March 31, 2010

I have been doing surveys for years. I think I started when I was still in high school. It's something I can do a few minutes here and a few minutes there, and on my own time, and I actually make enough to cover most gifts for holidays and even put a little something into savings.

I get asked all the time what survey companies I use, so I thought I'd compile a list of the companies that I work with:

Global Test Market
Focus Forward Online
Click IQ
MindField Online
Opinion Square
Opinion Outpost
Valued Opinions
American Consumer Opinion Panel
Clear Voice Surveys
Brand Institute

I also recommend YouData, where you get paid to view ads.  They PayPal you payment every week! 

Are there any that you have had good results with?  I'd love to hear about them!

March 30, 2010

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Alvin and the Chipmunks. All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you remember watching Alvin and the Chipmunks, the cartoon, when you were younger?  I do.  I used to watch it ALL.THE.TIME.  I loved it.  I especially loved The Chipettes, Jeanette was my favorite, but I loved all of them.  I still watch the cartoon movies when they come on every once in awhile.  I'll be honest, I was excited when I heard they were making the first Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, but I wasn't expecting much.  I really enjoyed it though, it was funny, and my daughter fell in love with those little furballs, which led to me being able to introduce her to the cartoon version (yay, for YouTube!) and the classic music.  She will be excited to see Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, we have a family movie night every weekend and this weekend, that's what we'll be watching, it's out on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Download, now! The Double DVD Pack has "The Squeak Along" bonus disc, which includes music and more fun stuff. Two dics for the price of one, too! I'm all about a bargain. I really can't wait to see this and see how they managed to pull of The Chipettes. 

Head on over here to: buy it now!

Just for fun, did you know you can go and 'munk' yourself?  How FUN!   My girls thought it was hilarious, here's the one we made for me:

After that, you can head on over to Fox Family Flicks for even More Munk Mayhem

Visit my sponsor: Alvin and the Chipmunks:
I have pictures to post from last week, I promise!! :o) I'm just waiting on my camera battery to charge.

I missed out on shopping over the weekend too, in favor of a date night with hubby and then rearranging our family room... so pictures from this weeks shopping won't be up until at least Saturday. I'll be taking pictures of the girls' Easter baskets too as I put them together and breaking down the costs. Fun, fun!

I signed up for Social Spark!

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I recently discovered and signed up for SocialSpark, as I'm sure you've noticed I've done a few reviews and I'm really interested in doing more and perhaps, eventually, some giveaways. Wouldn't that be fun?! :o) I will receive compensation for each review I do on behalf of SocialSpark, and as a stay at home mom, always looking for creative ways to save, that sounds great to me.
Signing up was easy, I registered, added my blog, and created a "profile" within five minutes. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what opportunities this might bring. So far in my first few minutes on their site, I see a listing of activities I might choose to participate in, and whether or not I qualify for them. I also noticed that you can view the profiles of other bloggers, which I think it kind of neat. It is a lot to take in at once for someone who is new on the scene of compensated blogging, and I think I will need to spend more time familiarizing myself with the site and all of it's features, but this is something that I am interested in pursuing so it really should be quite fun!

Sign up for SocialSpark yourself, if you're interested!  Let me know how you like it!

Visit my sponsor: I Signed Up for SocialSpark!

March 29, 2010

Has anyone else seen the Franklin Goose promotion?  If you do reviews for products that you've used, you get a $5 credit for each one, with no limit!!  Pretty awesome.  As a mom of two, who has breastfed and cloth diapered, I've used a lot of the products they carry.  I ended up with $100 in credits!

I was able to get $92.88 worth of products, all for free!  Plus free shipping!  Cool deal. 

March 16, 2010

Do you garden with your children?  Know someone who does?  Enter over at I Am A Money Magnet to win a pair of MUD PUDDLES for Kids gardening gloves!

March 13, 2010

The Flowering Cross, by Beth Ryan

I recently teamed up with Book Sneeze to review the occasional book.  Today, we received The Flowering Cross, by Beth Ryan.  It's a sweet story geared to young children about a little girl named Katie, and her neighbor "Mean Old Jack."  His gruff exterior has many other neighbors make assumptions to his character and avoid him.  Not Katie and her family, they get to know him and begin to care for him, as good neighbors do.  Katie begins to call him "Papa Jack," and visits him often.  He is a wonderful gardener and Easter morning Katie goes over to pick some flowers for the church service.  Papa Jack surprises her and says he will be going with her family to their church service.  It is a great experience for them and leads to him beginning to understand their faith.

I found this book to be very sweet.  It is beautifully written and illustrated.  It is well made and would make a wonderful addition to a child's book shelf.  I read this book to my daughters who are two and three years old, and it held their attention and they enjoyed the characters and the pictures, even if some of the story was too advanced for them.  I really enjoyed that this book has "Faith Imprints," that suggest things to talk about with your child as you are reading (along with a small passages from The Bible).  I emphasised to my own children the points of being kind to your neighbors, and getting to know people because they might not be what they seem and maybe all they need is a little kindness to help them feel better (keep in mind the ages of my girls).    I think over all this is a book that they will ask me to read to them again, and I will happily do so.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

March 10, 2010

So, this, is my coupon binder.  It's a little worse for wear, I lug it around all the time.  It's been dropped, lost, possibly run over (that was quite an incident!  I thought my poor binder was lost and gone forever!).  I paid about $2 for this binder at a going out of business sale at an office supply store.  I got the baseball card holders at Target, and I think they were $6/pack.  I need to get a new binder and some new divider pages, I'm thinking plastic ones this time, the paper ones are looking rough. 

I keep some store cards, a calculator, scissors, a small notepad, pens (or a marker if that's all I can find at the moment, as showcased above, haha), and sometimes a few random coupons in those front pockets.

In that side pocket there, I keep envelopes for each store I frequent.  I do shop at others, but most commonly I'm working up deals for CVS, Walgreens, Weis Marekts, Target, and Walmart.  There is an envelope for each of those in there, usually filled with a list and coupons for that weeks deals (and the stores RRs or ECBs, etc). 

Usually I have my deals worked up, and I only take my envelopes into the drug stores, and leave the binder in the car.  I usually only take my binder into the grocery store, Target, and Walmart. I have my envelopes filled and ready for those too, but it's nice to have my whole binder for clearance deals I might otherwise miss.  The drug stores are small enough that if I see something that's a great clearance deal and I know I have a coupon for, I just finish my shopping and then check my binder when I get back in the car and run back in.

I have dividers for each "type" of item, and then I have sticky tabs labeled with sub-sections.  IE, the first section is "Drug Items," and in that section there are sub-sections labeled for Makeup, Mouth Care, Femenine Products, Hair Care, Shaving Needs, Medicines, Vitamins, First Aid, etc, etc.  That is my most extensive section, the rest are more simple.  My "Cleaning Products" section has Laundry, Dish Soap, General Cleaning (also where I keep candle type coupons), and Paper Products. I can type up what each section is and has in it, if anyone wants.  I don't even really look at the labels much anymore, I just know right about where to flip to find what I want.

Just a few random pages...

 ...and in the back pocket, I keep rebate forms, receipts I might need for rebates, a few store cards that I use infrequently, store coupon booklets, coupons for restaurants, and occasionally I just throw inserts in there if I haven't had a chance to clip/file them yet.

March 8, 2010

I paid .89 (including tax) for all that!  I used coupons and $18 in ECBs to pay, and then I got back $18 in ECBs so I broke even and only spent .89...  I don't know about you but I'd pay .89 for just one of those items, let alone all 10.  :o)

March 6, 2010

I spent $1.99 out of my own pocket on this trip, and I will get back $9.99 for a rebate, and I got a $5 RR.

I used $5 in RR and a $10 gift card I got (free) from My Points, in addition to my coupons on this purchase.


March 2, 2010

I had $9 in ECBs that were about to expire.  There really wasn't anything good to roll them over in to and come out "even."  Still, I didn't want to let them expire, so I had hubby stop by CVS after he got off work and pick up two bottles of Gain.  They were on sale for $5.99/each.  Used a $1 coupon on each, my $9 ECB, paid $1.04, and got back a $4 ECB.  Definitely not great, but I guess $1 out of pocket isn't bad for two bottles of Gain, even if I didn't come out even with my ECBs.  :o) 

March 1, 2010

$2.73 for all that!  Just $1.89 before taxes.

  • 5 Ritz - .99 each.  Used 2 $2/2 coupons (wasn't sure if they'd beep, so I bought 5 instead of just 4 and paid .95 for all 5.
  • 2 Crest 3D White Rinse - $3/each.  Used $2 coupons, just $1 each. 
  • 1 Crest 3D White toothpaste - $3.  Used a $1 coupon.  $2.
  • 2 Reach toothbrushes - .99, used $1 coupons. Free plus .01 overage each.
  • 1 J&J Reach floss - .99, used a $1 coupon.  Free plus .01 overage.
  • 2 Nivea Lip Balm/Gloss - .99 each after store coupon, used a B1G1 coupon to get one free.  .99/2
  • 2 Purex - $5.99 each, B1G1.  Used a B1G1 coupon to get both FREE! :o)
  • 2 Motrin PM - $2.99/each.  Used a $3/2 mfr coupon and a store coupon that took $1 off...FREE.
I used a $4 RR to bring the out of pocket down further. 
Recieved a $3 RR for purchasing the Crest products.

  • 1 Softsoap - $4.49.  Used a $1 coupon, $3.49

  • 1 PowerBar Energy Gel Blasts - $1.50

  • 1 Hello Kitty Valentines - .29 (90% clearance...I just wanted the lollipops, LOL)
I used a $5 ECB and paid .30 total.  Got back in ECBs: $1.50 for the PowerBar stuff and $4 for the Softsoap. 

  • 1 Car Speaker set thingy (husbands) - $22.34 (he got clearance!  so proud!  haha)

  • 1 Oxy - .70, used a $1 coupon.  Got .30 overage.

  • 8 Gillette body wash - $1.99 each.  Used various $2/1 or $4/2 coupons.  Got .01 overage on each.

  • 3 Gillette Clinical deodorant - $1.99/each.  Used $3 coupons, got $1.01 overage on each.

  • 3 Satin Care shave gel (travel size) - .99/each.  Used $1 coupons, got .01 overage on each.

  • 2 small sized Old Spice body washes - .82/each.  Used a $3/2 coupon.  $1.36 overage!

  • (pictured below) 1 Purina cat litter - $1.77.  Used $1 coupon, .77

  • (pictured below...well, one is) 2 Lay's Stax - $1/each.  Used $1/2 coupon. .50 each

  • 2 Flower hooks (found in Dollar Spot) - $2.50 each.  (and they were totally in a spot that said $1!!  I didn't see until I got home they were $2.50, lol).
My total was $25.71...I used a $5 gift card from buying the Special K bars yesterday, and a $4.11 that was left on another gift card, bringing my total down to $16.60...less than the cost of the speakers.  Nice! :o)
So basically for $19.63, I managed to purchase over $100 in products!  (when I statused on FB I didn't include the speakers in my total)  :o)