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How to earn a few extra bucks with surveys

Posted by Felicia Monday, October 19, 2009, under | 0 comments
This simple post is going to be on how to earn a few extra bucks over a period of time. There is no guarantee as to how much you could possibly earn, it will be up to you and your demographics.

I myself have earned a little here and there, enough to save a bit for Christmas, buy my kids some clothes and have a little left for some pleasure-type things such as DVDs, toys ect. Remember that doing surveys should be considered more of a hobby than income, as they are never guaranteed.

Getting Started:

The way I started was through SD really has to be one of my favorite sites around as they have forums for Surveys, Freebies, Hot Deals, Coupons and tons more. You can also meet others who love finding deals and saving money.

When you check it out look for the Survey section, you will see threads for all kinds of companies and some individual Focus Groups(which are usually one-time group discussions that are like an online chat room-they can pay a lot! I have earned up to $150 for a few hours before, and I know many others have earned much more) . When you see these threads you will see that they may have yellow "thumbs up" symbols on them. If they have a lot, it usually means it is a good deal or that other people know the survey site pays and is a good one to check out. If you see red "thumbs-downs" then pass them by. This usually means it is no good. You will be able to figure it out whether to give them a shot on your own as you learn.

The way I started was with There you can get paid for some of your surveys and are also sometimes eligible to do Product Tests(PTs), which means you will do a short survey, they mail you a product they want you to try and then after a little time they send a short follow up survey to see what you thought of the product. I enjoy doing PTs as I usually end up loving the products they send and sometimes they even pay me to try them.

As with any survey company you want to be sure you are getting paid for your time. Remember your time is valuable and you should be paid for helping them out, unless you are just in a volunteering mood. :) When I consider a survey on Survey Spot I check the amount they are paying, so say they are offering $3 for 20 minutes, well that is $9 an hour, so I would say that I would probably go ahead and complete it, assuming I have the time to do so. Be sure before you click on the link to do it that you save a Screen Shot(press Print Screen and paste it in your Paint program or Word), that way you have proof in case they forget to pay you.

Not all of SS's surveys pay, so unless I think it may lead to a PT I will skip it. If it doesn't pay I will open it and then close it and move on. If you get in the habit of doing the non-paying surveys then that is all you will get. You can also check the survey number in the SD thread about SS and see if anyone else has done a particular survey and if it has lead to anything. SS will occasionally do Focus Groups as well, so keep an eye out for those.

As you search through and get accustomed to SD's Survey Forum you will be able to see which companies you want to sign up with. I am signed up with numerous companies and have developed favorites. I am also signed up with some magazine and beauty companies and have been able to test out some of their great products. It is sort of trial and error as to which companies you will like. I am signed up with a few colleges as well who pay by Amazon gift cards and PayPal(which I love).

Moving On:

Be sure as you get more involved in the Survey process that you keep regular documents of your surveys, when and what you should be paid. Keeping a journal or calendar is a great idea. You may also need to watch how much you earn per year because if you earn over a certain amount it needs to be reported to the IRS.

Keep folders in your Bookmarks or Favorites and keep your Survey companies organized. I have tons of folders in my E-mail as well so that I can keep track of any e-mails I may receive from the companies. Keep organized!

Here is a short list of a few places I have had good luck with and that pay. You can find larger lists on SD and I am sure on other sites as well.

These are a couple college sites looking for help in their studies: Stanford

Here is the link to the SD page with the Surveys:

Good luck in getting started and let me know if you have any questions!

"Finding" Christmas Money

Posted by Felicia Monday, October 12, 2009, under | 0 comments
So, I was sitting here today trying to think of where I am going to get money for Christmas this year. I have found myself in a little better situation this year than in the past because I have had the opportunity to participate in some surveys to earn a little extra moo-lah and have started to save them towards the Christmas funds. Still, that isn't making much of a dent in what I know it will cost me this year.

Over the past few years our budget has grown smaller and smaller each year and with me being a Stay-At-Home mom it has REALLY made it tight. I have a rather large family though and it is really hard to skimp by. Our Christmas list consists of 2 kids,4 parents,2 grandparents,1 bro and sis in-law,2 nieces,5 aunts,5 uncles,16 cousins(including 10 young cousins) and each other. We have been skipping each other because we really don't need anything and will be celebrating our Anniversary in January anyways.

So, as you can see it is very hard to figure out where all this money is coming from. We have resorted to Christmas cards with our pictures in them for a few of the Aunts, Uncles and cousins that are older. The younger cousins we try to buy the smaller, inexpensive toys that they will still enjoy. I have an idea to make this a bit easier on ALL of our family-and yours-down below. ;) So, how can I possibly come up with all of this? Here are a few of my ideas so far:

1. For the kids: Create a swap-each set of parents either buys toys for another child, counting by however many the have. i.e. I have 2 children so I would buy 2 gifts for 2 separate children-2 gifts in all because that is how many I have. Another simpler idea is to buy small gifts for your own children, since you know what they will like, and wrap and hide them in whatever other gifts you are bringing.As long as the kids are young enough(and even if they aren't in some cases) the gifts can all be marked from Santa. Be sure to set a limit of $5 or so on each gift so that one child doesn't get a barbie doll whereas another child gets a dollhouse-you want it to be fair.

2. For the Aunts and Uncles and older cousins(and other close relatives): Bake and Create-if you love to bake, bake them some goodies and wrap them in colored cling wrap on a dollar store holiday plate, can't get easier(or cheaper) than that! Just don't go overboard like I did one year! I made WAY too much, used expensive ingredients and, well, defeated the purpose!If you are crafty or artsy, create something! You could make a pretty wooden sign for them to hang over their door to say "Live, Laugh, Love" or "Peace" and "Joy". You could really do all kinds of things, just be sure to check your craft stores for coupons to maximize your savings! I will also be considering family pictures and cards for some of my more distant relatives.

3. For my Grandparents: I am considering creating for them this year and I may combine it with baking something special. I am thinking about creating a No-Sew blanket-very easy to do and if I can find materials on sale or clearance then it will be cheap too! :) Creating and Baking will let them know I care and they will have something to treasure after the cookies are all gone!

4.For Siblings and Parents: You always want it to be meaningful and you want to give them something they will love and know you put a lot of thought into, so you are going to just have to bite the bullet and do what you think they will like. If you know they like the artsy, from the heart stuff, then maybe you can make them a blanket or sign or something of that nature, but if they would rather have a gift card or something store bought then your best bet is to watch for those awesome after Thanksgiving sales, but remember you may be able to combine something store-bought WITH something homemade, to keep that cost a bit lower.

5. For YOUR kids-keep an eye out for those MASSIVE sales and coupons on toys and electronics. You know they are coming and be sure to even check online. I know that Amazon does Black Friday and you don't even have to leave the house! :) Start watching now though, as the sales have already started and you don't want to miss anything. Remember if you buy it now and know your stores return policy, most likely if you find it cheaper somewhere else before Christmas, you will be able to return the more expensive one! Also, check around for Layaway programs if you need to. I know around here our KMart and Sears both offer Layaway and it doesn't hurt to check them out!!

One more tip for next year:
I have to say that one great thing that has helped us with money this year and last is my Points program through our bank. You should really check to see if yours offers any rewards for using your debit or credit cards and sign up. We use a Points system and I let it build up all year. We do not use our card all that often and yet this year I was able to send off for a $50 Amazon gift card and $10 Panera Bread gift card(we thought it would be nice to have a little for ourselves:) It was even more last year, $75 in Gift Cards, but since we have spent less this year we have not built up as much, but still we earned $60 for doing NOTHING!

PLEASE feel free to share your money saving tips and ideas in the comments, I would love to hear them!

My New Coupon Book

Posted by Felicia Tuesday, October 6, 2009, under | 8 comments

I have been so excited lately because I am working on a new coupon book! I have always used my coupon organizer which consisted of a small accordion-style flip over book. Well, gone are the days of fighting that small organizer! I am clipping and printing coupons like a mad-woman and I needed an upgrade as my coupon book was busting at the seams(literally!). Over the weekend I found that some other couponers use a system where the take a binder and fill it with 9 pocket baseball card protector sheets. I loved the idea! I have since went to a couple different places while I was out this weekend and checked out some prices on these sheets, I already had a binder lying around so that saved me a few bucks. The cheapest sheets I found in my area was 5 for $1, which I didn't think was TOO bad. I also saw that I could buy them on ebay for pretty cheap, but I was too anxious to wait on them. :)

So I started with a few from the local sports card store and I have been in a organizing craze! I put my HBC(Health & Beauty Care) items in the front-all alphabetized by brand names so that I can find them in a snap. Then I moved on to the grocery items behind those. Again, I alphabetized those by brand. I am loving it! It is so much easier to find what I need. My only complaint is that the pockets are a bit small. I may eventually look into some sheets with the bigger pockets, but for now these are great! I also got about 3 sheets that have 2 big pockets on each of them, to hold store-specific coupons for me. Then as I plan my trips I will have it all right there together and I can just grab my book and go. No worries about forgetting a coupon or ad, because it will all be there! I can't wait to add on, but everything in moderation, so only a few pages at time, plus I may check around the internet for some cheaper prices on sheets-never know what I may find!

Here is a link to some more ideas on coupon organizers thanks to! Click here

Harry Connick ,Jr. "Your Songs" Review

Posted by Felicia , under | 1 comments
The new Harry Connick, Jr. CD, "Your Songs" is one an album I have been REALLY looking forward to, so when I found out I was selected to review it I was bursting at the seams! I have always loved his voice in the past- so smooth and jazzy along with a great band- I couldn't believe I got to check it out first-hand!

I received it about a week ago and I can't stop listening to it. The album has the great sounds of his big band music and the soft comforting voice that Harry Connick, Jr. offers. This album is truly "comfort" music to me. After a long busy day of babysitting, errands, and housekeeping, this is a great album to wind down with.

There is quite a variety of songs available on the CD, including many favorites that everyone will recognize and a few new ones that I had never heard before.
They really take you back to simpler times, which is a thing I love and makes it so relaxing. All of his music on this cd was arranged,orchestrated and conducted by Harry Connick, Jr. himself, a fact that brings his personality even more into this album and it really comes through in his music. The songs on this CD are classic and I can't help but sing along, I love it!

"Your Songs" Album Tracklisting (Originally performed by):

All The Way (Frank Sinatra)
Just The Way You Are (Billy Joel)
Can’t Help Falling In Love With You (Elvis Presley)
And I Love Her (The Beatles)
(They Long To Be) Close To You (The Carpenters)
Besame Mucho
The Way You Look Tonight
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
(Roberta Flack)
Your Song (Elton John)
Some Enchanted Evening
And I Love You So
(Don McLean)
Who Can I Turn To? (Tony Bennett)
Smile (Charlie Chaplin)
Mona Lisa (Nat King Cole)

Check out a few other Harry Connick, Jr. links here:
Behind the Scene look at ‘Making of’ the album:
Harry’s website:

Thank you so much One2One Network and Harry Connick, Jr. for providing me with the product and information and this great opportunity to share my honest review and thoughts on this new album! ~Felicia