Friday, July 30, 2010

The Motherload

It's Freebie Friday! Many blogs post round ups of freebies on Fridays, this is a site I have followed for quite a while.

A blog I have been reading and following for years is The Motherload. She has a Notebook Post of a variety of helpful information on Thursdays, and on Fridays she does a roundup post of Free Products and samples from around the internet. I think she has even been on TV and in some magazines.

She has another blog called the Motherloot where she does product reviews, and Aldi Queen where she posts about Aldi. We do not have an Aldi near us, and since I haven't ever stepped foot in the store, I don't read blogs about them, LOL:)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kellogg Promotion at Homeland Take 2

The Kellogg's deal at Homeland is back! You can go HERE to see my first post on how it works. If you live near a Homeland, this deal is truly too good to pass up!

The only difference I have seen is that A) the $2.36 website coupon is expired and B) they now have 2 different flyers in the racks underneath the main ads. ONE of them has a coupon good for $2.00 off any size milk when you purchase 5 boxes of Kellogg cereal. The half gallons are priced at $1.99, which makes them FREE!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Features

Please take notice at the bottom of the posts, I have added some new features. The helpful/interesting/not helpful buttons will let me know which posts (or type of post) you like reading about, and which ones aren't that helpful.

I have always been curious about how to put the buttons to share posts on other media sites, and I still don't really understand how it works. I just happened to see a button on the design/settings for it, and magically they are at the bottom of new posts now.

I have also signed up for some new sites, and re-activated some others that are ways you can legitimately earn small amounts of money online. I don't expect that any of them, or all of them combined for that matter, will be hundreds of dollars a month. I think that everyone has their own reasons for wanting or needing to do this, and I just want to give an honest opinion on how they work. If you see or hear about a site you are interested in, just leave it in the comments and I will research it and check it out.

My plan is to put together a post at the end of each month with the totals I have earned from each site, so we can all see which ones are worth the time. I think that most of them pay either through paypal or check, so I will leave all the money in my paypal account that I receive (some pay weekly, others monthly) and we'll see how it goes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Paperback Swap

Some of you may have noticed the Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap. button I placed in the sidebar reading Paperback Swap. This is one of the best things I have found. How it works, for every 5 books (hardback OR paperback) you list, you get 1 credit to get a book. Then for every book you mail out, you get a credit to request a book. The only cost is shipping, and that is quite low. You can choose to print and pay postage on the site, based on the ISBN number entered, it estimates the weight, and prints at the MEDIA RATE, which is the lowest available. You also have the option of going to the post office and mailing it there. If you mail from the website, it prints the label and gives you instant credit for the book, otherwise the recipient has to log in and mark it received once they get it. There is also a video on the site showing in depth how the whole process works.

As someone who reads A TON of books, this is ideal for me. The library is about 15 miles away, and not near anywhere that I shop. Also, I like to hold on to books for a bit and read them at my own pace. This is perfect. You can keep the books you get forever if you want, they are yours. I often re-list and re-trade books once I am done, to get more books!

I have been a member here for 3 years, and never had any issues. The books have always been in the state the trader stated, and have arrived quickly in the mail. I use paypal (or leftover visa giftcards with small random amounts on them) to pay for postage and can mail out books without ever leaving the house!

They also have sister sites for CD's and DVD's. Let me know if you want a referral, and I'll send you one. I think referrals get either one free credit towards and item, or 1 free shipping credit, I have forgotten which one, LOL:)

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Update on back

***7/29/2010 UPDATE***Going to the specialist tomorrow, hope it helps!

If you saw my facebook, you probably saw that I have my MRI results. I have two bulging discs on the verge of rupturing, pressing on my sciatic nerve. I am having trouble sitting long enough to type coherent posts, not to mention all the pain meds she gave me. So, there will probably not be consistent posts until I get this epidural shot, and hopefully it works!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Organizing Junkie

I predict this will be one of Jessica's favorite sites. I have been following Org Junkie for several years. Not only does she offer Organizing Tips, and links to spectacular organizing websites, she also hosts Menu Plan Monday. Every Monday morning (or late Sunday night sometimes) she posts a Mr Linky where people link to posts on their blogs their menu plans for the week. This is so nice, because not only does it encourage you to plan ahead your weekly menu (which is THE BEST way to save at the grocery store), it also gives you ideas for future meals. Sometimes people go the extra mile and link to their recipes. Many people do Freezer Cooking, Once a month cooking, slow cooker meals, etc. perfect for new moms!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Kellogg Promotion at Homeland

This week Homeland, our local grocery store, has an amazing Kellogg Promotion going on. This is a perfect time to show you how I get great deals.

Select cereals (Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, Rice Krispies, Mini Wheat, etc) are on sale 5 boxes for $12. It was the 22 oz boxes I believe. When you buy 5, they automatically deduct $5 making them 5 for $7.

Select snacks (Keebler cookies, Cheez It's and other crackers, Gummy Bear things, Scooby Snacks, Rice Krispy treats, etc) are also on sale 5 for $12 with the $5 deduction for buying 5.

Now, if you buy 10 items, it also gives you a catalina (white with red stripes coupon that prints at the register) for $10 off your next purchase.

In addition, this week only, they have a customer appreciation coupon on their website for $2.36 off any purchase (there is reasoning behind the amount, but it isn't applicable here so I won't go into it).

At the front of the store, they have a Fuel for School display set up with most of the sale merchandise on it, and there are coupon booklets there with various $2 coupons in them, good for other merchandise when you buy certain Kellogg products.

I also had some Kellogg brand coupons from the Sunday papers and some I got online.

Deal: Bought 3 Froot Loops and 2 Apple Jacks for $7. Had a coupon for $1.25 off the froot loops when you buy 3, and a $1 off 2 boxes of Apple Jacks that was doubled.

This made this 5 boxes total $3.75

Then I bought 2 boxes of Cheez Its, 2 packages of Keebler cookies, and one package of cinnabon breakfast bars for $7. I had a coupon for $1.50 off 2 boxes of Cheez It's, another for $1 off 2 Keebler Cookies, doubled for $2, and one for $1 off the cinnabon bars, doubled for $2.

This made these 5 boxes total $1.50 (Total at $5.25)

I don't remember which combination matched the Fuel for School coupons, but one was for $2 off a gallon of milk (on sale for $1.99 so it was free), one for $2 box of store brand baggies (also $1.99 so free), and one for $2 off school supplies ( I got 4 boxes of Crayons on sale for $0.50 each, so they were free).

I also had a coupon for $1 off a Sure deodorant which doubled for $2 on sale for $1.50, so I have a $0.50 credit) (New total $4.75)

They sell Red River Ranch beef products here, and there is a coupon on that companies website for $2 off any product. It is good one per visit thru 12/31, so I use on of these on every visit. This visit I needed ground chuck for hamburgers, and I got a pack for $2.36 - the $2 coupon, so it was $0.36 for almost 2 lbs of beef) (New total $5.11)

I also had a coupon for Libby Vegetables, which I got from RedPlum online recently, and printed two, good for one free can of Libby Vegetables, good up to $1.49, so I used it on the large can that cost $1.50. (New total $5.12)

Then I had a coupon for some frozen rolls that I got through the SendEarnings link to Coupons.com good for $1 off, which doubled to $2 that were priced $1.99, so they were free. (sorry, can't remember the brand name.)

Then I had a coupon good from Nabisco from their facebook page good for one free package of Nabisco cookies when you buy a package and a gallon of milk. I had the milk free from the deal above, and the cookies were 2 for $4, so I got Aaron one pack of Oreos and one pack of Chips Ahoy for $2. New total ($7.12).

Finally, I had a coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase from being an email subscriber to the Homeland Website, which they scan before all other coupons, so it brought the total to ($2.12 and tax was $0.20 so the grand total was $2.32) and I got the $10 catalina for my next visit. This is how I stock up on food and snacks to try and hit Aaron's calorie count. I will be going every day and getting the 10 products because the expiration on the items is well into 2011, not that it's much of an issue the way these boys eat.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Curtains

***Update*** Today, July 20, the temp here is near 100 and the heat index near 110+. We had a neighborhood blackout for SIX HOURS, and these curtains proved their worth. The house never got above 80, even though the sun was directly hitting all of the windows!!! Not only are they saving us money, they kept us cool in this insane heat!

In the past, the summer has brought crazy high energy bills. Our house is well insulated with newer windows, but when the temp gets above 100 for days on end, the A/C runs and runs. We have put curtains up and done many energy saving things, and they have helped, but I am determined to continue trying to get it lower.

The thing that I found this year that has made the most difference is using some energy efficient black out curtains. I researched and looked all over, and finally decided on these, sold at Walmart. Apparently they are big sellers, because they have been out of stock for a while. I got one of the shorter panels for Aaron's room in black and an identical panel for the upstairs loft in black. These were the HOTTEST rooms in the house. It makes the rooms dark, but they are so cool now that it is just unbelievable the difference it made. Our room was also warm, so I bought 2 long panels in a dark green color for our double window, and again, it made a world of difference. When they are in stock again, I am going to get 2 panels to replace the "normal" curtains in Joshua and Logan's room. In the living room we have sliding doors to the backyard. It has vertical blinds. I really want to get some of these panels for there as well, but the blinds will probably have to go if I do, and it might make going in/out difficult so I am still pondering that.

Ideally I will get 2 panels for each window when they are in stock, but one panel covered them for now, and drastically reduced the heat, so we are going with it. A great buy for $13 per panel.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Doctor Information

Taking a break from posting sites today, as Wednesday's are tough. Instead, since I am doing medical research and such, I thought I'd share some ways to get the most out of your doctor visits.

Aaron has Speech, PT, and OT for a full morning of therapy each Wednesday. The good news is that we have been working hard at home on off days, and he "may" be at 100% of OT goal, so that is one therapy we can stop, saving about $50 per week. I ask tons of question of his therapists about what they are doing, and how each activity helps him. This in turn gives me ideas of things to do at home to keep him on track, and to help meet goals. I also keep a notebook (well, it's a binder now because we have so much!). I keep each specialists report in separate sections. I take the binder with me so if any specialist has a question, I have everything right there with me, which often saves us from having to request and wait for records, and additional trips and $50 copays.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing I can stress is to take a notebook with you to each doctor visit, even well child checks from the beginning. Put their stats in there so you can track them easily, and TAKE NOTES. If the doctor says something is good or bad, put it in there, you may be thankful later that you have this information handy. It also helps make sure you have a correct spelling of any diagnosis before you leave.

Internet Research: You have to be careful here about what sites you visit. Some will just scare you to death. Others offer helpful information. It definitely pays off in the end to research these conditions before the specialist visit so that you are informed, and can ask questions while you are there, again, possibly saving a future visit.

So, tomorrow, Aaron is going for his Urology visit, and I have an MRI for my back in the afternoon. Another great day at the hospital;)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Laced With Grace

Laced With Grace is a blog I love to read. Her posts are very inspirational. She does offer the occasional contest or giveaway, but primarily I just enjoy her writing. I'd go so far as to say that she should write her own devotional book. Stop by and take a glance when you have some time, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a post, and I think you will enjoy it as well.

***DISCLAIMER*** I have not been compensated to share this blog with anyone.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ebates

Ebates is another site where you can get online shopping discount codes and earn cash back on purchases when you shop through their site.

Personally, this is not my favorite site for rewards, but I have used it three times because the discount code they offered that was exclusive to them, was more cost effective than shopping through a different site and getting the reward. You are supposed to get a $5 credit for signing up and using this site, but I did not get that credit. For the three purchases I made through them, I have a $2.61 credit in my ebates account. They send checks or paypal quarterly to pay you the money, if you have a $5 credit in your account. Again, its not a huge money maker by any means, but I always want the best deal when I shop, so I consider the discount I got on the front end to be the reward.

I think you do get a $5 bonus for referrals that sign up and make a purchase. I haven't ever referred anyone, so I can't verify if this works. The site also says it has "referral" bonuses, so if you reward 500 people you get the $5 per person reward and a $500 bonus. Sounds great, but I can guarantee I don't know 500 people who want to sign up for this, LOL!

I used them at Christmas to get the kids some stuff from Disney and they had exclusive discount codes for $$ off and free shipping. It offered 3% cash back, and is currently showing 7% cash back. If you shop frequently online, this may be more profitable for you than it has been for me. Regardless, it is a resource to check for discount codes and free shipping before you buy. Just remember you have to click through their site as a member for the codes and discounts to work.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"Deal"icious Mom

I am trying to alternate between brand websites and blogs to get a little variety! Today I am sharing "Deal"icious Mom's website. This is another excellent compilation of deals website. As with most of these blogs and websites, I read it via email subscription, and "like" on facebook.

She posts new giveaways and deals most everyday, along with coupons, internet sales, product testing/reviews, and my favorite store (CVS) deals which many other fans refer to as FreeVS. *Note, many of these sites just post the free or very low cost deals, which are great, but I use their tips combined with other coupons I have on hand or find on the net to customize my buying plan with items that we actually need or will use. It is helpful though if you need to get the free items to "roll" your ECB's.
Publish Post

**Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I am not receiving any compensation, gratuity, or award for sharing information about this site with my friends and family.**

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Kraft

Kraft products are a staple at our house. The website offers recipes, and the meal helper where you enter ingredients on hand and it suggests meal ideas. You can also register to get ideas weekly by email. At the bottom of the page, you can register to get the free food and family magazine. I highly suggest that. Not just for the recipes in it, but it also frequently comes with great coupons. Another feature not found on many sites is the message boards where you can ask questions, post or read comments such as praise or concerns. I take both with a grain of salt unless I know people personally because sometimes weird things are posted. "Liking" them on facebook and/or twitter will also alert you to promotions and coupons quickly.

***In the interest of all the disclosure laws, I want to be clear that this is NOT a sponsored post, nor do I get any referral credits, samples or coupons not available to everyone on the website from Kraft for writing about them. Not that I am not open to that *lol* but this is just informational.***

Friday, July 9, 2010

Freebies 4 Mom

Freebies 4 Mom is another really helpful blog that I follow via email. I linked there to a specific post, because her page can be confusing to navigate for first time visitors. I find the emails much easier to navigate until you get comfortable there. She has separate pages for Freebies (samples), Coupons, Sweepstakes, Reward Codes (for Pampers, Disney, Huggies, etc - especially helpful for you Amanda and Jessica with the babies!), places where you can get freebies/discounts/specials on your or your family members birthdays, giveaways, etc. It is a really nice resource to use with lots of information compiled in a central location. She also offers updates on Twitter and Facebook.

**Update because I forgot the disclaimer: ***In the interest of all the disclosure laws, I want to be clear that this is NOT a sponsored post, the author of the blog mentioned is not even aware that I am sharing information about her site.***

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Saving Dollars and Sense

Changing it up a little, today I am going to share with you a blog I read. Saving Dollars and Sense. As with most blogs, I subscribe via feedburner email subscription. It saves me from having to check it regularly, as it emails daily if there were posts the previous day. I prefer this method because it gives a quick glance at the post topics. You can easily see if it is something you have seen elsewhere, something new and useful to you, or something that isn't applicable to you. You can mark to save it for easy reference later via email, or just delete. Oh, and I almost forgot, she is on FB too, so you can "like" her there, and see updates when she posts.

I like reading Saving Dollars and Sense because it is a smaller blog. She doesn't post 50 times a day, so it isn't overwhelming. She does post the national drugstore deals *which I love*, printable coupon links, menu planning, reviews, giveaways, etc. Follow it for a bit, and see if it fits your need, if not, unsubscribe:)

***Disclaimer Notice: I am not receiving any benefit from posting about this blog. She probably isn't even aware that I did so, LOL!***

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Betty Crocker

***Again, in the interest of all the disclosure laws, I want to be clear that this is NOT a sponsored post, nor do I get any referral credits, samples or coupons not available to everyone on the website from Betty Crocker for writing about them. Not that I am not open to that *lol* but this is just informational.***

Another site that I frequent if items are on my grocery list, is Betty Crocker. There are many different brands available in the Betty Crocker family, and more often than not, I need at least one coupon from their site. As with most of these sites, it is extremely helpful to sign up for their newsletter to be emailed to you. It reminds you to check there for coupons, and gives advance notice of new items, samples, and promotions. The website offers tips, how to's, recipes, and the best thing ever (in my opinion) "Easy Meal Finder". You can enter up to three ingredients you have on hand, and what time of item you are attempting to create, and it will give you a suggestion! Makes cooking from the pantry/freezer a breeze!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

P&G

***In the interest of all the disclosure laws, I want to be clear that this is NOT a sponsored post, nor do I get any referral credits, samples or coupons not available to everyone on the website from P&G for writing about them. Not that I am not open to that *lol* but this is just informational.***

I chose to share the P&G website with you today because I visited it before my amazing CVS shopping trip to print some coupons. I signed up to be a member and get emails from them, and you can visit the site to check for samples, coupons, promotions, etc at your convenience. Most of their specials go fast, so it is helpful click their emails and newsletters fast. They mail amazing coupon books quarterly (I think) if you sign up. They also try to make it fair and say that you are ineligible if you have received a book (or whatever promotional item it is) in the past x number of days. These are products we frequently use and purchase, so I am always thrilled to get samples and coupons from them.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Swagbucks

This is another program that I use daily to make a bit of money.

Here's how it works. You sign up here and enter your information. Typically they do offer free bucks to new members, but I think the amount varies. Regardless, you earn bucks here pretty quickly and easily.

1) I downloaded the toolbar that they offer for most browsers. I use the firefox one. It gives you a search window that I will explain later, a count of your total swagbucks, a "From TSG" dropdown window that occasionally has a free "code" in it, a ways to earn button, etc. I typically get 1-2 bucks per day just for opening and using my browser window. Something that I would be doing anyway, so zero extra effort. A smidge of an effort if I see something in the TSG area and have to click three times to copy/paste a code;)

2) I use them as my Search Engine, and they use google and ask.com. So far, I haven't looked for anything that it hasn't given me the answer to. Fridays are Mega Bucks days and the amounts can be higher that you are awarded. I usually get a reward 2-3 times per day, primarily because I search at various times for any number of reasons. Again, reward for something I am doing anyway.

3) Going to the swagbucks site. I set them as my homepage, so it is one click. I tend to get 1 buck per day for visiting the site, 1 per day for answering a one click daily poll, 1 per day for clicking the Special Offers tab ( I tend to skip all the offers and stop when I have been rewarded my buck), 1 per day for clicking the trusted surveys button.

4) Surveys. You get bucks in various amounts for completing your profile. Then, it offers you surveys at various times of the day to complete. It states the amount of bucks awarded and the approximate amount of time to complete the survey, and your chance of being accepted to complete the survey. However, I have completed several that it estimated 10% eligibility and have been denied others that it estimated at 90%. Either way, I have gotten several hundred bucks this way.

5) Shop and Earn. As with most reward sites, if you go through the home page, they will reward you with bucks either as a flat amount, or bucks per dollar spent for purchases completed. I have used this in the past, and have been credited within 4-6 weeks. The site now offers tracking so you can see evidence that you are being paid for your offers.

6) Trade In. They will give you bucks for old cell phones sent in to be recycled, as well as Video Games, etc. I have a phone and some games to a console that we no longer own, that I intend to send in, but it hasn't been high on my priority list, LOL! Plus, I don't think we'd even break even trying to sell them somewhere else after listing fees, commission, and postage.

7) Swaptree is a bookswap service that I just signed up for. I have used another service for the past couple of years, and I intend to compare the two in a later post.

8) Referrals. You can use links like this one to refer people, the banner in my sidebar, widgets - like in my sidebar, and Facebook connect to refer people. You get matched buck for buck for their first one hundred bucks.

9) Widget. I have the widget in my sidebar, though part of it is cutoff because I am computer illiterate and can't figure out how to fix it. Anyway, you can click on it periodically to see if there is a swagcode floating about anywhere, and get a clue on where it is, or even the code itself. You go to the homepage to enter the code and claim your bucks. These are available for a short time period, usually daily.

10) Twitter. On Thursdays, there are twitter contests to get extra bucks, and sometimes they put codes there.

11) What are codes? They are free bucks. They post them in various places, even as scavenger hunts sometimes, and they are case sensitive. These are wonderful if you happen to be online and checking for them when they are offered.

12) Facebook. This is the best source to learn about codes. "Like" them on Facebook, and you will notice when people start thanking them for codes, and you can go look for it. Also, you can use facebook connect to see when your friends are finding codes, and if people click on yours and sign up, you get a referral.

13) They offer a weekly newsletter with information emailed to you, and it sometimes contains a free code.

14) Blog. They have a blog they update a few times a day about various promotions going on, and it also often has codes listed.

15) Hourly random winner. This is listed on the homepage. If it is you, and you happen to catch it on the homepage, you get 100 bucks.

Now, how do you redeem!!!

There are hundreds of prizes from PayPal and Amazon gift cards to sweepstakes to video games, and so much more. I have found the most profitable prize that I would use to be the Amazon gift cards. I redeem them in $5 increments for 450 bucks currently, but higher dollar amounts are available. I think there is a limit of how many prizes you can redeem per day and per month, but I don't recall what they are. I redeem until it tells me I can't redeem anymore. Also, it isn't instant. If I were to request a card today, I think I would get the e code around the 17th (they do it twice per month), then I just go to Amazon and put the code on my account and it gives me a gift card credit balance until I spend it.

As you can see, this site offers many ways to accumulate points, and honestly, most of them are for very little effort, or for doing your normal internet activites.