I got what you see above for free. Ok, actually I paid $3.31. But for a stainless steel water bottle and organic raisins it might as well have been free.
How was it free? Do the good folks at Amazon know how wonderful I am and just give me free stuff? Hardly. The stuff was free because I paid for it with Amazon gift cards. Gift cards that I got for surfing the internet. Wondering how that works? Well let me tell you.
There is this search engine, powered by Google and Ask, that randomly awards people points for searching the web. Want to know where your local organic grocery store is? Do a Swagbucks search and not only will you find the answer to your question, but you could win points, called Swagbucks.
After you have enough Swagbucks you can "cash in" for prizes. The prizes range from Sharpies to trading cards and gift cards to mp3 and tv downloads. While they have lots of awesome prizes, I always use mine to buy Amazon gift cards (I think it is the best value). 450 Swagbucks = a $5 Amazon gift card.
450 may seem like a big number, but if you use it daily, you can get that in no time. You also earn points for referring friends, completing special offers (we got a bunch of points just for trying out Blockbuster Online last month), shopping online, and various other things.
Okay, back to my latest free stuff (yes, I said latest...I get free stuff all the time). The husband needed a new water bottle and was nice enough to say he could wait long enough for one so we could order it...he likes free stuff, too. I went with stainless steel over plastic or aluminum for a few reasons:
- There is no worry about it being made with BPA like with a plastic bottle.
- The material is food-grade.
- There are no funky tastes or flavors in the water like with plastic (and sometimes aluminum).
- There is no possibility of chemical leaching (like when aluminum comes into contact with something acidic).
- Stainless steel does not have to have a lining like aluminum, so there is no worry about BPA in the lining.
I thought this specific bottle was very reasonably priced and it had good reviews. It comes with two caps that are PVC and BPA free and is made with the same type steel that the popular Klean Kanteens are made of (I would have gone with a Klean Kanteen if the husband hadn't wanted such a large bottle).
Now to the raisins. I debated organic raisins for a little while. See, only imported grapes are on the Dirty Dozen list, so I figured that if it was ok to buy conventional, domestic grapes, then it was ok to buy conventional, domestic raisins. But then I remembered that while I can wash away some of the pesticides on my grapes, I can't do so with my raisins. So I decided that I will pay a little bit (read A LOT) more for organic because I eat raisins A LOT and figured that I will save myself a little bit of pesticidal damage (yes, I realize that is not a word...just go with it people).
The raisins were cheaper by the ounce in a larger quantity, but I was just trying to get my total as close to $25 (for free shipping!) as possible, since that is all I had in giftcards :)