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Discount Shopping Part II

How to Save Money and Get Freebies Using the Internet

Did you ever think you and your kids could get paid for chewing bubble gum? I certainly didn't think so, until a survey company contacted me and asked me to take part in testing a new sugar-free bubble gum for kids. I was asked to try the familiar name-brand product and have one of my children test the bubble gum as well. I must admit that we had a blast with bubble blowing contests. After testing the product for a few days, I was to log on to the link the company provided and complete an online survey. About a week later I received a check for $4.

Your family won't make big money participating in surveys, but it is something fun that you and your teens can do once in a while. I have signed up to participate with a few survey companies. The following companies will pay a small amount, usually around $5 - $15. The dollar amount varies depending on the survey and the company. Some survey companies reward you with new products, coupons off the new product or a chance to win money.

Where Do I Sign Up?

International online survey company. Click on "panel" to register. They pay $30 to participate in a focus group and $5 for e-mail polls.

Consumer Views pays $5 for completed survey or coupons.

Mars Research. Participation is rewarded with new products or payment.

Test Drives

Considering a new car for your teen or for the family? Car companies such as Oldsmobile and Saturn frequently offer gift certificates or other incentives for test driving their cars. Simply log on to their Web sites and print out the test drive forms. Complete the forms and take them to the participating dealerships and take a test drive. The dealership will validate that you test drove a car and you simply send in the form and in a few weeks, receive your reward.

Other "test drives" include product testing for online retailers. I was fortunate enough to be chosen for two from Drugstore.com. My first test drive was for a full-sized jar of Sedonna Red brand facial mask. All I had to do in return was to write an honest, short review of the product. The second product I was chosen for was the Caruso steam hair setters. Again, I wrote a short review (after a week of testing) and the curlers were mine to keep. You can register at Drugstore.com. Click on "solutions" in the upper right-hand corner of the main page to learn more. Test drives fill up fast and it may take a while to be chosen. It's a delightful surprise when you are chosen and you may even get to try something you wouldn't have bought for yourself.

Have Fun

There are so many survey companies to choose from. I have listed the ones I have had experience with. Just pick and chose which company looks appealing to you. It usually takes less than five minutes to register. The company will e-mail you if a survey or test drive is available for you to participate in. It may be a couple weeks or months before you receive an opportunity. And once accepted, you can choose to decline, but if you do have the time, why not? Every once in a while it's fun to get something for nothing.

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