5 Ways to EARN CASH at the grocery!

With the New Year comes resolutions to save money and none of us ever assumes this will come out of our grocery budget! Good news for us all is that we can actually not only SAVE money but we can also MAKE money at the Grocery Store!

As we all know, we can print online coupons...but all of the grocery stores seem to have tightened up their coupon restrictions and now they only double up to $1.00, will only take 6 per manufacturer, and even have a quantity cap on the item - NOT what you see on extreme couponing, right!?

So, I had to do a little digging but found a few ways to get some extra bang for my buck. Now not only can I use the coupons BUT I also get cash deposited into an account just by using some of the apps that I downloaded to my smartphone. Each week, I am able to rack up extra money and it gets deposited directly into my paypal account (or bank account).

First, OF COURSE USE COUPONS!  These are so quick and easy to download! You can download some here - HERE

Second, make sure you check the store's website. Many people don't know that the stores also will allow you to digitally load coupons so guests can save - even on store brands!

There are some things to know:
1) Digital Coupons (Kroger, walmart & Meijer) can NOT be combined with paper coupons so be careful before loading your shopping card with coupons provided by the store.
2) Digital coupons DO NOT DOUBLE but paper coupons (up to 50 cents DO).
3) Some stores will now only take up to 6 per manufacturer or brand.
4) YOU CAN USE BOTH COUPONS & THE APPS BELOW! You can even cash out on the same product from more than 1 app!

ALL THAT BEING SAID -  NOW TO THE GOOD PART -here are a few ways to get CASH BACK - not a discount but CASH!!!!

1) sign up for savingstar HERE
2) Add your shopper card to the account.
3) Select the coupons that you may use at the grocery and these will automatically "redeem" at the register.
4) The face value of these coupons will not come off your grocery bill BUT they Savingstar will deposit the face value into your savingstar account which you can roll over to your bank or paypal account when you hit $10. Easily done!

USE the IBOTTA app!
Ibotta works practically the same way. You need to go to Ibotta HERE and sign up.

Here's how it works....

1. Sign up for ibotta then download the app to your smart phone.

2. From there you can scroll through different items that you may select and earn from the purchase of. There are usually three different money earning tasks under each item...you can watch the commercial for 25 cents, take a 1 answer quiz for 50 cents, etc.  These also typically match up with the printable coupons and sales out that week so it's extra good!

3. After you purchase the item...Go to your Ibotta app and select the store you purchased the items from and upload a copy of the receipt. You will also need to scan the item for verification with your phone. You will then receive the amount you "earned" through the tasks deposited in your Ibotta account.

You can earn money from them for referring friends and there are always savings for great things like milk, bread, diapers, beer, wine, etc!

This is a NEW ONE FOR ME but check out Receipt Hogg! HERE

1) use the link above to sign up for receipt hog!
2) from there you will simply take a quick snapshot of your grocery store receipt each week for tokens that translate to CASH!
3) the app is pretty fun. You can earn bonus spins and prizes too.
4) It's not a whole lot of money per upload BUT all you are doing is snapping a photo so it can pay off.

1) Sign Up for Ebates HERE
2) You get cash back for all of your online shopping at over 50 stores like Kmart, Walmart, Diapers.com, Victoria Secret, and tons more!
3) Refer a friend! Sometimes, you get $25 for your first referred friend who spends $50 shopping online!
4) Don't worry, if you want the item RIGHT NOW..you can order site to store at many places so you can earn your cash back AND get it the same day!

For Healthy Purchases, you can earn cash back from BERRY CART!

Click HERE to get the app. They reward you for making purchases on organic, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, etc. It's a great app to add if you are looking to eat healthier because you will see products that you may never have heard of before!

Finally take a look at CHECKOUT 51!

Click here for the link! They may not have as many options BUT there are deals on this app that you may not find anywhere else!

It's as easy as that! Download some apps and start shopping & earning!  Let me know if you have any luck with earning or if you have additional ways to rack up the cash!

Do you know what a "Freegan" is?

Religous group, Environmentalists, or crazy?

More often than not, I tend to brag about how frugal or cheap I am. I do my best to reduce my ecological footprint by making my own green cleaning supplies, reusing and recycling containers, and making scratch foods when I can. Just the other day, I was introduced to the ultimate "cheapskates" ...or environmentalists...or crazy people, I really am not sure how to define them accurately. I recently learned of a growing subculture called the "Freegans".

Click HERE To learn how to live like a Freegan!

The Friday Follow Along BLOGHOP and Sharin' Party!

It's PARTY Time!

So grab a hand and follow the leader!
If you have a blog or website with any article pertaining to family, fitness, being cheap (I mean frugal), crafting, recipes, or is just plain fun.... 
  •  LINK UP!
  • No blog? Just swing by and check out the DIY, crafts, recipes, activities, living tips, and MORE!

DIY GAK RECIPE - 5 minutes to GOOEY FUN!

As a cheap mom (yes, I have reduced myself from frugal to cheap) I would like to think that I am teaching my children that ANYTHING we can buy in a store, we can make ourselves! So far....It is working! Now, when they see some new crazy pizza commercial, they don't ask if they can order it...they ask if we can make it - PROGRESS! So when they began begging for GAK...I decided that it was worth the trip to the worldwide web to see if we could DIY - AND WE CAN!

This was super fun to make and is still providing tons of fun a week later.

For those of you who don't know what GAK is...it is a putty type substance that is a bit slimy and super stretchy.  It makes interesting noises and can be molded like putty but doesn't make a mess! It isn't all that expensive to buy at the stores - only about $6 - but in the spirit of teaching kids to DIY....it was a priceless experiment!

TOTAL COST FOR 2 kids to make GAK $3!!!!

Note: Do not give to children under 3 as they may try to eat it. I do not recommend borax as a snack :)

To make your own GAK, you will need the following

- 8oz of White School Glue
- 1 1/2 tsp. Borax- In the laundry aisle - I use it in my homemade detergent
- Warm Water
-2 mixing bowls
-Food Coloring

  1. In bowl number one, empty out your glue bottle(s). Fill the glue bottle(s) with warm water - Shake and combine with glue.
  2. In second bowl, stir 1/4 cup or warm water with borax and food coloring.
  3. Slowly mix the two together. You will notice it beginning to become stringy and then a solid.
  4. You may have to start using your hands to squish and stir the goo!
  5. After a few minutes...you have your own DIY GAK!
Store your GAK in an airtight container and it an be used AGAIN AND AGAIN!

If your kids LOVE it....You can also give it as a gift!


Looking for more fun crafts to do with the kids?
Here are a few

Toilet Paper Roll Pigs from my Friend over at Leah Inspired!

Also, click here to check out my girl Jelli Over at Jellibean Journals! She blogs all about cloth diapering, family projects, recipes, and life in Costa Rica!

DIY Homemade Playdough

We were sitting around having a lazy weekend when my kids started asking for something fun to do. My kids are already in front of a computer screen for school, play computers quite a bit, and watch some tv....so I wasn't wanting to put them back in front of a screen if I didn't need to. I had to think back to what I did as a kid - when screens weren't around (according to my kids)....and finally inspiration struck...PLAYDOUGH!

Did I mention that it was a LAZY weekend? I wanted them to have something fun to do but I wasn't in the mood to drive to the store. So....I found some fun and super easy ways to make our own playdough! I was so surprised at how easy it was to make (only about 8 minutes start to finish)! It was a fantastic way to teach the kiddies that almost anything we can buy....we a can make!

All you need are a few simple ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour - my playdough wasn't as bright since I used wheat flour - hey...its what I had here!
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup salt
  • Food coloring

It doesn't get much easier than this!
  1. Add warm water, salt, vegetable oil, cream of tartar and food coloring
  2. Slowly stir in the flour until it forms a ball (you can still add more coloring!
  3. Turn the ball out of the bowl and knead for a few minutes
  4. DONE! Now its play time
 You can wrap your dough up tightly with some plastic wrap and store in an airtight container.

This kept the kids playing for hours! It was so nice to hear them laughing and giggling together NOT at a computer screen!
If you would like to make an organic version....you can simply swap out the food coloring for some natural colors!
  • For red, use 1.5 cups of water and .5 cups of beet juice in the recipe!
  • For brown, use cocoa powder
  • Green, try celery juice
Enjoy your fun family project! Tomorrow, we are making homemade Gak! Wish me luck on that one--I hear it makes noises!

Looking for more fun projects?

Check out how to make HOMEMADE GIFT BOXES out of cereal boxes and crayons!

Also check out one of my amazing sponsors
She blogs all about life in Costa Rica and all-natural parenting!

Homamade All Natural Laundry Soap

 Powder and Liquid Recipes

For the majority of my adult life, I have been a management professional and have been in charge of the profit, loss,and operations of multi-million dollar companies. When baby number 5 came along, I realized that it was time to step back. I became a work from home mother and began devoting my time to my family's profit and loss! I quickly realized that we had been spending too much money buying things for convenience! I never would have accepted that from myself while operating other people's businesses so why start now?

I began looking into ways to save money and to get healthy. I began making all of my own noodles, breads, and pastries from scratch. Sure....it took an extra minute from my work day BUT it was priceless quality time spent with my children and much healthier for us all. That part was easy. So...I had eliminated costs (and gotten a little greener) there but what was next.......after my first trip to the grocery for cleaning supplies, I saw the next challenge. I had already began looking into ways to eliminate chemicals from every-day items and trying to use all-natural cleaning supplies but YIKES was that expensive! The all-natural products on the shelf were almost double what I used to by. So...inspiration struck (and my cheapness...I mean frugality) and I was going to make my own cleaning products!

I didn't jump into green cleaning supplies all at once. I started with one product then worked my way through the cleaning cabinet. Once you buy just a few ingredients, they are able to be used in most of your green cleaning products so it is so easy to keep adding to the list of what you homemake. They are so much better on the pocket (usually 1/4 the cost or less than what you buy at the store) and better for you!

I finally made my way to laundry detergent. To me this was a leap of faith. I have used the same thing for years!! This is the most labor intensive of all of the homemade cleaning supplies which is why it was last. It works fantastically! Don't be scared that it doesn't suds up. The suds aren't what does the cleaning in traditional soaps...most of us think it is though! It is also safe for HE machines!

Homemade Laundry Detergent:
The larger batch cost (depending on store purchased and deals):

  • 1 box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Powder – $3.15
  • 4lb box of Baking Soda – $2.12
  • 1 box Borax – $3.39
  • 3 bars Fels-Naptha – $2.91
Total for large batch $11.57. It lasts for about 180 loads, that will be $0.06 per load!

If your family isn't as big as mine, you can make a smaller batch (about 30 loads)
  • 6-8 oz. Fels Naptha or other soap
  • 1 Cup baking soda
  • 1 Cup Borax
  • 1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
grate the soap and place in blender or food processor. Once it is to a smaller texture...mix it with the other ingredients in a large bucket. Make sure you mix it well and some will suggest that you wear gloves. You will use 2 tablespoons per load.
If you prefer liquid detergent-

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

1/2 bar of Fels-Naptha (if you use Ivory soap usea whole bar)
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
2 gallons of water, divided
Also need:
a grater
a large saucepan (8 cups or larger)
large bucket or container with lid
liquid storage containers for finished product
If you like fragrance---you can add some essential oil! Use whatever you like, lavender, orange, etc

1. Grate 1/2 a bar of Fels-Naptha into a saucepan.
2. Cover shavings with 4 cups of water and heat on low and continue stirring often until the soap is melted. Usually about 10 minutes
3. Remove from heat. Add the borax and washing soda (and essential oils if you choose)and stir in another 4 cups of water. Mixture may look like pudding!
4. Pour mixture into a bucket or other container with a lid., add another 24 cups (or 1 gallon + 8 cups) and stir well.This may be a bit tricky but some people use a whisk or immersion blender.
5. Let mixture set overnight.
6. The next day, the congealed soap will have settled to the top. Stir it back in and pour into storage containers.You can use old laundry bottles or any container with a lid. I like to use a square container.
Use 1 cup per load!

If you want to make the switch to all natural but aren't ready to DIY...No problem! My all Natural Laundry Soap is available at my Etsy shop! Click Here to see it and other great all natural and organic creations!

Or...if you are ready to DIY...
Grab your ingredients at Walgreens online and get FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $25!
Fels-Naptha Heavy Duty Laundry Bar Soap
20 Mule Team Borax Natural Laundry Booster & Multi-Purpose Household Cleaner (this is a 4 lb box so you get almost 800 loads out of it!
Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
Arm & Hammer Super Wash Soda, Detergent Booster( a 4 pound box)

Save vs. Splurge...

 I am honored to have the fantastic Katie from Moore from Katie here to talk about what items she advises saving on and which she says to splurge on when buying for baby!

Check her out at her Blog Moore from Katie then follow her on twitter HERE!  

She has a fun website that talks about baby, healthy living, fitness, and all things MOMMY!

Which Baby Items Are Worth the Extra Money?

When I was a new mom I faced so many decisions about what to buy for my baby. Would I really need that $200 baby swing? Was it safe to buy something used? Could a trust a used crib would stay together and keep my child safe? Along the way I learned which things were definitely worth the splurge and which were not.

Splurge: Jogging Stroller
One of the first items I bought that I decided was worth the “splurge” was a jogging stroller. They are incredibly easy to maneuver, especially compared to traditional strollers. I also found that my jogging stroller was easier to store and had a wheel lock, which made it easier to control. Plus, there are hand breaks for navigating ramps and hills. This is definitely a baby item worth spending the extra money.

Save: Diaper Research
On the flip side, my experience with my daughter showed me some areas I could save money (so I could afford my splurge). Believe it or not, cloth diapers really do save you money. There was a larger up front investment, but I recouped my costs within five months. You can shop around for used cloth diapers as well. Not only was my child more comfortable in cloth, but we also avoided the chemicals in disposable diapers. No more weird smells and fewer diaper rashes are both a win in my book!

Splurge: Cord Blood Banking
While I may have saved money with my diapering solution, I knew that one splurge I could not pass up was cord blood banking. My instincts told me to do anything possible to help protect my baby’s future health and this one was an easy choice. After learning about my baby's cord blood, I discovered I could preserve the valuable cells found within and that someday these cells could potentially be used in a medical treatment for my baby, or possibly a sibling. . As with any medical decision, you should discuss your available options with your doctor and then decide what is best for your baby and your family..

Splurge: Baby Laundry Detergent
One of the little areas to save is to not buy into everything geared for your little one. Let me tell you now that you do not need to spend extra for fancy baby laundry detergent. Sure, babies have more sensitive skin, but you can find a gentler soap that is much cheaper than the bottle with the baby on it. Choosing a dye and fragrance free detergent is just as good in my opinion. I have even had some friends who make their own detergent. They use every day household ingredients and save money at the same time.

Since my daughter is almost two, I often think about what I would change with a second baby. I learned so much from my first pregnancy and I’m able to cut costs efficiently- while keeping the family happy! Look closely at where your money is spent and I figure out you own ways to save- it becomes fun and easy!

Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26