If you’re wondering how Ebates works, and whether or not it’s legit, you’re in the right place! I have been using Ebates for cash back since 2011 and I absolutely love it! I do love to use Swagbucks, but sometimes the cash back percentage is bigger on Ebates. If you want actual cash, and not gift cards, Ebates is definitely the way to go. The bottom line is, if you’re doing any kind of shopping online and not getting cash back, you’re missing out! I decided to write this guide to show you how to use Ebates, because it’s so simple!
Am I the only one who that think cell phones have become outrageous? When did a new phone start costing upwards of $800, with monthly plans priced at $200 or more?? If you’re wondering how to save on cell phones and cell phone plans, this post is for you!
I know what you’re thinking. It’s March, why are we talking about ways to save for Christmas?? I am a firm believer that Christmas should never come as a surprise. Christmas happens on December 25th every single year. Yet somehow, it seems that many families are thrown off and forced to scramble at the last minute to shop or come up with cash for Christmas. These 6 tips on how to plan and save for Christmas now will help you evaluate what you want to do for Christmas, and plan and budget for a smoother holiday season later.
Balancing a healthy lifestyle and living on a budget can be tough. It’s difficult to justify spending money on healthier choices, but you know that it’s worth it for your family. Well, I found a solution for getting better deals on healthy household items. You may already know that Thrive Market offers wholesale prices on healthy food. Thrive Market also has some incredible deals on healthy and natural household items. I compiled a list of some of the best household items from Thrive Market below. These are my personal favorites, but make sure to dig around the Thrive Market website for even more!
Cloth diapering can get very confusing, especially when you’re just starting out. There are so many different types of cloth diapers, it can be overwhelming. The most important thing to remember is; every parent is different, and every child is different. Something that works great for someone else may not work for you and your baby. Try not to get too overwhelmed by all of the information out there. Just take it one day at a time. For those of you that have heard about different kinds of cloth diapers but aren’t sure what is what, here is a simple breakdown. I am also including a link to each type of cloth diapersfor further reference.
Next week I am going to share my own work from home journey, but for now I am going to be talking about how to make money from home. Whether you are looking to earn a full time income, or just a little extra spending money, working at home is a great option!
I know that it can be difficult to figure out how to make money from home. There are so many ways to make money from home, it can be overwhelming! The following 10 ways are tried and tested by either myself or close friends.
Have you heard of Dr. Bronners castile soap? It’s the soap with all of the crazy labels! What you may not know is that there are dozens of uses for Dr. Bronners castile soap! I buy mine through Thrive Market when I am placing an order, but if I don’t have enough to get free shipping I just order through Amazon Prime. It does cost a little bit more on Amazon, but you can get in in 2 days from Amazon and don’t have to have a Thrive Market membership. Dr. Bronners is also available at health food stores, and some Wal-Mart and Target stores also carry the line. I purchase mine through Thrive because I have found that they offer the best price. If you’re sensitive to smells or want to use your own essential oils, they also offer an unscented version.
So what are the uses for Dr. Bronners? If you look on the bottle, you will see that they say it can be used for just about anything! While this may be a stretch, I have found that this special soap does have many uses and will save quite a bit of money on cleaning supplies! Here are just a few uses for Dr. Bronners that work for me:
1. Baby Wash
If you’re cautious about what you put on your babies skin, good for you! Dr. Bronners is a mild and gentle baby wash. It is 100% natural and safe on their sensitive skin. I also use it to wash my kids hair (and sometimes my own!) Lavender is a safe scent for babies, I would avoid peppermint for the little ones. If you’d like to avoid all scents, try the Baby Mild version! Use an old shampoo bottle and dilute with 1/4 to 1/2 water, it will last a long time!
If you had told me three years ago that I’d be writing this, I would have laughed at you. I’ve only been drinking coffee for about 2 1/2 years and most of that time I have actually been drinking coffee flavored milk and sugar. I started drinking coffee after my third child was born. I think that I started drinking it out of necessity. I had a newborn, and two year old and a five year old. The church that I attended had free coffee on Sunday morning, so I figured that I might as well start drinking it! Fast forward to now, I started drinking black coffee during my first Whole 30 attempt and I haven’t looked back since then! Here are my 5 reasons to drink black coffee.
It’s healthier. Let’s face it, added sugar is never good for you. Don’t get me started about the ingredients in some coffee creamers! If you drink a lot of coffee, the added sugar + questionable ingredients will really add up.
It’s cheaper. If you’re using higher quality creamer like I was, the price is really going to add up. If you are getting specialty coffee on the go, the cost is going to be substantially more than a plain, black coffee.
It’s simple. It’s easy in the morning, make a cup of coffee and go. My favorite creamer is a dairy free coconut milk creamer, but where I live, it’s hard to come by. Drinking black coffee has made my life easier because I am not making special trips for coffee creamer anymore.
It’s harder to mess up. If you’re placing an order at a coffee shop or restaurant, it’s pretty difficult to mess up a plain black coffee!
You will learn to like it. It may take some time, but you will learn to appreciate the actual taste of coffee, and not everything that you are putting into it. I had to choke down my coffee the first few days of my Whole 30, but it got better! Even when I stopped doing the Whole 30,I still continued to drink black coffee.
There you have it! My 5 reasons to drink your coffee black. I haven’t put anything in my coffee in over a month and I think that I will keep it that way. It is better for me, saves money, is easier, and I really have learned to like it! I recently wrote another article about my new favorite coffee accessory. If you’re worried about coffee staining your teeth, check it out here!
Do you drink black coffee? If not, what do you put in your coffee? I like coconut milk creamer, but I think I will do without it for now! reasons to drink black coffee
I wanted to post a full Thrive Market Review because my first order has arrived! I made another post here comparing prices on Thrive Market vs. Amazon Prime. I did share my exact order in that post but I wanted to share a few pictures of the items after they arrived. I am currently doing a Whole 30 and it is important to note that some of the items that I ordered are NOT Whole 30 compliant, the Bob’s Mill white rice flour, Bragg’s liquid aminos and Enjoy Life mega thunks, while delicious and gluten free, are not allowed on the Whole 30. I did purchase them because I they are things that I would buy anyway and the price on Thrive Market was the best that I have found. If I do another order while I am on the Whole 30 I will order compliant products because those chocolate chunks are too tempting! I paid just over $50 for all of the items listed before. If you purchase any of these items regularly, you know that’s a great deal! Thrive Market was running a promotion at the time which included a free bottle of coconut oil and the 5-day detox book. Since I am currently doing a Whole 30, I don’t really need the book but it could be useful for someone who is brand new on a healthy eating journey. Thrive regularly offers freebies with your purchase, so far I have seen coconut oil, almond butter and plant-based protein, so keep an eye out and see what freebie is available!
Thrive Market Review.
I do apologies for the horrible picture. I am good at taking pictures of people, not items. I am pretty excited to try to ghee. During Whole 30 2016 attempt #1 I made my own ghee. I’m not sure if I did it right, but I wasn’t crazy about it. I love butter and I hope that I like the ghee better than my home-made version.
I do have to stop for a second and tell you about the coconut aminos. If you read my original Thrive Market vs. Amazon Prime post, you will see that I was hesitant about this product. I am happy to say that I have tried and actually ENJOY the coconut aminos! This is a big deal! I can do without soy for the most part, and I may be able to eliminate it completely (even after the Whole 30) using this product. The taste is a bit sweeter than soy sauce, and it definitely has a flavor that is all it’s own. That being said, I did enjoy it. If you’re wanting to eliminate traditional soy sauce, GMO soy or non-organic soy. I would recommend switching to Bragg’s liquid aminos. We haven’t used traditional soy sauce in quite some time, it tastes just as good but is much healthier as it is lower in sodium and made with non-GMO soy.
I have tried to toothpaste and I really like it! I am going to continue to purchase it from Thrive since traditional toothpaste is just disgusting. Thrive Market also has the best price that I have found on Dr. Bronners liquid castile soap. You can also read about my top 12 uses for Dr. Bronners and my favorite household items from Thrive Market.!
I was really impressed with the packaging from Thrive Market. All of the packaging is made from recycled materials, and can be composted or recycled. Everything was packed very well, as you can see above. My order did take a little longer than expected to arrive. I received an e-mail apologizing for the delay. They told me that they had a higher volume of orders last week. I also received a coupon code for $10 off my next purchase. I expect to make another purchase early next month, and the $10 definitely makes up for the extra day or two!
As I mentioned in my last post, Thrive Market makes it very easy to shop by your values. If you are a vegan, following a paleo diet, or any other kind of protocol or allergy-friendly diet, it is very easy to search for foods that will work for you. There is even a section for moms! Overall, I am very happy with my order and with Thrive Market customer service. If you’ve been thinking about joining Thrive Market, click the link below to get 20% off your first order! Don’t forget that you can get a 30 day free trial, I saved over $70 on my first order, so I am definitely going to keep my account after the 30 days is over!
I have been wanting to do a YNAB review for quite some time. I originally purchased YNAB (or You Need A Budget) over two years ago. There were plans for a YNAB 4 review, but I realized that I should probably just make the change to “the new YNAB” and review it instead. My husband and I had been using YNAB 4 100% of the time since last May. We both have it on our Android phones and I was also using it on my desktop. This isn’t necessarily a comparison between the YNAB 4 and the new YNAB, but I am pointing out a few key differences in case I have any readers who are still using YNAB 4.
The new YNAB changes things quite a bit. With YNAB 4, everything was connected to Dropbox and there was a desktop application. In the new YNAB (I really feel like YNAB 5 would have been an easier name) everything is online and syncs within seconds. This is taking some getting used to, but overall I feel like it is a definite upgrade. So what is YNAB? YNAB is a budgeting software that uses mobile and web-based apps to track your income and spending. Using a budgeting software can be very eye opening. You can see where your money is going and begin to prioritize your spending. Budgeting software isn’t just for people who are “bad” with money (although if you are, it will certainly help!) but a great for anyone who wants to have control over their money. With YNAB, it all starts with the four rules.
Rule 1: Give every dollar a job
This is just the basic idea that every dollar you earn should be allocated to a certain purpose.
Rule 2: Embrace your true expenses (formerly save for a rainy day.)
The idea of rule 2 is to realize that the large, less frequent expenses should be budgeted for on a regular basis. An example would be paying insurance premiums every 6 months. Instead of being hit with a $600 payment, you can budget $100 per month. Breaking up larger expenses over time makes life easier because when they arrive, you are 100% prepared. Another example would be saving for Christmas (it comes every year and shouldn’t be a shock!), vacations, taxes, etc.
Rule 3: Roll with the punches
This rule is my personal favorite! Rolling with the punches simply means that life happens, budgeting mistakes happen, things come up, and that’s 100% okay. You may overspend in certain categories and it is just fine to move money from other categories. Expecting for things to come up and rolling with the punches helps allows you to be flexible while maintaining your true goals.
Rule 4: Age your money (formerly live on last month’s income)
A very interesting feature of The New YNAB is being able to see my “old” your money is. Formerly YNAB wanted us to live on last months income, creating a buffer and breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle that the majority of American’s are stuck on. Aging your money is the same concept, ideally you want your money to be older than 30 days, meaning you are living on income from at least one month prior.
YNAB is accessed via either the web-based YNAB or on an iOS or Android device. The ability to allocate funds, set goals, view statistics and other detailed information is only available on the web-based app. I just discovered that you can actually move money from your “to budget” category into other categories from the mobile app. However, it’s much quicker easier to do from the web-based app. The iOS and Android app allows users to add transactions for both income received and money that has been spent. Both the web-based and mobile apps are very user-friendly. Even if you aren’t a very tech-savvy person, it isn’t hard to figure out how to use either one. YNAB also has dozens of videos on their Youtube channel with helpful information and easy to follow set-up and how-to-use tutorials.
YNAB has a free 34-day trial, and the set-up is almost fool-proof. YNAB will walk you through all of the set up steps, and teach you exactly how to use it right in the app. If you’re still confused, you can always check out the YouTube channel, I have found it extremely helpful. YNAB allows you to seamlessly use multiple devices, even if you are using them at the same time. Transactions entered into the web-based app are automatic, and transactions entered through the mobile app take 60 seconds or less.
Another feature that I love with the new YNAB is the ability to set goals. Let’s say you want to spend a certain amount on Christmas, a vacation, a wedding, etc. Setting a goal will allow you to see how close you are to your goal, and it also tells you how quickly you will reach the goal if you save a certain amount every month. While this isn’t a necessary feature, I will like it’s really nice, especially if you hate math. 🙂
Overall, I have had a very positive experience with YNAB. My husband uses the mobile app, and I handle most of the web-based budgeting. This works for us because he isn’t interested in the nerdy numbers part of it. He likes that the app is simple to use. If you budgeting with someone else, it’s important that they are on board. I think that YNAB makes it easier since it is so simple to use.
Extra YNAB Features That I Love:
The YNAB blog: There are so many helpful articles on the blog and it is updated regularly!
WhiteBoard Wednesdays: This is my FAVORITE extra YNAB feature. I love watching the Whiteboard Wednesday videos on YouTube.
YNAB also has a forum, I haven’t used it but it seems like a lot of people use it regularly and love it.
Things that could be improved:
Initially I wasn’t sure about YNAB switching to a subscription service, but I have come around. I feel like it has allowed YNAB to grow and updates are put out quickly. Personally, I have never had any issues, but I have heard that YNAB customer service has really improved. I had heard complaints about it in the past, but I have heard nothing but positives lately. I also enjoy the interaction that I see on Facebook.
When I wrote this post, I included the fact that I was disappointed that the new YNAB did not include reports. It now does include reports, so that is no longer a problem for me. YNAB vs. Dave Ramsey’s Every Dollar:
YNAB wins, end of story.
…wait, that wasn’t much of a comparison, was it?
Okay, so I love Dave Ramsey’s podcast and books, and I recommend them to anyone who is interested in getting on a budget and making better financial decisions. That being said, I wasn’t very happy with Every Dollar. I didn’t feel like it was easy to use, and I felt like any money that you had “before” starting to budget didn’t really have a place to go. Maybe I was just using it wrong, but I tried on three separate occasions and could never get used to it. Every Dollar IS free, but if you want to connect your bank account (which is included with YNAB) the price is about the same as just going with YNAB.
Closing Thoughts for my YNAB Review:
Whether you are brand new to budgeting or just looking for something new, I believe that YNAB could be right for you! YNAB doesn’t have much information as far as investing, but I am not even adding that to “things that could be improved” because I don’t think that everyone needs that in a budgeting app anyway. The 34 day free trial allows you to use YNAB for more than a month and see how it works. The trial is absolutely free, they don’t even require a credit card! The cost of YNAB is now $5/month or $50 for the entire year. If you aren’t currently tracking your finances, you will be able to save far more than the investment, probably in the first month! If you’d like to get your free 34 day trial, head over to You Need a Budget.
Thank you so much for reading my YNAB review! If you’ve used YNAB, or any other budgeting software, I’d love to hear about it in the comments! If you like this post, make sure to pin it for later or share it with your friends!
I recently discovered Thrive Market, a fairly new website that sells healthy, wholesome food at wholesale prices online. Think Whole Foods meets Costco meets Amazon Prime! When I first heard of Thrive Market, I wasn’t sure why I would need another subscription service when I already have Amazon Prime. Well, after checking out the prices on Thrive Market, I changed my mind. One Thrive feature that I love is that you can shop by your values. Gluten free, Vegan, Paleo, Raw, and Moms are a few of the search categories. You can also search for things like US-based, family businesses and cruelty free companies. The cost is $59.95 per year, but you can get a 30 day trial absolutely free! With every membership purchased, Thrive Market also donates a membership to a family in need, which I think is pretty awesome.
This is my first order made with Thrive Market. This following list is exactly what I ordered, and exactly what I paid. I took the individual items and compared them to Amazon prices. I am a long-time Amazon Prime user and I am VERY happy with Amazon. That being said, I am always looking for ways to save money on healthy, gluten free, and (currently) Whole 30-friendly foods. I wanted to compare apples-to-apples prices for Amazon Prime and Thrive Market. It was difficult to do this because some Amazon options were only available in bulk. I still feel like it is a good comparison of the same exact products. This isn’t really a comparison of Thrive Market vs. Amazon prime services, because they are completely different. If you live in an area where healthy or allergy-friendly food is harder to access or just plain expensive, Thrive Market may be a great option for you even if you already use Amazon prime.
As you can see, the Thrive total is far less than Amazon Prime. The Amazon total is more of an estimate, since some items could not be ordered by themselves. For some things, like coconut aminos, I did not want a 3 pack. I don’t even know if I like coconut aminos! I am guessing that I won’t be a fan, but I currently need a Whole 30 approved soy-free stir fry alternative. I am willing to spend $4.45 to try it out. For certain items, ordering on Amazon prime in bulk does make more sense, especially since there is no minimum order for free two-day shipping. Overall, you can see that you almost save the subscription price on Thrive Market vs. Amazon Prime with just one purchase.
What about comparing prices of Thrive Market to grocery stores? I would have to go to a grocery store to do an exact side-by-side analysis, but I can say that overall the 25-50% retail savings is accurate. The one thing that I noticed to be slightly higher is Lara Bars. I can get Lara Bars at my local Wal-Mart (they sell three varieties, only one of which is Paleo/Whole 30 approved) for slightly less than the Thrive Market price. Otherwise everything that I compared was quite a bit less expensive than at a traditional grocery store.
*I also received a free Nutiva Organic coconut oil with my $59+ purchase from Thrive Market. That deal is still going on, so check it out here! This was also my first order, so I saved 15% off and my actual price was $51.34, with a $53.14 savings from retail prices. For simple comparison purposes, I am considering my total to be $60.40. I also received free shipping since it was a $49+ order, but I am not taking that into consideration since Amazon Prime has free 2-day shipping. I have heard that Thrive Market shipping typically takes about 3-5 days.
So what do you think about prices of Thrive Market vs. Amazon Prime? I love Amazon Prime, and I use it subscribe and save, watching TV shows, and quick shipping. If you don’t have a Prime account, you can try Amazon Prime FREE for 30 days. My Prime account isn’t going anywhere, but I love Thrive Market too! If you’ve had any experiences that you’d like to share, please let me know in the comments! If you’re interested in signing up for Thrive Market, they have a free 30 day trial too! You can go here or click on the image below!
Swagbucks is a great tool to earn a little bit of extra money. It’s also a lot of fun! If you like doing surveys, shopping online, or watching videos, you can do all of these things and earn “Swagbucks” while you do it. There are many ways to earn Swagbucks, and I will share some things that I do below. I am able to earn about $50 per month in Amazon gift cards, just by doing some of these simple tasks in my spare time.
Do you have an Amazon Prime account? Are you overwhelmed and don’t know what to buy with Amazon Subscribe and Save? The items listed below are some of my favorites. My best tip is to buy at least five items in one month using Subscribe and Save. This will take 15% off of your entire purchase (except diapers, which are already 20% off but do count towards your 5 item total.) Remember that prices on Amazon fluctuate on a regular basis, I am including the prices that I paid on my last purchase in bold. Keep in mind that this is the price after the 15% discount for buying 5 items. I have included the price without the discount (or any other coupons that may have been available) after my price. Always check for coupons or discounts off your first purchase of a particular item, you will also notice that the 15% off really does add up. If there is currently a coupon for an item, I will note it below.