What I’ve Been Up To…

_DSC2099As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting a lot lately, either here or on Social Media. I’ve been busy. Distance learning is coming to a close for the year, so we’ve been doing a lot of meetings and paperwork (I’ll be glad when the mountains of homework packets stop).

In addition to supervising all of the learning (for both kiddos), I’ve also been taking a more active role in helping my big kiddo find behavioral therapies that will work well on his journey through life. My big kid is on the Autism spectrum (ASD) and that means that we do behavioral therapy a few times a week in addition talk therapy. So lots of time helping process feelings and emotions, and that leaves this mama bear feeling tired.

I (try to) get up early about 6:30 each morning, make coffee, do emails, and work on getting stuff set up for the day before the kiddos wake up. Sometimes I’m super successful and get it done. Sometimes I’m lucky if I get a shower.

Successes for the days are measured so much differently now. Did we make it through a day without tears? Missing friends, regular routines, going to the gym, extracurricular activities- all of these weigh heavy on the kids, and grown-ups.

We’ve also been trying to get our home more organized, and we’ve been getting some help from a family friend who is a Konmari guru. We’re about halfway through the process, and it’s been super liberating to get rid of stuff that no longer serves us. We sold all of the DVD’s/video games that we no longer wanted, and raised over $200, that we’ll put towards family fun (maybe sock it away for a 2021 vacation?). Thankfully our local thrift shops are accepting donations at this time. We’ve been loading up the back of my car weekly to donate goods.

In an attempt to wear the kids out physically, I’ve been taking them out for a walk a few times a week with my parents at a local park. Social distancing and masking occur- Also a liberal application of mosquito repellant is applied- The kids and I are very tasty according to the local ‘squito population. We also picked up a small pool for the patio- We are on our second. The first was not heavy-duty enough. This is the one I recommend. We also put tarps under it to protect it from the textured decking. I also use this solar fountain to keep the water moving all day, and we cover it with a tarp at night. I usually dump the water and refill it 2-3 times per week.

downloadSaving money has been a challenge as of late- There aren’t as many deals as supplies aren’t being delivered to stores regularly, less staff to stock shelves, etc. And really, who has been shopping lately for fun? Not many of us. I’ve been using coupons when I can find them, but what I have really found useful is Honey. Honey is a browser extension that helps you find coupon codes and sale prices on items that you are shopping for online. I used it to save over $145 when we bought the big kids new bed a few weeks back.

And I’ve been making masks for family and friends- I made some especially for the kids this week too.

kalecutI’m here y’all! I’m up to my eyeballs, but I’m here. And of course, I’m doing the Always Eat After 7pm program, so I’ll be posting about that. There are so many good recipes I am excited to try (dark chocolate dipped PB cookies, uh, yeah). and I’ll be posting some recipes this weekend- I’ve got a killer Kale Salad recipe that is so tasty and easy (and it keeps in the fridge for a few days too).

I’ll be hosting an Amazon Gift Card Giveaway soon! I want to spread the love with you!

 

Talk Back: What have you been doing lately? 

Special Cash Back Offers from Checkout51!

89281_separate_list_image_1584553711.jpgCheckout 51 is hooking us up right now with some great savings on staples that most of us are buying right now. 51.jpg

Bread, Eggs, and fresh bananas or apples! .25 per offer isn’t a ton of money, but these days with coupons drying up, and most stores not running really great sales, you have to take savings where you can!

If you are new to  Checkout 51, it’s a great app that’s been around for 5 years or so.

Checkout51 is NOT store specific! Checkout 51 is a savings program that’s so easy to use, and no Smartphone is needed! It’s an app on your iPhone or Android phone, or you use your computer.

Checkout 51 is so easy: Purchase specific products (and these products change each Thursday, so make sure you check out the app/website before heading out to shop), scan and upload your receipts weekly.

In addition to saving on groceries, there is also a cashback on GASOLINE component to Checkout 51. You can learn more here.

Oh, and if you are new and sign up for Checkout 51, you will score a $5 bonus after you redeem your first offer! It keeps getting better!

March 2020: New Month, New Coupons!

file000786402730Here is your monthly reminder!  A new month means new printable and electronic coupons!

Check out the following sites:

One of my favorite websites is the Sunday Coupon Review.  It helps me plot out scenarios in advance and I can email friends to ask for coupons in advance. Remember if clipping coupons isn’t your thing, but saving money is, check out my list of Smartphone apps that can save you the big bucks! New offers are added on the Smartphone Savings Apps all the time!

Here are a few of my favorite new coupons:

Save $1.50 off ONE (1) Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough Chunks

Save $2.00 on the purchase of two (2) BIC® Stationery Products (Redeemable at Walmart)

Save $1.00 on any ONE (1) LISTERINE® Mouthwash (400mL or higher)

Cash Back on GAS with Checkout 51!

file7371256164536.jpgYou read that right!

Save on every fill-up at participating gas stations, every single week (yeah, seriously!) with  Checkout 51!

Head to the app to find a station near you. I’ve done it for the past month, and I’ve gotten almost $10 cash back!

New to Checkout 51? Check out my post with more details here.

Checkout 51 is sweetening the deal too- When you sign up here and scan in your first receipt, you’ll get a $5 bonus!

If you are already a Checkout 51 user, refer your friends and you’ll earn $10 when a new user scans in their first receipt (and they still earn $5).  Everyone wins!

New Deals from Checkout 51!

Checkout 51 is rad! Most of the deals/cashback rebates are not store specific, so I can save at stores that don’t accept coupons, like Grocery Outlet and 99 Cents Only.  You can also stack with store sales and discounts.

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It’s the beginning of the year and that means lots of diet stuff is on sale or on cashback apps for additional savings.

This week on Checkout 51, there are lots of healthy foods and TONS of Atkins products!

New to Checkout 51? Check out my post with more details here.

Tips to Reign In and Out Of Control Family Budget: Taking Advantage of Discounts

959b176d7a237c76fc19ff89cdfc6904.jpgPreviously we talked about shopping your Cell Phone service, Internet service, even your Auto/Home/Health insurance.

Sometimes switching companies doesn’t yield you any savings. At that point, turn to your current providers and see if there are any additional discounts or perks that you could be taking advantage of and are not currently receiving?

Example: Some cell phone providers (Like T-Mobile) offer perks or freebies weekly. Free tacos, backpacks, free Netflix subscriptions, and other swag are some of the other cool things that they have offered in the past. AT&T has a program called AT&T Thanks where customers can score varying freebies and deals depending on what type(s) of service they have with AT&T.

Some Auto Insurance companies offer discounts for good students (High school and/or college), safe driving/accident-free, defensive driving courses, and low mileage discounts. It’s worth a call in to see if you can score any extra discounts!

What about services that you can’t shop around?

Utilities are a big one- We can’t shop utilities here in San Diego. SDG&E is the only name in the game here.

BUT- there are ways you can save and even earn money!

Did you know that most local utilities (in San Diego county that means SDG&E) will come out and inspect your AC/furnace for free at the beginning of each season? They can let you know if your furnace or AC is running in tiptop condition, and they can also check to see if your pilot light is lit and safe to run your furnace.

If you are in a lower income or you have a medical condition that requires continue with usage of electricity, SDG&E and other utilities frequently have a medical baseline or low-income program that you can apply for to save money on your utilities.

Other ways that you can save money on your utilities include signing up for services like Ohmconnect, which help you conserve electricity during peak demand hours, which not only helps you save money, but you’ll be saving extra electricity as well.

We’ve been members of them connect for upwards of five years, and we earn about $100 a year cashback from home connect, in addition to the money that we save on our SDG&E bill. You can learn more about Ohm Connect Here.

 

 

 

Tips to Reign In and Out Of Control Family Budget: Shopping Around to Save!

683459ee810703fe032903d2443bf58d.jpgToday I’ll be sharing some ways to save money that takes a little more work but can definitely pay off in the end.

For some of us, this may seem like too much work, and that’s ok. Just because it’s something that my family does, doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.

Insurance: Most companies offer a discount if you have more than one kind of policy. Example: State Farm offers a Multi-line discount. If you have your cars and another type of insurance (homeowners/renters/condo insurance, or a life insurance policy).

Some insurance companies serve a specific audience- for example, USAA is an insurance company for active duty or retired military. Because they serve a specific audience, they offer very competitive rates.

When you shop for insurance, have copies of all of the policies that you want to compare. That will help you see apples to apples. You can’t compare and try to save money if you don’t know what you’ve got. This is also a great time to go over all of your coverages and see if you need to increase or decrease coverages.

Due to state and federal regulations, you usually can’t shop for health insurance unless it’s open enrollment or you’ve had a qualifying life event (married, divorced, had a baby, retired, lost your job, etc.). Luckily, Tis the Season for open enrollment! We purchased insurance through the state exchange a few years back, before we had employer-sponsored insurance. It was not too difficult to navigate, and there are discounts available for a lot of people!

Cell Phones: This is my least favorite activity, but it can a money saver. Once again- have a copy of your contract or a copy of a recent bill that outlines everything your plan covers before you get started. If you are looking for a pre-paid plan, Tello has some great money-saving plans!

Internet: I hate dealing with our internet service provider. I always feel like they are trying to upsell me, no matter why I am calling in. We’re looking at changing our plan soon. The big kids school recently sent home information regarding a program that Cox offers called Connect2Compete. For those families that have qualifying social service(s), Cox can provide internet service for $9.95/month! That’s a great deal.

 

Talk Back: I’d love to hear your success story! Share how much you’ve saved by shopping around for your insurance, cell phone service, or internet service.

Checkout 51- New users get $5!

unnamed.pngCheckout 51 is a great cashback app that I don’t think I give enough attention to.

For the most part, you can use it at any store (which is great for those of us who shop at Grocery Outlet or other non-chain grocers a lot).

How Checkout 51 works

  1. Browse your offers and buy products at any store.
  2. Upload your receipt using Checkout 51.
  3. We’ll confirm your purchase and credit your account.
  4. When your account balance reaches $20, you can cash out and we’ll mail you a check. Please see Terms for more details.

Checkout 51 is sweetening the deal too- When you sign up here and scan in your first receipt, you’ll get a $5 bonus!

If you are already a Checkout 51 user, refer your friends and you’ll earn $10 when a new user scans in their first receipt (and they still earn $5).  Everyone wins!

To learn more about all of the Cashback apps I use, click here.

New Health and Beauty Brands on Fetch Rewards!

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Fetch is now hooking us up with savings in the health and beauty aisle! From nutritional supplements to over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, they are making healthy living even more rewarding for your whole family.  You can see the full list here.

You can learn all about Fetch rewards here.

So, if this seems like an app you’d enjoy, check this out: Use my code ND2TB when you sign up and you’ll score 2000 points after you scan in your first receipt with Fetch Rewards. That’s 2/3 way to your first $3 Amazon Gift Card (or whatever $3 Gift Card you choose). You can find Fetch Rewards in your app store.

Fetch Rewards: Get a FREE reward for every 2 friends you refer! (11/15/19-11/17/19)

If you haven’t checked out Fetch Rewards yet, now is the time to do it!

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2,000 points for Friend #1 + 2,000 points for Friend #2+ 3,000 BONUS points= 7,000 points for every 2 friends!

 

Plus, there’s no limit on the number of FREE rewards you can earn.

The promotion has already started and is valid  through 11:59 PM PT on 11/17/2019

I’m stoked! Fetch Rewards is pretty awesome- I’ve earned about $50 this year (so far). I cash out for Amazon Gift Cards and add them to my Amazon account to pay for gifts throughout the year.

If you haven’t signed up yet, download the app in the app store/where ever you get apps, and use my code ND2TB when you sign up. You’ll score extra points when you sign up and scan your first receipt.

If you use my code, I’ll get points too. Win/Win, right? Honestly, my disclosure statement is here. I’m here to help ya’ll save money, not make a million dollars!

This is a great way to save up giftcards for holiday shopping or to defray other costs (They also have CVS and Target GC’s available).

 

If you want to learn more about Fetch, check out my posts here and here.