Couponing Training & How To Make or Save $$$

ABC’s of Couponing: “F” is for Freebies & How to Avoid Freebie Scams!

Feb 28 2014
Posted by deidre 19 Comments
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cuckoo4freebiesPart of the ABC’s of Couponing Guide

*Re-posting this since it’s been a few years since I talked about this on my site

Completely free stuff comes around and I get all shaky and happy. I run and tell my husband about the freebie I’m getting and say “do you think it will come with some sick coupons??!?!” and he does this thing where he pretends he doesn’t know me. It’s our game really.  But if you don’t know how to tell legit freebies from fake ones, then you can lose out on the freebie game.  Here’s what you need to know:

  • How to determine legit freebies from spam.
  • Creating another email account.
  • Why companies giveaway freebies & why you want them!

In order to try to save you time from signing up for non-legit freebies, I have compiled a list of ways to tell the cuckoo freebies we love, from the spam we hate.  

  • First, I screen all offers posted on my site. I make sure they are from legit companies.  Be careful with other deal sites you use, not all of them screen the freebies they post.
  • Make sure the web URL in the address bar includes the name of the company or the brand of product.   The exception is StartSampling which I have used and gotten samples from before.  But most of the time, the URL will be the main company or brand name.
  • Any freebie where you have to sign up for other offers in order to get the freebie is spam and don’t waste your time.  There are too many real freebies out there; no need to do these ones.
  • Beware of trial offers for freebies. If they ask for a credit card number, even if they don’t charge now they will usually charge after 14 or 30 days.   As a rule of thumb I never enter my credit card number or social security number for a freebie! You usually have to enter mailing address and email info – but never more!  *An exception to this is when you are using a promotion code that drops the price of an item you are buying to free, you typically still have to enter CC info.  But that is when you are buying an item, not filling out a form to get a freebie. 
  • Have you seen this before? “This promotion is conducted exclusively by (whateversite.com) and is subject to participation terms and conditions.” Or “Must complete participating gold, silver or platinum offers to get this sample”.  That means it is spam.  Run away!  They are just fishing for your information and are wanting to sell your email address. Yes, people want to buy your email address and spam you.
  • Beware of who is running the site!    Once I saw a freebie that seemed legit, but after browsing the site I couldn’t find any contact information.  Companies want contacted by their customers, no contact info= fake company.  Also, the page you are on may look legit, but I usually browse around new sites I haven’t seen before and make sure it is current, and for example if the company sells a product you can go through the motions of ordering it.  I have seen “fake” freebies before for Gloves.  They said fill out the form to get free gloves.   The site was nice-looking and seemed alright, but if you clicked on any page but the freebie page and tried to order the gloves you couldn’t.  Huge sign of a non-legit spammer site!  Go to whois.com to see how long the website has been up – only for a few days, probably a quick setup trick to get your info then they’ll close down the site.
  • Speaking of spams, read my post on the horrible paypal scams I avoided!

Why would I create yet another email account or Free phone number?

  • Because for most freebies, even legit ones, they are going to ask you to sign up for their email newsletter list.   If you are scoring 5 freebies a day, as we often do, that adds up quickly to a lot of emails you don’t necessary want.  I have a separate email that I sign up for all freebies with and rarely bother checking that email account.  You can get a free email account at gmail.com or hotmail.com
  • Also, set up a free voice mail box online at Google Voice and leave that number as your contact number.
  • Many people have freebies sent to P.O. boxes, but beware as many freebies and deals state they will not ship to P.O. boxes.

Why do companies giveaway free samples?

Most companies spend millions on tv ads and other forms of getting the knowledge about their product into your heads.   Why not use some of that budget and just let you see for yourself? Put the product directly in your hands.   Most companies know if you like  a freebies, you are more likely to buy it later.

Why sign up for tiny free samples?

Many free samples also include high-value coupons.  This is particularly true of new products on the market.   And as cuckoo coupon shoppers we can turn that free sample with it’s attached coupon into a killer deal on a full size product!

Ready to start requesting your freebies?

Scroll through my category of freebie offers

This is part 6 of a 26 part “ABC’s of Couponing” series 

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ABC’s of Couponing: “L” is for Lingo 101

Feb 17 2014
Posted by deidre 21 Comments
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ABC’s of Couponing: “L” is for “Lingo”

This is part of the 26 page ABC’s of Couponing free eBook!  Re-posting here for those who missed it previously.

Coupon Jargan & Lingo on Cuckoo for Coupon Deals may be confusing:

Let’s learn what all that really means:

$1/1: One dollar off one product

$1/2: One dollar off when you buy two products. You must buy 2 items. If you buy two items, you can use that one coupon.

+UP: These refer to Rite Aid’s +UP Wellness Rewards program (full explanation HERE)

AY: All You magazine, a magazine sold online and at Walmart which sometimes has coupons in it.

BOGO (read more!): BOGO or B1G1: Both mean “Buy one, Get one” and will usually be followed by “free” or ” “50%”.  BOGO Free means “Buy one, get one free” and BOGO 50% off means “Buy one, get one 50% off.”  If you read my “B” is for BOGO post, you are a BOGO pro!

Blinkie: This is a manufacturer coupon found in-store. It is usually in a dispenser that is close to the product the coupon is for.

Catalina: This is a coupon that prints after you have purchased your items.  It prints on a separate machine from the receipt.  So it won’t look like a normal coupon.  Sometimes it will say “$xx off your next purchase” and you can use the coupon on any item in the store on your next transaction or shopping trip.  Other times, for example at Kmart, the coupon will be triggered based off items you have bought and will be a coupon for similar items.   Often when I buy Huggies, coupons for Pampers will print out of the catalina machine. Here’s a picture of a catalina.

Circular: Weekly or monthly ad released by stores to let customers know of their current sales.

Clipless Coupons: See “e-Coupons” below

Coupon Insert: These come in the Sunday newspaper. Deidre recommends buying multiple Sunday newspapers to get your coupon inserts. These are the bread-and-butter of couponing. Coupon inserts are one of the biggest weapons in a good couponers arsenal.

Coupon: Entitles the holder to a discount, as specified on the coupon. Is a form of payment.

Couponing:
The art of redeeming discount coupons in order to save money.

Couponer: A person who collects and saves coupons to redeem them on products, such as groceries, pet food, and toiletries.

CRT:  Cash Register Tape. Usually used when talking about CVS pharmacy or Kmart, CRTs print at the bottom of your receipt and are generated based on your purchasing history (seemingly random).  CRTs are specific to the store where they were printed.  They are usually product specific coupons, example: $1.00 off any deodorant purchase. Here’s a picture of a CRT.

Cuckoo: A great deal is often referred to as a “cuckoo” deal and you should know it is a “stock up” price.

Do Not Double (full explanation HERE) : This is on some coupons, sometimes it says “DND” or “No Doubling” it is meant to communicate to the retailer that the manufacturer will not  reimburse for any greater value than that of the coupon. A store may or may not double your coupon that reads “do not double” as part of a store doubling promotion. The wording is there to protect the manufacturer.

Double Coupons (full explanation HERE): Only certain stores will double a coupon. When a store “doubles a coupon”, the store still only gets refunded the value of the coupon from the manufacturer.   They take the extra amount they doubled out of their own pockets, as an advertising expense.

ECB:  Extra Care Bucks. This coupons print at the bottom of your CVS receipt when you purchase items that are specially marked in their weekly circulars.

E-Coupons (full explanation HERE): Also known as Clipless or Loadable coupons. Instead of printing the coupon, you load it onto your store loyalty card.  When you scan your loyalty card at the cash register, or give your phone number, you will automatically receive the savings if you’ve made a qualifying purchase!

ETS: What does ETS stand for on a coupon? Excludes Trial Size!

Extra Bucks: Extra Care Bucks. This coupons print at the bottom of your CVS receipt when you purchase items that are specially marked in their weekly circulars.

EXP: Expires or Expiration Date

FAR
: Free After Rebate.  You will pay cash for the item, but receive a full rebate back, essentially making the item free minus sales tax.

FF:  Firefox.  When a printable coupon specifies IE or FF, you must click the link that coordinates with the browser you’re using.

Handling Fee: Refers to an amount, usually $0.08, paid by the manufacturer to a store in addition to the price on the coupon.  This is to compensate them for handling the coupon.

IE:  Internet Explorer.  When a printable coupon specifies IE or FF, you must click the link that coordinates with the browser you’re using.

Inserts in the Sunday paper: SS= Smart Source, RP= Red Plum, P&G= Proctor & Gamble (once per month).  Insert coupons can be used at any store that accepts manufacturer’s coupons.  Almost all grocery and drug stores do. Order your Sunday Coupon Inserts here.

IP: Internet Printable coupons may be printed right from your home computer.  Usually limited to 2 prints per computer, download quick and safe printing software to be able to print securely from home.

IVC: Instant Value Coupon.  IVCs are store coupons found in the weekly Walgreens ad.  IVCs may be stacked with a manufacturer coupon.

Loadable Coupons: See “e-Coupons” above.

MIR (full explanation HERE): Mail in Rebate, refers to rebates which must be submitted by mail.  These are the traditional rebates that require you to mail in both your receipt and proof of purchase in the form of UPC barcodes.

Manufacturer:
The company who produces the brand items:  Dove soap manufacturer, Pace Salsa manufacturer, etc.

MFR: Some people save time by typing this instead of  ”manufacturer”

Manufacturer Coupon: A coupon created by the manufacturer, or by a marketing company on the manufacturer’s behalf.  Manufacturer offers a discount to shoppers in order to entice them to buy their product.  When a coupon is redeemed the manufacturer reimburses the store for the entire value of the coupon, plus a handling fee, aprox $0.08.

Mobile Coupon App: An application you download on your phone which has coupon offers on it, or where you scan in your receipts to get instant rebates for purchases. I have a list of the top 8 mobile apps I recommend.

OOP: Out of pocket. This refers to the amount you pay for an item, not factoring in rebates, ECB’s, +Ups, RR’s or any other catalina.

OYNO: On Your Next Order.  OYNSO: On Your Next Shopping Order.  This refers to offers where you will not see the savings on that order, but on your next shopping trip or transaction.  For example, spend $25 and save $10 on your next order.  You would spend $25 (usually before coupons) and a catalina would print giving you $10 off your next order.

One Coupon per Purchase:  You can only use one coupon per item purchased.  Usually you can buy multiple items and use multiple coupons in one transaction with this type of coupon.  As long as you buy multiple items, you can use multiple coupons of the same type per transaction.

One Coupon per Transaction: This one means you can only use one coupon per transaction, even if you have multiple items and multiple coupons.  Your store may let you do multiple transactions.

Peelie:  Manufacturer coupons that look like stickers and are stuck on products in-store.  I personally don’t remove these and only use these if I am buying that product at that store.

P&G: Proctor and Gamble manufacture a wide range of consumer goods and are one of the largest corporations in the world.  Proctor and Gamble puts out monthly coupon inserts filled with coupons for a variety of Proctor and Gamble produced brands, just a few of which include: Always, Bounty, Crest, Dawn, Gillette, Olay, Pampers and Tide.

PSA: Prices starting at; when a group of items are on sale, such as Fiber One products 25% off.  We might write “PSA $2.09? and list a group of Fiber One coupons.  This means that the cheapest Fiber One product is $2.09 and prices go up from there.

Purchase: a purchase refers to buying any item.  If I buy 30 items on a single shopping trip, I just made 30 purchases.

Purchase-Based Coupon: Purchase-Based coupons specify a dollar amount off a minimum dollar future purchase.  Some common values:  $2 off $10, $3 off $15, $4 off $20.  Manufacturer purchase based coupons may be used in addition to store coupons.

Q: Coupon abbreviation – also used, Q-pon.

Raincheck (full explanation HERE): A Rain Check is a written slip that you can request from a store when a sale item is out of stock.  When the store restocks the item, after the sale period is over, a rain check entitles you to purchase for the previous sale price.  Store may include an expiration date as well as a quantity limit on your rain check.  Rain checks are usually issued at the customer service desk.

Rebate (full explanation HERE):  Virtually all rebates are limit one per household, and P.O. boxes are never accepted.  Make sure to read the fine print- don’t waste time or money sending in multiple rebates for the same deal, since you’ll only get one back. Keep this in mind if you find tear-pad rebates at stores- there is no reason to take the whole stack, since you can only use one rebate.  Most of the best grocery rebates are found in the beer aisle.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Virtually all rebates are limit one per household, and P.O. boxes are never accepted.  Make sure to read the fine print- don’t waste time or money sending in multiple rebates for the same deal, since you’ll only get one back. Keep this in mind if you find tear-pad rebates at stores- there is no reason to take the whole stack, since you can only use one rebate.

RR: Register Reward.  These are triggered at Walgreens for buying certain products.

Rolling Catalinas: refers to the practice of separating your purchase into multiple transactions in order to use register catalina coupons from your first transaction to pay for your second transaction.  Another catalina prints from the 2nd transaction that pays for the 3rd transaction and so on.  This doesn’t work so well at Walgreen’s and you’ll need to read their store training guide full full details.

RP: Red Plum.  Formerly known as Vallasis, Red Plum coupon inserts and website feature coupons from a variety of manufacturers.  Red Plum is part of Valassis Interactiv.

SCR:  Single Check Rebate, Rite Aid Drugstore monthly rebate program, which has been cancelled.

Stacking Coupons:  Stacking coupons refers to using both a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon on one product.  Nearly all stores will allow you to “stack”.  Only one manufacturer coupon may be used per item.

Store Coupon: A coupon created by the store to entice you to buy a certain product at their store.  Stores receive no reimbursement from store coupons.  Store coupons may be found in the weekly ad, printed online or downloaded as e-coupons.

Store Loyalty Card:  A free card which you present at checkout to receive additional savings.  Fill out a short application to receive a loyalty card at your local grocer.  If you don’t want to carry the card, the cashier can look up your preferred card by entering your ten digit phone number.

Sunday Coupon Inserts: In many of my posts, you’ll see references to use Sunday coupon inserts; order your Sunday Coupon Inserts here. Here is  an example of how I tell you which insert a coupon is in when I post a deal:

Buy Olay Lotion $2.99
Use the $1/2 Select Olay Products, exp. 11-30-10 (SS 10/31/10)
Final Price= $1.99

What does the pink coupon information in the deal above mean?

  • $1/2 = $1 off when you buy 2.
  • exp. 11-30-10 means the coupon will expire on 11-30-10 and will no longer be useable.
  • (SS 10/31/10) means a coupon came from the Smart Source insert in the Sunday paper on 10/31/10.

Transaction: a transaction refers to your entire purchase, especially the payment you make for that purchase.  If I buy 30 items and then pay the cashier, I just made one transaction.

Tear-Pad:At many locations in supermarkets there are tear pads with rebates or coupons on them.  These are often found in the beer aisle or at the customer service desk. Remember, almost all mail-in rebates say “one per household, no P.O. boxes allowed” so don’t bother taking all the tear-pads. Leave some for other shoppers.

Stockpile:   Buy items when they are at their lowest prices and buy enough to get you through to the next big sale, so you never have to pay full price.

SS: Smart Source. A marketing company, like RP, Smart Source coupon inserts and website feature coupons from a variety of manufacturers.  Smart Source is part of News America Marketing Co.

Tear Pad: At many locations in supermarkets there are tear pads with rebates or coupons on them.  These are often found in the beer aisle or at the customer service desk. Remember, almost all mail-in rebates say “one per household, no P.O. boxes allowed” so don’t bother taking all the tear-pads. Leave some for other shoppers.

WAGS: Abbreviation for Walgreens Drugstore

UPC: Universal Product Code. Bar code printed on product packages that can be scanned electronically.

WYB:  When you buy.  ”Save $10 wyb 3 items” would mean: Save $10 when you buy 3 items.

YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary.  Usually means a deal is for clearance items and since it’s not advertised in the circular, there is no guarantee that your store will have the same deal.

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Best Mobile Apps for Couponers 2014

Jan 28 2014
Posted by deidre 3 Comments
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Best Mobile Smartphone Apps for Couponing 2014

I had people request what are the best mobile apps for couponers, so here are my favorites! Please leave a comment with yours too!

Ibotta:

Ibotta is a FREE Android & iPhone app. I find it easier to navigate than Shopkick and typically use it the most out of all apps. Here’s how to use it:

  • First, login to Ibotta and select the deals you are doing.   Just click on them with your phone, so easy!
  • Perform small tasks, like reading about how Chapstick works, taking 1-question polls, or sharing on FB to get $ added to the value of the coupon
  • To redeem your cash back, you will need to take a picture of your receipt and scan the barcode of the product you purchased. Ibotta will credit your account within 24 hours (it usually only takes 24 seconds).
  • Once you have earned $5.00 cash back you can choose to transfer it to a Paypal account or donate it to a charity.

Ibotta is offering a FREE $10 bonus when you sign up right now!

Shopkick:

Shopkick is a FREE Android and iPhone app. It gives you access to exclusive deals to stores like Best Buy, Target, Macy’s & Toys ‘R Us. You will get a free $25 restaurant.com gift certificate when you sign up!

Steps to get the gift card:

1. Sign up online first via the Cuckoo landing page
2.You will get a text message to download the app – click this to download it
3. The gift card gets dropped into your account the first time you do a ‘walk-in’ to a partner store. That is, you walk into one of the partner stores with the app open on your phone.  Best Buy, Old Navy or Crate and Barrel, or more!  When you visit, say Best Buy, you’ll open the app inside at the entrance and wait a few seconds – the points will get credited and so will their gift card! The gift card will appear under the “me” tab and should be pretty instant.

Here’s some coupons at Target on Shopkick right now:

  • $1.50 off Archer Farms Snack Trail Mix or Nuts
  • $5 off Merona apparel $20+
  • $5 off Liz Lange for Target apparel 20+
  • $2 off Champion kids tops or bottoms
  • $1 off Archer Farms Chips 8 oz +

Checkout 51:

Checkout51 is mobile or you can use it on your PC.   The best part about this is you can use it at ANY grocery store! This gives it a big advantage over Ibotta.

How to use Checkout 51:

1. Browse your offers, buy at any store
2. Upload your receipt
3. Get cash back!
4 When your account reaches $20, you can cash out and Checkout 51 will mail a check your way.

Target Mobile Coupons

Sign up for Target Mobile Coupons and get coupons sent directly to your mobile phone! No need to print, just scan your smart phone at Target for the savings!

Walgreens Mobile Coupons

You can text APP to 21525 and Walgreens will send you a direct link to their app in iTunes, Android” Market and BlackBerry App World.  You can also sign up for Walgreens Coupons Alerts to get coupons sent directly to your phone.

CVS Mobile App

View ExtraCare information – send offers to card, view Weekly Ads, sign up for offers, deals and more on the CVS Mobile Android app or the CVS Apple App

iPad Couponing App as seen on Extreme Couponing

Now you can download the Working Mom Coupons Couponing Spreadsheet Application / Program on TLC’s Extreme Couponing.

She calls it “Numbers”

I have got several readers asking for it – it is the program Erin used on her extreme shopping trip.   Unfortunately it is $4.99 to download – I am not in charge of this price, the lady who owns that website sets the price.

Reader Tracie said: I do pretty well on my own, but a nice spreadsheet program/application would really help with estimate total bills beforehand. Either that or someone give me some suggestions on what I can do to help with this part of the couponing.

I don’t use  a program at all to track my deals, as  I just use the printable matchups lists on my site.  However, you may have a small store no other deal sites cover, or you extensively want to calculate your savings. Either way, I know people were excited about his so I decided to go ahead and let you know about it!

How many of you use a similar program? If you don’t want to pay $4.99, you can also view my list of freebie coupon savings tracking tools. 

Cuckoo for Coupon Deals Mobile App

Cuckoo for Coupon Deals app for Android users.  This puts a button on your homepage to click to go straight to my site’s mobile mode on your phone. Coupon deals, store coupons, freebies, and ad match-ups for 100 stores nationwide & mobile access to our Coupon Database.

I expect more and more stores this year will start adding mobile apps to their coupon release line-ups, and I will inform you of them when they do!

Shopmium

Shopmium is free and is much like Checkout51 because you can get cash back on offers from many stores.

Let me know if you know of any others as well.

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ANY Store: Save $2 off ANY $20 Purchase, $1/1 Gallon of Milk & More!

Jan 14 2014
Posted by deidre No Comments
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UPDATE: you don’t have to have a smartphone!

You can upload your receipt pics online through your computer  or download the app to your iPhone or Android phone.

Registering for Checkout51 is super easy.  It is like Ibotta but maybe even better, since you can use it at ANY store!

How to use Checkout 51:

1. Browse your offers, buy at any store
2. Upload your receipt
3. Get cash back!
4 When your account reaches $20, you can cash out and Checkout 51 will mail a check your way.

 Here’s some offers they have right now: 

  • Upload your first receipt of $20 or more, get $2!
  • $1 back wyb 2 Kellogg’s Special K Cereals, any variety
  •  $1 cash back on any brand of milk (1 gallon or more)!
  • plus tons more!  
Just head on over to this Checkout51, scroll down the page and there is a link to download the app to your iPhone or Android phone and login, it’s easy to get going.

I asked about submitting this with the $1 milk rebate from Ibotta and they said: “We don’t have any limitations about also submitting a receipt to another app. Also, unless it specifies otherwise in the offer itself, our offers may be combined with paper coupons.”  Sweet!

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10 Cuckoo Uses for Hair Conditioner

Oct 3 2013
Posted by HelperJen No Comments
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Follow Cuckoo for Coupons on Pinterest for frugal tips, ideas and DIY recipes!

I had no idea there were so many uses for Hair Conditioner!  Here are the top 10 uses I found:

10 Cuckoo Uses for Hair Conditioner

1.  Make Up Remover – I guess this means we don’t need to buy expensive face removers, right?  You can use hair conditioner to easily and quickly remove make up!

2.  Silk Garmet Cleaner – This is a low cost alternative to taking your silk to the dry cleaners.  Fill your sink with water (warm for whites, cold for colors.) Add a tablespoon of hair conditioner and immerse the shirt in the water.  Let it sit for a few min, pull it out, rinse and hang to dry.  The shirt feels silky smooth from the conditioner!

3.  Shower Curtain – Get your shower curtain the slide smoothly by rubbing the rod with conditioner.  This will keep it from stuttering along the rod.

4.  Protect your shoes – This is interesting!  If you need to keep salt and chemicals off your shoes in winter just later your shoes (or boots) with hair conditioner.  It’s also a good leather conditioner.

5.  Shaving Legs - You can use hair conditioner instead of shaving cream!  If you still use shaving cream and your legs are rough or irritated when you are done rub on hair conditioner to sooth them.

6.  Houseplants – Okay, so don’t water your plants with this, but you can clean and shine up your houseplants! Put a bit of hair conditioner on a soft cloth and rub plant leaves to remove dust and shine them up!

7.  Stuck Jewelry – Got a ring stuck on your finger?  Use a bit of hair conditioner on your finger to slide it right off!

8.  Prevent Rusty Tools – To keep tools from rusting and in good condition rub them down with hair conditioner.

9.  Stainless Steel Shiner – Do you have stainless steel that needs a little shine?  Yep, you can use hair conditioner for that, too!  Apply it and rub off with a soft cloth.

10.  Zipper Lubricant – Ever get your zipper stuck?  Who hasn’t?  Use a dab of hair conditioner on the zippers “teeth” to get it gliding smooth again!

Don’t forget my post about using Hair Conditioner to make Homemade Fabric Softener!

Source:  Reader’s Digest, Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things, Copyright 2005

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Homemade Furniture Polish

Sep 19 2013
Posted by HelperJen No Comments
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Homemade Furniture Polish

I like to use natural, single ingredients as much as possible.

I am not a fan of the fake lemon smell of pledge.  I also hate the fact that it is aerosol and contains so many chemicals, no good when you’ve got kids and pets in the home.  I have been replacing my store bought chemical laden cleaning supplies one by one.  After poking around on the internet and deciding what scents I like best this is what I came up with for my furniture polish.  It is very simple to make and it only contains 3 ingredients  that you probably already have in your kitchen. That means, while not appealing, if your children were to drink it-it would not hurt them. A comforting thought for a mom whose kids are into everything.   I found the package of 3-2.7 ounce bottles at the Dollar Tree, I use one for my furniture polish and the other two for other cleaning products I make.  I use the small bottles because you don’t want to keep this polish long, as it will go rancid. 

After making a bottle I used it on my 6 seat kitchen table, a big butcher block counter that is unvarnished, my very large coffee table, and 2 end tables.  I still had half a bottle left. Considering I don’t polish my furniture often, 2 applications will last me awhile. Store unused portion in the refrigerator- will keep for up to a month.

furniture

You Will Need:

1 part lemon juice

2 parts olive oil

2-3 stems of fresh Rosemary

For my 2.7 ounce bottles, I poured 2 Tbsp. lemon juice and 4 Tbsp. olive oil into the pump bottle. I then laid my fresh rosemary stems on a cutting board and beat them a bit with the back of a spoon to release the oils. I then stuffed 3 stems a little taller than the bottle inside. Shake vigorously. Done

furniture polish

Take a clean soft cloth, you can either apply polish directly to the wood or onto cloth. Rub into wood gently. When using for the first time I would recommend you test in an inconspicuous spot.

Experiment with other citrus and herbs until you find just the right scent for you.  You could also go with essential oils like these:

PRINT: Click on the checkboxes to add these to your print list, then click on Print on the lower right-hand side of my website.

Homemade Furniture Polish

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Stove Top Beef Stew

Sep 17 2013
Posted by HelperJen No Comments
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beef stew

I love the fact that…

This dish uses only one pan, takes about  30 minutes from start to finish, and is delicious.  A side of buttery biscuits completes this meal, making a quick but hardy and filling weeknight meal.  I was always scrambling for ground beef recipes and have come up with a couple of great go to meals using ground beef, this is one of them. Another bonus is that this meal makes for delicious leftovers so I just pop some in a plastic lidded container after it has cooled for hubby’s lunch the next day.

Cuckoo’s Tip:

The most important thing to remember when making this dish is to drain the grease out of the pan after you brown the beef.  Otherwise, this recipe doesn’t keep as well in the fridge.  I just dump it all in a strainer and rinse out the pan real quick, then put the meat back in the pan.

ingredients

Use:

1 lb. ground beef
3 medium russet potatoes
3 carrots
1 large onion
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard
½ cup half and half (could also use milk)
1 ½ cups beef broth
3 cloves garlic, crushed
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

recipe

recipe

recipe

PRINT: Click on the checkboxes to add these to your print list, then click on Print on the lower right-hand side of my website.

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Survey Sites: Most are NOT WORTH YOUR TIME!

Sep 12 2013
Posted by HelperJen No Comments
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I did a post on survey sites a few years ago.  I wanted to update with new sites I found and others that you should pass on.  I did the research so you don’t have to – all my research came from real users experiences.

There are tons of survey companies out there where you can get paid for taking online surveys; and some are better then others.  I would love if readers could chime in and let everyone know which is their favorite!

Legitimate Sites:
  • Pincone Research: Pays $3 per survey and you get paid every time! They don’t surveys you don’t qualify for saving you time.
  •  Opinion Place: You are told up front how long the survey will take and what you will be paid.
  • My Survey.com people have commented on my site and on Facebook that it is a great one too!
  • Synovate: I’m sorry, this was a really good one but NO LONGER EXISTS.
  • Survey Savvy: You don’t get many surveys, but when you do they pay out well.  Tells you exactly how much time you will spend and how much you will earn from it.  Pays in cash, no worrying about points and such.  Some comments say the surveys pay $7 – $20.
  • Ipsos i-Say, originally I didn’t like this one, but three readers quickly commented that they liked it so I added it to the Legitimate list since people seem to really love it!
  • Opinion Outpost - The minimum cash out for Paypal is $10 and only $5 for Amazon gift cards, which sounds good.  Has pretty great reviews online, but I haven’t tried it, if you have let us know! Several readers have already commented below on how much they love this one.
Ones with bad reputations:
  • Neilson Digital Voice – Bad reviews, “not a true panel” you install their software and each month have a “chance” to win 10 grand; surveys are really long; people don’t receive what they promise and they call your house. No Thanks!
  • Valued Opinions: Their claim “For every survey you complete you’ll receive up to $5 and if you qualify for specialist surveys, you can earn up to $50 for each.”  Review: “So my biggest complaint about this website, is getting numerous Emails about surveys. You go there, answer 2 dozen questions about certain items, and then at the end either tell you you don’t qualify, or no longer need any more applicants.”
  • Dollar Surveys: I wouldn’t recommend this one because you have to take surveys to see if you qualify for surveys, and it can waste your time.
  • Surveyhead: I wouldn’t recommend this one because it has bad reviews online; again you have to take surveys to see if you qualify for surveys.  And you have to reach certain payment thresholds, supposedly once you get close to cashing out, then no more surveys are available for you. Still has terrible ratings.
  • Toluna: This one also has horrible reviews and it takes several surveys to even make $1. Everyone still says this one is a scam.
  • My least favorite is Inbox Dollars as they send you tons of annoying emails and you get like $.05 per click. This one can take a year to get any payout.
Unknown:

Ask CCD Readers: Please chime in if you have experience with these or any other survey sites!

 

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