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My Journey: Handwriting 100 Letters for McDonald’s Monopoly Pieces

by Brandon Duncombe on October 15, 2012

Stack of EnvelopesIf you’re a reasonable, rational-thinking human being, you may be wondering why anyone would risk developing carpal tunnel by handwriting 100 letters for a fast-food chain’s sweepstakes… and then post the process on the Internet.

Well here’s why I’m doing it.

Per the rules of McDonald’s annual Monopoly Game — and to comply with their “no purchase necessary” claim — participants are allowed to request game pieces by mail, as long as they send a handwritten, self-addressed, stamped envelope (“SASE” for short) to McDonald’s between certain dates (this year it’s September 18th and October 22nd, 2012).

If you fill out the envelopes correctly, Mickie D’s will mail your SASE back with 2 game pieces in it. Each game piece includes 2 game stamps, so altogether you get 4 game stamps for a combined 90 cents postage per letter, plus the cost of envelopes. In all, I should be receiving 400 game stamps from Ronald McDonald for a combined total cost of about $117.

Compare that to the cheapest eligible menu item, hash browns, which cost 99 cents a piece in south Florida and only net 2 game stamps. To collect an equivalent number of stamps, I’d have to buy over $200 in hash browns. If you checked our McDonald’s Monopoly Calculator, you’d see that it takes quite a few hash browns to have a shot at winning any of the top prizes. I’m not expecting to win anything big, but I want to better my chances while also minimizing my investment.

So that’s my first reason for writing the letters: It’s cheaper than buying McDonald’s food, and it actually nets more pieces than most eligible food items. Win/win.

But I’m not just gonna risk getting blisters to score some game stamps and hope to win a Fiat or something. My interest is deeper than that.


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Connect With Us!

by Brandon Duncombe on October 11, 2012

Social HeartsYou guys like Bargaineering, right? You guys like Jim Wang and all our awesome contributors, right? Well then make sure you like, follow, add, pin, share and hang with us all around the Interwebs!

If you haven’t had a chance to check out our new social digs, look up to the top right of the site and you’ll see our Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter (Jim’s page), Pinterest and LinkedIn pages. Oh, and we also have our new share bar to the left (<--- that way!), so it's even easier to like, share, tweet and post our stuff.

We’re going to continue to expand and provide as much cool and helpful personal finance info as we can. We’ll be doing more contests, giveaways and multimedia content, and we figure social media is the best way for you guys to find us and have access to all the Bargaineering goodness you can stand.

And, of course, we’re not perfect (especially Jim), so if there’s anything you’d like to see on the site, or on social and beyond, let us know. You can hit Jim up on Twitter @BargainR or G+, or hit us up at our new handle @BargaineeringTM and we’ll make sure to get back to you.

We really appreciate our audience and realize that we’d be spinning around in our chairs doing nothing if it wasn’t for you guys (some of us do it anyway :P ). With all that said, keep reading, sharing, liking and commenting on our stuff as we try to make Bargaineering the most awesomest personal finance destination there is :)


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McDonald’s Monopoly Meal Cruncher Calculator

by Brandon Duncombe on October 03, 2012

French FriesIf you visit our Facebook page much, you might recognize the “voice” behind this post – it’s Brandon and he’s in charge of our social media. Please give Brandon a hearty welcome and we hope you like this fun Monopoly meal cruncher calculator… it was his idea! :)

When we said we were going big for this year’s McDonald’s Monopoly Game, we weren’t kidding.

So, you’ve probably been asking yourself, “how many hash browns do I have to buy to have a chance of winning the million dollar prize”? The answer? 10,885. Obviously. Here’s how we got the answer.

Our fancy little calculator — dubbed the McDonald’s Monopoly Meal Cruncher — is able to determine how much of one food item must be purchased at one store in order to have a 1:1 chance of winning a particular Monopoly Game prize.

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McDonald’s Monopoly Game Board

by Brandon Duncombe on October 01, 2012

We’re continuing our 2012 McDonald’s Monopoly Game coverage by introducing our new game board.

There are so many rules, terms and data related to the game that we figured we’d make it easy for you and lay it all out in a visual way that (hopefully) is easier to digest and understand.

As you can see, we tried to replicate the Monopoly board as much as we legally could and have all the correct properties assigned. When you hover over a property, the middle of the board will display the piece name, piece number, rarity (rare or common), The other pieces in the set, the associated prize, the number of prizes available, the prize MSRP and the probability of collecting an entire set (whew).

We hope to refresh this board with each iteration of the McDonald’s Monopoly Game, and we want your feedback on how we can improve it and make it as user-friendly as possible. So play around with it and tell us what you think :)

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