• How to Save and Earn Money with Smart Phone Apps: My Top Five Apps

    by Reruns blogger | May 09, 2013

    I recently got a Smart Phone and I’m already earning money and gifts for free with apps.  There are so many apps and sometimes it seems too good to be true to actually earn something free using these apps.  These are my top five favorite apps that I personally use.

    1. Pinpoint Rewards – This is my favorite app that is for the Omaha area only. It’s a loyalty rewards program featuring local merchants. When you join and on your birthday and anniversary, you receive special offers from these merchants. Some rewards are $5, $10 or even $20 off any purchase (freebie alert) and others are buy one get one free deals. Just to give you an idea of what to expect, when I joined, I redeemed free smoothies at The Juice Stop, two free pizzas from Fill R Up in Council Bluffs, $10 off our meal at La Mesa and several other great offers.  Plus, when you shop at the participating merchants, you receive points that will earn you free gift cards when you meet the redemption levels. It’s a great program that gives you extra incentive to shop and dine locally.

    2. Wrapp – Send free gifts to your friends and hopefully, they will reciprocate. Recently, I received $5 gift cards to Sephora and Office Depot and scored freebies at both stores. Simply show the cashier the gift card you received on your phone at checkout. It’s a fun and easy way to shop for free. There is an option to purchase higher value gift cards, but they offer a nice selection of free gift cards.

    3. Endorse – Earn cash back on select purchases at any store when you simply upload your receipt. Recently, I earned $5 back on any brand diapers and $3 back on any brand coffee. These are items I already planned to purchase, so it was nice to get a little extra.

    4. Ibotta – Earn cash back on select purchases at select stores. You must upload your receipt and scan the barcode from the product. It’s a little more involved to receive the cash back, but it’s worth it to get money back on items you purchase regularly. This week I received $1.25 cash back on shampoo that was free after coupons, meaning I actually made money shopping.

    5. Jingit – Earn money by watching short videos or checking in at select stores. This is a super easy way to earn some extra money.

    These are my top five apps to earn freebies and make money using your Smart Phone. I hope you will score some great rewards like I have. What other apps do you use and love to save you money?

    Author: Nicole McDonald, a stay-at-home mom to three kids, age 7, 4 and 2.  She teaches coupon, meal planning, frugal fun with kids and freebies classes and blogs atwww.momsavesmoney.net. Her e-book ‘The Extraordinary Art of Couponing’ is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

  • Share

    by Reruns blogger | Mar 13, 2013

    “This is my room not yours.”

    “I was born first. Not you.”

    “I’m 4. I’m the biggest; you’re the littlest.”

    “You need to share.”

    Here we go again.

    My girls are feuding. This time it’s over a toy spoon. Really, why? * Forehead slap.*

    Sure, I could drop into the conversation or separate the two so my house could go back to a peaceful state — but I’m not going to do that. That, my friend, is the easy way out.
    They need to learn how to work through their conflict.

    Children are not developmentally designed to share. Young children are naturally ego-centric. Oh, that’s Gabriella all the way. She’s 2 and in the “Mine” stage. Giving up something makes her weak. She seeks power… control… independence. She hasn’t quite developed the social skills that her older sister Alejandra posses.

    And so the power struggle begins.

    “Mine,” Gabriella shouts.

    “I had it first,” Alejandra tries to reason.

    “NOOO. MINE.”

    After a few minutes of “mines” pass, I intervene.

    “What’s going on?”

    Alejandra blurts out the situation. Gabriella lowers her head admitting submission.

    Instead of taking the spoon out of anyone’s hand, I ask them how they can resolve the situation.

    Sometimes being the parent means that we have to gently teach them over and over to recognize and value the feelings of others. Also, help children recognize the power in sharing.

    Sharing requires practice, which always includes mistakes along with the successes.

    That day we started with a positive experience. I asked for the spoon.

    “I’m happy when I have this spoon because I like to pretend it’s a microphone,” I said, and then proceeded to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

    After squawking the tune, because I’m not much of a singer, I then handed Alejandra the spoon.

    “I’m happy when I have this spoon because I like to pretend I’m baking cupcakes,” she said. She then spun the spoon around as if she was mixing batter in a bowl.

    Now it’s Gabriella’s turn.

    “Spoon. MINE!!!!”

    OK. So we haven’t gotten her impulses under control quite yet. But not all is lost.

    After banging the spoon on the hard wood floor in her bedroom for a few seconds, she handed me the spoon.

    She’ll eventually get the hang of this sharing thing. Slowly, but surely. I hope.

    Bio: Josie Loza is a mom to three young children. She blogs about parenting issues, lifestyle and and her family’s quirky adventures on www.momaha.com.

    Go comment!
  • Say Yes to the Mess

    by Reruns blogger | Dec 13, 2012

    I love my kids, but being a mom of three small children is exhausting. There are always diapers to change, dinners to make, clothes to wash and messes to clean. It seems like a never ending cycle and I find myself saying ‘no’ to anything that might create any mess at all. Any activity they select, I just see the end clean-up and not the process that involves play.

    My daughter cutting up papers for an art project means little pieces all over the floor. Play-Doh means tiny chunks of that sticky dough all over the table, chairs and floor. Baking results in gooey ingredients all over the counter.  Why do I always say no? Because, I am tired, over worked and detest cleaning.

    But, do I want my kids to remember me as the ‘no’ mom? Well, no. I want my kids to be able to have fun, to make messes, to create, imagine and enjoy activities of their choosing. Being a ‘no’ mom stifles their fun. So, starting today, I pledge to be a ‘yes’ mom and embrace the mess.

    In a child’s view, the mess is the process of creativity and imagination. It is how they explore their world, how they create visions and build their sense of self. Play is important. Messes are important. My kids are important.

    The most valuable thing in my life is not having a perfectly clean house, but having happy kids. I want my kids to use Play-Doh any time they want, to create art and to help me cook. I want to be a ‘yes’ mom; the kind of mom that isn’t perfect, but allows kids to be kids.  I will say ‘yes to the mess.’ Today is a Play-Doh kind of day.

    Author: Nicole McDonald, a stay-at-home mom to three kids, age 6, 4 and 2.  She teaches coupon, meal planning and freebies classes and blogs.