Every sweeper wants to win big. However I believe it’s the little prizes that keep you going in between the biggies.

This year, after PIN code hunting for more than a decade, I finally won a grand prize. (Yes, I am persistent. I wrote about being patient in How Long Would You Wait to Win Big?)

After the agency received my paperwork and confirmed I was, in fact, a winner, I wanted to share the good news. I hosted a Facebook Live “FINALLY !!! + an UN-unboxing + how to avoid Holiday Credit Card Hangover“. You can also watch it on YouTube.

How I Won Little This Year

All spring and summer I went PIN code hunting looking for codes in:

  • Okos,
  • Canada Dry,
  • Coca-Cola,
  • Pepsi,
  • Kraft Dinner,
  • Pringles,
  • Brisk,
  • and Flip The Lip.

Some contests had instant win prizes and some did not.

I enter these types of contests for a few reasons. With limited entering time, I am killing several birds with one stone.

  1. I get my exercise in first thing in the morning. Some days I reach 10,000 steps before 8:00am.
  2. It gives me time to think as I walk, a walking meditation of sorts along with getting fresh air.
  3. I believe with PIN Codes my odds of winning are increased as less people enter.
  4. It gives me a chance to win something right away, or weekly, consistently.

I won a lot of little things from Pepsi and few from Coke, Canada Dry, Kraft Dinner, and Pringles.


Enough to fill stockings for all the kids plus a few gifts. What are not shown are:

  • the movie tickets I won (already used),
  • the soccer tickets (already used),
  • or the e-gift cards for the NHLShop.ca online store. (Some used, the rest being saved for Black Friday deals for Christmas gifts.)

I didn’t film any unboxing videos as I thought a dozen plus videos showing me open another Pepsi baseball cap or pair of socks would not make for good social media sharing.

How to Avoid Holiday Credit Card Hangover

Like many people, I use contesting to stretch my budget. I love winning little as we attend events I couldn’t afford and I win prizes that make great gifts. I have avoided having holiday credit card hangover for years by:

  • shopping sales all year long,
  • buying unique items when I travel,
  • thrift shopping on sites like Varage Sale,
  • and, of course, winning prizes.

I have never won everything I gift over the holidays (one of these days I will!), so for now I still shop in November and December, but my overall spending is greatly reduced.

Do you use prizes to stretch your budget?