My Quarantine Beauty Favs and a Giveaway!

Here in California, as well as all over the nation, many businesses that are not essential are closed. That means no hair cuts, manicures, pedicures, massages, all the fun stuff that helps us relax and de-stress. Lemme tell you, after 5 months (as of Thursday) of being home with the kids all the time without knowing what is going on most of the time (or what is coming up next), I’m feeling a little stressed.

Most of you, I’m guessing, are in a similar situation. Recently I took some of my side hustle cash and splurged. Well, for me it was a splurge. I spent money on myself on some self-care items that were very much needed. These are my favorite beauty/personal care items that are helping me get through these uncertain times. 

I’m in love with this scrub! Everything by Tree Hut is awesome, but this sugar scrub is tits. It’s got Shea Butter to moisturize, sugar to exfoliate, and it smells like summer. I usually buy it at Walmart, but Amazon has it cheaper (especially when you subscribe and save).

 

Nature Nut Hair Conditioner for Dry & Damaged Hair– I discovered this conditioner through one of the companies that I test and review products through, and for the life of me, I can’t remember which one. Regardless- I am HOOKED. First of all, it smells great. Second, and most importantly, it makes my hair feel great. Smooth, soft, shiny, all that good stuff. And that’s important because my hair has been through some ish this past year. Purple hair is a lot of work. The shampoo is good too, but the conditioner? That stuff is tops!

Speaking of purple hair, I use Ion Permanent Brights Creme from Sally Beauty in Purple. Of course, you gotta have a developer, and a bowl and brush, and gloves too. I color my hair with this about every 8-10 weeks. My hair grows pretty fast, and to be honest, my hair is coming in more and more grey, so it’s super noticeable. To stretch my permanent color, I’ll hit the ends with a semi-permanent dark pink about week 4-6, and refresh the remaining all-over color with a semi-permanent purple. Right now I’m digging Color Jamz ( Reapsberry Kamikaze and Purple Passion to be exact). I use the pink on Bitty Bird’s hair too- It washes out in about 2-4 weeks.

I’m a huge fan of good skincare products. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen my self-care DIY facial flat lays. A couple of my go-to summer skincare products are:

Noexema– Seriously. It is incredible for soothing sunburned skin. I keep a jar under the skin for this very reason. Slather on a thick layer over sunburned skin and rest for about an hour. Rinse off any excess on a cool shower. Pat skin gently to dry.  

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater This toner is very soothing and calming. I stash this in the fridge in the summer and give myself and the kiddos a spritz a few times a day. And it smells nice too. 

I know that some extra time in the shower, scrubbing with some yummy sugar scrub isn’t going to make all the shenanigans going on in the world melt away. But if I can give myself some grace, chill the fuck out, and have a few extra minutes to myself, I’m going to do it. 

Oh, and if you are wondering what kind of hand sanitizer (called hanny-sanny by my daughter) we like- Usually I’d say whatever is on sale, but since there was a recent debacle about some imported Hanny-Sanny being poisonous (WTF?), we’ve got a couple of large bottles of Kundal Fresh Water Hand Sanitizer that are pretty good. And it’s not sticky. Having used many types over the past few months, I’ve come to discover that some types/brands are sticky. EW. Also, I’ve come to realize that most of it smells like cheap vodka, and now I have no desire to drink vodka. 

And now for the Giveaway- I want you to splurge and get yourself some awesome self-care goodies too. Leave me a comment on this blog post: What would you buy FOR YOURSELF with a $25 Amazon GC? You can earn a bonus entry by commenting on this Instagram post. I’ll choose a winner on 8/23/2020. I’ll notify the winner via email.

Leaning Into My Side Hustles: How I made $200 in two weeks!

Disclaimer: This article is FULL of links for affiliate programs, survey companies, and the like. Some of which I may receive a bonus or commission on if you sign up. Think of it as buying me a cup of coffee (that you don’t directly pay for). For the record, I like Iced Lattes, no sweetener.

Like so many other people, I haven’t been able to work as much over the past six months as I am used to. And this includes my side hustles, which sadly, have fallen to the side. A couple of weeks ago I decided to dive headfirst back into my side hustles and see if I couldn’t make a little bit of money. School will be starting next week (although for us it is distance-learning, so I will be teaching both kindergarten and special ed fourth grade- I don’t know if I’m up for it, but I’m gonna give it my best).

Usually, the beginning of school is the time where I get back into my side hustles and moneymaking endeavors, and I’m able to spend more time working because the kids are… Back in school.

A woman in one of my mom’s group post it on Facebook the other day asking about research studies, and that led me to realize that this post needed to be written. There are other people in similar positions as myself, and we need to make money.

The past two weeks I have spent a lot of time working my side hustles, mostly early in the morning or late at night. Or while I am sitting on the patio watching the kids splash in the kiddie pool. By the way, said kiddie pool was paid for using Amazon gift cards that I earned doing a side hustle.

Here are the side hustles I’ve been working the past two weeks and approximately how much money I’ve made.

Paid Viewpoint: I have done about 10 surveys for them over the past two weeks. Their surveys take usually less than 10 minutes to do, and you’re prequalified for them, so you’re not gonna waste a bunch of time only to be told that you’re not earning any money. They will email you when you have a survey, but you can also just log onto your account and see if you have any surveys to do.

Sometimes if they have something that is time-sensitive, they’ll email you right away and there is usually a small bonus ($.50 or less) to do the survey right away. Their payout is $15, and I cashed out this afternoon with $16.10. 

Pinecone Research: I don’t know if they are currently looking for new members, but you can always go to their website and take the survey and if they’re not looking for your demographic, they add you to the waiting list and when they need you they will email you. This is another survey company that only send you service that you were prequalified for. Most of the time it is for products that may be coming to marketplace soon and the Company has questions about packaging pricing structures and they just want opinions. Most of the time Pinecone Research surveys pay $3 each. You can either save it up and cash it out or just cash it out as you make it. I get my money via PayPal but they also have gift cards and other stuff too. I made $9 this week.

Field Agent: This is one hustle that you can’t do at home. Field Agent is a secret shopping/audit app. Right now they have a lot of “Buy and Try” for alcohol. I have only been doing Field Agent tasks when I am already going to go to a location where they have an available audit/secret shop. I’m not going out a lot of other places. Usually, you get a reimbursement for purchase plus a bounty for the survey. It’s quick, it’s easy, and you get to try new products. It’s pretty fun.  I haven’t been able to go to the gym in a while, I’ve pretty much stopped drinking. So I’m trying to avoid audits and secret shops that involve alcohol.  I’ve made $20 over the past two weeks.

Digsite: I don’t remember how I discovered DigSite (I think it was a targeted Facebook Ad). I have done surveys and research studies with them for about a year, and they generally pay between $25 and $200. over the past two weeks, I have done two research studies with them, it’s about 5 to 10 minutes each day for three or four days. They ask your opinions about a specific topic, sometimes you have to take a picture, or do a little bit of homework, but, overall it’s fun. Dig site pays in Amazon gift cards. Over the past two weeks, I have made $90 in Amazon gift cards.

Q-insights: Q-insights is a research study firm that’s based in Orange County, California. Once you get on their email list, they will send you emails when they have open studies. A lot of them are done online, but a few of them are done in person in Orange County in various locations. Cute insights surveys tend to pay in excess of $75, but, they can be a lot more work. They pay via check sent through the mail. I signed up for 2 of their upcoming studies, fingers crossed I get into them!

UpVoice: It’s a pretty passive way to earn money. As long as you’re active on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and you shop on Amazon, UpVoice is a pretty simple way to earn some spending cash. It is a chrome extension, I cashed out for $20 last week. In theory, if you are a regular social media user and have the upper voice chrome installation extension, you will be making $10 every 6 weeks or so for no extra effort.

Fetch Rewards: I use a bunch of different cashback apps in conjunction with my couponing to save money on groceries, but my favorite is Fetch Rewards. I’ve been putting receipts in like a madwoman, and I cashed out my points for $15 In Amazon Gift Cards.

Ibotta: When I got a new phone recently, I hadn’t transferred over all of my apps to my new phone. I realized this week that I needed to add Ibotta. When I did, I noticed I was almost to the $20 payout minimum, so right before I sat down to write this article, I scanned in my Food4Less receipt from earlier today, and that bumped me to $21.00! I cashed out lickity-split! (For some apps that I use to save and earn money, check out my post here).

Achievement: This is a super passive hustle, but it’s super fun. Here is the article I wrote last month with all the information about how it works. I cashed out for $10 on Monday. 

That’s a total of $201.10! I also sold a few things on Facebook Marketplace that we were getting rid of during our recent household purge. I didn’t include those above, since I can’t do that frequently (But it was $65 cash in my pocket!).

Talk Back: I would love to hear about some of your side hustles. How do you make extra cash?

This Weekend Only: Earn 4000 Points Per Referral with Fetch Rewards!

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It’s the perfect time to load up on referral bonuses with Fetch. Now through 5/26/2020, you’ll earn 4,000 points for every friend you refer to Fetch. There’s no limit to the bonus points you can earn, and your friends each earn 2,000 points, too. So, let the whole neighborhood know!

3 referrals = 12,000 points = $12 in gift cards*

With hundreds of gift cards to choose from, including Amazon, Target, and Walmart, you’ll always find the perfect one as we head into summer.

If you haven’t signed up for Fetch Rewards yet, or want to learn more, check out my post here. Find the Fetch Rewards app in your app store, and when you download it, use my code ND2TB when you sign up and you’ll score Bonus Points.

In 2020, I’ve earned $39 in Amazon Gift cards! Sometimes there are extra point offers for buying specific brands or items, which is how I’ve earned extra points- but it was stuff I was buying anyway!

Gig Opportunity: Become a Shipt Shopper!

I am a huge proponent of gigs, little side hustles that help you earn extra money.

I just found out that Shipt is looking for shoppers! You shop for and deliver groceries and essentials for others. Oh, and the best part? You can earn up to $22/hour!

Shipt is a membership-based grocery marketplace, enabling delivery of fresh foods and household essentials. Shipt is all over the US, to find out if Shipt is hiring in your area, check out their coverage map here, then sign up here. Once you sign up, answer a few questions, and they’ll email you if you meet their qualifications.

I’m all about earning some extra cash! I’d love to hear about your favorite side gigs and hustles! My list of favorites can be found here.

My Monthly Savings to do list, updated for 2019!

file000901554050I wrote about this topic 4 years ago, and my… how the savings game has changed. In addition to sharing how I save and earn money each month, I’ve included some other tips at the bottom of the post.

I still do a lot of the same things:

Weekly: Print coupons & Check Savings Apps. I print coupons from Coupons.comSmartSourceRedPlum, and check apps and add items that appeal before I hit the grocery store each week. Here is a list of the apps I use.

 

1st and 15th: Mail out SBKC junk mail envelopes. I process our mail when it all comes in and I put the junk mail in the envelopes as it comes in.

Daily: I spend a little time each day (usually while I drink my coffee in the morning working my points programs. This includes  Mypoints (I save all of my Mypoints emails and do them all at once, one time a day). I also check my Field Agent App to see if there are any quick tasks I can do to earn some extra money that day.

As I am notified via emailPaid View Point (some of the surveys are time sensitive- those usually pay extra!), PineCone Research (surveys must be completed 3-6 days upon receiving the email).

Last day of the month: Clean out coupon wallet and removed expiring/expired coupons.

As needed/codes become available: I use the Swagbucks tool bar to do most of my internet searches, so I earn Swagbucks points intermittently with that too. I also order free samples when I see them available online. I’ll be posting about what I do with all the samples coming up.

I try to do as much shopping online with discounts as I can.  That means I check with  Mypoints and Topcashback  to see who is giving the better points/cash back, and I shop online a lot (especially in the summer when I’ve got both kids at home- it’s easier on the budget).

 

Other ways you can save money: 

 

How do you keep track of all of your programs to save money?

 

Sam’s Club – Join for $45 Get $50 in Savings


We have a Sam’s club close by, so I just signed up for this deal!

Join Sam’s Club for $45 and get $50 in savings. GET A $20 GIFT CARD AND $30 IN INSTANT SAVINGS*

  • Member’s Mark all beef franks 3 lb. 12 ct. Discount $7.00 off
  • Member’s Mark 80/20 or 90/10 ground beef Discount $10.00 off
  • Member’s Mark Hot Dog or Hamburger Buns 24 ct. Discount $3.00 off
  • Member’s Mark Loaded Potato Salad 48 oz. Discount $4.00 off
  • Member’s Mark Purified Bottled Water 45 or 80 pk. Discount $3.00 off
  • Member’s Mark Cookies – 18ct. various in Deli ($5.98 retail value) Discount FREE

There are tons of awesome things about Sam’s Club, including free samples from Freeosk, in-store offers, and Field Agent frequently has audits at Sam’s Club Locations!

 

Talk Back: What’s your favorite thing from Sam’s Club?

Mid-Year Hustle Update

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It’s June- The middle of the year, time to review how much I’ve made on my side hustles so far this year. To be fair, I did just complete a semester of college, so it’s probably not as much as I could have been making.

I’ve only included the hustles I’ve made money with in 2019. A complete list of all my money making hustles can be found here.

Radial Insight So far in 2019, I’ve earned a little over $25 in Amazon GC (which is my preferred method of payment, besides cold, hard cash)

PaidViewPoint– $33 via Paypal, plus I’ve done 2 studies where they send me a product to try out and fill out a survey about.

Field Agent $120.30 (via EFT) to date! This is one of my favorites. You choose the tasks you wish to do, and you can do as many as you are able to complete.

SBKC $50 via online Visa GC. I’ve been doing this for one for about 9 or so years. It’s dead simple.

Focus Groups $300 I’ve only done two this year, but I’m scheduled for one next Friday that pay $200!

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk  I really need to do more of these tasks- $10 in Amazon GC total.

Mypoints  $75 in various gift cards and Paypal payouts. I do 99% of my online shopping through Mypoints.

Misc. surveys $340. Here are a few of the survey companies I use: InBox Dollars, Reward Survey, Survey JunkieVIP Voice.

Swagbucks– $10 Amazon GC I don’t use Swagbucks as much as I used to. They have tons of surveys to do to earn points.

And from my list of Money Saving Apps:

So, my total for the year to date is: $1073.30. I use this money to pay for activities with the kids, special treats, and date nights.

Talk Back: I’d love to hear about your side hustles!

New Gig Opportunity: Become a Shipt Shopper!

I am a huge proponent of gigs, little side hustles that help you earn extra money.

I just found out last night that Shipt is looking for shoppers! You shop for and deliver groceries and essentials for others. Oh, and the best part? You can earn up to $22/hour!

Shipt is a membership-based grocery marketplace, enabling delivery of fresh foods and household essentials. Shipt is all over the US, to find out if Shipt is hiring in your area, check out their coverage map here, then sign up here. Once you sign up, answer a few questions, and they’ll email you if you meet their qualifications.

I’m all about earning some extra cash! I’d love to hear about your favorite side gigs and hustles! My list of favorites can be found here.

My Side Hustles Totals for 2018!

 

0719afa6a9b8772ba8e90f6bc40637fa.jpgI’ve been tallying up how much I made in 2018 on my side hustles, and I thought that I’d share. I don’t work on all of these every day. Sometimes, there are tons of hustles to do, and sometimes (like in the summer), there aren’t too many opportunities. Part of side hustles is rolling with the punches. When there aren’t any side hustles to earn money, the name of the game becomes all about saving money.

My complete list of side hustles is here. And the list of apps I use is here.

Let’s start with Smartphone apps, since they are pretty passive income for me. I’m not as much into them as a lot of other savers. The truth is, I don’t shop at most mainstream grocery stores, so apps like Savingstar and Ibotta aren’t very useful. And we don’t eat a lot of pre-packaged stuff any more.

Survey Companies:

Cashback Shopping apps:

  • Mypoints: $125 (It was my primary online shopping cashback site for the year)
  • Topcashback$25

Misc. (apps, sites, programs that don’t really fit in any other category)

Total: $3013 Not bad for someone who always has a three year old in tow!

I’m always on the look out for new hustles and opportunities to make extra money.

Talk Back- I’d love to hear about any side hustles or ways you make money on the side!

 

Earn Gift Cards with Radial Insight!

With Halloween coming up, I’ve been busy busy busy! Trying to find fun and free events for the kids (and to share with you!), making costumes, and getting into fall with baking. I had to put the brakes on all my crazy busy-ness to share a great way to make money: Radial Insight.

Screen Shot 2018-09-27 at 9.40.56 AM.pngIn addition to doing surveys to earn money, Radial Insight has a program called Receipt Rewards. Receipt Rewards is a new and exciting way to earn rewards from Radial Insight. By submitting receipts for your online shopping at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com, Jet.com, Costco.com, and DollarGeneral.com, you’ll earn instant rewards.

Please note — you must be a member of Radial Insight’s public opinion panel to participate in Receipt Rewards. If you want to join, leave me a comment with your email address and I’ll shoot you an invite!

 

It’s super easy and quick. I joined and added the Chrome Extension to our browser yesterday and followed the steps (it took less than 15 minutes, BTW) to get everything connected to my Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Costco accounts. I really wasn’t expecting to earn that much, since I’ve been cutting back on our online shopping, but look what was in my inbox this mornings:

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Uh…. WOW. And it’s totally legit because I just cashed out for a $49.60 Amazon Gift card, which I will use to buy stuff that has been on my wish list for a while. And I’ll earn more rewards! There are gift card options for over 25 retailers and restaurants.

Still unsure that Radial Insight Receipt Rewards is for you? Here are the FAQ:

Receipt Rewards Frequently Asked Questions

From which websites does Receipt Rewards accept receipts?
Receipt Rewards accepts receipts from Amazon.com, Target.com, Walmart.com, Jet.com, dollargeneral.com, and Costco.com. If and when we accept receipts from new websites, we’ll be sure to let you know.

How old can the receipts I send in be?
There is no limit to how old your receipts can be.

Are there any types of receipts you do not accept?
We do not accept receipts for Amazon.com digital orders or gift card purchases, balance reloads, or in-store pick-ups from any website.

What do you do with my receipts?
We use the receipts you send us to learn about how Americans shop online and about current retail trends. Your personal information is kept secure and used according to the Radial Insight Receipt Rewards Terms provided below.

How will I get paid?
After you’ve accumulated $1 in Receipt Rewards, and for each full $1 you earn, you’ll receive a Tango Card with your reward. Tango Cards may take 24 hours to be sent.

And if doesn’t seem like a good fit for you, but are still looking for some other ways to make money, check out my post about side hustles.