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Archive for July, 2014

The Gift Cards Arrived!

July 31st, 2014 at 05:25 pm

Wow! That was super fast. The Southwest Rapids Rewards points I redeemed for gift cards on Monday arrived in the mail today.



I ended up redeeming 30K points for $300 worth of gift cards. I ordered $150 for Walmart, and $50 each for Lowe's, Kohl's and Amazon. It is a little ironic that I just spent $35 at Walmart yesterday! Could have used one of the gift cards if I had waited or they arrived earlier.

I still have $20K points I can redeem, but I'm still deciding whether to save for an airline ticket or cash in for another $200 in gift cards.

I am counting the gift cards as snowflakes. As I use the gift cards on items I would have spent cash on, I will send the cash to the mortgage.

Which gift card would you use first if these were yours? And what would you buy?

Applied and Approved

July 30th, 2014 at 09:26 pm

I applied for the Citi Thank You Preferred Visa today and was approved. After we spend $1500 we will get points that can be redeemed for gift cards or as I did in the past (and I hope is still available) a check made out to our mortgage company. Smile

I registered the girls for school today. Paid $130, plus bought a geometer ($4). I skipped buying the family activity pass, as I think we likely didn't get our money's worth last year. We will just pay as we go this year.

I also did a little spending at Walmart this morning. The main reason was to buy painter's tape (because I'm painting my laundry room tomorrow). But I also got two packages of underwear for the girls marked at less than $7 for 8 pairs, a pair of workout carpi's for me, and a package of sheet protectors that was on one daughter's school supply list. I think I spent about $35 there, but all on needs!

Do your public schools charge a registration fee? Do you know what a geometer is? Does school starting remind you to buy undergarments?

Seven Items for Sale

July 30th, 2014 at 03:00 am

Finally some progress on my SA Selling Challenge! I put six items up for sale on eBay tonight. I also listed a book on half.com.

I have quite a few more things to list, but I'm so glad I finally got the few up that I did. The rest will come later. Now I hope they sell. I did list many of them with the Buy It Now option, but one is an auction ending on Sunday.

Wish me luck!

Redeemed Gift Cards

July 29th, 2014 at 03:19 pm

I did end up redeeming $300 worth of gift cards with my Southwest Rapids Rewards. I can't remember the breakdown, but I got gift cards for Amazon, Walmart, Lowe's and Kohl's. I have another 20K+ points I can redeem for an airline ticket or gift cards, but I'm waiting to decide if I do want to use them for an airline ticket or not.

I also requested cancellation of my Southwest Visa from Chase. I had a negative balance on the card of just over $119, which was from a trip my husband took and had the charges reversed. (There's a blog post about it if you are really interested in those details.) Of course, I requested the funds be return to me, in addition to the annual fee.

I expect I will get a check and the gift cards in about a week or so. The check will get cash and then use the funds towards payment on another card. As I use the gift cards I will match the money that would have been spent with a payment to the mortgage.

I don't have any card rewards we are currently working on, so I expect I will apply for the Citi Thank You Preferred card I mentioned a little while back. My mailed offer is for 20,000 points after charging $1500 . The points are redeemable for gift cards and in the past I was able to redeem for a check made payable to our mortgage company, which is what I would prefer to do again today.

Today, I'm taking the girls shopping for school supplies. The needs for high school are not nearly as extensive as elementary in my opinion. Folders, paper, pens and pencils usually covers it. I will try to find a deal on tissues as those are a constant need it seems.

Are you school shopping for supplies or clothes yet? Have you applied for a new rewards credit card? Or redeemed any credit card rewards?

Last Day for Ooma Discount

July 29th, 2014 at 01:46 am

If anyone here was considering changing to Ooma, today is the last day to receive the unit for $99 after a $30 activation rebate.

I have already referred one person this time around! For me that means a $20 credit to my credit card in about six weeks. The Ooma can actually make you money when you refer people to the service.

If interested, use my referral code here to learn more.

Southwest Rewards Update & More Snowflakes

July 29th, 2014 at 01:07 am

Southwest has awarded my bonus points to my rewards account. I now have 52,683 points. I think my husband's account has about 600+ points that I may transfer over to round up to 53,000. That would mean I could redeem $525 worth of gift cards.

I may however not redeem all of my points. I have a friend that recently moved to the Houston area. I might want to go visit, but I'm not sure yet if that is really realistic schedule wise since we both have high school kids with busy schedules. The airfare is a better deal for the points than redeeming for gift cards. I'm still pondering, but I expect to redeem a little more than half the points for gift cards.

We received two surprise snowflake checks in the mail today. I love these types of snowflakes the most! My husband and I each got a check for $25.60 from a Trans Union class action settlement. We first requested to be part of the class action in September 2008!! That is not a typo. 2008. Crazy. But hey, I take my cash where I can get it. I've deposited the checks and I'm going to send the money to our mortgage pay down goal, which is where all snowflakes go to rest. Smile

Do you use Southwest rewards for airline tickets rather than gift cards? Did you receive a class action check lately?

Wells Fargo Amex Reward Received

July 26th, 2014 at 12:27 am

I love mail days with checks!!

We received three separate checks from Wells Fargo Rewards today adding up to $450. I deposited them online using my phone. Easy!!

That was quick. I think I requested those this past Sunday. I will make a extra principal payment to our Wells Fargo mortgage for the same $450. Smile

In other news, we are splurging on Garth Brooks tickets. We had a misunderstanding this morning so I wasn't online buying them when they went on sale. As a result we are buying from Stub Hub, and at a price OVER the face value. But the seats are pretty good and if the tickets were that price direct I would likely have paid it. I've always wanted to go and missed my chance the first time around. My husband and I are going with his coworker and his wife. Should be fun!!

Have you received a credit card reward recently? The Wells Fargo reward? Are you a Garth Brooks fan? Are you going to a concert this summer?

Posting Photos

July 24th, 2014 at 05:21 pm

I think there are a couple people who are having trouble posting photos. I tested it and was able to post photos, as you should be able to see in this post.

The basic idea is to write your post and select Save and Add Images. I do suggest copying the text your wrote before hitting publish in case you have timed out first.



After you select Save and Add Images, you will see a Choose File button appear. Once you select this button, you will be taken to the files on your computer to select the image you have already saved there to be opened into the entry.



After you select Open for the file you chose, you will see the name of the file you chose, next to the Choose File button. At this point you can Save and Publish or Save Draft. If usually hit draft if I'm going to have more than one image to insert. Either one works.




With either one you choose you will now see a preview of the image you want to select. Next to the image is a box with a number in it surrounded by

Once you have added all the images within your text, you can publish the entry.



You are actually publishing each time you add an image. I think this is a change from the past. I did notice today when adding all these images, that I needed to delete the preview after I had two images listed, otherwise it wouldn't let me add another image. NOT user friendly. When you look at the entry from the reader's point of view you will now see the images appear.

I hope this is helpful to some of you out there. If you are seeing different things than I'm showing you will want to contact Jeffrey or Nate for assistance!

Photos: Test

July 24th, 2014 at 04:50 pm

This is a test post for photos.

Getting Closer...and Potential Snowflakes

July 23rd, 2014 at 04:17 pm

I'm just slightly over $600 away from meeting my Roth IRA balance of $100K! Maybe today?! It helps that the market was up yesterday and my regular contribution posted.

I'm looking into a couple new snowflakes. I may apply for the Citi Thank You Preferred to get a $200 gift card bonus after spending $1500. I think it is available online, but I have a mailed offer, too. I have had this card in the past and obtained a bonus on it. I will need to read the fine print to double check that I would be eligible.

The other possibility is to open a US Bank Checking account to get $150. A direct deposit is one way to obtain the bonus; the other is to make three bill pay transactions. It's for first time customers and some of the checking accounts are free if you have a US Bank credit card, which I do. I also have to leave the account open for 180 days. That seems like forever, but it wouldn't be too hard to make it work.

At some point, I will likely apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card again. I know it has been over a year since I applied. My husband has done the offer twice since then, so it is my turn again. This one is actually the most lucrative offering 40,000 bonus points for spending $3000 in 3 months, plus an additional 5000 points for adding an authorized user. And that equates to $450 in cash. I will likely wait until later in the year for this one, with my fingers crossed the bonus goes up a little bit! Smile

There may be other great offers out there, and plenty of websites that share them if you want to go looking. These are the few that have caught my eye that I'm considering doing before the year is out. At this point I have stopped signing my husband up for offers since he has the job and is most likely the one to sign for any new mortgages that could be about a year away...or more. Right now we don't know.

What credit card or bank offers are you doing to get more cash in your wallet? Is your retirement account reaching a milestone of any kind?

Multiple Updates

July 22nd, 2014 at 01:47 pm

I seemed to have several updates today, so I'll just throw them all into one post.

Swagbucks posted my most recent $5 Amazon gift card. The points were actually accumulated through Bing Rewards. We just used $4.99 in Amazon gift cards this weekend. So with the new gift card that posted we are back to $10.01 in Amazon credit. That gift card money used does count as a snowflake!!

Yesterday, I requested a refund on my husband's government card, since we had a negative balance of $35.47. He overpaid the card over a month ago. I thought he would get it corrected but he forgot and paid the same amount he charged thus we still had money owed to us. It looks like it will go to our bank account, rather than a check.

I have made over $95 in various charges to our Southwest Rapids Rewards card in the last several days. I thought we had met the requirement for spending, but when my husband had a hotel charge reversed we were short by about $95. The statement closes around the 26th of the month, so we are now set to met the requirement and I expect be rewarded our 50,000 bonus points (equal to $500 in gift cards). I plan to close the card after I redeem the points. At the time of closing we will have a negative balance of over $100 because of the reversed hotel charge. I expect Southwest will mail the money along with a return of the $99 annual fee.

I did end up redeeming our Wells Fargo American Express Propel World card points in the form of checks. I expect those will arrive quickly! I will then deposit them to our account and make an extra mortgage payment. This is likely far quicker than the 4-6 weeks predicted to credit the points to our Wells Fargo mortgage directly.

I can feel that summer is winding down, and school preparations are ramping up. Registration materials have arrived along with bus schedule and school supply lists. We will owe $130 in registration fees next week. I hope to get a clear list of the items we need to buy for supplies in the next day or two. There are already great sales out there! We do check our stash and reuse items when we can. I know backpacks, lunch bags, padlocks, pencils, pens and even paper are covered. I plan to buy hand sanitizer and tissues to give to my sister who teaches kindergarten.

I have not listed anything new for sale on Craigslist or eBay yet. I did have a couple things on Craigslist earlier this month but was getting a lot of spam replies, so I pulled things down. I have things for eBay but honestly have not been motivated. I also don't like to list things and have them end when I'm out of town, which is a possibility soon. It will all happen eventually!

Are you already getting ready for kids to return to school? Have you redeemed any Swagbucks or listed on eBay? Have you earned any credit card rewards?

Home Improvement Spending

July 21st, 2014 at 12:42 pm

We completed our landscaping project this weekend. We felt like it was a pretty fast improvement. It involved removing grass (primarily dead) from four areas around the sides of our home, adding landscaping edging, landscape fabric and then rock. This cost us about $250, but it is a good improvement for the home.

We expect to add some shrubs and other shade plants, but will look for them on clearance closer to fall. I will be moving some coral bells that are in the sun to the backyard shade. I have a couple other items from the front bed that may get moved to the back as well. We are having very warm humid weather now and transplanting plants this time of year isn't the best. So that part of the project will wait.

The other home improvement spending was to special order two 33 inch wall cabinets for our laundry room. The cabinets will match our kitchen cabinets that are in the room right next to the laundry. The stain will match, too! These will be installed by us when they arrive above the washer and dryer. Our laundry room only has one base cabinet under the sink for storage. We decided cabinets were better than a basic wire shelf for this price point of home. They will provide nearby storage for kitchen items, too. We spent $392 with tax for these. We paid half now and the rest will be charged before they are delivered. I have about three weeks to get my laundry room painted!

We are back to running our air conditioner after at least a week without. It was nice to have a week of cool weather in July. It will be interesting to see what our bill is next month!

What kind of storage do you have in your laundry room? Did you do any work in your yard this weekend? Were you able to have keep your air conditioner off at all this month?

Wells Fargo Amex World Propel Card

July 20th, 2014 at 08:38 pm

It seems our 40,000 bonus points have been applied to our Wells Fargo American Express Rewards card. These points are worth $400 cash. I was beginning to make a redemption, but noticed that a check would arrive in 7-10 DAYS, but a credit to our Wells Fargo mortgage account could take 4-6 WEEKS!! Wow. That is quite a discrepancy in time.

Has anyone redeemed their rewards for a credit to their Wells Fargo mortgage or credit card statement? Did it really take more than 4 weeks?

I may end up redeeming for checks, to get the money into our Wells Fargo mortgage account quicker. I was looking forward to a direct credit, but I don't want to wait 4 weeks or more!!

A Slow Purchase

July 18th, 2014 at 01:08 pm

I made an online purchase with a company I have purchased from in the past, although it has been a couple years. I submitted the order on July 9.

I remembered to use Ebates and found a 20% off coupon which help off set the shipping they added of $6.99. My total was to be $22.50.

As of Tuesday, July 15 the order was still showing as processing! I was shocked, since it had been nearly a week since I ordered. I sent an email to the company, asking when the items would be mailed and stating my disappointment in the slow service.

The next morning, they had apologized without explaining and credited me the shipping cost of $6.99. Now I only owe $15.51. As of this morning I can see the items have been shipped, with expected delivery of Tuesday July 22.

I'm glad I inquired and that they have compensated me for the slow service. I don't expect I will purchase from them again, however. They are plenty of other sources for the items I bought.

Do you agree that waiting nearly a week to fill and ship an order is slow?

Ooma Discounts Are Available

July 17th, 2014 at 07:39 pm

If you have considered using the Ooma as your home phone line, they are offering the unit at $99.99 with free shipping after a $30 activation rebate. To get the offer, and learn more about Ooma home phone lines, click my referral link here.

If you have questions, feel free to ask, I will do my best based on my experience using Ooma.

I do receive $20 for each referral that purchases an Ooma unit.

Southwest CC Complications...Sort of

July 17th, 2014 at 01:35 pm

We had met our spending requirement for the Southwest credit card a few weeks ago. I had just paid the entire thing off, too. I was waiting for statement to close, points to be awarded (and then redeemed), and then close the account.

My husband had charged two nights at a hotel to the Southwest card. All good until a coworker realized he was charged for extra rooms. A phone call to the hotel to confirm the entire groups charges. My husband could not confirm the charge for his room was on the right card because he no longer had it in his wallet. So they reversed the charge on the Southwest card and he had it charged to our Wells Fargo Amex.

He was trying to do the right thing, but it really was all okay. He didn't need to do anything. After the charge is reversed we are short by $95 of meeting the requirement. I charged $5 yesterday at Walmart, and signed my daughter up for the ACT exam in September for a charge of $38, so I need to spend another $52 before the statement closes in about a week. It should be no problem as I know I need gas for my van and we need to purchase rock for our landscaping.

I was thinking I could charge these, make the payment for the new charges and request a refund of the hotel charge in full which is over $200. But I realized the card likely won't let me make a payment if I already have a negative balance. I just need to make the charges needed (with our regular spending) and then request the $100 plus that will remain as a credit balance. I may not be able to do this until the card is closed.

The hotel charge that is now on the other card will get paid with the credit balance received and our regular spending cash that I would have spent on the things we buy anyway, but charged to the card. Make sense?

A complication to the whole process, but it all works out in the end! I think my husband panics about charges sometimes. If he could have texted me while on the call with customer service I would have been able to verify that the card the hotel charged was correct. But he didn't do that. I'm not just mad, but I do need to keep track of where we are and get it all corrected.

Fun times with the credit card rewards!!

Frustrating Friend

July 16th, 2014 at 02:14 pm

Ugh. My friend again. I'm not really frustrated. I have learned that this friend just doesn't get it. So I listen and try to offer some advice. Which she never takes!

Since I have a blog, I like to pass on the line of thinking others have. Maybe someone will learn something.

Friend and her husband own a Honda Accord (car) and a Honda Ridgeline truck. The latter purchased in the last year or year and a half. Just yesterday they traveled 14 hours to their new home in the Ridgeline. She texted me how uncomfortable it was.

She wants to get rid of the Ridgeline because it cost gas more gas to drive than her Accord, her husband will be commuting 40 minutes to and from work, it is going to need new timing belt, serpentine belt, and brakes. She thinks it makes better sense to get a lease with an option to buy, so they don't need to worry about mileage.

I mentioned the Honda van, Odyssey, might be more comfortable for long trips and get a little better gas mileage. Since that would be the car her husband would drive, she said no because 'he needs something more manly'!

Do you see all the problems with her reasoning? She is getting rid of a vehicle because it is uncomfortable for long road trips, but yet owns a car that is likely more comfortable. The truck is due for routine maintenance based on mileage. ALL cars need maintenance. She suddenly needs a better gas mileage car because of the commute. The gas mileage was known when they purchased the vehicle. And they have a car, they could use for the commute instead.

Oh, and they are currently upside down on the truck loan. Once she told me that, I said if it were me I would keep the truck and drive the car for a trip back to their home state or rent a vehicle.

This is a trend of theirs...buying cars that don't have good track records, getting slammed by maintenance, deciding leases are better, getting Honda lease and then decided to buy the Ridgeline. Now basic maintenance and gas costs are moving them to buy another vehicle even though they are upside down.

Ack. Frustrated again, writing it out! I wish she would learn to set some money aside for maintenance and repairs at least.

Free Labor

July 16th, 2014 at 12:26 am

We have some areas of our yard where the grass doesn't grow well, or is completely dead. This is mainly along the house and on the north sides. We have wanted to get this spruced up for ourselves as well as future buyers.

My husband wanted to hire it out. I was willing to hear the estimate. The one guy he called never called back. Haven't seen them in the neighborhood lately either.

I decided that since it was primarily dead, that the areas were soft because of so much rain, AND the weather was cooler that I would dig these areas up today. I got them all done in less than 4 hours! Maybe it was less. The old grass is in yard waste bags to be picked up next week.

We will get plastic edging to match what already exists, weed block, and rock for the areas I dug up. This equates to 80+ feet of edging and over 150 sq ft of rock. The rock will be the most expensive part. My labor is free compared to hiring someone.

We are going to look at rock prices tonight and hope get the project started or complete this weekend. It seems my husband is all up for it now that I did one of the hardest parts. Smile

Do you hire yard work out? Do you do your own? Do you even have a yard?

Payments and Savings

July 14th, 2014 at 03:09 pm

My husband's paycheck is pending in our account, so I started paying bills. All of them are online! Smile

I paid off the Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa card in full. I pulled money from savings for this one since it was the card I put my daughter's new computer on. The statement ends on the 23rd, so I should see my Rapid Rewards points soon after. Then it will be time to redeem more gift cards!!

I saved $57 in my Capital One 360 Savings account for the 52 Week Savings Challenge. That means I have now covered Weeks 1-19, and Weeks 38-52. This money is going to that band trip in the spring. I will easily have it funded by November!!

I paid our Target Red card that we put all of our groceries on, in addition to the Chase Freedom card that we put other expenses on when we aren't working on a particular bonus card. Chase Freedom is offering 5% cash back on gas stations this quarter. Our reward for this statement was over $15. We cannot redeem the rewards until they are over $20, so we have to wait awhile longer.

I also recorded the automatic savings for our Roth contributions of $458.33 each and $167 to each of our daughter's college fund. It is so easy to keep investing when the money is transferred automatically. I don't have to think about it much, except to record the transaction in our check register.

I paid an additional $275 to our mortgage, which is planned on the 15 each month. I added $40.64 in snowflakes for a total principal reduction of $315.64. Less debt! Yes.

The other good news is that I was able to set aside $231.78 in savings for this pay period. It may get pulled back out for some upcoming expenses, but it is there for later and that feels good.

The weather is cool, and way less humid this week, so I'm going to try to keep the windows open and the air conditioning off as much as possible, so save a few extra dollars. It does make one of my cats quite frisky smelling all that fresh air! Smile

Did you pay extra on your mortgage this month? Are you using a rewards card to get cash back on gas this month? Are you still participating in the 52 Week Savings Challenge?

Sometimes I Just Want to Pay Bill

July 11th, 2014 at 03:47 pm

I paid our Verizon bill with my US Bank card so we can get 5% cash back. On this card you get to choose categories, and this quarter cell phone bills was one option for 5% back.

I'm now waiting for the statement to close, so the rewards will post. I will then have the rewards post as a credit, and pay the balance. The reward money will go to the mortgage!

I thought the statement would post yesterday, but it didn't happen. Sometimes you just want to pay a bill. Of course, I can pay the bill, but then the rewards would need to wait. I'll just wait a little longer for my rewards. Smile

Do ever feel annoyed about getting a bill paid? Or is it just me?

Random Thoughts

July 10th, 2014 at 01:08 pm

I have a Pinecone survey waiting to be completed. That means I will have $3 to apply to my snowflake goal.

I redeemed Bing and Swagbucks points for Amazon gift cards awhile back. They have posted to my Swagbucks account and I have added them to Amazon. Ten dollars waiting to be spent!

I got my bathroom painting done yesterday. I do have some touch ups to do. The next project I will be working on is to make decorator pillow covers for my sister. Smile

The girls and I need to do some shopping. They have a couple of semi dressy events coming up. I think we will look for dresses and hope for some clearance!! I'm also planning to treat them to lunch out since our errand will correspond with lunch time and it will be out of the way to drive all the way home after our first appointment today. The frugal me should just pack a lunch, but we rarely eat out, so I'm going for it.

As mentioned before, my husband is on the promotion list for Major. We are still waiting for orders that make it official. They are often issued at the first of the month. It didn't happen this month, so hoping for August! The plan is to save the money, but I need to figure out if some of that pay increase should be put towards retirement.

My only sale this week was the Box Tops. I didn't get items listed on Ebay on Tuesday night like I planned. There is a box of things ready to sell. I will try again soon to get more listed.

See? Random thoughts! Have you found a good clearance deal lately? Have you sold anything or found a little money (snowflake) recently?


Summer Savings

July 9th, 2014 at 01:02 pm

This summer is one for the books right now. Of course, it can change. It has been significantly cooler. No days above 90 degrees for us yet. And of course, lots of rain, which is good plants and bad when your neighbor's basements fill with water. I feel bad for those people. Sad to see so many belongings on the curb for pickup.

We have had many days, with the windows open! This means no air conditioning. And then of course that equates to lower electricity bills. I like that! I mentioned electricity savings in my last post if you missed it.

With all the rain, we have not needed to water our lawn even one time. I expect this could change as we get into fall though. Of course, we are mowing a bit more as the grass is growing at a nice clip with all the rain and cooler weather.

I'm taking advantage of the cooler weather today to get our bathroom painted. We still have plenty of paint from our big paint purchase in March or April. I posted a little paint tip on Your Organized Friend when I started on the project this weekend.

Have you been painting or doing any chores because the weather is cooler? Is YOUR weather cooler? Have you been getting more rain than in a usual summer?

Cost of Cooling Food

July 9th, 2014 at 02:54 am

I'm still pining for a new stainless steel fridge. It isn't a need at all. We went looking a couple times in the last few weeks because of great sales going on this time of year. I was amazed at the Energy Star cards on the appliances indicating the cost per year. Some refrigerator's were less than $50 per year to operate!

I started to wonder how much our current fridge cost to operate. I had noticed our library had Kill a Watt meters available to borrow. The meters calculate how much energy an appliance uses.

Turns out our fridge uses .08 KwH per hour. Over the course of the year, based on our electric rates, our fridge costs $89 a year to operate. Clearly not a lot more than the new refrigerators, but almost twice the amount!

I went even further to calculate that the fridge we were looking at uses 474 KwH per year. For us that is $61 a year, so our true savings is about $28 a year. It would sure take a lot of time to recoup that savings if we bought a fridge for $1000.

I have the meter checked out for the next 10 days. I think I will look into a few other things we have plugged in to see what our energy hogs are. I'm not sure exactly what the results will show or if they will be worth making any changes.

Have you used a Kill a Watt meter? Do you know how much energy it costs to run your fridge? Would you replace a fridge just to save $40 a year?

Cans & Bottle Deposits for Snowflakes

July 8th, 2014 at 03:16 am

We live in a state that charges us $0.05 bottle deposit on wine bottles, soda cans and bottles, and beer cans. We do consume these things so we have bottles that need to be returned a couple times a month to get our money back.

Today, my husband returned 53 bottles. At five cents each, he received $2.65 in cash. I let him keep the money. Smile

I could ask that he give me the cash and make sure I get it applied to our mortgage pay down, but it really is easier to just let him spend it on his next purchase at the convenience store.

Aluminum cans can be collected in any state and sold by the pound to be recycle. It doesn't add up to a lot of money, but if you buy beverages in aluminum cans anyway the cash back can make a little dent in your snowflake goal.

Don't underestimate the power of the small savings! Do you purchase beverages in cans or bottles? Do you recycle them? Does your state charge a deposit when you make a purchase?

Product Rewards for Snowflakes

July 7th, 2014 at 03:21 am

I participate in Lean Cuisine's rewards program, since I purchase these meals with some frequency. The outside cardboard packaging has a letter code printed on the inside that I need to enter into their website. Each code is worth 20 points in most cases.

The reward program offers some gift cards, magazines and many kitchen tools. I have redeemed for a reusable shopping bag, reusable sandwich bags, amazon gift cards, movie tickets, towels and wash clothes.

I recently learned that the program with Lean Cuisine is ending as of the end of 2014. This does seem to happen with many of these programs.

At one time I participated in Coke Rewards, but it became too tedious to keep up with my husband's soda consumption. I think the program still exists.

Some of the items I received from Lean Cuisine I was able to resell, other are in use in our home and others, like the gift cards were spent and counted as snowflakes!

Do you participate in a rewards program for any product? Tell us which ones and what you earn from participating? Are you a Lean Cuisine Rewards participant and did you know the program was ending?

Items Up For Sale!

July 6th, 2014 at 06:33 pm

I have listed two items for sale today to get the SA Selling Challenge started. On Ebay I have some Box Tops for Education, and on Craigslist I posted two bike cargo racks for sale.

I have a bin of things that need to be sold and listed, so I'm not looking through the house for stuff. I know exactly where it all is and nearly everything has a box or envelope all ready to go for mailing.

Are you planning to sell anything this week? What are you selling? Did you know you could sell Box Tops for Education?

And just a few hours later, and the Box Tops have sold! That was easy.

Online Shopping Reminder

July 6th, 2014 at 02:36 pm

I hate to say it but school shopping will be upon us before we know it. I try to do some of the shopping online during the summer clearance stores have this time of year. That gives us a few new items to start back to school when it is still hot.

I try to remember to use Ebates before I get to the site, but sometimes I'm shopping and about to checkout before I remember. In that case, I close the tab with my shopping cart still full and to to Ebates. I find the store I'm shopping at and Ebates pulls their site up for me. Most of the time, my cart is still there, but this time I'm logged into Ebates to get cash back on the purchase.

Most recently, I have used Ebates to make purchases through Vistaprint for my daughter's business cards, Snapfish to order photo prints, Redbubble for my daughter's birthday t shirts and GNC for my husband's vitamins.

Don't forget to check out online shopping for vacation needs, too! I always find it hectic to be shopping before a vacation, and it seems shopping for some things online limits the stress of running to multiple stores.

Okay...thanks for listing to my reminder! I plan to get at least ONE thing listed for sale today to start off our SA Selling Challenge. Do you have anything up for sale?

Birthday Celebration

July 5th, 2014 at 02:29 pm

My youngest daughter is 14 today. I'm making cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and the smell seems to have awakened her. Smile

Her gifts were primarily purchased online. I spent just about $100. The all arrived on time and were on her list, so I expect she will be very pleased.

She is a low key child, so I don't expect we will be doing a lot to celebrate. She wants spice cake with cream cheese frosting, which I already purchased. There will be pizza for dinner. All the things a typical teen loves, right?

Since we always have a birthday to celebrate after the holiday it seems to extend the holiday celebrations. I hope everyone had a safe Fourth!

SA Selling Challenge

July 4th, 2014 at 09:18 pm

I mentioned a selling challenge in a post in the last couple weeks. It seems several people are interested. I have yet to sell anything, but I'm definitely going to challenge myself for the remainder of the year to see how much I can sell of our own stuff. I also hope to get at least one item listed on Ebay this weekend!

I like to think there are no rules, but here are some guidelines:

1)Sell your items for cash.

2)Sell the items by any preferred method, garage sale, ebay, craigslist or other.

3)Track your profits (and gross sales if desired).

4)Write a blog post about your sales at least once per month, some of us may write more often, but once a month should be the minimum to keep the momentum of the challenge going.

I think people like to hear about what you are selling, so that can be shared, as well as what your plan for the money is. I also like to know about profits over gross sales personally, since that is the money you get to keep! If you are selling something you bought for a profit, I would specify that as well.

Let's sell our stuff for CASH!!

Are you in? Have you started?

I posted quite a few entries to catch up today, keep scrolling down to read more of my updates!

52 Week Savings Challenge Progress

July 4th, 2014 at 08:52 pm

I have been participating in the 52 Week Savings Challenge for more than half a year now. I make my deposits twice per month on payday. I also decided mine would be equal amounts of $57 each.

I also started the challenge with $10, and have an additional $60 in the account that have been earned from Capital One 360 referrals (thank you!). My balance with interest as of July 4 is $869.63.

If I were following the weeks, we could say that I have deposited money for weeks 1-18 and weeks 39-52. That is 32 of 52 weeks, so more than halfway to the goal.

I recently decided that this money will fund my daughter's band trip. Although, we may have her put some skin in the game, for spending money, or work the fundraisers hard.

Are you participating in the 52 Week Savings Challenge? Are you still on track to complete the goal? Did you know you could start any time?


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