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$128 Worth Of Free Amazon Products

July 19th, 2019 at 11:51 am

I was just thinking about how small amounts of money add up and how I have used Swagbucks, and other sources to earn gift cards that then really result in free products.

I have accumulated enough points in the last six months with Swagbucks to redeem them for $128 worth of Amazon gift cards. I also redeem some for $25 cash deposited into my Paypal account.

Some of the things we bought with those Amazon gift cards either in full or partially are:
Printer ink
Engine and air filters for two vehicles
Vitamins (at least three orders)
TV antenna
2 books

Yes [ulr=https://www.swagbucks.com/lp-savings-button?cmp=695&cxid=swagbuttonref&rb=346111&extRefCmp=1&extRb=346111]Swagbucks[/url] is a little work, but I don't spend much time on it each day, thus why it can take about a month to accumulate $25 worth of points. I used to be able to rack up a lot more points, but I decided it wasn't worth THAT MUCH effort, so I'm pleased that with the little effort I do put in, I get some things we need and want with no cash outlay on our part.

While looking at our Amazon account I did notice a few other gift cards redeemed for $10. Those cards came from Fetch Rewards and the other from

Text is MyPoints and Link is https://www.mypoints.com?rb=25836026
MyPoints. And I redeemed
Text is Ibotta rebates and Link is https://ibotta.com/r/xjyhxxw
Ibotta rebates for cash.

If you want to join Fetch Rewards, which is very easy to use compared to Ibotta, you can download the app and enter my referral code FQ8U1. All you have to do is take a picture of your receipt. The app figures out what deals are available based on what you purchased. If you join and take a picture of one receipt before July 22, you will earn 3,000 points and I will as well. That 3,000 points can be redeemed for a $3 gift card to Amazon, Panera Bread, Target or Dunkin Donuts. Or you can accumulate more points and redeem for other things.

I used to track all these extras in more detail on my blog and shared them as little snowflakes. I still mention them, but not in quite as much detail.

What you like to get for free by capturing these easy ways to accumulate points and rewards? Right now I have just 240 Swagbucks, but I'm thinking I may use my next Amazon gift card to buy a new knife or two for my kitchen, or maybe a new product to try with this curly girl hair method.

Thank you in advance if you use any of my referral links. Share yours in the comments if you have a way you earn gift cards that I don't currently use.

Travel Reimbursement In Our Favor

July 14th, 2019 at 07:14 am

My husband had what was supposed to be a one night trip for work last week, unfortunately due to flight cancellations it turned into two nights and he flew into a different airport, specifically on July 4. It was not the holiday we had planned.

I had to drive our vehicle to pick him up about 90 miles away. As a result he received additional per diem and mileage for the use of our personal vehicle. He also did a really good job of keeping his dining expenses low, taking advantage of the USO in the airport primarily and having one dinner with friends who ended up paying, while he was in town.

We made $292.05 on the trip. That will be used to repay ourselves for the car down payment. At the rate we are finding money it seem this payback is going to happen much faster than I expected!

I recently redeemed Swagbucks for a $25 Amazon gift card. I stocked up on Vitamin D with the gift card and set aside the $25 I would have spent out of pocket towards our current goal.

And finally, I redeemed $20.95 in rewards from US Bank and expect that we will have American Express Rewards to redeem in the next week as well.

Electricity Refund

July 11th, 2019 at 04:53 am

Our housing payment on this military installation covers utilities, unless we go above the normal range compared to other units our size by 10%, then we would pay the difference. The opposite is true, if we go below the normal range we get a refund.

We received our refund for service from mid April to mid May this week. It was the highest we have had yet at $53.18. This is going towards paying ourselves back for the car down payment. I have seen our fellow neighbors posting how low they keep their air conditioning and while we drop it at night for sleeping, we do adjust up during the day because otherwise I would need to wear a sweater to keep warm!

Just this morning I received notification of the mid May to mid June period. Our credit will only be $11.85. That is not enough to receive a payout next month, but it will be added to any future credits, or money owed.

I'm thankful for all money, snowflakes, that fall in our favor!

Paying Ourselves Back: June

July 2nd, 2019 at 05:12 am

I'm going to start posting our progress in paying ourselves back for the $3,000 we took form our savings towards our daughter's car. I sold a speaker set for $100 in May, the same month that we bought the car, so when I moved the money, I actually only took out $2,900. That is our starting point for reporting purposes here.

$12.84 US Bank Rewards
$57.76 Amex Rewards
$38.51 Utility Rebate
$26.43 Ibotta Rebate
$3.00 Pinecone Survey
$58.57 Ebay Sales
$197.11 June Total

$2,900.00 Beginning (Debt) Balance
$2,702.89 Current Balance Owed

Frugal Report Card

June 24th, 2019 at 08:02 am

Here's a few frugal things that happened in the past week or so at our home:

I made black beans from scratch. In other words I took a pound of dried beans and cooked them, which resulted in over three cans worth of black beans. This is like getting at least one can free.

I shopped from our pantry yesterday before going to the grocery store and came up with nearly three meals we could make with what we had on hand. I only spent $75 at the grocery store as a result. I think this is good practice weekly, or monthly at a minimum.

We did much less driving last week and this week, partly due to my husband's work schedule and we simply didn't need to go anywhere. The amount we save on fuel living on the military installation is amazing.

My oldest daughter was ready to purchase new music for next year, something we do every summer. One piece of music she sent me a link to was nearly $25. I did a little searching and found it for $12.95. Searching for a better price pays off!

I choose a double package of ground beef, as the price per pound was lower. I used half and froze half, since I know I will use next week. I also chose chicken thighs this week instead of boneless skinless breasts because the price per pound was less and I knew we wouldn't notice much of a difference in the recipe I was making.

I ate the leftovers. No waste this week. We did not throw any food out!

What frugal things do you have to report?

Fetch App

June 23rd, 2019 at 08:09 am

I signed up for the Fetch app this week. It's similar to Ibotta, maybe a little more lucrative? Not quite sure yet. The advantage is you don't have to find the offers. You just scan the receipt and it rewards you based on what you bought and what offers are available. I think at a minimum you get 25 points for each receipt. I already have almost 6K points. Payout is 11,500 points for an online Visa or Mastercard worth $10. There are other options for less points.

It's free in the app store if you want to try it and see if it works for you. My referral code is FQ8U1. Simply add it during signup and you will get 2,000 Fetch Points for getting started.

What savings apps have you tried recently that you like? I'm always looking for quick and fast ways to save a little money!

More Money In

June 21st, 2019 at 07:53 pm

I redeemed $26.43 from Ibotta today after I was credited $11.11 for a Joann Fabric purchase. The money is instantly added to my PayPal account. I now need to accumulate another $20 before I can redeem again. That will probably be another six months!

We received a check from the utility company in the amount of $38.51 in the mail today. Theoretically, our rent includes utilities on the base that we live, but if our usage is under the average or an average range we get a credit. If is over we would have to pay. So far we have received a credit for all but one month that we have lived here. We have not yet had to pay.

These extra monies will go toward paying ourselves back for the our daughter's car down payment. I did a little calculation earlier today, and my goal is to repay ourselves in 12 months or less.

Money Flowing In

June 19th, 2019 at 08:21 am

I did sell the item I picked up from a neighbor for free! I think my profit was about $20! Great money for the little work I did. I took pictures, measured and weighed package, uploaded the information to eBay. When it sold I printed the mailing label, attached it and took it to the post office, which is super close.

I took a survey with Pinecone Research yesterday. I have redeemed my $3 from their website today, and expect the payment to be deposited into my PayPal account tomorrow.

I redeemed $57.76 in American Express rewards, which were credited to our account.

Our daughter received a $600 stipend from the University yesterday. We thought they called it a scholarship, but it's for her leadership position with the marching band. It went to our account, as that is what is set up with the University. I have set it aside towards future tuition and housing bills! I was a bit surprised to see a $600 deposit in our account that I wasn't expecting.

eBay Sales

June 14th, 2019 at 09:39 am

Some of you may have seen my other eBay post. I'm think I may have accidentally deleted while trying to clean up my blog from the site issues.

Basically, the report is that I transferred $100 from my PayPal account from the recent eBay sales I had. I applied the money to our cell phone category in YNAB. We will have a large bill at the end of June due to two new cell phones. My goal was to cover the sales tax and activation fees, which came to $129.50. I have successfully covered this with eBay sales.

All future sales and credit card rewards are going to be applied to paying ourselves back for the downpayment we made on our daughter's car. Already applied $100, so $2,900 to go!

I do have about seven items up for sale and a couple more items I could list. Just need to make the time and effort to do it.

College Tuition, VA Debt and Another Sale

June 5th, 2019 at 08:31 am

College summer tuition for both our girls is due within the next week. I did withdraw $1000 each from their ESA accounts to help cover the cost. One daughter owes $1895 for two online classes (8 credits) at a community college, and the other owes about $2600 for one three credit hour class that she is taking locally at her University. I think you might guess which one is in state and which one is out of state!

Our oldest daughter withdrew her request from the VA to cover 15 days of tuition for the Spring 2019 semester. We knew this would result in paying the VA back for the housing and books payment. Unfortunately, there seems to be a mix up or communication issue, and they billed us for the tuition they paid to her University on her behalf. Meanwhile when the benefits were withdrawn the University also billed us for those same credit hours, which we paid promptly. Luckily, we seem to have heading down the path of resolution after the VA contact at the University called and asked that the VA bill the University for the return of tuition charges. There is probably going to be a lag of one or two months, so more calling may be involved. At least I feel more confident that all parties seem to be on the same page...we don't owe double tuition! That could have cost us another $900!

I sold my husband's old cell phone on eBay yesterday. I did take a lower price than listed, but I'm pleased with getting it sold and having a little money to apply to the sales tax and activation fees we will owe at the end of the month!

Fingers crossed the things I have listed will start selling! I do hope I can get my daughter to go through her room this summer, as I'm sure there is quite a bit that can be decluttered and potentially sold for some cash.

Life is good! Money isn't everything, but I do like to talk about it. Thanks for reading!

May Big Savings Goal Progress

June 2nd, 2019 at 07:18 am

I made a mistake in May. I didn't actually add $175 at the beginning of May to our Big Goal. I have an automatic withdrawal from our checking to savings for this each period. And that part did happen, but I didn't officially fund that transaction from my husband's paycheck on May 1. So effectively, in YNAB the Big Goal category balance in our checking account was reduced by $175. That was simply money saved from other deposits I made into that category.

Here's what new money was applied to our Big Savings goal in May:

$100.23 Anniversary gift
$39.82 Paypal (eBay, Pinecone, olive oil settlement)
$175 Paycheck 5/15
$48.88 American Express Rewards
$1.87 Discover Rewards
$0.40 Chase Rewards
$12.84 US Bank Rewards

$379.04 May Big Goal Total
$5147.94 2019 YTD

$67,947.08 Previous big goal Balance
$68,326.12 New big goal Balance

34.16% of $200,000 goal

It's going up! I'm thankful despite all the moving financial parts this month that we could still find money to add to our Big Goal.