Monthly Archives: July 2015

Learning about Fiverr

I’ve been doing some research on Fiverr.com, and I think that this is such a good source of both making money and paying minimal money for services that it is definitely worth sharing with my readers!

Fiverr is a global online marketplace offering tasks and services, beginning at a cost of $5 per job performed (namesake!). The site is primarily used by freelancers who use Fiverr to offer services to customers worldwide. These services can go up to $500 and include things like writing, translation, graphic design, video editing, and programming [wikipedia]. Though these are the general services, if you dig around this site, you can find some truly absurd tasks. Things you didn’t know you needed and things you didn’t know  you could make money doing. It’s insane!

The service is completely free to join and free to list your services on with no hidden fees. Fiverr makes their money by keeping 20% of each transaction made. 80% profit isn’t half bad for tasks that (generally) take minimal effort anyways. Beyond this, Fiverr really allows you to be in control. As their site mentions, you have full control over your brand (profile, services, portfolio), your communication (secure platform to talk to potential clients or vendors), your payments (accepts credit cards, paypal, and even bitcoin), and your pricing (no negotiation, fixed at levels).

It sounds almost too good to be true, right? It’s not, if you use it right.

US News published a great article on how to best use Fiverr services for profit. They note that Mark Mason, a semi-retired publicist in Chicago, recommends that Fiverr newbies always start at $5, and then slowly build up as your reputation builds. It’s incredibly important that you have great recommendations and reviews – the more trust users have in you, the more trust other users will have in you.

A successful Fiverr wrote a tutorial describing his climb to Fiverr success. He says that it’s super important to create your gig image (something eye catching and something that stands out) as well as your gig description. Don’t copy anyone else’s, or you will get banned. You will need to use your own wit to woo customers your way. He also mentions that tagging/keywords are important as well as guaranteeing your service for 1 day turnaround. No one wants to wait.

Another successful Fiverr wrote a tutorial describing his top tips as well. His tips that caught my eye? Offer incentives for repeat orders, encouraging long lasting customers. Keep your response time low, always be available, and never offer services that take more than 24 hours to do – people want results quick – that’s why they user Fiverr! Lastly, share your gigs on social media! More eyes that see this – the better.

Are you inspired? I sure am. Seems like an awesome way to make easy money in spare time…what would your Fiverr service be?

#NationalChickenWingDay

It seems like every single day there is a new “national something day” – frankly, I’m not mad about it. Generally, so many people buy into it that there are TONS of deals, and, if nothing else, dinner inspiration for the family that night.

So here we are celebrating #nationalchickenwingday!

Time.com released an article today with all the best deals from restaurants around the country on chicken wings. Here they are! Hopefully one of these restaurants is in your area:

Black Angus Steakhouse: The National Chicken Wing Day deal, announced to those who signed up for this 45-location chain’s promotional emails, is $9 for a dozen wings and a 16-ounce draft beer.

Beef O’Brady’s: Order 10 wings, get an extra five for free; order 20 wings, get an extra 10 for free; and so on.

East Coast Wings: Get six free wings with every adult entrée purchase on Wednesday.

Glory Days Grill: This sports bar restaurant with franchises in Florida, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia is hosting a special of $5 for a half-dozen wings, any style.

Hooters: An all-you-can-eat wing deal is priced at $12.99 for boneless, $14.99 for traditional bone-in wings.

Hurricane Grill & Wings: All-you-can-eat wings for $12.99.

Ker’s Winghouse: Buy 10 wings, get five free at this wing specialty restaurant with roughly two dozen locations in Florida.

Wings-N-Things: Buy one traditional wing meal with a drink on Wednesday, and a second meal (with drink) is free at this wing chain clustered around San Diego.

Sidenote: I know that Hooters gets a bad rap, but frankly, I think their wings (and all food) is unbeatable among competitors. Don’t tell anyone my secret!

If none of these spots are near you, celebrate #nationalchickenwingday at home! They are crazy easy to make and very inexpensive. Sure to please! Here’s two favorites in my house:

Skinnymom.com Skinny Hot Wings:

skinny_hot_wings

Skinny Hot Wings [http://www.skinnymom.com/skinny-hot-wings/]

Don’t tell the rest of the family, but these ‘skinny’ hot wings are all the taste and none of the calories. Perfect guilty pleasure without any of the guilt!

You only use a little bit of flour and butter, and the rest is mostly spices and hot sauce – big flavor! They are baked, not fried, coming in at only 250 calories for 5 wings total. Not too shabby!

Not all kids (or people in general) love hot wings though, so I also wanted to include a more savory, less spicy wing recipe that is well-received in our home.

Carlsbadcraving.com’s Baked General Tso’s Sticky Wings

baked_sticky_general_tsos_chicken_wings

Baked Sticky General Tso’s Chicken Wings [http://www.carlsbadcravings.com/baked-sticky-general-tsos-chicken-wings/]

Who’s favorite meal from Chinese ISN’T General Tso’s Chicken? It is always a staple on Chinese takeout nights, but these flavors are so easy to get in your very own home. Like the hot wings, this recipe is baked, not fried. No guilt should be felt with this recipe! These are super tasty and very, very popular.

Heck, make them both tonight!

Enjoy yet another “day”, everyone with #nationalchickenwingday!

FREE Sample for Sandy’s Extra Strength Multipurpose Surface Wipes

Here’s a great free sample I found today.

sandys_extra_strength

Sandy Extra Strength Multipurpose Surface Wipes [http://www.sandywipes.com/ourwipes/extrastrength/]

Sandy Extra Strength Multipurpose Wipes prides themselves on truly being ‘multipurpose’. They’ve been tested to be safe and effective on glass, wood, granite, ceramic, porcelain, marble, laminate, stainless steel, chrome, and more. They’re quick-drying and streak-free, wiping away germs and bacteria without leaving behind a sticky residue. (http://www.sandywipes.com/ourwipes/extrastrength/)

The wipes come in 2 scents: Citrus Burst and Fresh Spring, so you can pick the one that best suits your personal preference.

The wipes are made to kill 99.9% of household germs. These particular wipes are not 100% eco-friendly, but they do offer those as an option, noting that they are marginally more expensive because the ingredients are not as readily available. That being said, they are still perfectly safe, but as with all cleaning products, should be kept out of reach of children and pets.

Beyond household wipes. Sandy is also getting it’s feet wet with Baby Wipes. If you are pleased with your free sample, why not check those out too?

Give these a shot by simply filling out this form to get a free sample pack of Sandy’s Extra Strength Multipurpose Surface Wipes to see how they stack up to the wipes you currently use in your household. I’m sure that with a family, these will be put to great use 🙂

Cell Phone Plans for Kids

It’s a highly debated topic – should your child have a cell phone? If so, should there be limitations on it? What age is appropriate for a child to own a cell phone? How much should you be paying for this cell phone, depending on what you intend for them to use it for? I decided to compile some options for you so you can figure out what is best for you and your family.

I want to divide this into two separate thoughts. I think that younger children and older (preteen, teens) should be treated as different entities here. My own personal thoughts lead me to believe that younger children should be using cell phones for emergencies and calls to family only. More of a safety precaution than a social tool. Older kids will want to be texting and calling friends.

Younger

gizmopal

GizmoPal [mobicrunch.com]

I think that the most appropriate phone for a younger child is probably what is called an ’emergency cell phone’. Emergency-cell-phone-review says that emergency cell phones are a great option, designed for those who aren’t necessarily ready for a full-fledged cell phone. This way, your child can have the means to reach out to you or to first responders in an emergency. They recommend Verizon’s GizmoPal as a top choice. It is advertised as the perfect companion for kids aged 4 and up. It is rubberized, water-resistant, and durable, and even fits around your wrist, kind of like a watch. The device pairs with a primary number (parents) and the child can call with just the push of a button. Additional numbers can be added, but the child is only able to receive calls from these numbers, not call out to them. There’s also a GPS component to the phone, which will allow you to know your child’s location at all times. The device has a very strong battery life and is a solid option as an emergency phone for your small child.

Older

There’s a few more options when it comes to older kids, depending on limitations that you want to set regarding what the phone is used for, how much it is used, and what you want them to be able to access.

preteens_and_cell_phones

Preteens and Cell Phones [michelleinthemiddle.com]

1) Prepaid

Prepaid phones are great options for pre-teens and teens to teach them the value of money, and even have them pay for their phones themselves. You’ll never have a shocking bill at the end of the month, since calls, texts, and data are hard set limits. Whistleout.com notes that prepaid plans start around $10/month, more top tier plans closer to $80/month. Many prepaid offers are bring your own phone/SIM, so most times, you can simply use one of your old cell phones for this use. Tons of options here.

2) Adding to family plan

Adding your child to the family plan is generally going to be inexpensive. T-Mobile’s Simple Choice family plan allows  up to 5 devices, Verizon Wireless allows up to 10 devices, AT&T allows up to 10 devices, and Sprint allows up to 10 devices. You’ll have the capability to limit your child’s access to certain data, websites, etc. Examiner.com provides links for each cell phone provider on what your options are:

AT&T click here

Verizon click here

Sprint click here

T-Mobile click here

3) Kajeet

Wanted to also show you all Kajeet. Kajeet is ‘designed for kids by parents’ and offers plans specifically aimed at parents wanting to  monitor their child’s cell phone use. All plans are prepaid with unbeatable levels of parental control (whistleout.com). You can control when your child uses their cell phone, which contacts they can communicate with, and what websites and applications your child can view.

kajeet

Kajeet [razoo.com]

Figure out what’s best for you, and please, feel free to reach out with any questions! I have tons of resources that I have been sifting through this morning trying to compare all of these options 🙂

Freezer Meals of the Week!

Happy Wednesday, All!

First and foremost, I wanted to make sure that you all know that I have a Pinterest page. Here is where I draw so much inspiration for my inexpensive lifestyle for my family! I have tons of boards and pins from tips to making money, to DIY, to Freebies & Coupons. My personal favorite board is my ‘Cheap Recipes’ board – go figure. So many of my pins lately have been freezer friendly meals that not only make life cheaper but so, so easy. I want to share some of my favorites with you today, and hopefully in future blog posts as well. The sky is the limit with these!

Without further ado….FREEZER MEALS OF THE WEEK!

1) Mom On Timeout’s Breakfast Burrito Bonanza

burrito_bonanza

Mom On Time Out’s Burrito Bonanza [http://www.momontimeout.com/2011/08/breakfast-burrito-bonanza/]

Not only is this recipe super easy and delicious, but it’s so, so versatile to all of your personal tastes. Their recipe calls for 3 types of meats, eggs, cheese, and potatoes. I know this is right up my husband’s alley, but personally, I’d love mine to be chock full of veggies. Just as easy! Fry up your meat or veggies, roast potatoes, scramble and season eggs, and wrap your ideal burrito up! Put them on a tray and flash freeze for an hour, and then plastic wrap each individually and place in a ziplock bag and pop in the freezer for the long term. To heat these up, wrap in a wet paper towel and heat for 3 minutes on 50% power. Great for an on-the-go quick breakfast!

Have some extra time? Serve with sour cream and salsa for a full meal. This is sure to please everyone.

2) Fabulessly Frual’s Cheesy Stuffed Shells

This is a staple meal. I ate this growing up, my kids will eat this growing up, and hopefully their kids too. Stuffed Shells is the ultimate comfort food for the Anders and Fabulessly Frugal has a great recipe for it that’s very freezer friendly.

cheesy_stuffed_shells

Cheesy Stuffed Shells [http://fabulesslyfrugal.com/freezer-meal-recipes-cheesy-stuffed-shells/]

 The recipe they prove makes 6 8×8 pans of stuffed shells. Each pan holds 12 shells and serves about 6 people. Meals for days!

The recipe is incredibly straightforward and is exactly how I like my shells, chock full of cheesy goodness + lots of spinach!

To prepare for the freezer, all you need to do is cover with a layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of foil. You can freeze up to one month!

To prepare for cooking from the freezer, you remove the plastic wrap and replace the foil cover. Preheat the oven to 350 and bake for about an hour and 15 minutes. Remove the foil + bake an additional 15-30 minutes and you should have a warm, bubbly dinner all good to go!

3) EatGood4Life’s Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

This is an awesome meatless freezer meal option. Though this recipe does not describe this as a freezer meal, generally any casserole can be stored and frozen, ready to be reheated at any time. This one in particular is incredibly easy, as you don’t even have to pre-cook the quinoa! In the comments, there are some seriously awesome ideas on serving and tweaks to the recipe. One user suggests adding additional veggies + chicken, some suggest adding additional garlic.

broccoli_quinoa_casserole

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole [http://www.eatgood4life.com/broccoli-quinoa-casserole/]

If you choose to freeze, baking time just needs to be increased by 10-15 minutes. Another protip would be to defrost in the fridge before freezing instead of placing in the oven frozen. Give this one a try, and leave any tweaks or tips you have in the comments!

I’ve got tons more, but I’ll leave you guys with 3 awesome recipes for this week. Stay tuned next week for more goodies!

Read on the Cheap

If you’re anything like me, you’re a reader. My favorite part of the day is getting into bed and relaxing with a book. I have always been a really quick reader, so I drill through books so fast that buying them is simply NOT an option. I wanted to share with you some of my greatest tricks of the trade on how to get very discounted or even FREE books.

1) The Library

This may seem obvious, but as I transitioned from hard copy to e-books, I had NO idea that there was such thing as an e-book library. There really, really is. Join your local library and get a login for their e-book collection. There are a few pros and cons here. Pros: FREE, quick and easy download so long as  you are connected to wifi – immediate! Cons: Some libraries have larger collections than others, you can generally only ‘take out’ an e-book for 2 weeks (sometimes long books take longer than that!), popular books often have waitlists.

That being said, this is my mainstay for reading for free. I want to read so many books that waitlists don’t bother me (there’s always SOMETHING available that I can read while I wait). It’s truly so easy and gratifying.

2) Book Clubs

Book clubs are great ways to find likeminded readers that enjoy similar literature to you. Not only is it social and you can read books together, but between books, you can always lend out other books and circulate them amongst friends. Don’t forget, you can also lend books to friends via your Kindle!

3) Free Kindle Books

In an article on quickenloans.com, I learned that you can search for no-cost Kindle books by typing 0.00 into the search bar. There are thousands of free e-books out there – a lot of ‘classics’ are FREE!

4) BookBub

BookBub is a free daily email that notifies you about deep discounts on acclaimed e-books. It compiles all limited-time offers into a daily email, showcases the best deals from retailers like Amazon Kindle store, Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, Apple’s iBookstore, and others. Often times, book publishers offer deals at these sites for promotional purposes. You may have to search around, but when you hit this right, it can be really awesome.

Try some of these out, or, better yet, leave your tips and tricks in the comments!

Goodnites $4 Off Coupon

So I just had a pretty awesome first “Twitter Party” experience for #ConfidentKids promoting Goodnites Tru-Fit machine washable underwear. These are for older kids who are still having bed-wetting issues, as they use absorbent inserts for outstanding nighttime protection.

Honestly, I’ve experienced delayed potty training once in my family, and I can tell you it’s tough. Tough for both me as a mom in terms of maintenance and exhausting efforts to stop it, and tough for my daughter as she struggled with confidence issues, delayed and avoided sleepovers and any overnight social event. Crippling for us both!

Goodnites are discreet and look just like real undies – the other kids won’t know, and your kid won’t feel like a baby having to wear diapers or pullups. Definitely an awesome option for bedwetters.

goodnites_tru_fit

Goodnites Tru-Fit [goodnites.com]

Click here for a $4 off Goodnites Starter Kit coupon!