Hunger Site

The Hunger Site

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Get Rich Slow

Little habits that make a difference:
  • Order water at restaurants instead of soda and not the extra pancake or whole chicken or supersize for just a dollar more.  (Sorry, Mom and Dad.)
  • Conserve electricity and gas.
  • If you're buying greeting cards, go for Dollar Tree or Trader Joe's!
  • Borrow books and movies from the library.
  • Plan your meals to use your food before it spoils. 

In San Diego, we have Flagship, Taylor, and Luth Research.  They perform market research and pay participants for their time.  Since I signed up, I get emails and calls from them but have never actually returned their calls to see if I might qualify.  I’ve done two different studies for Eye Tracking Research.  One paid $30 and the other $50 for about 20 minutes.  The one that paid less was actually more grueling.  Luth Research runs Survey Savvy, which was the inspiration for the title of today’s post.  It’s funny because a) you don’t get rich and b) they pay you in 2-6 weeks. I much prefer the format of Surveys on the Go and Survey Mini.  Taking surveys on my phone is convenient.  Those two are often location-based and offer rewards even when you do not qualify.  I have earned probably over $30 on SOTG (It resets every time you cash out, and says $2.15 right now).  I'm at 20,900 points on Survey Mini and each survey rewards you at least 100 points. Well, sometimes it's a pesky coupon.  I say pesky because you get to choose between Long John Silvers, Victoria Secret and some other random place you'll never want to spend money.  I have 4241 Shopkicks.  That's worth $10 at HomeGoods, y'all, and almost all the way towards another $10 card, too since they cost 2500 kicks each.  $9 in Ibotta, $132.35 lifetime earnings.  And $35.24 on Inbox Dollars.  Wow, look, I made a box for Inbox Dollars and for Ebates.  I've gotten $90.52 back from Ebates.  So my silly little antics do have a rhyme and a reason, you see.  Also, Ibotta brought back their beloved movie rebates for Star Wars! If you've been looking for a reason to sign up, this is it.

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

I put some money in a CD for the first time ever.  Nobody’s getting rich from those…  But this year I decided not to let the school district handle my money for me and didn’t opt into the “10 month 12 pays” system.  So the CD is step beyond a mental barrier with a sign saying “this money is not for spending.”  It is for the mortgage in the summer. And wowza, I’ll get 43 cents interest out of it or something!

If you’re looking for a real, out of the house hourly job where you can make a difference, Community Interface Services might be what you’re looking for. 

Monday, December 28, 2015


It’s the end of an era. WDW Today is undergoing a transition.  After 10 years, a mostly new cast is taking over.  The big announcement came in Episode 1489, “A Big Announcement.” Clever.  I’ll miss the current mix of Matt, Mike, Mike, and Len, but look forward to what Terry and Will and everyone will have to offer.

I’ve gone through many podcasts through the years.  Sometimes I realize that I’m not listening to a certain podcast very often and remove it from my list.  Other times, a show podfades or (more politely, thank you very much!) announces that they will be ending production. These are the podcasts that I can’t get enough of:

My favorites:
  • A Way With Words- based right here in San Diego! 
  • How to Do Everything
  • Hidden Brain
  • Stuff You Should Know
  • Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me- I missed going to a show when they were taping here in town, but I loved seeing the live broadcast on the big screen through Fathom Events.
  • Ask Me Another
  • Planet Money

Gone but Not Forgotten/OK Maybe I've forgotten some/Took a trip down Memory Lane to some that are probably still running strong
  • MouseGuestWeekly- Eric, Cathy, and Dan had a good thing going for many years.  Eric briefly brought it back as MouseGuest Podcast, but as a busy dad, I’m guessing life got in the way.
  • The LOST Podcast with Jay and Jack- One of my first and favorites.  I was involved in the forums and all the nerdiness.  These guys are originally from East County San Diego and we’re Facebook and Instagram friends. Anyways, (ding!)…
  • Mannerscast: Oh the inside jokes these kindly Texans created and shared with the listeners….   Each episode offered many laughs and heartfelt advice about the mannerly thing to do in any given situation. I’d listen again in a heartbeat.
  • Also used to enjoy the Princeton Review Vocab Minute, The Bryant Park Project and Pottercast and Mugglecast. I may or may not have driven to LA to see a live LeakyMug.  Don’t worry; I went to Disneyland on my way up there.  So it’s not like I only drove to LA for an HP event.
  • Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Take a Break

I took a leave of absence from one of my jobs for the month of November. I went to expensive doctors. And now I'm back and I mean really back. Working back to back shifts; just woke up from my paid slumber. Community Interface is always hiring!

I decorated my condo with all the ornaments I've collected over the years. The majority of them are hanging on my wrought iron mirror. Poppy and Riley believe this is a special collection of "reach up and grab 'em" kitty toys. I actually got them some toys when I bought some of those ornaments and wrapping paper at Target on major clearance at the post Christmas sales. Mama's toys are just so much more tempting. 

App updates:
A friend said he thought I was copying and pasting from a script here. Nope, just me using my own persuasive yet sincere voice to share my personal experiences. I read other blogs, too. What can I say?

Ibotta is running a Festive Five promotion where new users get a $5 bonus when they submit their first rebate and so does the friend who refers them. Win-win. Join my team and start saving on groceries and more. 

Paribus is also offering 5% off your commission if you refer friends. I'm down to no commission, but if you join through this link you'll get 5% off and so will my mom. She's rad. My savings are growing and another claim went in today. My mom is the real winner, though. She had $16 come back from her Christmas shopping!

Find&Save got bogged down by the deluge of Black Friday receipt submissions. My Old Navy receipt from that day was approved and I have been credited $5. The Costco receipt from the same day is still pending. I have since submitted a Dollar Tree and Ross receipt, as well. I give this app two thumbs up! Go ahead and download it, with my code YM8D. Be aware that some of the Cash Dash offers, as the name implies, come and go quickly and are limited to a certain number of participants. 

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Form Letter

I use Find&Save to get cash back when I shop and you should too! Please use my code YM8D when you first open the app.

But seriously folks, I got $5 back already. See Old Navy below, and have $1.70 from Costco pending. Good times!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Dream a Little Dream...

Tuesday I get to see Emmet in concert.  For those of you who haven't experienced the wonder of Emmet Cahill in person, or on DVD.... well, here.  You're welcome! Dream a Little Dream of Me by Niall O'Sullivan & Friends (spoiler alert: Emmet is his friend!!!!!!)  What a pair.

Fangirl, out.

Es todo

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving and Find & Save

We had an untraditional Thanksgiving this year.  My older brother and his wife and their three kids were felled by the flu.  They were to be our hosts and as Jenny put it, they waved the white flag for this holiday.  We got the news on Wednesday evening.  I came up with Plan B to hang out at Mom’s and planned a day of fun.  We hoped Paige and Eric could join, but Paige was helping her Mom cook.  Eric joined us on our walk to the secret garden.  My first time and his.  It’s a garden.  It’s secret.  He met Mr. Glug Glug.  It’s a fish pitcher.  It goes “glug, glug.”  He filled the small pitcher again and again so he could pour it again and we could hear the noise.  We are easily amused.  We were drinking water with our homemade gluten free apple pie- delicious! We broke out a new game and had lots of laughs.  It looked like Eric was going to crush us, but then he had to be towed and got sent back behind me and I reigned victorious.  We laughed about many things, especially when Eric really wanted to roll a 1 or a 3 on the die that only has letters on it.  Mom and I colored, watched The Fault in Our Stars and Into the Woods, looked at old photo albums, and did a puzzle. Traditions! Our lovely evening meal consisted of salmon and sweet potatoes (and green beans for one of us). I still have drinks, cranberry sauce, and olives, guys.

I have a new favorite app and I’ve barely used it.   It’s called Find & Save.  I’m not sure how much of this is Black Friday hoopla, and how great the app will still look when the dust settles, but it does have great reviews in the app store. It’s sort of based on spending to save.  This could get dangerous, folks, so hold on to your hats and glasses.  From what I can see from poking about, there are spending minimums in order to qualify for the cash back.  But who goes to Costco and doesn’t spend $30?  (Okay, I have on several occasions, but that’s the exception, not the rule.)  Come home, snap a pic of your receipt, and see the rewards add up.  These are time limited offers, aptly named, “Cash Dashes.”  So if you have some business at Payless or Michaels or Sephora, for example, it makes sense to strategize and go when you can maximize your savings.  The standard minimum I saw today was $30, except for Sephora, which was $75, and Starbucks, Peets, and Dunkin Donuts were $5 or $6.  Occasionally there are other conditions, like you must buy a drink.

There are sweepstakes for submitting any receipt and I think it automatically deposits to PayPal at $25.  It’s new to me and I haven’t used it much, but I think it looks awesome, so I wanted to share. If I hadn’t just washed my hair and put on my PJs, you would have found me at Old Navy because there’s a spend $5, get $5 deal on here!  Ah, heck, I still might get up and go out.  You know me.  But my blankets and kitties are warm, so probably not…

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Saturday at the Mall, Alicia Style

My new almost sister-law asked me if I was seeing the Hunger Games and I hadn't really thought of it recently.  But this morning, my Surveys on the Go app offered me a $10 survey to see it.  I had to go to an AMC theater, check in, be there for all the previews and watch the whole thing and then take a quick survey.  Simple.  And of course,  I went to a matinee.  Cool! I liked the movie, but it was a bit intense and not a huge feel-good flick, as expected.  And all the surveys above Mockingjay came up because I have location services turned on, was at the mall, and in places they had surveys for. Surveys on the Go pays fairly well and pays a dime even if you don't qualify for a specific survey. I think all companies should follow suit.

I had parked by Target so I could buy cat litter on my way out.  First, though, I set up my motion tracker on Pact, and went for a not-so-leisurely stroll through Mission Valley.  What's Pact?, you're wondering.  Glad you asked.  It's an app that rewards you for exercising and eating fruits and veggies.  So, there among the regular Saturday shoppers, the pre-Black Friday deal-seekers, the kiosk attenders handing out samples, and the circling Save Our Children staff going in for the kill, I walked.  I walked down to Michael's and saw that a new Tender Greens is going to open up in a few weeks.  I walked through Macy's and collected my Shopkicks.  I got kicks at American Eagle and Tilly's and finally, Target.  Lame Target was out of Feline Pine again.  However, I did see a $7 toy with a $3 rebate in Ibotta, so I got it for Toys for Tots.

The Shopkicks can add up fast if you're out for a day at the mall.  Simply turn on Bluetooth and walk in to participating stores.  See all the gift cards I've earned?  Shopkicks only deals in gift cards, unlike many of these apps, which allow you to cash out with Paypal.  You can also earn kicks for purchases at some stores if you link your credit card.  Scan missions can be a new and different game, fun for the whole family to enjoy.  The app will ask you to scan certain items, and you use your phone to do so.  Sometimes finding the right item can be difficult or impossible, and sometimes I find it more anxiety-provoking than worthwhile.  However, I think it's a fun little app and I continue to keep and use it to some degree whenever I'm out.  I have friends who are not active with Shopkick anymore.  I can understand, but also, I have redeemed many a gift card with them and have enough credit for another $10 at Home Goods, so I'll keep with it, myself.

I've added a screenshot of Ibotta, too.  You can see I've passed the $10 threshold for making a withdrawal.

Let me know if you've tried any of my suggestions or if I can clarify anything about my favorite money-saving apps.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Three Apps and a Credit Card

Cartwheel is Target's savings app. At home, you can search in the app for what you want to buy and then buy the type that is on sale.  This is especially advantageous if you’re able to stack it with a coupon.  More savings! Or when you’re at the store and filling your cart, scan your items. Sometimes, when an item isn’t on sale, Cartwheel suggests a comparable item that is, and you may make a change there.  Brand loyalty is not for the frugal. Be sure to use your Target RedCard for 5% off of your entire order, and to bring your own bags for .05 off your total for each.  Note: there are both debit and credit RedCards.

Walmart's Savings Catcher is so simple to use.  All you do is shop like normal, then scan the barcode on your receipt.  If there is a lower advertised price, they make up the difference to you.

I have mixed feelings about Inbox Dollars, which is a website and app with many different components. On the good side is being paid to receive and click on several emails a day.  We are inundated with advertising already... might as well opt-in and make some change while we're at it!  You can always make a new email account for your marketing/sign up purposes.  Just be sure to check it to catch the good stuff.

One unique feature that Inbox Dollars offers is that they pay you an extra ten cents every time you use a coupon printed from their site!  They also have some really good coupons.  My favorites are $2 off Schar's Artisan Gluten Free bread and $3 off Feline Pine.  Once you use the coupon at the store and that information filters its way back to the site, your account is credited.

I believe they hire people with disabilities to mail out their checks, so that's a huge plus in their favor.

I'm a Gold Member, so I think some of my rewards are doubled.  I didn't mention coinage so folks wouldn't be disappointed by a lower starting rate.

I see right now they are offering a $5 sign up bonus, and if you sign up through my link, I get an extra dime every second Tuesday or something. ;)

Now for the downside: many of their surveys are very low-paying and they partnered with CrowdFlower/AKA Dolores Labs from Mechanical Turk and crowdsourcing for menial, way underpaid tasks.  I won't touch them.

Psssst: Chase Freedom emailed me that they're offering 10% cash back on Amazon purchases this holiday season!  What?!?  That's what I get for shopping early... Oh well, I'm sure I'll be getting a few more things here and there.  I always use my Amazon Prime credit card on Amazon for the 5% back, but now by paying attention and clicking the right box at checkout, I can double that.  Paying attention and planning ahead really make the dollars and cents add up.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Spending Money, Saving Money

The point is not to get rich. Nor is to go out to spend tons of money to watch the "savings" add up. The point is to save a little when you are going to be spending money anyway.  Every little bit counts.  And I think I've saved you a little work by finding things that have worked for me.  As all the hip bloggers do, I am disclosing that these are affiliate links.

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Click through Ebates before you shop and get money back, in addition to your credit card cash back. Why wouldn't you sign up? The cash back percentage amounts vary among the stores and for some stores over time.  Even if it says Amazon is participating, it's for one small department like Men's Shoes. (But, hey, if you're in the market for men's shoes...)  but I've gotten money back for music, hotels, appliances, magazines, random eBay purchases, and of course, friends signing up.  Still waiting to hear if I've won a trip to Hawaii.

Money saved: $87.46 (6 months maybe?)

Ibotta is a nifty app that helps you save money on groceries.  There are rebates for specific items like Method hand soap, for example.  But there are also "Any Brand," rebates for any chips or any milk or any sports drink you buy.  Just read the exclusions and unlock the rebate by completing a short task.  If you're not sure if an item qualifies, you can scan the barcode right there in the store to check.  When you get home, you'll be scanning your items and snapping a pic of your receipt to get your cash back.  Some stores (Rite Aid) are automatically linked with their loyalty card, and others (Walmart) all you have to do is scan the QR code on the receipt. Ibotta also offers bonuses related to the holidays and other incentives to encourage more spending.  So just be smart.  Don't spend money just to "save."  The last thing to know about Ibotta is that you are on a team and if we all complete that month's goal, we'll earn a small reward.

Money saved: $112.65 (about a year)

Paribus:  New to the scene, but what a great concept!  Some of my friends and family think that saving money takes a lot of time and effort.  This one does it all for you once you sign up!  It sees any online purchases you've made based on the receipts in your email, and if the price drops within the time a retailer will allow a price match (for example, a week), Paribus submits a claim for you, and gets the difference back for you.  They do take a small commission for their service, which you can lower by inviting people.  Mine is already down to no commission at all.  Some of the participating stores are Amazon, Macy's, NewEgg, Zappos, and BestBuy.

Money saved: $1.52 (one month...I only shop at Amazon)

Next up- Target Red Card, Cartwheel, Walmart Savings Catcher, and Inbox Dollars!