Shout out to OfficeMax, who gave us everything in the picture above for FREE.
Ryan and I are both huge fans of F-R-E-E. For example, he found ways to live on free food in his single days. As student reporter I wrote an article for The Daily Universe about snagging free stuff online. (Yes, we bargain-hunters were meant for each other.)
To be transparent, there was time and a bit of money invested in getting these fancy new speakers, Skype videocamera and other goodies. But how, you ask, did we get $187 purchase for zero out-of-pocket? It's called MaxPerks Rewards program.
Here's the scoop:
OfficeMax gives you $3 credit for every empty ink cartridge you turn in. Since you can find them on amazon.com for something like 45 cents, pure math shows you can make a quick return. The catch: you have to be patient. The rules only let you turn in 20 cartridges per month, per person. (I heard of a family who signed up for 20 people, including babies, grandparents, etc., which is on the shady side.) We signed up for the two of us, and last year I'd make monthly ink cartridge visits to OfficeMax.
Other catch? To unlock your reward dollars, you have to spend dollar-for-dollar at the store. We accomplished this by buying Christmas presents there. Then, voila! A month later, we were rewarded with $224 to use to our free-loving hearts' content.
So far, we've gotten the above goods, as well as a nice Canon digital camera for a fraction of the cost. If you're going to try it, make sure you read through all the rules of the program.
Are you a FREE finder too?