Category Archives: How To Get Free Stuff

A Midwedding Night’s Dream

A little over a week ago, my husband and I got married at the courthouse with the intentions of planning our dream wedding to take place in a year and a half in Miami, Florida, since most of my family still lives there. It’s a tall order for us to plan what is technically a destination wedding being that we live nowhere near Florida, but I am determined to make it work. On top of that, my goal for this wedding is to keep the total costs under $5,000 without compromising what I have always envisioned. Yeah…I know. I’m dreaming. Maybe, but I can be very resourceful and I’m not giving up.

Oddly enough, I think I can have exactly the wedding I want, exactly the way I want it. Obviously this is going to take a lot of work, research and time, but no matter. Challenge accepted!

My dream wedding party and wedding dress attire.

My dream wedding party and wedding dress attire.

My dream wedding is not the same as your average bride’s dream wedding. I love Shakespeare and for as long as I can remember, I have wanted a Shakespearean themed wedding, complete with the dresses and groomsmen attire from the 1993 movie version of Much Ado About Nothing and the wedding band that Leo gave to Claire in Romeo and Juliet. I have pretty simple and inexpensive taste and saving money on everything is like a game to me.

Therefore, I will do everything I can to save as much money as possible on the wedding I have always dreamed of having.

I’ve already managed to get half of my save the dates for free and fully intend to get the rest of them for free as well. I did this by using my Pamper points to buy 25 free 4×8 photo cards, which is precisely how I intend to obtain the remaining 25 save the dates needs to satisfy my guest list. And if I play my cards right, I think I can get my invitations for free or at a substantial discount, but that’s a road I’ll have to cross when I get to it. As far as the other expenses go, I have already secured an officiant, who volunteered her services (she also happens to be my aunt and Godmother) and I have a friend who is a seamstress and has agreed to make the dresses and vests for the entire wedding party- mine and my husbands included- and will only charge me for fabric plus ten dollars an hour.

My dream wedding ring

My dream wedding ring

What will cost the most money is the venue, which I am already doing vigorous research on and I’ve found quite a few all inclusive places that are under 5,000. This makes me very happy. The only down side is that we are in Illinois and while I have family in Miami that can do some legwork for me locally, I have to rely heavily on other people and their schedules. I’m okay with it, but I really wish I could be there to make sure everything turns out the way I want it. On the upside, we’ve been planning a visit down there for this summer so that my grandfathers can meet our son, so it looks like we’ll be doing some wedding errands while we’re there as well.

I’m actually pretty excited to be doing all of this. Probably because I’ve never done it before and this is the biggest party that will have ever been thrown for me (and for my husband). I’m sure by the time the wedding itself rolls around, I’ll be ready to rip my hair out (if I haven’t already), but I have a feeling that all of the hard work, the sleepless nights and the inevitable stress that comes with planning a destination wedding will have all been worth it.

So, dream Shakespearean wedding…here I come!

 

Homemade Baby Food: Fruit!

Okay, so I’ve only tried this with bananas thus far, but I figured I would try one fruit a week and experiment with methods of turning them into baby food! Yay! Bananas are super easy, too! First, here’s what you need: 4 bananas, a blender and some water! That’s it! It literally took me about five minutes to make this and I’ve made enough for an entire week and a half (I think, it may be more). I’m still unsure as to how long it lasts in the fridge, but rest assured as soon as I know, I will update this post so that you’ll know too.

20141105_161311Now, I should probably add that our son is almost nine months old and we had already been given the go ahead by our pediatrician to start him on solids. So, always make sure that your baby is ready to eat solid foods by asking your pediatrician. Kay? Promise? Okay…let’s make some baby food!!

First, peel the bananas. I had originally purchased 6 but only used 4 of them and it came out perfect!

Break the bananas into pieces; how big or small doesn’t matter, it’s just to help out the blending process when you put them in the blender. Use about 4 ounces of water. You just want enough to loosen the consistency of the bananas.

Then blend!

Now, it’s going to be pretty bubbly. Don’t worry, it’ll thicken up and there won’t be as many bubbles after it’s spent a night in the refrigerator. That’s it! You’ve just made banana baby food!! Yay! To store it, you can use either a tupperware or you can even reuse the baby food jars!

*To learn about making veggie baby food, check out my post about it, here!

tupperware

tupperware

baby food jars!

baby food jars!

Ibotta!

Disclaimer: All the opinions in this post are my own. I received no incentives or compensation from Ibotta or any affiliated parties. Please use my reference code when signing up for this amazing app! Reference Code: vkxrljo

What is Ibotta?

Ever wonder what it would be like to go grocery shopping and earn money back on what you buy? What if I told you that there are free apps just like this that currently exist? I want to tell you guys about Ibotta, an incredible app that gives you rebates on groceries and more! After doing for just a couple of weeks, I made $29! Now, I get it; $29 isn’t very much in the grand scheme of things, but this money can go into my Pay Pal account and pay for a box of diapers! For a stay-at-home mom with no income any little bit to put towards diapers, wipes, diaper rash and all the awesome things that all babies need is a huge help.

Screenshot_2014-11-01-21-18-06All you have to do is open your Ibotta app next time you go shopping to see if there’s anything that you already planned to get! They even have rebates for clothes, sport gear, dining out, baby items and more! It’s pretty sweet and the best part is that there are tons of stores on the app, so wherever you go shopping, it’s very likely to be on Ibotta. Even everyday items that mostly everyone buys, such as milk, eggs and bread are on Ibotta. So why not get paid for things your going to buy anyway?

How can I make the most money on Ibotta?

So, I think we can all agree that making the most amount of money is always best. There are a couple of ways to do this on Ibotta besides buying items listed on the app. The first one I want to tell you about is bonuses. Bonuses are a great way to make a little extra on top of what you make through purchases.unnamed There are bonuses available for individual items as well as monthly bonuses and task bonuses. Some bonuses are worth more than others, but it’s very easy to rack up your cash by completing bonuses. b22c78c2-14bc-4a66-b2df-5ad60730df94_zps72960212

Another way to complete bonuses faster is to have a lot of people on your team. If you connect your Facebook or Google+ account to your Ibotta account and watch your team build! Any of your friends on these networks that use Ibotta will automatically be added to your team. It’s that simple! For your monthly bonuses, the more money people on your team makes, the more money you can make!

If you want to add more people on your team, head on over to the Ibotta Facebook page and create a post where you ask people to add you to their friends list! Another great way to build your team is to give your friends your reference code, which everyone gets when they sign up for Ibotta. My reference code is at the top of this post and I would very much appreciate it if you used it when you sign up for this incredible, free app. If you do, I’ll get a $5 bonus! So help a fellow mommy out!

Wouldn’t you love to earn money for things you’re already buying? Speaking as a stay-at-home mom, any extra cash is helpful. Even if it’s only a little bit at a time, it starts to add up quick and before you know it, you’ll be putting some of the money you already spend right back into your bank account. Even if you use coupons when you shop, you’ll still get the full value of each item that’s on the Ibotta app! That means you save even more money, which is always a good thing, right?

What are you waiting for mommies? Get onto your smartphone now and download this free app! Use my reference code! I promise that you won’t be sorry you did. And stay tuned for more ways to make money from home and ways to earn gift cards for free stuff!!

 

 

Swagbucks!

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are my own. I received no incentives or compensation from Swagbucks or any affiliated parties.

Stay-at-home moms have a full time job. I read somewhere once that if there was a salary for stay-at-home parents that included everything they do on a daily basis–take care of the baby, keep up with the house, cook, etc– it would equal $150,000 a year.

Unfortunately stay-at-home moms don’t get paid for what we do. We don’t get time off, no vacations and no benefits, but we still do the job. And most of us smile when we do it, because we love our families and taking care of them makes us happy. Some moms even find ways to financially contribute in other ways, like I have! I want to share it with you because we all deserve to be rewarded for the important things we do for our kids.

We have a lot of nieces and nephews and a son of our own, so Christmas is a time of year that we love, but also makes our wallets cringe. So, I scoured the internet, at first looking for some work to do from home, so that I could help out with our finances. And it wasn’t long until I found Swagbucks.

The basic idea is that you earn points called “Swagbucks” (SB) which you exchange for rewards. It can be anything from Amazon gift cards to Pay Pal money (which you can then transfer directly into your bank account). The site is huge and there are a number of ways you can earn free and easy Swagbucks.

You can complete offers

Making the most amount of SB in the least amount of time is likely what would work best for a mom so that you can spend less time online and more time with your kids. The offers on Swagbucks would be a good way to go, but not all of these are free. You have to look a little bit for the offers that don’t cost any money.

You can take surveys

This is how I earn most of my SB. Now, obviously you may or may not qualify for some of the surveys. I know I rarely ever qualify, so instead of taking all of them and not qualifying for most of them, I go after the ones that take the least amount of time. The majority of the time, these are the surveys that don’t ask denominational questions and you’re more likely to complete it!

I’ve earned up to 250 SB a day doing surveys exactly like this. Go for the ones that take only 1-10 minutes, and more often than not, you’ll complete it and earn!

You can shop!

I have done this in the past, but both times I shopped with gift cards that I bought with my SB, so it didn’t cost me any of my own money.

This works the same as rebates. You shop at the places you normally would and for every dollar you spend, you get a certain amount of SB back! Typically this is just for shopping online, which is why I don’t use it very often. However, it’s still a good, easy way to earn.

You can watch videos

This is probably the easiest way to earn SB, but it does take some time. I have earned quite a few SB this way and even learned some stuff. They have all kinds of videos, from Hollyscoop to recipes to music videos.

You can print coupons

This is perhaps the easiest way to make SB and it takes the least amount of time. Here’s how it works, you go to the Discovery tab and click on coupons. Then you can scroll through all the different coupons they’re offering and print them out! You earn 10 SB for each coupon redeemed.

So you’re probably asking, “What does this have to do with free Christmas presents?”

As I mentioned before, you can exchange your SB for gift cards to different stores/online stores. I typically exchange my SB for Amazon gift cards because you can apply them to your Amazon account and keep building your, what I like to call, “Amazon wallet”. You can then use those funds to buy all your Christmas presents! I’ve only been doing it for three months and I’ve already gotten most of our Christmas presents from ordering them on Amazon and all of them were 100% free. I didn’t even have to pay shipping!