On the Cheap, Part Deux


Several posts ago, I was practically bragging about how I was getting a bunch of stuff for nothing or practically nothing. Well, I thought I’d take a moment to update you on all of this.

Lips (MSRP): $49.99
My cost (with Points and tax): $10.83
Savings: $39.16

Bad planning on Microsoft’s part has prevented me from taking advantage of this offer.

You see, Lips was listed on their ExpertZone site as one of the Rewards (with 500 Points and $10 + tax), so I went ahead and ordered it, thinking I would have some cool wireless mics in time for The Beatles: Rock Band release and get a game to boot.

About a week after placing my order, I checked its status on the Web site and I was dumbfounded when I learned that—at that very moment—my order was cancelled. I sent an e-mail explaining my situation and was told that Lips had since been discontinued and no longer being offered, so my order was cancelled. It was a good thing I was told about this ahead of time.

No, wait, I wasn’t. Because of this snafu, not only were my 500 Points credited but I was also awarded an additional 500 Points to use as I please. Good, but not exactly what I wanted. And no, I wasn’t charged for the order, either.

Office 2007 Standard Edition (MSRP): $399.95 (full version)
My cost: $0
Savings: $399.95

Where Microsoft failed on Lips, the made up for on Office 2007! I got my copy a few days ago:

office-2007

The Beatles: Rock Band (MSRP, game only): $59.99
My cost (after two $25 GameStop gift cards from e-Rewards): $10 + tax
Savings: $50

After completing a series of surveys, they pretty much stopped coming in. My balance was stuck just below the $50 level required for the GameStop gift card and I was getting worried. Then they started to arrive in my inbox and after taking a few surveys I finally got to $50, where I immediately redeemed them for the $25 gift card.

The question then became, would it arrive on time? The e-mail said it could take up to 30 days, or 9/28/09—that would never do. I never had a problem with the gift cards arriving late in the past so I was hoping this would be the case once again.

And so it was. This arrived today:

gamestop-giftcard-redo

I then ran a few errands and then stopped by GameStop. The Beatles: Rock Band has been paid for and will be in my hot little hands tomorrow! (And if they had a midnight release time, I’d be there for it!)

But wait, there’s more! In addition to all of this, I took more quizzes at the ExpertZone site and was able to buy a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate for $10, so I saved about $200 there.

So I lost out on one offer and gained another. I’d say that’s not too bad!


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On the Cheap


pink_piggy_bank-735041You know, your ol’ pal Dave considers himself to be pretty frugal, especially now when spending more than $30 for anything seems incredibly irrational. That’s why I’ve been pretty excited to be getting some goodies for practically nothing, and here’s how.

As a member of Microsoft ExpertZone (membership required), a site designed exclusively for resellers of Microsoft products, I take quizzes and get points redeemable for all sorts of merchandise. After a recent site redesign, I had to re-register, got a cool 1,000 points and used 500 (plus $10 cash) for a copy of Lips for Xbox 360. So…

Lips (MSRP): $49.99
My cost (with points and tax): $10.83
Savings: $39.16

Another ExpertZone offering was a free copy of Microsoft Office 2007 Standard Edition upon the successful completion of an Office product course, so after taking that course and passing it…

Office 2007 Standard Edition (MSRP): $399.95 (full version)
My cost: $0
Savings: $399.95

Granted I already have a copy of Office 2007 but I’m sure I can use this one on the laptop or the other computer–or Ann can take it to her office. Either way, free is free!

And then there’s e-Rewards, where I take surveys, get actual dollar amounts which can buy gift cards, magazine subscriptions, or online discounts for various retailers. Right now, I’m working on my 2nd $50 level for a $25 GameStop gift card, which I will be using to buy The Beatles: Rock Band. And did anyone mention that this is going to be the greatest video game ever?

The Beatles: Rock Band (MSRP, game only): $59.99
My cost (after two $25 GameStop gift cards from e-Rewards): $10 plus tax
Savings: $50

See, the whole game thing is gonna work out. I figure that Lips comes with two wireless microphones which, if the rumors are correct, will work with TB:RB. So the way I look at it, ten bucks for a new game and two microphones is an incredible deal!

Want in on this? Well, I can’t help you with the ExpertZone membership, but here’s a link to the GameStop/e-Rewards Invitation-Only site. This is the only way you can get GameStop gift cards through e-Rewards; the regular site does not offer them. I’ve been a member for years and have had no problems with them whatsoever.

The final tally: $20 or so for almost $510 (MSRP) of merchandise.

Not too shabby, eh?

UPDATE: With the money I saved, I just renewed my Flickr Pro account so all previous links to said account that were inactive are not now active again 🙂


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