How I Get Free Stuff in the Mail

influenster home pin

Christmas Eve was a happy, happy mail day here at Pennywise headquarters. I got not one, but two boxes full of free stuff from Influenster.  Influenster is a social shopping website that periodically sends you products in exchange for posting your review of the product on social media or another public website.  I’ve gotten a lot of these campaigns, probably 3 to 4 a year over the past two years.  It’s always such fun to do these because you usually get a random assortment of things to try that may be outside your comfort zone (hello fake eyelashes!) but since it’s free you aren’t out anything if it is not for you.

influenster home

Once you sign up they will ask you questions to find out your demographics and your interests so they can tailor the boxes to fit your life.  When you have been selected for a campaign, which can take a while in the beginning, it will appear on the dashboard of your account.

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Clicking on each campaign gives you tasks that can be completed to earn a badge for each product.  Earning  a badge enters you for a chance to win a brand boxes.  One of the boxes I got last week was a prize I won from the Johnson Healthy Essentials campaign, and it was full of great Johnson and Johnson products.  Each company will have specific requirements for their tasks, whether it’s sharing a post on Facebook or writing a review on Amazon.

influenster to do list

My winning brand box from Johnson and Johnson!

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My current Holiday VoxBox full of great stuff!  Not pictured is the super cute Itty Bitty Spiderman from Hallmark and the nail polish from Pure Ice as Santa was able to slip those in to stockings at my house!

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Influenster is a fun, free way to discover new products and interact with other Influensters on social media.  There is a wealth of information other Influensters have shared so it’s somewhere I check when I want to know about the latest and greatest stuff to hit the market.



Ebates – Free Money For Shopping

I’ll admit – the thought of going to Wal-Mart these days makes my palms sweat.  When I’m in a physical store I want to be able to search for what I’m looking for, define price, size, and style, and then sort by price so it’s all laid out neatly in front of me.  Until Wally World develops that and offers it in my store, I’ll mostly stick with online shopping.  To make my online shopping even more frugal, I always start my trips by visiting

Beginning on Ebates looks like this.

ebates home

All it takes to join is entering your email and your password.  And do you see that on the left??  You get either a Walmart gift card or $10 in free money, just for joining.  The bonus will appear in your account after you make your first purchase.

Now that you’ve signed up, you are ready to shop away and start earning cash back.  You just type the name of the store where you will be shopping and click search.

ebates start

The information for that store will come up, showing you the amount of cash back.  My favorite part is most available coupons for that store will also be shown below the cash back information.  Ebates has partnered with hundreds of store to offer coupons you can only find at  You will then click shop now and be on your merry way to your destination.  This is how you know Ebates is active.

ebates store landing

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This creates a shopping trip number, which you can verify on the Ebates website by going to your account, then clicking on Cash Back Activity.  There you can see all your shopping trips for the current month.  If you notice cash back has not been added to your account, you can click on Help at the top of the screen and then “Where’s My Cash Back?”.

ebates shopping trips

As you can see, I’ve got a nice chunk of change sitting in my account for the next big payout!  I shop online anyway, and by going to Ebates first I earn money for doing nothing.  I have also installed the Ebates button for my web browser.  I love this because if I forget to go to Ebates first, I get a notification right in my browser that I can click and it activates cash back right from my current screen.

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See how nice Ebates is to remind me up there in the top right corner that I’m missing out on cash back?ebates button activate.JPG

My final word about Ebates is to brag on their customer service.  When you have a question about your cash back or payment they respond almost immediately and will work with you in any way they can.  I can’t say enough good things about their customer service.  Sign up for Ebates and grab some free money!