Category Archives: Products That Really Work!

An overview of my favorite money-making survey sites!

Legitimate ways to make money online!

Legitimate ways to make money online!

I found that working full-time with two little kids and doing everything on my own was leaving me little time to actually live, so in the past couple years, I’ve found ways to survive on part-time hours and still pay my bills…and even have some fun!

I have a number of things I do to earn extra money, including product testing and using survey sites. Depending on how much time I devote, it is not unrealistic to make $5 a day doing the bare minimum in surveys that are mailed to me. If I have an emergency, I do more. (For example, a couple weeks ago, I had a pipe burst under my kitchen, and I didn’t have enough money to cover the repair. I got online and started taking surveys!) It’s not a lot, but it helps. I can’t count the times that cashing out on a survey site has rescued me from a financial bind or helped me make the last few dollars to pay a bill.

People often ask me about what sites I use, and I’m glad to tell! But, I’ve been doing this for over a year now, so I’m really familiar with the sites and the ways to optimize my earnings. For a newbie, it’s probably completely overwhelming. So, I decided to post a basic overview of the sites I use, how they pay, and how much you can earn. I would recommend starting with a small number of sites at first, then adding more when you get used to them. When you first start doing surveys, you will earn a lot faster at first, because all of the surveys will be new. After a while, the old surveys are all done, and you just get the new ones in your e-mail. At that point, it’s easier to start adding other sites. These days, I just try every survey that comes in my e-mail, because sites usually only send you the best options. If I need to make money more quickly, I can always go to my favorites sites and look for more surveys.

Some sites will allow you to put in a bit of time and earn more quickly, while other sites take just a few minutes a day to earn slowly. Still, I take the couple minutes it takes on the slower sites, because they do add up–especially if you use a bunch of sites at once.

Soo…’s part of my list:

Inbox Dollars: This was the first site I joined, and I still use it, (and cash out,) regularly. I would suggest starting here, because Inbox Dollars pays you for using their links to join other survey sites. (Hint: That’s a very easy way to hit your first pay out. Many times, you will earn $1 or more just for signing up for another survey site through Inbox Dollars. Plus, you can then make money on those sites, too!) Their rewards are paid in dollar amounts instead of points, so it’s easy to keep track of your balance. You have to earn at least $30 to cash out, then when you try to cash out, you get a prompt to earn to $40 and save on the processing fee…so I do that. I cashed out my first $40 after two weeks! This site has more than just surveys. There are plenty of free offers, as well as offers to earn points on purchases, and more. Plus, for every survey you attempt, you get a spin on the Spin and Win wheel which often awards prizes like a bonus 5 cents, a bonus dollar or a bonus five dollars.ย  Once you’ve used all the initial offers, it is still easy to maintain about $20 a month in earnings just by taking the surveys they send to your e-mail. If you work harder to do more surveys, $40 a month or more is possible. (I just did that to help pay for my broken pipe.)

Global Test Market: This site is currently my favorite. You have to earn 1000 points to cash out–and it’s possible to do that in a month or less. I usually save up a bit more because the payout options don’t add up to exactly 1000 points. For example, at 240 points, you can get $10 in a Paypal payment. For 220 points, you can $10 in a gift card, (I always choose Amazon!) The average survey pays 30 points and takes 5-10 minutes. The surveys are plentiful, and it’s easy to surf through and finish several surveys a night. It is not hard to reach your first 1000+ points in a month and get $40-$50 in rewards.
Also, some of GTM’s surveys are screeners to find people to test products at home. I have tested a bunch of different products–things I would actually buy–which has saved me quite a bit of money on home goods and toiletries. Plus, some of these products are really good, so I enjoy them!

Mintvine: This is another site with plenty of surveys, (plus points for taking a daily poll or being rejected for a survey.) It is easy to earn points very quickly. Their point system is pretty easy–1000 points is $10 worth of credit. You can get gift cards or Paypal, but you have to have at least 1000 points first. It is not hard to get to the first payout, especially since there are several new member bonus options. I would say it is possible to earn $20 a month on this site if you take all your options. The most I’ve earned was $40 in one month.

Swagbucks: This isn’t really just a survey site, although there are survey options. I usually don’t even take many surveys there, unless I’ve used up my other ways to earn points. This site pays in gift cards based on points. You can cash out as little as $3 for 300 points. On this site, I make points by watching videos, watching ads, interacting with ads, taking short polls, and more. Each day, Swagbucks assigns you a point goal, and if you hit the goal, you get a bonus. I always try to hit the smallest goal at least. That is about 30-50 points a day to get a 10% bonus. It’s not hard to get there with very little effort. In fact, since Swagbucks randomly rewards you for using their search engine, you might get 15 points for just one search! The more you search, the more you can earn. I’ve have earned as much as 300 points in one day just by doing easy things. Typically, I hit around 50–which equals out to about $15 a month. If you do surveys, it adds up a lot faster.

In my experience, this is a good start to making some extra money online. I will continue posting some more overviews soon!

Yes, I love Amazon….Another perk!

I know. I talk about how great Amazon is all the time. But I love it! I’m a Prime member, so I get free two-day shipping on all Prime-eligible items–which is pretty much all books, movies and music plus so many other things. I use their free app to download eBooks, I use their Amazon Mom and subscribe and save and more. But, there’s another perk I’m using these days…. Free digital credits! These credits are good towards movie, music and eBook downloads.

So how do you get them? Well, if you have Amazon Prime, you normally get free two-day shipping on Prime items. Every time you place an order and choose *not* to use your free two-day shipping, you get a $1 digital credit. Your shipping is still free, but you get that credit for not using the faster delivery. I order a lot of things on Amazon, so I love the free shipping option with my Prime account, but I don’t always need the items immediately. If I can wait, I take the credit. And I use it to buy more eBooks! (YAY!) I hate driving to the store, so I use Amazon for everything I can. Nearly everything is cheaper too, with the Subscribe and Save program. Diapers just show up at my door and I don’t have to lug them in and out of the car. I love that ๐Ÿ™‚

Colgate Optic White Toothbrush and Whitening Pen review

When it comes to finding success, being respected by others and respecting yourself, good teeth matter. No matter how unfair it might be, people judge us by our appearance and our dental health. It’s important to make dental care a priority and an investment because it’s probably going to come back to you in the form of higher paying jobs and better networking connections!
As part of my investment in my teeth, I’ve been using the Colgate Optic White line of teeth whitening products. I’ve had great results with the toothpaste and the mouth rinse, so when I saw the ads for the new whitening pen, I wanted to try it too! I have one area that has “problem teeth” for me because the two teeth are pretty close together, so I take extra care when flossing between them. I noticed that area was not getting as white as the rest of my teeth, so I thought the whitening pen might be a good way to spot touch up.

According to the package, I should see results in two days if I use the pen twice a day. Well, I was a bit lazy on a couple days and only used it once a day…but now several days later, I definitely see a difference. That one weirdo spot is evening out to match the rest…yay!

With this set, you get an unusual toothbrush and the gel pen that fits into the handle of the toothbrush. The brush is different because, instead of having all bristles, it has some stubby rubber stems that are textured on the top and are meant to polish your teeth. When you first use the brush, it feels kind of weird, and you can feel the nubs squeaking against your teeth. But, I really like the brush. Sometimes after I brush thoroughly, I still have pockets where my toothbrush bristles leave food behind–especially on my gum line in the back. That does not happen with this brush, which is nice. In fact, I think I like the brush more than the whitening pen!

The whitening pen comes after you brush. Basically, you twist the cap a couple turns to release some gel, and then use the built-in rubber top to coat your teeth. The gel paints right on and seals to your teeth. The package says not to rinse it off. (It looks a bit weird, so I wouldn’t use it right before going out or anything.)

Overall, I don’t think the results are as dramatic as the mouth rinse or the toothpaste, but I’d buy it again just for the neat toothbrush and the ability to spot whiten.

Click here to purchase the Colgate Optic White Toothbrush Plus Whitening Pen, Compact Head Soft (colors may vary )

A new product recommendation for cat lovers

Click here to purchase Arm & Hammer Clumping Litter, 28-Pound, Fresh Home

This isn’t on the same topic as my usual posts, but it could make your life better if you are a cat lover….

I have two cats and I’ve tried so many kitty litters over the years. None of them really hide the scent like they promise. I hate the cheap ones that throw yucky dust in the air, I hate the ones that the cats track around the house, I hate the ones that don’t really clump. It’s hard to find a kitty litter that really does what it promises to do without costing more than I want to pay.

A couple months ago, I had a pretty good coupon for Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal kitty litter and it wasn’t too expensive, so I gave it a try. From the first day I used it, I noticed a big difference. This product promises to seal the odors into the litter and it really does it! I saw my cat get in the box and I braced myself for the stink, but almost as soon as the cat covered his mess, the smell was gone. I was surprised, but after a couple weeks, I was convinced that this stuff really does what it promises to do.

Last time I shopped, I had a coupon for a different kitty litter, so I bought it instead. Again, I can tell a difference. As soon as we are through this box, I am going back to the Clump & Seal. It does everything I want my cat’s litter to do. It clumps and hides the smell, it doesn’t track all over the house and it doesn’t throw dusty in my face when I pour it. I’m really pleased with this product!

agnut(Here are my two testers ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Light Therapy for Seasonal Depression and Sleep Disorders

Click here to purchase the NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp

Winter time is coming…and in the middle of winter, I always start craving a sun-filled vacation. Unfortunately, I can’t just pick up and take a vacation to lay in the sun all winter! I also find myself having a hard time waking up in the dark. My body simply does not enjoy early mornings. So, I started reading about light therapy to regulate sleep schedules. The information I found was very interesting and convincing–especially for treating seasonal depression. For example, I read that “Researchers at more than 15 medical centers and clinics in both the U.S. and abroad have had much success with light therapy in patients with clear histories of SAD for at least several years. Marked improvement is usually observed within a week, if not sooner, and symptoms usually return in about the same amount of time when the lights are withdrawn. ” (from this site hosted by Columbia University.)

I took the plunge and invested in a light therapy lamp and I bought this one about five years ago, (it was over $100 back then, so it looks like prices are really coming down!) From the first time I used this light, I felt great. Maybe it was just my expectations or a placebo effect, but I sat next to it and felt like real sunshine was warming my face. The light is very different from a normal light bulb. It’s not so bright that it would blind you, but it has a warm, full-spectrum quality that feels more like daylight than a regular light bulb.

This lamp also has ion therapy, and I hadn’t really heard about that, so I researched it and it sounded pretty promising as well. This published medical study showed that high-density ion therapy is very effective in treating depression. Interesting!

Since I was specifically using the light for sleep issues, my instructions were to use it every morning when I woke up to help my body get ready for the day like it would if the sun was coming up. I found that I really did feel brighter and more awake while using it. The assistance with season depression was a nice bonus!

There are a bunch more medical studies out there as well as more information about using light therapy for sleep disorders. They tend to support the idea that these lamps are beneficial, and I found that mine was a life-saver in the winter. I really looked forward to turning it on every morning ๐Ÿ™‚

Avon Anew Clinical Advanced Retexturizing Peel

Okay another non-book….

Click here to purchase Avon ANEW CLINICAL Advanced Retexturizing Peel

I want to rave about this product! You know how beauty products always sound so wonderful but usually let you down? (I hope it’s not just me!) Well, I gave this one a chance based on the reviews on the Avon site. I am so glad I did! I’ve noticed that sometimes my skin just looks blah and rough or flaky–especially in the winter. Exfoliating doesn’t really help, and it still looks uneven when I’m done. I haven’t even had very good results from professional facials, although they are relaxing. But, this peel really did what I wanted it to do. I used it and went to bed. The next morning, I kept looking in the mirror because my skin looked great! My skin was smooth and soft without red blotches. I went to a special event and wore make-up the next night and I noticed that even my make-up looked better with a nice even surface to work with. I was very pleased! I tried the peel again a few days later to see if I’d be just as happy, (hoping the first time wasn’t a fluke,) and it was just as good the second time around. Now I use this product maybe once a week, (although the box says you can use it more often.) It truly works and makes my skin look good without making it red or dry. In fact…I think I’ll go use it now! ๐Ÿ™‚

Amazon Mom Review

When I find a company that offers me great service and great prices, I become a loyal customer…and I like to tell people how great the service is. I am constantly telling people how great is and I really mean it! I’m a Prime member, I use Amazon Mom and I use Subscribe and Save. It’s absolutely worth it to me!

As you can probably tell, I read a lot of books. I love that I can pick out a book on Amazon, get a good price and have free two-day delivery without having to drive around to a book store to find something in stock. Plus, right now they have a promotion where, if you skip your free two-day shipping, you can get a $1 credit on your next order. I’ve been taking advantage of that for things I don’t need right away, (and they still show up quickly anyway.) My son loves Prime because we can stream Thomas the Tank Engine videos for free, so we get a lot of use out of that feature as well. With Amazon Mom, I save 20% off on diapers each month…and they come right to my door. I like that so much more than lugging big boxes through stores to my car then into my house! Plus, when I buy in bulk through Amazon Mom, I save money. And if I set up more than 5 subscriptions a month using Subscribe and Save, (the diapers count towards the minimum of 5 items,) I get an extra 5% off of the normal subscribe and save prices. That’s easy! I just pick things I’d buy anyway and I save money on them too.

I keep my credit card on file, (and it’s even better if you get the Amazon credit card because you earn reward points,) and it’s a breeze to have the things I need show up at my door for lower prices than I’d pay in stores. That definitely makes my life easier!

If you are interested in joining Amazon Mom or reading more:
Try Amazon Mom for Free

Or if you don’t have kids or need to buy diapers, you can still take advantage of an Amazon Prime trial and Subscribe and Save:
Join Amazon Prime – Listen to Over a Million Songs – Start Free Trial Now

A whitening mouthwash that really works!

Okay, this isn’t a book review, but it is about a product that can help you make your life better!

Click here to purchase Colgate Optic White Mouthwash Sparkling, Fresh Mint, 16 Fluid Ounce

I sometimes buy products that claim to do wonderful things, and I’m often disappointed when they don’t actually work. (And yet I keep trying! I must be an optimist!) I bought this Colgate Optic White Mouthwash a few weeks ago because I decided I wanted to white my teeth and it looked promising. I wasn’t very dedicated to using it. The instructions say to use it twice a day, but I used it maybe every other day for about a week before I really looked in the mirror one day and realized my teeth definitely looked whiter–noticeably whiter! I’m always excited when things really work and work well, so I wanted to share this product. I can only imagine how well it works when you use it as often as it recommends! I just bought the matching toothpaste a few days ago. Put me down as a pleased customer ๐Ÿ™‚