December212012.info
FREEBIE LIBRARY!
Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

Category: Earning & Managing Money

Inbox Dollars: Get paid to read emails, take surveys, search the web, and more!

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Read our .)

Sign up for  and you’ll get paid to read emails, search the web, take surveys, and more. I loved earning free gift cards from Inbox Dollars when Jesse was in law school and I had a lot more time than money.

Surveys are a great way to make some extra income on the side! This is a great list of legitimate survey sites you can trust!

Looking for more opportunities to make money from home? See my list of recommended survey companies here.

Why I Sometimes Buy Junk Food & a GREAT Deal on Almond Milk

It's okay to buy junk food sometimes and NOT feel guilty about it!

I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 grocery budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to . See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our .

Two weeks ago, I bought Cheerios and a few people on my Facebook Live were very upset by the fact that I would buy cereal that was so full of chemicals. It kind of made me laugh because I always thought that Cheerios were one of the healthier cereals.

But anyway, let’s hope that those same people don’t see this post because {gasp!} I bought food that is much less healthy than Cheerios. I bought cake mix and chocolate chips and croutons and bottled juice and sweetened condensed milk and junky peanut butter and white hamburger buns.

Basically, I have fallen into a complete chemical coma with this shopping trip. 😉

All joking aside, while we try to eat a fairly healthful diet and we make a lot of things from scratch and we use whole wheat flour in a lot of our baking, I’m all about balance. So when Kathrynne asked if she could make Cake Mix bars today, I was happy to buy the ingredients for them!

Friday Aldi Shopping Trip — $5.25

  • Crunchy Peanut Butter — $1.15
  • Yellow Cake Mix — $0.85
  • Eggs — $1.18
  • Chocolate Chips — $1.69
  • Total with tax: $5.25

Friday Kroger Shopping Trip — $5.54

  • Buns — Marked down to $1.29 (I’m freezing these to use for grilling burgers.)
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk — $1.19
  • Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice — FREE (used Free Friday Download)
  • 4 bags of Mrs. Cubbinson’s Croutons — $0.89 each when you buy 6 participating items, used 2 = $0.39 each after coupons (+ submitted for $0.25 Ibotta rebate per bag)
  • 2 cartons Almond Milk — $1 per carton when you buy 6 participating items, used = $0.50 each after coupons
  • Total with tax: $5.54

Remember all of the avocados I bought?

We are loving making homemade guac with them — SO good!

And it’s amazing on my salads!

Total Spending This Week

Total spent so far this week: $68.56

Rebates: $0.50 for submitting two receipts to Ibotta, $1 for buying 4 packages of croutons, $1.38 back from Fetch Rewards for purchasing Goldfish & Suave + scanning four other receipts (If you haven’t signed up for Fetch Rewards, you can  and use code WW7XJ and you’ll get a bonus 2,000 points = worth $2.)

See this week’s menu plan here.

I Earned $5 in Three Weeks from Fetch Rewards — Just for Scanning My Grocery Receipts!

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Read our .)

If you haven't been using the Fetch Rewards app, you're missing out! It's such an EASY way to make money back on your groceries!

Want to make a little extra money from scanning your grocery receipts? Fetch Rewards is an app that allows you to earn free gift cards to Amazon, Panera, Barnes & Noble, and so much more — just for scanning your grocery receipts.

That’s right! All you have to do is open up the app and literally take a picture of your grocery store receipt and hit submit and you’ll get points back! You can cash in these points for fantastic gift cards to help you stretch your budget a little further OR be able to afford some fun splurges!

Here are 7 reasons why I have fallen in love with the Fetch Rewards app:

1. You Can Scan ANY Grocery Store Receipt

Any and all grocery store receipts qualify — including receipts from Aldi and Dollar Tree!

2. You Can Scan Up to 14 Receipts Per Week

This is great if you make multiple grocery shopping trips in a week or you save your receipts and then scan them all in at once (you have up to 14 days to scan in your receipt from the day you went shopping).

3. You Earn Points On Every Receipt

While they have various items you can purchase to earn bonus points, no matter what you bought, if you scan your receipt, you’ll get points just for scanning your receipt!

4. You Don’t Have to Mess With Scanning Bar Codes

Unlike some of the other rebate apps, you don’t have to mess with finding the offers and checking the boxes for them or scanning the barcodes on the individual items. You just scan your receipt, they automatically add the points to your account, and you’re done!

5. You Earn Bonus Points for Referring People

Fetch Rewards offers a great referral program and you can earn 2,000 points for every person you refer who signs up with your code and then scans a receipt. Spread the word about this great app and they’ll reward you for doing so!

6. You Don’t Have to Earn a Minimum Before Cashing Out

There’s no need to wait until you’ve hit a $25 payout with Fetch Rewards! As soon as you have 3,000 points, you can cash that in for a $3 Amazon, Panera, or Target gift card! When you hit 5,000 points, there are over 50 gift card rewards to choose from!

7. You Get the Gift Cards Almost Immediately!

Best of all, when you request a gift card reward, they will email it to you and give you access to it within a minute or two!

How Much I’ve Been Earning

I’ve heard that you typically earn more points in the beginning and then you earn fewer points the longer you’ve used the app. But hey, all points are free money in my book, so I’ll take them.

Right now, I’ve been earning the equivalent of at least $1.50 per week. It’s not a TON of money, but every little bit adds up! And since it only takes me seconds to scan my receipt, it’s so worth it!

My plan is to use the money I’m earning to purchase something that’s $5 or $8 from Amazon every other month to help stretch our $70 Grocery Budget just a little bit more. It would also be fun to set aside all of the money you’ve earned in a year and use it for Christmas gifts or one larger purchase.

Earn 2,000 Points When You Sign Up for Fetch Rewards

Want to join me in this fun journey to earning free gift cards just for scanning your grocery receipts?  and use code WW7XJ and you’ll get a bonus 2,000 points (worth $2).

Looking for other apps where you can earn money or gift cards for free? I recommend Ibotta, , and Swagbucks.

MySurvey: Earn cash or rewards for taking surveys

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Read our .)

Looking for legitimate survey companies to sign up with?

 is a company that I have used in the past and earned money from. You can redeem your points earned for cash or prizes, and every 1000 points equals $10.

.

Surveys are a great way to make some extra income on the side! This is a great list of legitimate survey sites you can trust!

Looking for more opportunities to make money from home? See my list of recommended survey companies here.

I found the clearance cart at Big Lots + Aldi & Kroger shopping trips & our menu plan!

Check out this shopping haul from ALDI, Kroger, and Big Lots -- all on a $70 weekly grocery budget!

I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 grocery budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to . See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our .

I’ve got LOTS of great deals to report to you today! Buckle your seat belt, this might be a l-o-n-g post!

Saturday Kroger Shopping Trip — $15.66

Kroger had a Saturday Only Sale where you could get Smithfield Bacon for just $2.99 per package with the digital coupon. There was a limit of 5 packages and you better believe we took advantage of the deal and got 5 packages… because, BACON! 🙂

Tuesday Big Lots Shopping Trip — $3.47

After scoring the great deal on bread at Big Lots, a few of you told me that I needed to check for the Clearance Cart at Big Lots… and you said that you’ve found some amazing deals in it! Well, I checked when I went today and I found it — and these crackers were in it for just $0.25 per package!

I also grabbed some Krusteaz pancake mix for $2.25 since we kind of last-minute invited friends to go to the pool with us tonight and then come back to our house for Breakfast for Dinner and Games.

I’m not sure if that’s a good price on pancake mix (I usually make mine, but it was less expensive and easier for me today to just buy it), but I thought it was a pretty decent deal and I’ve heard that that pancake mix is really good.

Big Lots tip: Be sure to sign up for a BuzzRewards card. You are supposed to get a $5 off $15 coupon for every three shopping trips. I’m excited to see if this actually works — because that could be a great way to stretch our budget a little bit more!

Tuesday Aldi Shopping Trip — $17.80

  • 5 packages of strawberries — $1.29 each (we’re using 4 cartons of these for our Breakfast for Dinner with friends tonight)
  • Cantaloupe — $1.49
  • Pancake Mix — $1.49 (I grabbed a second box of pancake mix just to be sure we have plenty for Breakfast for Dinner tonight!)
  • Pure Maple Syrup — $5.99
  • 5 ears of Sweet Corn — $0.25 each

Total with tax: $17.80

Today is the last day of the Kroger Buy 5, Get $5 Off Sale, so I wanted to stop by and get a few more items before the sale ended. Here’s what I got:

Tuesday Kroger Shopping Trip — $20.84

  • 2 bags of apples — $0.99 each
  • 2 bags of avocados — $0.99 each
  • Goldfish crackers — $0.99 when you buy 5 participating items
  • 1 gallon Whole Milk — $2.69
  • Suave Kids Bodywash — $0.99 when you buy 5 participating items, used = $0.24 after coupon
  • Suave Bodywash — $0.99 when you buy 5 participating items
  • Cascadian Farms Cereal — $2.49 each when you buy 5 participating items, used 2 $1/1  = $1.49 each after coupons
  • 5 boxes of Nature Valley Bars — $1.79 each when you buy 5 participating items, used , used 2 $0.50/2  + = that’s like paying $0.89 per box after the coupons, sale, and Catalina (which I’ll use on my shopping trip on Thursday or Friday to help lower that grocery bill!)

Total with tax: $20.74 + I got a $3 catalina to use on my next shopping trip!

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Catalina Deal, but when I saw , I knew I had to do it. These will make for great snacks to take with us to the pool! Remember, the Buy 5, Get $5 Off sale ends tonight. So if you want to get in on this deal, hurry out to your store before midnight!

(Also, the best deal is to buy the crunchy bars — there are 12 per box. But we decided to try a few different kinds, just for fun!)

This Week’s Simple Menu Plan

This menu is subject to change a little if I find some great deals or markdowns! 🙂

Breakfasts

Fried/Scrambled Eggs, Baked Oatmeal, Cereal, Fruit, Toast

Lunches

Mac & Cheese, Cereal, Chips/Salsa, Fruit, Veggies, Leftovers, Eggs, Yogurt, Salad

Snacks

Marked Down Yogurt, Fruit, Ice Cream Bars, Crackers, Granola Bars

Monday: Bacon & Eggs & Fruit & Southwest Roll-Ups (from the freezer) — these things don’t go together at all, really, but the girls and I went with friends to a movie and I just put this together at the last minute

Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner with Friends — Pancakes, Eggs (that I got marked down recently), Bacon, Strawberries

Wednesday: Haystacks, Chips & Homemade Guac, Fruit

Thursday: Sausage & Onions in the CrockPot, Noodles, Fruit

Friday: Dinner Out (I’m volunteering at the setup for Kaitlynn’s school’s yard sale.)

Saturday: Cookout — Sausage on the Grill, Corn on the Cob, Fruit

Sunday: Snack-y Dinner

Total Spending So Far This Week

Total spent so far this week: $57.77

Total left to spend: $12.23

Rebates: $0.25 for submitting a receipt to Ibotta, $0.98 back from Fetch Rewards for purchasing Goldfish & Suave + scanning two other receipts (If you haven’t signed up for Fetch Rewards, you can  and use code WW7XJ and you’ll get a bonus 2,000 points = worth $2.)

I spent $67.46 on groceries this week + you were right about Big Lots!!

I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 grocery budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to . See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our .

Since Wednesday is my Slow Day, I had some extra time to devote to shopping. So I stopped by Dollar Tree, Aldi, Kroger, and Big Lots. And I got some great deals!

Wednesday Dollar Tree Shopping Trip — $6.44

  • Brown Rice — $1
  • Pinto Beans — $1
  • 3 bottles Lemon Juice — $1 each
  • Swabs — $1 each (After I bought these I discovered that these are a tad cheaper to buy at Aldi. Just FYI.)
  • Total with tax: $6.44

Wednesday Aldi Shopping Trip — $14.14

  • Colby Jack Cheese — $1.69
  • Sharp Cheddar — $1.69
  • Package of 7 kiwi — $1.49
  • Cantaloupe — $1.49
  • Strawberries — $1.29
  • Chocolate Chips — $1.69
  • Red Grapes — $2.67
  • Natural Peanut Butter — $1.15 (I just realized that this PB was only $1.15!! I should have bought more! It wasn’t tagged at this price, though! That’s a great deal!)
  • Total with tax: $14.14

Wednesday Kroger Shopping Trip — $2.93

Did you know that Big Lots sells bread?!? I had no idea.

I haven’t been in a Big Lots store in years and had sort of forgotten about them. But some of you kept suggesting I go in there and check it out.

When I walked in the door and saw the reduced bread cart, I was all, “No!!!! This has been here for the 4 years we’ve lived here and I never knew?!?!”

They had a lot of different bread and bagels on the cart — all priced at $1.40 per loaf. If you have a Bread Outlet, you might be able to find bread less expensive than this, but this is a great deal for these name brand breads in our area.

Yes, the bread is close to the sell by date so you’ll need to freeze it when you get home. But we always freeze our bread anyway and then just use it from the freezer as needed.

I’ve never tried the Eureka bread before but some of you said it usually retails for $6 a loaf and that it’s fantastic!

Moral of the story: You never know where you’re going to find great deals! There might be some hidden gems right where you live that you don’t know about because you’ve just never checked.

Second moral of the story: If you like fantastic bread at a great price, go run and check out your local Big Lots store. (They also have good deals on olive oil and other oils. I didn’t see much else to write home about, but their stock changes every time, so I’ll keep looking!)

Third moral of the story: You guys were right. 😉

Wednesday Big Lots Shopping Trip — $4.48

  • 3 loaves of bread — marked down to $1.40 each
  • Total with tax: $4.48

To see me talk more about my Big Lots trip, . (And you can  if you’re interested in watching other shopping haul videos, recipe videos, and more money-saving videos!)

I took this hot guy with me shopping this morning. 🙂 I was getting ready to hop in the car to run to Aldi and I spontaneously asked him if he wanted to come with me. It was a quick shopping trip, but we had some great discussions in the car and just love opportunities like this to get to be together!

15 years and we still love spending time together! Also, it’s so fun that our kids are old enough that we can now leave them at home by themselves!

Friday Aldi Shopping Trip — $18.73

  • Cantaloupe — $1.49
  • 8 Sweet Corn Ears — $0.25 each
  • 6 packages of Strawberries — $1.29 each
  • Milk — $2.69
  • Lettuce — $1.99
  • 1 package of 7 Kiwi — $1.49
  • Total with tax: $18.73

I was kind of sad that I was $2+ under budget. I would have purchased another item or two at Aldi, but I was afraid that I was going to be over, so I didn’t just in case! 🙂 Oh well!

Spending Totals

Total spent on groceries this week: $67.46

Rebates: $0.50 for submitting two receipts to Ibotta, $1.36 back from Fetch Rewards for purchasing Goldfish & Suave and scanning 5 qualifying receipts. You can scan any grocery store receipts — including Aldi! The only receipt from this week that I didn’t get any points from was Big Lots. (If you haven’t signed up for Fetch Rewards, you can  and use code WW7XJ and you’ll get a bonus 2,000 points = worth $2.)

See this week’s menu here.

Did you can buy bread at Big Lots?! And it'll save you TONS of money!