen!

Free Football Printables

Free Football Printables
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If you are planning a Superbowl party or just watching with the family, take a look at these FREE Superbowl Party Printable Props that I had designed JUST FOR MY READERS to help you decorate and celebrate!  Print them out and use them as is for decorations, or do like I am doing and print them on a little heavier paper stock, cut them out and glue 2 together back to back with a popsicle stick in between as a holder.  Viola, super easy Superbowl party props that I will give to my guests as they arrive.

Go Team Orange Blue

Orange Blue Go Team

Field Goal Orange Blue

Orange Blue Field Goal

Touchdown Blue Green

Blue Green Touchdown

Field Goal Blue Green

Green Blue Field Goal

Touchdown Orange Blue

Orange Blue Touchdown

Go Team Blue Green

Blue Green Go Team

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2014, Now What?

credit report pic


credit report pic

I don’t do resolutions but the start of a New Year is a good time to take a good look at yourself and take care of some housekeeping.  With that in mind I want to share one bit of advice.  As some of you are aware of I work a real gig in the outside world that has to do with consumer credit.  I can tell you a lot of people are SHOCKED when they are denied for credit and do not have any idea what is on their credit report.

So before we think about Tax Season and of Refunds lets take a minute and check our credit health.  Now is a good time to take a good hard look at our circumstances and take the necessary steps to end 2014 on a more positive note.  We all get behind or make mistakes, trust me I sure have and so instead of paying someone to help fix your credit its a good idea to see what free resources we have available to us so we can improve our standing.

Take a moment and get your free annual credit report.

The website has a lot of really great information that in this day and age of hackers and stolen identities we need to keep tabs on for our own future.  If you have something to clear up or pay down its a good time of year to take positive steps to reach these goals.

Oh and keep up with us at the Couponista Queen.  We will be helping you all year long save as much as you can so you can not only take control of your finances and live with more wiggle room but maybe pay and fix some blemishes on your credit report.





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Shutterfly Free Calendar Offer!



Shutterfly Free Calendar Offer!

Perfect Gift for Family!

Something they can treasure all year long.

Use code FREECAL

You will need to pay Shipping, but still a great offer.

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Starbucks Share Joy Event this Week! BOGO Holiday Drinks!





Starbucks Share Joy Event this Week!  BOGO Holiday Drinks!

Great time to pay it forward, surprise a friend or just hoard the 2nd one LOL

Starting the 13th and going through the 17th you can score a BOGO of Starbucks Holiday Drinks from 2-5pm

Pretty Awesome!

Something else you can do on the Starbucks Site?  Well have you registered any of your gift cards?

If you do you will be emailed pretty awesome coupons and all you need to do is use the card that is registered.  You can register multiple cards or transfer balances, etc.  I had $2 off salted mocha caramel drinks last week and saving on one of my vices is always a good good thing ♥  You can go here to register your card:  Starbucks Card Register 

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Veterans Day Discounts and Freebies!



Veterans Day Discounts and Freebies!

Wonderful Resource for our Vets!

Click on the link to access a list of discounts and freebies that have been announced for 2013.   Please check back frequently as this list is updated. Also please keep in mind that most businesses require proof of military service.

Thanks and make sure to share with Vets you know!

Veterans Day Discounts and Freebies!


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Target Ticket.  Get 10 FREE DIGITAL DOWNLOADS!

If you are like me, you are tired of damaged DVD’s or Blu-Rays.  I recently have taken to streaming more and more movies and shows, especially since we did away with that ever growing monthly cable bill.  So you can imagine my excitement to see that I could score  for our viewing pleasure 10 FREE digital downloads when I set up a new account at Target Ticket!

Compatible with your TV, Tablet, Laptop or Mobile phone this is a great addition for us frugally minded families!  What else is awesome?  I can use my Target Red Debit card to score added savings when I want to buy or rent movies!  My kids wanted to buy Monsters University and I had seen this other places for $19.99 but here its only $14.99!

Sign up today for a new account or link up an existing Ultra Violet account and score the 10 Freebies!  Perfect time of year for this too, I can see myself snuggling with my kids watching a movie this weekend !

Now if you will excuse me I’m going to go pop some popcorn ☺


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Free SatisFries at Burger King this Weekend! October 12 & 13






Free SatisFries at Burger King this Weekend!  October 12 & 13

I’ve been really intrigued about these fries since I saw the announcement on TV.  What better time to try them then this weekend for free?  I’m so there!  Burger King may be the answer to my fast food fix now that I’m trying to watch what I eat.

Will you join me and try them at your local BK?

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FREE Diabetic Test Meter, Test Strips, Recipe Books and Planner



A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  So I have to test my blood four times a day, really watch my diet, and exercise several times a day so I can avoid medication.  I found this nice freebie that is perfect if you or someone you know has diabetes, and if not it makes a great donation item.
FREE Diabetic meter, test strips, recipe books download and planner:
FREE Diabetic Meter ◄
Fill out the questionnaire for the Bayer meter and then skip the others. The meter and strips will be mailed to you.