Free Money!!

I truly LOVE free — especially free money.  Here’s how to get yours:

1. Click here to open a NetSpend account for free and use the referral code “7413420433” in order to get the $20 bonus.

2. You will receive your NetSpend Visa Debit card within two weeks.

3. Once received, login to NetSpend and activate it.

4. In order to get the FREE $20, you’ll need to load the card with a minimum of $40.00 using PayPal, a bank account or one of the other many options. I used the “free instant bank transfer” via PayPal because there were no fees associated with that method of deposit.

5. Once you load the $40, NetSpend will add $20 to your balance.

6. I then used my card as a $59 purchase to reload my Amazon gift card (since there was a $1 processing charge for credit, $2 processing charge for pin, and $2.50+ for ATM).  You can use it for groceries, gift cards or however you see fit, HOWEVER, remember to account for the fees for the method you use.

Here’s my transaction history so you can see everything. The same day my Paypal deposit went through I received my $20 reward.  I then reloaded my Amazon gift card with the $59 and NetSpend charged me the $1 signature purchase fee.  All-in-all for about 20 minutes of work I received $19 free! 🙂

Netspend

The lag in dates is my fault.  I got busy with work and forgot to verify the deposits. :/  However, once I verified it only took about two days for Paypal to transfer my initial $40.

*At the moment this is ONLY for United States residents and this is only for new accounts.  So if you’ve signed up for Netspend before, please make sure you pass this on to others so they can at least get their free money!

For questions about usage fees and other items, go here.

How are you going to use your free money?

Fri(YAY!) Try Day: Foot Peel

Let’s talk feet. You might find this gross, weird, disturbing, however, it’s AWE-mazing. You see we are counting down the days (43) until our toes are in the sand for our annual Florida trip and, unfortunately, my feet and legs are overworked and you could see it in my soles. Reviewers said I could get my haven’t-seen-a-pedicure-in-a-couple-of-years feet ready for the beach in no time  with The Face Shop Smile Foot Peeling Mask . Ok. They didn’t say that per-se, but that’s how it rolled around in my head.  Since it cost less than $8 I figured why not.

The steps are simple enough. Wash and soak your feet,  put on the booties, pour in the solution, and tie them up at the ankles and wait. While you’ll be able to maneuver around with the socks on, I recommend taking a breather and just relaxing during the treatment. I waited until the girls were asleep, sat in my comfy chair and streamed a few episodes of Game of Thrones. After 90-minutes into Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, I simply removed and discarded the socks and rinsed my feet with warm water.

The thing is that the peeling doesn’t happen right way. It took a full week before my skin started to fall away…and then it REALLY came off.  Lots of dead skin was *shudder* all over my sheets. After that, I tried to wear socks as much as possible as the shedding continued to resemble snakeskin. EEK. If you’re going to do this, try to avoid any and all barefoot activities during the peeling phase. Just wear socks. Always. To everything. Everywhere. Trust me.

After this hideous peeling phase and about 10 days post mask, I had a beautiful set of crack free feet! All callouses and rough skin were magically gone and my feet feel and look softer than they have in ages.  Alas, despite the snakelike sloughing…I loved this product and I love my feet again. 🙂  You just can’t beat that for $8.

How to Pay Less for Rx

I have to be honest, I never really thought about price checking prescriptions.  If my daughters get sick I either send it to pharmacy near my work or near my home out of convenience.  In my naive mind I just assumed all prescriptions would more or less cost the same across the board. Yeah, I was wrong.  I did a search on a couple of prescriptions I’ve filled in the last year on rxpricequotes.com and found there was always a price difference ranging from a mere $2 to a whopping $50 difference just on the prescriptions I’ve used this year!  And we’re a fairly healthy family.  Exact same dosage – exact same prescription – completely different prices.  Here’s an example for Ibuprofen 800 near my job:

rx compare

This tool will even show you the generic costs on name brands (Alternate drug category is the generic version):

rx compare2

Since Sam’s Club always came out cheaper on the four I searched I wondered, “What about non-members?”   Surprisingly, I found out that you don’t need a membership to use Sam’s Club pharmacy.  You can show your prescription to the checker at the entrance (or just tell them you’re going to the pharmacy) and you’re in. Note: Without a Sam’s Club membership, you can only use the pharmacy – no other purchases allowed.

In addition, if you are a Sam’s Plus™ Member and live in certain states you can receive five select prescriptions for free, for more details go here.

  • Donepezil: 30-day supply for Alzheimer’s Disease (generic Aricept 2 strengths)
  • Escitalopram: 30-day supply for Mental Health (generic Lexapro 3 strengths)
  • Pioglitazone: 30-day supply for Diabetes (generic Actos 3 strengths)
  • Vitamin D 50,000 IU: 4 caps for Bone Density
  • Finasteride: 30-day supply for Men’s Health (generic Proscar 1 strength)

My father also reminded me to ask my doctor about pill splitting for any longer term prescriptions. What is this “pill splitting”? Sometimes you can buy a double dosage pill that can be sliced in half. For example, instead of 60 days of a 50mg pill you buy a 30 day supply of a 100mg pill and split it in half.  Voila! You have 60 days worth of 50mg. This can potentially save you a lot of money. Of course, some pills aren’t suitable for splitting such as time-release or coated capsules. Oh the logic of it all!  Why didn’t I think of this??

Also, I found this site that has coupons and rebates for different medications (both prescription and OTC’s such as Aleve and Allegra).  I always go here if I or the kids need any OTC medications just for the coupons.

Hope this enlightens you as much as it did me!

 

 

Let’s Get Real

Life isn’t easy. To be responsible for the livelihood and molding of another person? Shitz hard!

Today I started out at 3:30am, did some laundry and dishes, woke the baby at 4am for breakfast, worked out, then woke the girls at 5am for their breakfast, and then our day was up and running.  By 8am severe migraine – possible dehydration.  Two meetings and two Gatorade’s later feeling a little more useful.  Then the apocalyptic call – I don’t want to babysit your infant anymore.  It’s only noon. Dammitalltohell.

A quick rescheduling of meetings and a call to the boss and I’m off.  Picking up Baby J on the way to picking up Milla to drop her at school during my lunch break (she’s a half day preK kid).  I stop at three places nearby our home to request prices…totally out of our budget.  I hit up Craigslist and schedule a couple of interviews.  A few drive-bys (too scary to even stop) and a couple of interviews later and I think we have a winner.  She’s new to Houston, has a few respectful and sweet kids, lives in a gated community. She gives me a copy of her license and a background check later she’s tentatively hired for a trial week.

Let’s get real.  If you had a big bag full of gold you wouldn’t just drop it off at a strangers house and expect to pick it up later.  That’s what I feel when I drop my kids off.  I’m trusting someone whom is practically a stranger with one of my most priceless possessions!  I would literally kill for my kids.  I love them more than I’ve ever loved anything in my entire life.  I pay more than 1/2 my pay every month to people to care for these little people that I would personally pay just to spend more time with. Truth talk. I’m jealous of SAHMs.

Being a single parent isn’t easy.  It’s extremely difficult.  I do what I do to the best of my ability so that I may give my wonderful little people the life they deserve.  It’s not easy. Sometimes it’s a lot of fun; but it’s ALWAYS a lot of work.  Most days I feel extremely blessed and lucky to have these three beautiful little creatures that cuddle and look up to me.  However days like today are hard.  They make you shed a few tears, ask God why, and then you strum up the courage to say “Okay, I got this”.  There’s a quote by Mae West that comes to mind, “I never said it’d be easy, I said it’d be worth it.”

It’s not easy, but it’s totally worth it. Baby J cheering me on at the computer as we search for a new babysitter. Who can resist those eyes!!??

IMG_2994

How to Protect Against Sex Offenders

After listening to KRBE’s discussion on sex offenders on my way in to work I did a little research and read some of the below statistics on Family Watchdog:

•  60% of abusers are family friends (babysitters, neighbors, or friends of the family)
•  30% of abusers are their own family.
•  And 10% are strangers. -Most people think it is just strangers you have to watch out for, but 90% of abusers are people the victim knows.
•  Not all perpetrators are adults. It is an estimated 23% of abusers are under the age of 18.
•  Absence of one or both parents is a risk factor (Some research found that children living with only one biological parent at twice the risk of sexual victimization)

I decided to do a check of my new neighborhood and had a small heart attack when I saw an address a few houses down from us.  Just a reminder to always keep an eye on your children as you never know who or where the “bad” people could be.  How many times have you heard of someone getting arrested for something horrible and their family and neighbors all saying how wonderful they are?  Unfortunately, you just never know what goes on behind closed doors.  The nice, rich woman down the street could be your biggest threat and the cranky, old guy across the street could be one of your children’s greatest protectors and your second set of eyes.

I want to take this opportunity to urge you to empower your children to say “no” to unwanted touch and teach them that they can come to you with questions and concerns.  Doing this is a critical step to preventing your child from being sexual abused. Here are some things I do:

  • Teach children the names of their body parts so that they have the language to ask questions and express concerns about those body parts.
  • Teach them that some parts of their bodies are private.
    • Let them know that other people should not be touching or looking at their private parts unless they need to touch them to provide care.
    • Tell them that if someone tries to touch those private areas or wants to look at them OR if someone tries to show them his or her own private parts, they should tell you ASAP.
  • Teach them boundaries and that it’s okay to say “no” to touches that make him or her uncomfortable or scared.
    • Assure your kids that it is okay to get help, even if someone he or she cares about might be upset or embarrassed.
  • Teach your child that these topics do not need to be “secret.” Abusers will sometimes tell a child that the abuse should be kept a secret. Let your child know that if someone is touching him or her or talking to him or her in ways that make him or her uncomfortable or scared, that it should not stay a secret.
    • Abusers rely on the child’s likelihood of not telling an adult.
    • Assure your child that he or she will not get into trouble if he or she tells you this kind of secret.

As you talk to your child about these items, remember to focus on creating a safe zone. Hopefully, they don’t tell you about sexual abuse at the time of the conversation and you are just laying a foundation for future questions or concerns. Also, take a moment to do a sex offender search and read why they are on the list (this is important as not all offensives are alike).  Please remember that these are only the registered offenders that were caught and realize how many are out there that haven’t been.  Our children are our greatest asset and it’s our job to look after them and keep them safe.

If you live in Texas, you can check your zip code here.

If you live in Missouri, you can check your address here.

If you live in Florida, you can check your address here.

If you reside in a state that isn’t listed above, go here.

 

How to Get Paid to Lose Weight!

If you’re not feeling very motivated to lose those extra pounds,  here’s a nice little incentive that might help change your mind: cold hard cash.  I don’t know about you, but the frugalista in me is definitely motivated by that.

There are two sites I have personally used and love: DietBet and HealthyWage.  I used DietBet monthly to lose the baby weight after Cici and I’m at it again to lose it again from Baby J.  I’ve just completed my first round and am happy to say, I WON!

DietBet

When you sign up at DietBet, you can create your own game or join one that’s already in progress. I personally always join one, but that’s just my preference. Also, DB offers two different types of games: lose 4% of your body weight in four weeks or The Transformer for losing 10% of your body weight in six months.  Note that you can do these consecutively as well.

So how does it work you say?  You pick a game  that suits your budget (bets can range from $10-$500) and put in your deposit and weigh-in.  In 30 days (or 6 months if playing the 10% Transformer) everyone submits their final weight and the winners split the pot evenly. Payouts are made via Paypal a few days after verification. For example, the last time I won I had deposited $25 and received back $48.33 (my $25 deposit and $23.33 in winnings from the pot).  I chose to reinvest it into another DietBet game until I reached my goal weight, but you can cash out if you’d like as well.

I’m currently signed up for Shape Up for Summer with Heidi & Chris Powell with a $30 deposit, $151,980 in the pot, and 5,066 players as of May17. Wish me luck!

HealthyWage

Healthy Wage is for more significant weight loss. You can set it for 10-150 lbs to lose, over 6-18 months, for anywhere from $20-$500 bet per month.  It has a handy online calculator which allows you to determine roughly what your payout will be.  In most cases, the prize won’t be less than $100.

Healthywage

If you want to do a Healthy Wage team challenge, you will have to put up the entry fee which is currently $25 per month for up to three months. The team challenges advertise much larger payouts — up to $10,000. However, this top dollar prize is if your team is the most successful and has a higher percentage of weight lost than any other teams participating.

These programs and their apps work for me because I’m motivated in three ways:
1. I want to lose weight and be healthy
2. I do not want to lose my deposit
3. I love to get paid

Have you tried either of these?  What incentives do you need/use to get in shape?

For more information, you can check out this excerpt from Good Morning America:

 

Freebie(s): Week of May15

CVS Freebies!

Buy 1 Colgate Total Toothpaste, 4-4.2 oz $3.00, sale price through 5/21
Use $1.00 off coupon (colgate.com)  Or $0.50/1 – Colgate Toothpaste 3 oz or larger from SmartSource 5/15   ++use one $2.50/1 Colgate Toothpaste, CVS Coupon from CVS Extracare Coupon Center Week of 5/15
FREE

Buy 2 Pepsi , Mountain Dew 1.25 – 1.5 liter or Aquafina 20 oz 2/$2.00
Use $2.00/2 CVS App Coupon (download the CVS app, add you card and load the coupon to your CVS Card
FREE