Tag Archives: money

The Best Money Saving Apps

final collageI have recently come across some money-saving apps and after just a few weeks I have already earned and redeemed a $25 Amazon gift card and a $5 Target gift card, and am on my way to more!

Here are the apps I use to save money!

If you download them, please use my referral code and I will get extra money, too!

First I’ll do a short version, then I’ll go into a longer version for those who want more details…

  1. Ibotta
    Basically, you find rebates through the app and get cash back for things you buy. You can withdraw your money into Paypal or a gift card when you have a certain amount. My referral code is ekiudqk (I’ll get $5 when you redeem your first rebate). 
  2. Shopkick
    Basically, you earn “kicks” by walking into stores, scanning specific products, and buying certain products. You can redeem your kicks for gift cards that you must use the same day you click “redeem.” OR you can redeem them for cool items!On your phone, click on http://get.shopkick.com/sunset71041 (I’ll get 50% of your kicks for the first 2 weeks). 
  3.  Checkout 51
    Basically, you find rebates through the app and get cash back for things you buy. When your balance reaches at least $20, you can “Cash Out” and they will mail you a check. Snail mail, yes, but it’s $20 so that’s fine!
  4. Find & Save
    Basically, you can get cash back by spending money at stores you’re going to go to anyway. When your balance reaches at least $25, they transfer the money to you through PayPal.
    My referral code is K9ZG (I’ll get $3 when you redeem an offer!)
  5. MyPoints
    Ok, technically not an app. It’s through email.Basically, you click on emails to get points. You can redeem your points for gift cards.
    It’s not all emails. You can get points for shopping online, buying gift cards, taking surveys, watching videos, searching the web, and more. My mom did it when I was younger and I signed up as soon as I turned 18. I’ve gotten so many gift cards from them!
    I have to email referrals individually, so if you know me and you want to sign up, let me know and I’ll email you my referral code!

And that sums it up…


Now, if you want more details…read on for a longer version.

  1. Ibotta
    There’s a ton of “any brand” rebates, which are the best. It’s on things like any brand of: cereal, milk, tomatoes, bread, eggs, bananas, and more. It’s also got specific items such as Cheerios, Kid Cuisine, Stouffer’s Entrees, Kleenex, Progresso Soup, Glade Aerosol cans, Krusteaz Cookie Mix, Windex, and A TON MORE!!
    Is this starting to sound like stuff you’re going to buy anyway?
    Well, it is!
    So you might as well get cash back for buying it, right?!
    There’s also some stuff on there I’d never buy, but that’s okay. After you’ve chosen the store you’re at, you’ll choose your item…IMG_0824

    Then you’ll tap whatever item you want to “unlock”…


    You will then see a fact, a “getting acquainted” question, a short video, a recipe, or something like that. 

    Click tap on unlock, and it’s ready to be used!

    Then you can shop as usual. When you get home (or to the car!), you’ll tap “Verify Purchases” and you’ll choose where you shopped and scan the barcode on the items you bought (if applicable….for example, bananas don’t have  a barcode sometimes), then submit your receipt by taking a picture of it through the app.

    You’ll get the cash deposited into your Ibotta account within 48 hours…mine has usually taken less than 12 hours!

    When you have the minimum balance, you can withdraw your cash! I love Amazon, so I was saving up for the Amazon gift card. 

    The gift card options are Best Buy, Amazon.com, Starbucks, Sephora, Walmart, Express, Regal, and iTunes. They might add more over time, but as of when I wrote this post, those were the options. 

    I chose the Amazon card, they emailed me the redemption code, and I bought a new book for my Alice in Wonderland collection!

    Now, get Ibotta and don’t forget to use my referral code: ekiudqk

  2. Shopkick
    There are so many stores you can get kicks for just walking into! Sometimes you can just drive by near the entrance and it will register that you are there, then you can go along your merry way.

    Also, you can scan products. It will list products, tell you how many kicks per scan, and sometimes you can get additional kicks for purchasing that item. It’s stuff I’m personally not interested in buying, but obviously someone would.The items that there are to scan are usually the same or similar at multiple stores, and I’m scanning them each time I go, so after the first time it is faster because I know exactly where the items are and don’t have to spend time searching.

    You tap on the store you are at. Target this time for me. When you walk in, you open the app. It says you need to have Bluetooth on, but I’ve done it both with and without Bluetooth on, so I don’t know why it says that.

    Anyway, when you walk in, that blue circle will pop up. Tap it and you get your kicks!

    Then it will show that you can get “0” for walk ins. Don’t worry, you can get some next time. Unless you go way often, like I do.


    But don’t worry, you can still scan stuff!

    Here’s a screenshot of when I was scanning at Walgreens.


    You tap the item, a scanner pops up, and you scan the barcode!

    Now, let’s talk about getting kicks for spending money.


    First, the “Purchases” section. I use this all the time. You enter your card info and they track the purchases and give you points for how much money you spend. In most cases, you can get 1 kick per $2 spent, but some places are 1 kick per $1.

    In the screenshot below, all I did was have my card connected to Shopkick, spend money at Target (1 kick per $2), and go on with my life. Not much later, I got this notification. And BOOM, I’m 20 kicks closer to a gift card. Win!


    I connected both of the cards that I use most often, to be sure I am getting rewards for purchases, no matter which card I use.

    If you’re not comfortable connecting your card to this app, then simply don’t. You can still earn kicks with walk ins, scans, and submitting receipts, which we’ll come to next…..

    Now, the “Receipts” section. I haven’t used this one yet. If you buy an item that has a “KickBate,” then you get however many kicks it lists.

    In the following screenshot, you can see that I can scan Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blank and get 25 kicks. If I buy it and submit my receipt, I’ll get 150 kicks.

    You’ll see that The Dreaming Tree wine has a grayed out scan…because I already did it. However, the whole section isn’t grayed out because I can still get a KickBate if I buy it and submit my receipt.

    You’ll also see that the Straight Talk Wireless Phone On Display is all grayed out because I scanned it and there is no KickBate, so I’ve done all I can with it.


    If you scan an item at one store, sometimes it will let you scan it at another store and sometimes it won’t. Sometimes it will open up a few days later, too. Just check on it.

    Ready to redeem your kicks?
    Choose your reward! For my first one, I chose a $5 Target gift card.



    Tap “Redeem”…then it will tell you that once kicks are redeemed, it’s final. Tap okay, and you’ll immediately get a code for the cashier to scan! I whited stuff out on mine to post….


    When it’s time to pay, tell the cashier you have a gift card, show them the barcode on your phone, they’ll scan it, then tap on “Mark as used”….you just used a reward! Woo hoo!

    Check it out!


    Remember when I mentioned items? Yep. Items. Check out these options! I’m working towards the red camera now!


    It’ll take me a long time to get there, but the Sony Cybershot I have right now is about 10 years old and is on the end of it’s life…so, I’m saving my kicks for a new one!

    Now go get kicks and redeem them for gift cards or items!!


  3. Checkout 51
    Similar to Ibotta in some ways…they put rebates on their app, you buy them, and redeem for cash!You can “Star” the items you want to purchase, that way they are easy to access.

    IMG_0865After you buy them, you upload your receipt.


    Then you select which items you bought.


    Then, it credits your account and notifies you when it’s finalized!


    It even works for things you buy online! See the area I boxed and starred below.


    I haven’t redeemed enough rebates to get my cash back yet, but I’m almost halfway there! When your balance reaches $20, you can request your check…snail mail…but it will get to you!


    Now, go enjoy Checkout 51!

  4. Find & Save
    If you download this one, please use my referral code – K9ZGThis one is a bit different…you just spend money at certain stores and you get a certain amount of money back. They include stores such as Best Buy, Family Dollar, Claire’s, Target, Walgreens, DSW, Lowe’s, ALDI, Ulta, Kroger, Advance Auto Parts, and more! Sometimes you get a small percentage back, sometimes it’s a few dollars back. Either way – cash back! 


    You simply shop and then tap on the store you shopped at.


    Tap “Add Receipt” and take pictures of your receipt – super easy. Then you’ll get an email saying that it was received!


    On this one, you get your money back through PayPal…see the bottom of the screenshot below:


    Now, go Find & Save as much as you can!

  5. MyPoints
    I have to email referrals individually, so if you know me and you want to sign up, let me know and I’ll email you my referral code!MyPoints is something amazing I have been doing for a long time.
    I’ve been a member of MyPoints since September 2007 and check this out:

    I’ve redeemed $325 in gift cards simply for clicking and shopping.

    Here’s how this one works:
    You will get emails.
    MyPoints Emails
    You click on the emails and you can get points for simply going to a webpage.

    Check that out. Just for clicking “Get Points” you will get 5 points. And if you go further and request a quote (which I did), you will get 100 more points.

    There are many other ways to get points. There are 6 listed below!


    Now, I’ll tell you a bit more about the top 3 of those…

    Surveys are easy – if you have time, go through the whole survey and get all the points. If you don’t have time, don’t let yourself qualify! Just say you are 5 years old or something, and it will still give you 5 points for trying!


    You can also print coupons and redeem them at the store. I’ve never used that, but it’s an option.

    Another way to earn points is searching. You can get up to 100 points for searching!


    Here’s what I do…I type in a letter and click “Search & Earn” 41 times in a row. Boom. 100 points. You can do this once a month. Easy!


    You can also get points by purchasing things online, and even for purchasing gift cards! I use that one. I’ll get a TON of points for purchasing gift cards to places that I know I’m going to spend money anyway – and I get points for it!

    Also, watching videos on their website can get you points. You get 1 point for every video you watch, up to 75 videos each day. It used to be that you could start the video, mute it, and go on with your life doing other things on the computer, going back to click on a new video every few minutes, and rack up points that way.
    Now they’ve got it set up where the video pauses when you navigate away from the video. SO, just start a video, mute it, and go on doing other things around your house, leaving the video up and running, and come back to change it every few minutes.
    Or, you know, sit and enjoy the videos…

    Now, let’s talk about redeeming your points. I like to get Amazon gift cards. They also have Banana Republic, AMC, American Eagle, Barnes and Noble, Chili’s Bath and Body Works, GAP, Game Stop, Jack in the Box, Olive Garden, Nike, Target, Starbucks, Walmart, and SO MANY MORE!!!!!!!!!

I know this is a ton of information about these 5 amazing ways to save money. Seriously – do at least one of them!
If you have any questions, let me know, and don’t forget to use my referral codes!

You can also check out my five-dollar savings plan by clicking here!

final collage

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Porch Glider and Table

I used my Five-Dollar Savings Plan again!!!!

Click here to read more about how it works in detail….the overview is that you save every $5 you come across, and save it to buy yourself something. 

Now, here’s my new setup! I bought a glider and a table!


So, I started with $275. I thought of many things to spend this on. The only one I can remember right now is a new point-and-shoot camera (the one I have now is more than 10 years old). Anyway, I finally decided on furniture for my porch/patio!

Why? Because the sun sets riiiiiight there. Quite the view in the evenings. 


Ok, so I had a $275 budget. 


And I REALLY wanted a swing. For my porch. See? It needs something to keep the gnomes company. 

But, after much measuring, I decided that a swing won’t work. Too small of an area. You see, it would FIT, but then I wouldn’t be able to get into my front door…so I was looking for chairs…so I went looking for chairs with my 2 awesome girls. 

And I found a glider at Home Depot!


But I wasn’t sold. I tend to like dark furniture. That seat was so light. 

Then Natalie found this set! 

They didn’t have the glider in the store, but she saw it in the booklet!!!

So, I went home and looked at it online, measured my porch, and tried to decide…


It looks lighter in that picture, but the one at the store was darker…so I went with it! I did it!

Now, I had paid for it online, so I had to take my $5 bills and deposit them into the bank…


I chose to have it delivered to the store (shipping was free that way), and my friend and his Jeep helped me get it home. 


Then it was time to assemble!


And I did it! And I felt great! It was beautiful!


And then I had sticky stuff on the metal from the stickers that they’d put on it….but I know how to deal with THAT!

After it was all cleaned off, I took it outside!

Then I realized I needed a table. I had $40 left, so I went searching…at Target. 


And I found one!!! 


Now, excuse the night picture, but check it out!


And hey, check it out! I’ve still got $15 to start me off for next time!


Now, go forth and save!

I’ll just be here enjoying my porch…


Click here if you want to learn more about the $5 savings plan.

Click below to see other things I have bought with my $5 savings plan:
A Kitchen Aid
Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection
A sitting apparatus…well, 2


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A Sitting Apparatus or Two

When I moved into this apartment, I realized I needed a place to sit and eat. I didn’t want a table and chairs…no room for that in my apartment. I just wanted a sitting apparatus (actually, 2) to put up against the counter ledge that juts out a bit. But because I had just moved, I didn’t have a lot of money to buy them. 

But then I saw the pile of things that were waiting to be hung on the bare walls, and I remembered my $5 savings plan!!! I couldn’t believe I had $240, since I had spent 4 months that year in Romania and Ireland (where I wasn’t adding to my $5 savings plan at all since I was using a different currency). Yet alas, here it was! And I had $240!



I wasn’t sure how much I would need, but I had it!

If you don’t know what the $5 savings plan is, click here to read about it. 

Well, I set out with the Solises to Trader’s Village (a flea market here in Houston) to find some! 

Natalie had fun counting my $5 bills on the way there…


I only found one that I semi-liked…


But here’s the thing…I wanted ones that spin. I had qualifications (1) must spin (2) must have a back (3) must have that leather(-like) seat, not fabric or wood.

So that wouldn’t do. 

Kept looking, and found one!


I was glad that Aldo was with me, because he speaks Spanish and could barter for me…

The whole time, I was updating my friend Teo on my progress. When we found this one, this conversation ensued:

Aldo: I like them
Me: Me, too.
Aldo: I hope Teo likes them.
Me: I’ll send her a picture.
Aldo: You’re crazy.

So I sent her a picture, and she approved! Opinions matter. 

Aldo talked down the price to $108 for both of the chairs that are there, since they are the display ones and had some imperfections from everyone sitting on them and moving them around. Or I could buy them new and get them next week and have to put them together, for $145. 

SOOO I said I’d think about it. 

We walked around and got some other stuff (I scored on some Christmas presents!) and then I decided to buy them new! I would have to put them together and wait a week, but I would have them without blemishes, and that was nice. 

So I pulled out my $5 bills and paid! The guy was surprised, and I was proud. I love using my $5 savings plan!

I picked them up a week later, and Clara helped me put them together!

IMG_5830 IMG_5831

Here they are, in all their glory!

chairs 001 chairs 002 chairs 003 chairs 004

The best part! I only used $145 of my $240! I still had money left in my $5 savings plan, for the next time!

Click here if you want to learn more about the $5 savings plan!

Click below to see the other things I’ve bought with my $5 savings plan:
Kitchen Aid
Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection
Porch Glider and Table


Filed under Happenings

Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection

One day my friend asked me why I don’t own the Harry Potter movies if I love them so much. I told her it was because I was waiting for the ultimate special editions to come out, in a box set, with director’s commentary and more special features and all that jazz. 

My friend Kristi overheard this, and last week she emailed me this…


…and said…

It’s here. The definitive collector’s edition of Harry Potter. And it’s only $150!!

Apparently it’s really important to me that you see this. .. As I’m sending it in multiple forms. And possibly multiple times. 😉

So I responded with…


Wait, wait…..$150 from WHERE!? Amazon says it’s $277.60!
And she said…
Is at Costco my love.  Enjoy!
I was in bed that night, and these were my thoughts…
I want it so badly….it’s only $150….that’s so cheap for what it includes! I have the money, I can totally do it…but no! Stop! Chloe! You’re saving money to go to Romania and Ireland! Stop! You can’t! But this is everything I wanted and more…I’m doing it. I might feel guilty, but I am doing it. 
And then I saw my wall…
photoMy five dollar savings plan!!! <–click to read more…you will love it, I promise. 
And the next day….
photo (1)I was in heaven. I cried tears of joy at Costco. It’s true, just ask my cousin. She was there. 
photo (2)
I went home and reveled in the goodness. Happiness overcame my whole self. And anyone around me, because all I could do was smile. 
I only had like 15 minutes to look at it when I got home…you think it’d be enough, but it wasn’t. I had to go to work…but after work, I took a long time to go through every bit of it. It was glorious.
I went to my mom’s house for Thanksgiving and I showed my family. Their favorite part was watching how excited I was. My brother’s girlfriend even got pictures….
First you open the top for movies…
Thanksgiving 055
Then the sides open…
Thanksgiving 056
And there’s drawers with more movies on either side…
Thanksgiving 058
And then there’s little drawers…this one has a scroll with the information about the digital copy of all the movies…
Thanksgiving 059
The other drawer houses the horcrux, which was already around my neck, of course…
Thanksgiving 060
Thanksgiving 061
Can you tell how happy I am?
There’s also a Label Collection book…
Thanksgiving 062
 And a certificate of authenticity…I have number 22,924 f 63,000!
Thanksgiving 064
 And there’s also a collection of scenes…one from each film…on very nice paper that I will be framing when I have my own place one day!
Thanksgiving 065
 And there’s another book! A Catalog of Artifacts!
Thanksgiving 066
 …and a blueprint poster of Hogwarts castle…
Thanksgiving 067
And there’s more that I don’t have pictures of…like all 31 discs…the cloth map of Hogwarts (which will be on my wall in my next abode…
hp one day
Click below to see other things I have bought with my $5 savings plan:
Kitchen Aid
A sitting apparatus…well, 2


Filed under Happenings

My New Kitchen Aid!!

I’ve been doing The Five-Dollar Savings Plan (learn more about that at this link) for over a year now…I’ve been saving up for a Classic Kitchen Aid! I love to bake, so it’s always been a dream of mine to own my own Kitchen Aid…

It basically felt like I was getting it for free…because the amount in my bank account stayed the same…it was all from the shadow box on my wall! That’s the beauty of The Five-Dollar Savings Plan. I can spend money on myself once a year without feeling bad about it!

Here’s the story:

About a month ago I was at Costco with  my brother Ethan. We were on the appliances aisle because he was looking for a juicer, and I saw a Classic Kitchen Aid for only $199!!! I was super stoked, because I was up to $185 with my $5 savings plan, so I knew I could get it within the next couple months!

So I kept on saving and saving…well, mostly waiting…

And this weekend I got it! 


Somehow I lost count, because it turns out there was only $205 in there…but that’s okay because what I was about to buy was only $200…and I can afford a bit of tax.

So I grabbed my 2 good friends Kelsey and Makenzie, and we went to Costco!


Come to find out…they don’t have it anymore. They only had the Professional Kitchen Aid for like $350. I even asked an employee…he checked the system and everything…nada.

I left feeling very depressed and rejected.


But then decided to call around….

047Williams-Sonoma had a Classic Kitchen Aid for about $350, with a $30 mail-in rebate. NO THANK YOU.
I called 2 more Costco locations…and they didn’t have it either…LAME.
Then I called Wal-Mart…and they had a Classic Kitchen Aid for $199! 

So naturally, we rushed there…


And I think the pictures can tell the next part of the story…





Chris was a very nice lady who was workin’ the lucky register today! (We avoided the self-checkout…I didn’t want to put 41 $5 bills into the cash receiver thing….headache!)

Chris could tell that I was in a VERY good mood, and I explained why…I explained the Five Dollar Savings Plan and that I’d been saving for about 14 months…and I finally got my dream! She thought it was one of the coolest things ever, and told the lady behind her about me. I felt pretty cool.

Me and Kelsey!


Me and Makenzie!


Then I dropped off those two wonderful ladies at school (UVU) and went home to play with my new toy!


I was SO HAPPY!!! Here’s what I made…


Want to know what kind of cupcakes those are? Well….you might want to sit down…it’s pretty weird. Ok, ready?

Brown Sugar Banana Cupcakes with Avocado Buttercream Icing

Curious? Go here to learn more…

Click below to see other things I have bought with my $5 savings plan:
Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection
A sitting apparatus…well, 2
A porch glider and table


Filed under Happenings

The Five-Dollar Savings Plan

034 - Copy

It’s very simple. Every time you get a $5 bill, you save it! At the end of the year, you buy yourself something! 

I saw this idea on Pinterest last year, and decided to try it…it was so fun!

Here’s some more details…

Every time you get a $5 bill, you save it. I kept mine in a clip for a long time, until I finally found a shadow box at a thrift store! Then I stored it in the shadow box, simply up on my wall. I used a dry-erase marker to change the amount every time I added a $5.


At the end of 2012, I still didn’t have enough money for what I wanted…a Kitchen Aid. If you know me at all, you know that it’s one of my dreams – to own my own Kitchen Aid! So I continued to save, and this weekend I finally got enough!

Here’s a rule (at least for me): YOU CANNOT ACTIVELY SEEK $5 BILLS. What I mean by that is…you can’t ask for your change in $5’s…and you can’t just go withdraw money from the bank and get it in $5’s….that’s cheating!

My first time using my $5 savings plan: Kitchen Aid

So I went to the store and bought it! (You can get the full story here)

It basically felt like I was getting it for free…because the amount in my bank account stayed the same…it was all from the shadow box on my wall! That’s the beauty of The Five-Dollar Savings Plan. I can spend money on myself once a year without feeling bad about it!


I WAS SO HAPPY!!! I celebrated by making cupcakes 🙂


Here’s the cupcakes I made with my NEW KITCHEN AID!!!

074Want to know what kind of cupcakes those are? Well….you might want to sit down…it’s pretty weird. Ok, ready?

Brown Sugar Banana Cupcakes with Avocado Buttercream Icing

Curious? Go here to learn more…

And if that totally grosses you out, click here to check out my other cupcakes! None of my other cupcakes have avocado, I promise!

My second time using my $5 savings plan: Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection

Click here to read the full story about this one!

photo (1)

My third time using my $5 savings plan: A sitting apparatus…well, 2

chairs 003

Click here to learn more about those!

My fourth time using my $5 savings plan: A porch glider and a table!


Click here to learn more about that!

Now, go forth and save up those $5 bills!

If you’re looking for some money-saving apps, click here for the best ones!


On a different note, if you’re still trying to figure out what to make for dinner tonight, here’s some ideas!

Chicken and Cheese Lasagna Roll-ups

Sheridan’s Speedy Rolls

Creamy Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese


Filed under Happenings

A Way You Can Help

Plenty of people have suggested that I do some sort of fundraiser for my mom, and when I talked to my mom yesterday I found out that she has like NO MONEY….She cannot afford an attorney, the electricity bill, or even food sometimes…so I’ve started a paypal account so if you want, you can make an anonymous donation ……to help me help my siblings. Here’s the website to go to if you’re interested in helping.


Oh, and you DON’T need a paypal account to donate! Go to the website below and it’ll tell you how to do it.


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