Hunger Site

The Hunger Site

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!