Saving with Point Based Rebates


A few months back I talked about saving with cash rebates. All of these rebates came from apps that allow you to scan your grocery receipts and get cash rebates on selected items put into your account. Today, I am going to cover point based rebates. These are mostly apps that allow you to earn points that you can then apply towards gift cards or redeem for actual products.

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Receipt Hog – This app makes me laugh every time I use it. Why? Because it actually oinks when you use it. ReceiptHog gives you coins based on the dollar amount of your grocery receipt. It gives you 1 spin per major retailer (Macy’s, JCP, Kohl’s, Best Buy, Home Depot, etc…) receipt you scan for the Hog Slots. Hog Slots is where you win extra coins and even $100 cash. The coins you earn can be redeem for gift cards or cash. The more coins you redeem at one time the better the cash to coin ratio is. Receipt Hog has a referral bonus that earns you spins on the Hog Slots when someone joins and snaps their first receipt. Your friends earn extra spins to when they join via your referral code. There is a max of 20 friends that can earn you the bonus though. (Join using my referral code: frep 1066 to get extra spins) 
  
ReceiptPal – This a simple app to use. Its as simple as tapping a square, taking a picture, confirming image and you’re done! It takes four receipts to “fill” a card and every card is worth 100 points. You can only submit 4-5 cards a week. Points can only be redeemed for online gift cards to either Amazon.com, Restaurants.com or for “Dinner & Movie.” One  issue for me is that you have to get the entire receipt in one picture. Unlike most other apps that let you take pictures of the receipt in sections, you have to basically place the receipts on the ground and snap it from up high. Most long receipts get rejected because they are too blurry. This app doesn’t have a referral program either, so no extra points here.
  
Shopkicks – Do you love shopping? Do you love scavenger hunts? If you answered yes to either question then you will love this app! Earn “kicks” for finding specific items and scanning the barcodes. Kicks vary depending on the item. You can even earn “walk-in” kicks just for entering the store. Some stores give you points for purchases too. The biggest issue I have with this app is that to get a list of items you have to have your locations turned on on your smartphone & bluetooth.
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Bing Rewards – This is the easiest way for me to earn free gift cards! Not only do I use internet searches for my job but my husband and I are always searching random stuff. (Sometimes out of curiosity and sometimes to proof the other wrong.) Since I started using Bing as my search engine to earn points, just about a year ago, I have earned $30 in gift cards. They have gift cards for GameStop, Microsoft Live, Toys R Us, Sephora and several others. Your gift card comes as an ecard to your e-mail you can either print it off, use it online, or simply pull it up on your smartphone and show to the cashier when checking out. When you first start out the gift cards cost slightly more until you hit “gold” status then they drop to 75 points less. Bing also has a referral program that earns you 100 points per friend that joins and hits “silver” status within 60 days. You do have to have or create a Microsoft account but it can be connected to your personal e-mail account and doesn’t have to be outlook or Microsoft based.

Week 3 With Sam the Elf (Season 2)


Day 15 – Sam went through the house and put googly eyes on toilets, t.v.’s, vacuums, microwave, stove and mommy’s makeup mirror!

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Day 16 – Sam taped up Drew’s play room. Drew army crawled in and out so not to ruin all Sam’s hard work!

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Day 17 – Sam looks like he was having a lot of fun with his elf friends!

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Day 18 – A cup of elf, anyone!?

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Day 19 – Sam was a little ornery today!

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Day 20 – Sam is ready to go to Grandma’s!

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Day 21/22 – Sam was afraid of Aunt Nana’s dogs so he chilled on the chandelier for two days!

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Day 24 – (no pic) Sam went back into Drew’s backpack to come home with him.

Christmas Day – Santa took pictures of Sam with Drew’s Christmas presents as a way to say goodbye!

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My Awful Time Making Nutella


I have been thinking about making homemade Nutella for awhile. I have pinned numerous recipes on my Pinterest boards. This week, after literally months of talking about it, I finally decided to give it a go. I found a recipe in my DIY Cookbook. It seemed simple enough and and figured I could make it in about an hour.

I went to Wal-Mart to get what was needed – coconut oil, unsweetened chocolate powder, hazelnuts, vanilla and powdered sugar. I have never bought coconut oil, so I knew that for just 2 tablespoons it would be a waste of money. According to the recipe, I could also use Canola Oil. This I knew would be a better purchase for my pantry.

Let me tell you, the Wal-Mart I went to only had chopped Hazelnuts. Since it called for whole hazelnuts, I called Meijer and Kroger, neither carried any type of hazelnuts. I got on my phone and Googled, “Where to buy whole Hazelnuts at a grocery store.” Turns out they are hard to find, but health food stores tend to carry them. Good news, the one near my house did!! I asked the lady on the phone the price and I about died! $8 per pound!!!! Hmm, nope! I will buy the chopped ones here at Wal-Mart.

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After my shopping was done, I read over the entire recipe one more time before starting. Boy am I glad I did! I realized my little pulsing food processor was not big enough to handle this job. Thankfully my friend Marie had a nice, big Kitchen Aid food processor and she was nice enough to let me borrow it.

*Oh I was so excited to get to try this out! I love the Kitchen Aid Mixers. (You know, the big $200+ ones.) I don’t own either, but I know people that do.

OK, so now it was time to really start! I put the chopped nuts into the oven, per directions and set timer to rotate half way through. When my timer went off and I looked at the nuts they were on the verge of being burnt! I didn’t even think about the fact that the chopped nuts would take even less than half the required time as the whole nuts. They didn’t seem to awfully burnt so I went with them.

The next step was to shake nuts in a bowl with a bowl on top. This was to loosen the skins and they were to stick on the bowls. This did not work because I used the chopped nuts!! At this point, I am losing my determination.

Now it was time to learn how to use the Kitchen Aid food processor, so I can turn the nuts to a paste like cream. Marie had warned me that it had specific blades and pieces for certain jobs. I read the booklet and figured out which blade I needed and which bowl. After putting it together, it wouldn’t start. Hmmmmm. Duh! It needs to be plugged up! (Have I mentioned that I am Blonde?) But even after plugging it up it wouldn’t start. Marie did mention that if something wasn’t put together right it wouldn’t start. So, let me make a hour long frustration, short and not so sweet – I HATE the Kitchen Aid food processor!! My husband even tried to help me figure the stupid thing out!
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Even after I got it running, when I stopped it to scrap the sides, it wouldn’t start back up! I would have to twist and push to get the lid and bowl “just right” before it would start!

After my hour of dealing with getting the nuts chopped and blended, it was time for the other ingredients. My son was so excited about this because not only did he get to help measure out the stuff, but he really wanted to eat the “chocolate!”

Oh boy!! I knew that this was one of those moments every parent waits for. That moment when you can trick your kids into eating somethig they want, only knowing that its not what they think. My dad did it to me at his age an now it was my turn. (My dad used homemade icing, minus the powdered sugar. He handed me and my little sister beaters, unbeknown to us that it was just Crisco and butter!) I gave Drew a small amount, enough to cover his tongue. He went from pure joy to disgust in about 2 seconds! He then began to use his fingers and scrap at his tongue. The whole time I was dying laughing.

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Don’t worry, I did not let him suffer. I gave him a glass of milk to swish around. He thought this was so funny because he made chocolate milk in his mouth.

Now that everything was mixed, it was time to taste the fruits of my labor. The harvest was not rewarding! My homemade Nutella was disgusting!!! No one liked it. It smelt super burnt and was still gritty. All that effort was all for nothing. I ended up throwing the whole batch in the trash.

I do not handle failure well, so I spent the next hour on Pinterest looking up other Nutella recipes. After contemplating another go at it at Midnight, I decided that my next DIY will be Funnel Cakes!! Stay tuned…hopefully I don’t mess that one up too!

April Fool’s Day


With it being April Fool’s Day, Hulk wanted to play a prank on his Principal. After hearing his idea I told him it probably isn’t a good idea to play pranks on the Principal. So, instead we went to Dollar Tree and bought fake bugs (mostly spiders) for him to put on all of his classmates desks.

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We agreed that it would be a fun and this way all his friends would get a small gift to keep. He loved the idea!

I would love to hear other ideas, if you have something your child did for school today!;