Free College Tuition, Bike for Tykes, Free Flights and more |Winning Wednesdays

oh yes its free“Be the 98th caller into the radio station and win $500!”  Sign up your child to win free music lessons.  Come to your local Department of Health, Back-to-School health fair and get a free check-up, vaccines and free school supplies…”

 

You have probably heard these enter-to-win pitches so often that it has become an annoying buzzing in your ear.

For a single mother to 3 daughters, such as me, it was music.

All these little freebies can be a financial lifeline for a single mother. And when my daughters were young, I took advantage of most of what was available to help make ends meet.   I still have the tiny  Kiss 98.7 T-shirt that came in the prize package when I won more than $750 from the NYC radio station back in the 90s.  My twin girls took turns wearing the T-shirt, as it was a reminder it really does take a village.

When I was raising my daughters, it cost $80,000 to $100,000 (college tuition not included) to raise a child to 18 years old.  In 2013, the cost of raising one child to the age of 18 was estimated to be $250,000 ($304 k for projected inflation). Today, the US Department of Agriculture (Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion) provides a handy little calculator so you can do the math to see how much your little bundle of joy is costing you.

If you’re a single mother be prepared for sticker shock.

Every little bit helps.  It’s not just the contest winnings, however, that can help you thrive!

My favorite past-time is shopping for deals.   When JC Penney had a sale I was right there in the children’s department buying anything on sale no matter the size. I knew my girls would eventually grow into it.

I even purchased008 a beautiful emerald-green prom dress for my oldest daughter and she wasn’t in high school yet.  OK maybe I took my bargain shopping a little too serious but the dress was marked down to $12 and I couldn’t pass up the deal.

Today, my daughters are college and law school graduates but I still take note of all the $FREE.99 deals I come across.  It can be anything from a free physical for school athletes to free zoology classes.

So on this Winning Wednesday, let me share the news about a free semester at any community college in Illinois.

529 Day College Semester Sweepstakes!
529 Day College Semester Sweepstakes!

Moms who are already saving for college education, you’re no stranger to the number 529 but did you know in celebration of 5/29 day; CollegeIllinois! is giving away a free college semester.  (Yes, free tuition and fees for 15 credit hours) at any community college in the state of Illinois.  No purchase is required but you have to be a legal resident of Illinois and 18 years of age or older by the time you enter the contest.  Submit your first and last name and 1 valid email address per person by midnight on May 31st.  Prize winner’s name will be drawn on June 3, 2016.  Go here  for sweepstakes official rules and entry form.

Spokane, Washington made the news recently when former NAACP President Rachel Dolezal resigned amid the imbroglio for allegedly lying about her ethnicity.

The spotlight is back on Spokane but this time the news is much brighter.   Spokefest and Mountain Gear  are teaming up to give away 120 Strider bikes to Spokane children between the ages of 18 months and 5 years old.

spokefest1-150x44The Spokefest Association is a 501 c 3 non-profit, who according to its website promotes bicycling for health and transportation.  Mountain Gear is retail shop selling all things related to mountain climbing, backpacking and more.

If you have or know of a child who lives in Spokane County,  write a few lines about how much fun your toddler to tyke would have riding a Strider bike and submit your entry with her or his name to events@mountaingear.com .  A family member of the lucky child must be present to pick up the bike on June 4 from 10-12 Noon at The Mountain Gear Retail Store.   Entry deadline is May 27th. Go here for more information 

Currently, the Philly Voice along with Independence Blue Cross/Blue Shield is sponsoring a month-long “Live Fearless” Sweepstakes. 5  winners will get wearable technology to help them meet their fitness goals.  If you’re a Pennsylvania resident you can enter once a day to win.

Ready to get away?  How about two free tickets to Jacksonville or Destin, Florida from Allegiant Air? 2nd prize winners will receive travel vouchers worth $200 to other Allegiant destinations. MidAmerica 5171642201-image001 You’ll have to be present to enter the Allegiant Air Florida Flyaway Sweepstakes.  You’ll also find out right away if you’ll need to pack your bags for a flight out on June 2nd with a return date on the 5th.  Go to the Allegiant table; Center court,Lower level at St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights, IL on Friday, May 27th from noon -2 PM .

Do you know of any giveaways to help with the cost of raising a child? How about some freebies for moms? Single moms need pampering too.   If anyone you know can benefit from these giveaways? Please share this post!

Legal disclaimer: I’m not connected with any of these businesses or contests – just sharing the word.