HarrisPoll

I’m not a big fan of most of the survey places you find online these days. They’re too much work for what amounts to little payoff, but I do like being rewarded for providing my input and doing some everyday things. I’m still a fan of Swagbucks even though I’ve been slacking lately on their surveys and videos you complete/watch for credit. And when it comes to physically going to the store and being rewarded, Shopkick is another great way to be rewarded.

I joined Harris back in the beginning of April of this year. So far I’ve accumulated about 4400 points. This is more than enough for a $25 gift card, and about 1000 points towards the additional 3000 points I need for a $50 card. I know, it’s not earth shattering money. But for what amounts to about 10 or 15 minutes every other day or so, it all adds up. We use this as “blow” money so to speak by redeeming the points for restaurant gift cards. We don’t actually incur this expense of eating out, so it’s like a nice bonus since we’ve pulled back on our unnecessary spending with me being out of work.

I’m pretty confident I could have been at the $50 gift card in three months. To me this is a nice deal. We can typically eat out at one of the places offered twice with a $50 card further taking advantage of the “freebie”. Additionally, when we combine this gift card with the others we receive from our Discover rewards and Swagbucks, we’re pretty much able to eat out a couple times a month without having to actually use money needed for other things.

HPRewards

And if you don’t want to spend Harris points (they call them HI points) on restaurant gift cards, there are plenty of other items they offer as rewards. Check out the list!

Joe-

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Updating my original post for Shopkick. We’re both still using Shopkick whenever we’re shopping. Since originally posting this back in March we’ve accumulated around $25/each. I know it’s not life altering money, but it does pay for a weekly grocery trip for us to Target or Walmart. : )

Shopkick

Have you heard of  Shopkick? We love it! It’s a smartphone app that gives you Kickbacks just for walking into stores, and also for scanning specific items. Then you redeem those points – called Kicks – for gift cards to your favorite places like Starbucks, Target, Walmart, and more. 

250 Kicks is the equivalent of one dollar and can be redeemed as follows:

500 Kicks = $2
1250 Kicks = $5
2500 Kicks = $10
3750 Kicks = $15
6250 Kicks = $25

Try Shopkick, a super simple way to save some $$$. : )

After you click the above link, just enter your phone number and you’ll receive a one-time text with a direct link to download the app. After signing up you’ll be ready to start collecting Kicks! 

Joe-

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Do you suffer from lactose intolerance? Unfortunately I do and lactose free milk can be pretty pricey. A half gallon costs more than a full gallon of regular milk, plus I don’t drink milk very often, so more often than not it’s a waste of money and milk to even buy it.

On top of that, I still want to be able to enjoy ice cream and cheese without paying the price later. That’s where Dairy Digest Complete comes in. I discovered it a few months ago and now I take one pill right before I’m going to consume something that normally would upset my stomach and I’m good to go. The pills are cheaper than Lactaid and small enough that I can keep several in my purse so I’m always prepared. I highly recommend them!

Disclaimer: I was not paid to promote this product, I just really find it useful and wanted to share.

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What a first week of May it’s been. In typical Chicago fashion, the spring weather is going back and forth from cool and fall-like to the 80’s. Looking forward to some warm days to come.

So far our experience with Ting Wireless couldn’t be better. It’s only been a month, but we’re really pleased. Read all about it and our savings in Nicole’s post about it here or below.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there!


DIY Oil Change – Is It Worth It?

Our First Month With Ting Wireless

Magicjack Review – Landline Or No Landline?

Joe-

Extrapolate This - Weekly Roundup

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magicjack

Our story of cutting the cord (a detailed post coming soon) actually began about a year and a half ago. We wanted to reduce our Comcast monthly bill and the first casualty was phone service. At first we contemplated not having a landline at all. But then after hearing good things about magicJack we decided to investigate it further.

After reading the Amazon reviews, we decided to give the magicJackGO a try. We paid around $50, but now it can be found for $39.99 @ Target or Amazon
which includes the hardware and the first year of service. Even at $50 we figured it was worth a try.

Installation couldn’t have been easier. We plugged the magicJackGO into the power adapter and then into a power strip. Then we connected an Ethernet cable from our router to the magicJackGO Ethernet port. After that it only required a cord from our phone to the phone port on the magicJackGO.

The process of setting up the magicJack service was easy as well. After connecting the actual magicJack device to a USB port on our computer, it downloaded and updated software on the device.

Once installed, the magicJack softphone screen came up which looks like a phone dialer. There is a registration link on the left that takes you to the magicJack registration site to begin the process of account set-up – name, address, new phone number/porting, payment method, etc.

If you have an existing number with your current phone provider, porting your number is simple. You can go here to confirm your number is able to be ported to the Magicjack. After it’s confirmed all you need to do is to go into your magicJack online account, which you should have set up by now, and go to the TRANSFER section of your account to begin the process. The site claims it can take 5-10 business days for the porting to be completed but ours only took a couple of days.

After you’ve set up your account, completed the software updates, and either chosen your new number or ported your existing one, you’re pretty much done. We opted to plug in the magicJack directly into a power outlet and connect the Ethernet cord to it so we are able to make calls through a regular cordless phone handset.

Another nice thing feature is the magicJack App, available for both iOS and Android. You can use the app to make phone calls (from your home number) either via cell coverage or over WiFi, regardless of your location. You can also see and answer phone calls to your home number from the app even when you’re not home.

The one additional cost we didn’t catch when we originally signed up is that there’s an annual 911 fee of $11. The renewal fee for the magicJack service is $35, so your total annual out of pocket expense is $46/year ($3.83/month) if you want to have a landline in your home which is much cheaper than the $15 per month we were paying Comcast.

Joe-

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Extrapolate This - Weekly Roundup - 417 to 423

What a crazy week it’s been in entertainment news, right? Among other deaths this week there was Doris Roberts, Chyna and Prince.

I’ve always felt I grew up in a stellar time for music, the 80’s. I was in my teens for the majority of the decade. And oh, what a decade it was for music. Stadium rock bands like Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, and Queen. Big hair bands like Poison, Whitesnake, and Warrant. The great alternative bands like Depeche Mode, The Cure, New Order and the early days of Smashing Pumpkins. And then there were the one-hit (or two-hit) wonders that were so prevalent during the decade: Come On Eileen (Dexys Midnight Runners), 867-5309 (Tommy Tutone), and Relax (Frankie Goes To Hollywood). I could go on and on with bands and songs, I can remember them like they just hit the radio. SO many great bands and songs. Prince And The Revolution was definitely part of those memories for me. You have to appreciate the contribution Prince made to music.

Joe-


March Dining Out Expenses

Housecleaning @ ET!

Healthcare.Gov – My Review

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After separating from a company it used to be the only option for continuing healthcare was joining COBRA or looking for private coverage. Nowadays with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) there are more affordable options. That’s a good thing since you’re required to have coverage or pay a penalty.

In order to determine what options are available to you, I recommend starting at your state dedicated site or even the Healthcare Marketplace where eventually you’ll be directed to Healthcare.Gov to began the application process. I found the interface was set up so that even someone with limited computer experience could navigate the site pretty easily since it’s designed to walk the applicant through the process step-by-step.

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weekend
We had a productive week here on ET! I was pretty happy we switched our wireless service to Ting. We’re only a week in, but so far so good! Being the big movie buff I am, I highlighted 10 movies which showed me a little something about business. And we’re considering switching home security to more of a DIY option we’ll monitor ourselves via the Almond 3 router. I’m really looking forward to the home security change. Not only will this save us $40/month, but we’ll still get the peace of mind to go with having a home security system.

Sunday Randomness

10 Movies That Taught Me A Little Something About Business

Ting Wireless Review

Home Security Alternative

How do your trips to Costco go?

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!
Joe-

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