Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The best cash back apps

There are so many apps these days for saving and making money. In the next few posts I will discuss my experiences with the apps I've tried and which ones I recommend.

First, the best cash back apps. If you are not familiar with these, they give you a percentage back in cash on the total amount of your purchase. I always check with my cash back apps before I do any shopping. The stores, percentage of cash back and terms vary from each cash back company.

Cash back apps for retail shopping:

  • Ebates My #1 go to app for cash back is Ebates. I've been an Ebates user for many years and it only keeps getting better. I have the app installed on my phone but also have it on my laptop so I can shop online and easily use it on both devices. Ebates has also added in store shopping for cash back, which I love.
 Ebates frequently offers double cash back promos and also lists specials, sales and money saving promo codes for each store in addition to the cash back

On top of all that goodness, Ebates has a referral program that currently gives you $25 for every friend you refer once they spend $25, plus your friend gets $10! The referral program amounts change periodically but it's always been one of the best I've used.
If you're not signed up for Ebates yet, please consider signing up with my referral link (Thank you!)

Other cash back apps for general shopping I recommend:

  • TopCashBack  this is very similar to Ebates but not quite as user friendly in my opinion. They are currently offering a great referral rate of $10 for every friend that signs up. You can sign up with me at TopCashBack.
  • BeFrugal another cash back site similar to the ones above. This one currently offers $10 for you and $10 for each friend you sign up. Please use my BeFrugal link to sign up.
  • Drop this app is no frills, set it and forget it. You link your credit cards and choose your favorite places you commonly use and automatically earn points every time you make a purchase. There aren't a ton of stores at this point but they do offer many popular places such as Starbucks, Target, Lyft etc. If you use these places often this can be worth your while. Once the points add up to a certain amount you can cash them in for gift cards. You probably won't make a lot of money but it's easy and effortless so why not? I've been averaging a $10 gift card per month so far and I've only been using it maybe three months. 
 Drop currently offers a referral bonus of 1,000 points (worth $1) for every friend you refer that signs up. Please consider signing up with my referral code r102t at Drop.

There are many other shopping cash back apps out there, but I've found these work best for me. You can compare who is offering the best cash back rates at CashBackMonitor with their reward comparison tool.

Cash back grocery apps:

  • Ibotta this is my favorite cash back app for groceries but they do have some general shopping cash back too so always check what they offer. You choose offers you want and select which store you'll be shopping at. Some of the cash back offers can be done mobile, others are done in store and you scan or upload your receipt to get your cash back. If you buy alcohol at grocery, drug stores, gas stations, liquor stores etc. this can be a big money saver, as they offer many cash back offers on beer, wine and bottles of alcohol. The average cash back offer for these are $1 - $5 per item. Groceries are usually less, but add up. Ibotta offers frequent bonuses worth several dollars which can add up quickly.
 Ibotta also has a current referral program starting at $5 per friend you refer that signs up. This amount goes up with the more friends you refer,plus your friend gets a $10 bonus when they use         your referral code. Get $10 when you sign up with my Ibotta referral code hrkcskc now.

  • Checkout51 another app similar to Ibotta but you can use the cash back offers at any store. I've just recently signed up for this app but it seems pretty good so far. From what I understand, they currently pay by check, which is a little inconvenient. There is also no referral program or sign up bonus I am aware of at this time.
  • SavingStar similar to the apps above. No referral or sign up bonus that I'm aware of at this time.
These are the cash back grocery apps I currently use and recommend. I will add more to this list if I think they're worthwhile. 

Stay cheap & happy shopping!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Beach Decor on a Budget

After moving close to the ocean a few years ago I wanted to decorate our rented condo in a beach decor theme but didn't have a lot of money. Fortunately, this type of decor can easily be done with found objects, a little searching and some creativity. There are many ways to do beach decor on a budget.

Living close to the beach can provide a wealth of "found objects" to use for decorating. Seashells, driftwood, sand, items washed up on shore with a natural beachy look after being tattered and worn from sea and sun. These objects can be great by themselves or used to create simple decor items. Pinterest is a gold mine for ideas for making beach decor on a budget. These are some of the pins I've saved on my own Pinterest board: Coastal Decorating.

Here are a few simple inexpensive things I've created:

Just shells, sand and driftwood put into various glass containers. Cheap and easy!

 Another thing I decorate with beach finds is an old glass window from the house I grew up in.

A great idea is adding a shelf to an old widow, as seen at Just Call Me Homegirl

If you don't have access to found items to use, there are cheap resources out there for beach decor on a budget. Amazon has been my go to and I've practically decorated my entire place from it, furniture and all. Some of the things I've bought:

Shells, shells and more shells! I can never have enough and they're cheap!

Starfish - I LOVE these for beach decor and they're around $1 each! You can see where I used them in my bathroom here:

I also used this awesome Faux Wood Self Stick Wallpaper on the drawer fronts and the top of the mirror. With the leftover paper I covered empty shoe boxes to use as beachy look storage.

Another way to create beach decor on a budget is to use your own photos as art. Simply have photos blown up and framed. You can find cheap photo enlarging at most drugstores, office supply store and online. I had some photos on my phone enlarged from MailPix and bought cheap matted frames on Amazon.

If you don't like your own photos look for free photos online you can have printed out, such as these Free Beach Pictures from Pexels.

Another beach decor option to frame are these adorable Free Beach Art Printables from Growing Play

You could certainly incorporate these ideas for any decor type. Have fun decorating and stay cheap!

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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Too much green? How to kill moss

It's spring cleaning time and that means many people are finding their yards, roofs, walkways, patio furniture and just about everything else outside covered in green. Not good green - like money - but furry, annoying green, as in moss. Moss can be tricky to get rid of but it can be done. Here are some great ways to kill moss.


Moss in lawns is caused by several factors such as too much shade, poor pH balance, accumulation of thatch, not enough fertilizer, poor drainage, etc. Moss is an indicator of an unhealthy lawn, so by strengthening your lawn you should be able to overpower the moss.

To kill moss in lawns, you can use products such as Scott's Moss Control Granules for Lawns. The description states it will kill moss, not your lawn. The formula contains added nutrients to help the lawn. Apply it in the winter or spring when moss is actively growing and on a moist lawn after tall grass is mowed to expose low-growing moss.

If you're looking for a more natural moss removal for your lawn, check out this post from The Spruce using Dish Soap as an Effective Moss Killer.

Once you've killed the moss in your lawn, dethatch and rake out all dead moss, seed bare areas with new grass, and keep moist. Raise the soil pH with a good lime containing fertilizer and trim back trees and shrubs if possible to allow more sunlight, which will kill moss and prevent it from returning.


To kill moss on roofs, placing a ZincShield Pure Zinc Strip along the peak of your roof will help to kill and prevent moss for many years. You can also use Spray & Forget Revolutionary Roof Cleaner, it's non-corrosive and eco-friendly. No bleach, lye, acid, phosphates or heavy metals.Works on all exterior surfaces.

Other Surfaces:

For pavers, sidewalks and driveways, you can use a solution of one part bleach to one part water and apply to surface. Let stand for 30 seconds and hose off. Be careful not to get on clothing or surrounding shrubs or plants. Pressure washing and scrubbing with a brush works well too. This will likely need to be repeated each year.

Another great choice is Safer Brand Moss and Algae Killer and Surface Cleaner. This all-natural moss and algae killer utilizes the effectiveness of potassium salts to rid your deck, roof, siding, walkways, lawn and more of the green. The ready-to-use formula attaches directly to your hose for an economical and convenient organic solution to your problem. OMRI Listed and compliant for use in organic gardening.

Kill moss in it's early stages to prevent widespread moss problems and keep it under control. Sunlight is a natural moss killer, so anything you can keep in direct sun will have less moss growth.

photo credit: Thad Zajdowicz,

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Sell your hair and make money

Got hair to spare? If you're willing to part it - oops, I mean part with it - and could use some extra cash, learn how to sell your hair.

This is a serious business that can fetch serious money. One of the top human hair markets claims a seller sold her 45" long virgin locks for $6500!! Crazy, right? Can I sell my hair? Here's what I found

The basics:

 When you sell your hair most buyers use it to make human hair wigs or extensions. Human hair can also be used to make eyelashes, eyebrows, beards, doll hair, art and more. Word is there's also a high demand in certain fetish industries for human hair. I'll leave it at that.

Buyers mostly want healthy virgin hair. This means when you sell your hair it should be in excellent condition, not chemically processed by perms or dyes and with limited exposure to damaging heat from hair dryers and styling tools. Healthy hair also requires a healthy host. Most hair buyers will want to know the smoking, drinking and maybe even eating habits of the hair owner. (Some buyers will buy non virgin, treated hair at a lower price.)

Longer is usually better. Most places buying hair require it to be 10 inches or longer in length. Some places will buy shorter hair, even under 5 inches.

Selling children's hair can sometimes be more profitable, as fewer people sell children's hair and the chances of it being virgin, undamaged hair are greater.

Hair color, texture, sheen and other factors can impact the prices paid. Red hair is currently at a premium, fetching upwards of $80 per inch! Buyers may have a preference for how the hair is to be cut when purchased, some even offering more money to see the haircut process on film. Don't cut it before you have a solid deal to sell your hair.

Have good photos of your hair available and a detailed description of how it has been cared for. Be honest. Hair buyers are experts at detecting damaged hair.

Where to sell your hair:

The most popular option is to sell your hair online. Several companies specialize in buying and selling hair all over the world. claims to be the number one human hair marketplace. It basically offers classified ads for sellers and buyers of human hair. You simply place the ad on their website for a one time listing fee (currently $14.50 for 3 months). They take no commission on sales. is another popular place to sell your hair online and make money. Register on the site and choose your ad option (currently starting at $15 for a standard 60 day ad). They offer a handy Hair Price Calculator if you need help determining a price to sell your hair. offers classified style listings of hair for sale starting at $10 for a 31 day ad.

You may also want to try selling your hair on ebay.

Sell hair locally

Some of you may be asking, "where can I sell me hair locally?" Well, this answer is going to vary depending on your location. Here are some ideas:

Place a local ad on Craigslist. This is an easy option and it's free. Woop, woop!

Other options include asking around locally at hair salons, wig shops and beauty schools. Put the word out there.

If you do decide to sell your hair, know the terms and conditions of the buyer and outlet you are using to sell your hair and always use caution.

Photo credit: Brakkee

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