Website of the Week:

If you’re looking for a way to set up a budget or to just start managing your money better, is the site for you!  The site is completely free and it will help you to create a budget, set savings goals (and track your progress), and it will provide you with graphs to help you “see” where your money is going and possibly cut expenses!  I just signed up for recently, so I’m still learning how to use all of the cool features, but I love it so far.

If you’re looking for more ideas on how to get started with creating a budget for your family, check out this post:

Want to get out of debt?  Start with a budget!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure policy for more information.

Save more on back to school shopping with cash back sites!

If you are doing your back to school shopping online and you haven’t signed up for a cash back site yet, you really need to! You can earn anywhere from 1% to 10% cash back (on average) on purchases that you would be making anyway!

The two sites that I use most often are Ebates and Shop at Home.  The way that both sites work is very similar:

1. When you are ready to shop online, visit Ebates or Shop at Home and look for the retailer on their site (they have 100s of retailers and pretty much the only one I haven’t found that I use regularly is Amazon). When you click through that store’s link, it will create a “tracking ticket” and then take you to the retailer’s site.

2. Once you get to the retailer’s site, complete your purchase just like you normally would.

3. Within a few days, you should receive an e-mail letting you know that your “cash back” has been credit to your account.  It can take up to 30 days before your cash back credits to your account.  Make sure you keep a copy of the order confirmation that you received through e-mail.  In case you don’t receive credit for your offer, you can contact their customer service and provide them with your order confirmation, and they will credit your cash back to your account.

Which “cash back” site is best?

I like to get the most for my money, so I usually visit both sites and look to see which site is offering more cash back.  From my experience, typically Shop at Home offers higher cash back amounts, but Ebates sometimes has double cash back offers that can’t be beat (for example right now, they are offering 10% cash back on Old Navy purchases).

Both sites are currently offering a $5 bonus if you sign up:

Ebates ($5 bonus when you make your first purchase or $10 gift card to Home Depot,, Red Envelope, or

ShopAtHome Banner
Shop at Home

How does payment work?

Ebates sends cash back payments every three months as long as you’ve earned at least $5.01 cash back.  Payment can be made via a check that they send directly to you or via Paypal.  Here is the payment schedule:

*February 15th (for purchases posted between October 1st and December 31st)
*May 15th (for purchases posted between January 1st and March 31st)
*August 15th (for purchases posted between April 1st and June 30th)
*November 15th (for purchases posted between July 1st and September 30th)

Shop at Home sends cash back payments on a monthly basis when you must have earned at least $20 (this includes your sign on bonus and any referral bonuses).  Right now, they only pay by check, and they send the check to your home address.  Here is the payment schedule:

*January 31st (for cash back earned by November 30th)
*February 28th (for cash back earned by December 31st)
*March 31st (for cash back earned by January 31st)
*April 30th (for cash back earned by February 28th)
*May 31st (for cash back earned by March 31st)
*June 30th (for cash back earned by April 30th)
*July 31st (for cash back earned by May 31st)
*August 31st (for cash back earned by June 30th)
*September 30th (for cash back earned by July 31st)
*October 31st (for cash back earned by August 31st)
*November 30th (for cash back earned by September 30th)
*December 31st (for cash back earned by October 31st)

Will I get a bunch of SPAM/junk e-mails if I sign up for these sites?

I have been with both sites for awhile now and haven’t had any problems with junk e-mails.  I usually get one e-mail from each site weekly highlighting the top deals and any bonus cash back offers.

I have received payment from both sites, so I can assure you that they are “legit” – if you have any questions, let me know!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure policy for more information.

Website of the week Wednesday: Springpad

Are you guilty of having multiple browser windows and/or tabs open at the same time? Are you having trouble finding things in your Bookmarks because you have so many?  Don’t worry – I can totally relate!  Before I discovered Springpad, that was me and it drove my husband CRAZY!  Plus, if my computer crashed or shut down for any reason, I lost all of my links if I had open windows or tabs.

I have been using Springpad for about a month now and I absolutely love it!  In a nutshell, it’s an online organizer.  You can keep notes, recipes, restaurants, books, movies, and to do lists all in one spot.  You can also share your favorites with friends by e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter!  They even have an app for iphone and Android users!  The best part is that it’s completely FREE!

I love browsing the “Menu Plan Monday” posts on Orgjunkie, and since I added the “Spring it!” link to my toolbar on my web browser, all I have to do is click that button and I can easily add the recipes I want to try.  Plus, I can browse recipes that my friends are going to try for even more inspiration.  When one of my friends recommends a favorite book online, I can just add that, oo!

If you decide to check out Springpad, let me know what you think!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure policy for more information.

Website of the Week Wednesday: P&G Brand Sampler

If you like Procter & Gamble (P&G products) and haven’t signed up for their “Brand Sampler” program yet, you should!  Each month, they have new samples and coupons that they will send to you for FREE!  This month, I got samples of Pantene which came in handy for our trip last week and I also got great coupons!

If you aren’t a member yet, make sure you go and register here and if you are a member, make sure you go and sign up for the latest samples!

Here are some of the samples that may be available:
Head & Shoulders

Here are some of the coupons you may be able to get:

Website of the week Wednesday: Netflix

After seeing and receiving advertisements for Netflix for years, my husband and I decided to sign up a few months ago after we saw something about “Netflix Streaming.”  Basically, with Netflix Streaming, you can instantly watch TV episodes and movies on your TV via Netflix ready devices like game consoles (currently XBox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii) and Blu Ray players.  If your Netflix ready device is connected to the internet already, all you have to do is put in their instant streaming disc (they send it to you for free) and you’re ready to go!  You can go online and place different TV shows and movies into your queue and watch whenever you’re ready!

Since they were offering a two week free trial, we decided to check it out.  To be honest, my intent was to cancel when the free trial was over, but we found that we really enjoyed it.  Now that I am done with work for the summer, I have been enjoying it even more!  Our service is only $8.99 per month (it’s $2 extra if you want Blu Rays instead of regular DVDs) which includes unlimited instant streaming and one DVD at a time (unlimited “rentals” per month).  If you rent at least two DVDs a month, this plan would pay for itself.  It’s been really great for us because I always have a hard time remembering to return DVDs on time, so even though I usually use a free code or coupon to rent DVDs, I end up paying late fees which is not a bargain!

I have also found that the turn around time is REALLY fast.  For example, I sent a DVD back yesterday.  They already received it today and sent out my next DVD!

Here are some more details about the plan if you’re not familiar with it:
*There are no due dates or late fees
*There are no per-movie rental fees
*Membership fees cover your shipping and handling
*You may cancel at any time!

To sweeten the deal, there are several places where you can earn incentives for signing up with Netflix!

*Ebates is currently offering $13 cash back (this will almost pay for two months of the plan, especially if you haven’t signed up with Ebates before because you get a $5 sign-on bonus!)

*My Points is currently offering 1,000 points for signing up!