Reader Sheila emailed me letting me know how she earns free gift certificates and gift cards to some of her favorite stores. How does she do it? She drinks soda. She’s also breaking a sweat by walking around picking up soda bottle-tops to help her earn more points. She writes:
Coke Rewards=Exercise?You are looking at that right. For me, Coke Rewards equates to exercise on Sunday mornings. Last year, I decided to start getting freebies from Coke by collecting the bottle-tops. I had 240 Coke Rewards from playing the Monopoly game from McDonald’s and I needed 360 points to get the Omaha Steaks E-card. Since I can’t consume that much drinks, for points, all by myself, I decided to go Coke hunting.In Chicago, there are many locations with discarded Coca-Cola product bottles. I made those locations my hunting spots. At first, it was quite embarrassing to be outside picking up empty bottles; so I made sure to go out very early on Sunday mornings. After a couple of months, I said the heck with it; whomever sees me, sees me. The first problem I encountered was remembering all of the products Coca-Cola made. I had to have a cheat sheet; “Do I pick up Squirt or Country Time?” It took a while to figure that out but I eventually got to know the products very well.I can remember the largest stash I brought home. I was in an area near a highway and the road was very long. I parked my car and with plastic bag and rubber gloves in hand, I would pick up, walk and pick up. This lasted for 15 minutes and I would get back in the car, drive a little bit further and repeat the process. By the time I was done, I had walked for 60 minutes and had 40 bottles plus two Coke cartons. My take for that day was a whopping 160 Coke points.I eventually cashed in my points and got my E-card but I’ve cashed in for several things like FTD Flowers gift card, free Coke products, Restaurant.com, $50 gift certificate and etc. I like Sunday mornings when I can walk and look forward to hunting for big game. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s…
Would you knock down a few sugary drinks to earn rewards? I do not eat McDonald’s and don’t drink soda so Sheila’s suggestion doesn’t work for me. What has worked for me is to have a recycling bin at home where I toss plastic bottles and cans. Once it’s packed I walk over to the recycling center to get cold hard cash. I’ve also brought home bottles from the street when I go out for a walk. It’s a win-win situation, really. Keeps the neighborhood clean. I’m being good to Mother Nature by recycling. And I get paid!
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