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Saturday, May 12, 2012

The stuff I do

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine. She just had her fourth baby and tries to feed them in a healthy and organic way. Since I have been trying to do the same (and save a little money too) I promised to send an email with some of my purchasing tips to her. No stranger to finding deals, she never purchases from the internet because she doesn't know about the resources available there. 

And since it was such a long and informative email, I thought I would also post it here!
I told you that I would email you with these websites. I think it really saves a lot of time! But brace yourself, this is a long email. Here goes:
 I really like ShopatHome -that's my referral link ;) 
Shopathome has the coupon codes to stores and they also offer cash back at a LOT of places if you buy online through the links on their site. I find that most the time I can get free shipping and I save more money by shopping at home. By shopping online this way for xmas and Chanukah I ended up getting a check for about $35 back after the holidays.  
The other GREAT place I discovered is Plastic Jungle. You can buy discounted gift cards for places that you are shopping anyway. Even better! If you go through shopathome first, you can get money back for the discounted gift cards you buy. Cool right? I just bought a gift card for Shell gas the other day. I got it in 4 days no shipping for 2% off (not much but hey...) and I got another 2% back from shopathome so I got a free gallon of gas. But it adds up! You can also find gift cards for grocery, clothing stores, target, etc. I have a couple of card requests set up so when they get a Costco card, or another store I regularly purchase at in stock, they email me so I can buy it.
Here’s an exciting idea: You go through ShopatHome to buy the gift card at  Plastic Jungle. Then you go back to Shopathome to the store website to use the giftcard… talk about 2x the rebate! 
 I also mentioned Vitacost in our conversation. This place is great! If you create a login, they have a deal right now that you and the person who referred you (me) will both get a $10 credit. Here you can get organic food, vitamins, essential oils, etc. They do have an option to send you regularly used items automatically each month, like amazon. I usually find that the cost of items here is less than amazon (and much less than Whole Foods); like coconut oil, essential oils, and elderberry syrup for the kids. Again I go through Shopathome FIRST to get a 10% rebate for the purchases I was going to make. 
 I also use a rewards site called Swagbucks.  Some “swagbucks” are like a game to get, some are super easy. It is also a search engine where you can get random rewards by using it. So I switched my browser preferred search engine to Swagbucks. I cash my rewards in for gift cards that get used for gifts or cooking ingredients. I typically can earn between 10 and 20 swagbucks a day just using my search engine so that ads up quickly.  You can also save up for raffles, and other material things worth a few bucks (like digital pictures) or a lot of bucks (like a 32 inch HDTV).  
Also, when I run out of something I don’t just come up with science experiments to try to make it myself. I look it up in my search engine. Search “how to make__” When I was in Tahoe, we realized that we didn’t have any dishwashing soap so I went online and realized I could use a measured amount of dawn, bleach, and vinegar. You would not believe how shiny the dishes turned out to be! When I run out of the stuff at home I am so just going to use this mixture!  
Sooo... that's about it. There are also some blogs that I like to keep track of on my facebook page to get updates on super deals. I like them because sometimes there are great deals on gift items (like free with the cost of shipping) I tend to stockpile kids toys for birthday parties and keep a look out for things I can get the kids for the holidays super cheap now that won't be during the holiday season. 
Hope this gives you some ideas. It just might turn you into an internet junkie like I am. I think I am a little tired from typing so much. ;) 
I thought it was funny how surprised she was that I have been making so many staples from scratch! She is so business minded that she’s planted some great ideas in my head. Like canning to sell some of my stuff to people who want to nix the preservatives but still want to buy the convenient foods and charging a fee for consulting (I like this one) … something to think about in the future. For now, I think I still have a lot to learn. Thank you cyberland and readers who come here to read about my journey!

PS - I am not fanatical about my referral links, but if you like reading what I have posted I appreciate your support using my referral links.