Ways to Save a Little Dough

These two sites refund a percentage of your pre-tax, pre-shipping purchase price and place it into your account, when you have $5 or more in your account, you can request a check (and you usually get $5 to sign up). I've gotten about $400 in rebates so far (for buying everything from books to a washer and dryer to signing up for satellite television). They're even better when you use them in conjunction with a coupon code and a cash back credit card. They're free to use, and I've never been hassled in any way (their websites will provide more info):

-- Ebates
-- Mr. Rebates

This site provides the most extensive list of coupon codes that I've seen so I ALWAYS check it
-- Retail Me Not

This site lists rebate site percentages (because sometimes one has a better deal than another) and some coupons
-- ev'reward

These two sites catalogue current promotions
-- Planet Bargains
-- Tech Bargains

This site refunds a percentage of your eBay purchases
-- Kick it Back

* I don't get a referral fee or compensation of any kind for sharing this with you, just passing on some useful knowledge



- Lets you search for recipes based on the ingredients you have on hand... now that's handy!

Kittens in the Kitchen - A Scottish lady who blogs about food and shares interesting recipes

Tastespotting - More yummy looking recipes

Pioneer Woman - I want to be her. I like her recipe section (noticing a trend?) because she takes pics of the various stages of the cooking process.

Flour Arrangements - Gluten-Free recipes for people who can't tolerate wheat (Celiac), and they look yummy

Top Secret Recipes - Copycat recipes of the dishes at your favorite restaurants... and then some

Makeup / Beauty

Dionis - Soaps and lotions made from goat's milk, they smell so yummy. Around Christmas they usually have a really good sale.

Lauren Luke - She started out doing makeup tutorials on YouTube to show people how to use the products she was selling on eBay, now she has her own line of cosmetics. I've got two of her kits and love them both.

Kandee Johnson - Makeup artist on YouTube with some really cool tutorials

Taaz - This is the best virtual makeover site I've found because there are reference points that you can move around to match the shape of your face, so the hair looks more realistic.

Paula's Choice - Skincare and reviews of other products on the market

Skinwest - Same skincare my doctor's office sold, but at way lower prices, if you sign up for their newsletter they usually have 20% off sales or free shipping.

Salon Savings - Same shampoo they sell at salons, but for way less

Random Neat Stuff

Practical applications of technology developed by NASA

Best Buy Trade-in - Trade in your electronics equipment and get a Best Buy gift card

Capstar - Kill fleas but doesn't hurt your cat (or dog). Gracie is allergic to flea medication. When I applied that crap to the back of her neck I thought she was going to die, so I didn't know what I was going to do about the fleas. A lady at the local animal shelter turned me onto this when I adopted Daphne. This is a pill that you give the cat that doesn't affect them at all, but it totally decimates the flea. They look like all the liquid has been sucked out of them, when you find them they're flat, and it works fast. You can give a pill a day and it does only kill the fleas on the cat, you still have to treat the house, but it's amazing, amazing stuff.

Pet Piller - This is THA BOMB. I shot a pill down my cat's throat and I'm not even sure she noticed... or at least she didn't run away from me afterward like she usually does -- she even let me pet her... I don't know why everyone doesn't know about this...

Nature's Defender - This is part two of flea control (and mosquitos and moths and spiders and wasps and ants and...) is cedar oil. This stuff smells like smoke, but the smell fades in a few hours, and more importantly - it works; I haven't been bitten since. You can also use lavendar oil to repel fleas, but it doesn't kill them.

Heather's Tummy Care - Product that help with IBS symptoms. I've been using the tummy fiber and the difference is amazing... I can actually leave the house after I eat. I feel so much better. The tummy fiber is colorless, tasteless, it dissolves in liquids so you don't even notice it (just takes a little longer in cold water). I've also used the peppermint oil capsules and they seem to help, too.

Mystic Cloak and Tailor - Kat and Doug make these great, very high quality waterproof cloaks. My friend Ethan and I got to model a couple for them... long story, but I'm famous! If you like cloaks, check them out.

Majestic Velvets - Custom-made dresses (mine was for Renn Fest). You send in your measurements, so the dress is tailored to your body, turnaround is pretty quick and the price is fair.

Etsy - Sells handmade items, everything from makeup to soap to clothing to jewelry

The Find - Best place to search multiple stores for the items you want (I use it for clothes and jewelry)

Body Candy - Great deals on jewelry for people with piercings

Free Samples - 1 - Legitimately free samples with no 'offers' to complete, I've gotten quite a few things from here, which is especially cool when you're traveling

Free Samples - 2 - From WalMart

The Daily Plate - Easiest way to do a food journal and track the calories you burn while exercising

True Lemon / Lime / Orange - Great stuff for your water bottle. Taste just like squeezing a fresh slice of lemon, lime or orange in, because it's actually made from the oils in the rind. And it has no calories. Perfection. Click here for a free sample (they're generous with the samples, they sent me two limes, a lemon and an orange).

Find out if you have unclaimed money or property coming to you (one can always hope)

Retirement Calculator (CNN) - Figure out how much you'll need to retire comfortably

Open Office - Comparable to the Microsoft Office Suite... for free. All you have to do is make sure to do a 'save as' and choose the corresponding MS extension if you intend to open the file through an MS Office program.

City Data - Really good info on any city in America... housing prices, industry, population -- this has it all

Get a Human - How to navigate past the trickery of automated phone attendants


CD Baby - This is where I bought Blake Havard's cd, they sell independent artists, a neat place to find new talent.

Pandora - Generates a "radio station" of artists you might like based on artists you already listen to

Last.FM - Recommends music based on what you listen to

Really Interesting Blogs / Websites

The Simple Dollar
- AWESOME!!! A blog about money, ways to save it, thoughts on what income really is, etc. Fascinating. I ran across it because someone posted a link on how to make your own laundry detergent, and that kind of thing would be right up my alley if I hadn't just bought an HE washer/dryer... Their blurb is, "A personal finance blog focusing on ordinary people dealing with unprecedented levels of debt."

Betty.com - Fun website geared toward women in their 30's. I like the Ask the Real Men section because I like to get a glimpse of how men think, but there's food, fashion, entertainment, news, professional interests, finance, shopping, etc.

GOOP - Gwyneth Paltrow's website, it was widely panned but I think it's kind of cool. So there.

Charities / Volunteer Opportunities

-- Charity Navigator - "Charity Navigator, America's premier independent charity evaluator, works to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace by evaluating the financial health of over 5,400 of America's largest charities."


-- Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary - They were profiled on Extreme Makeover - Home Edition. The stories of these cats broke my heart so I donated, and got this great personal thank you from the family who runs the sanctuary. If you love big cats, please keep them in mind

-- Click to give free food to animal shelters, all it takes is a second and costs you nothing

-- MD Anderson

-- St. Jude Hospital

-- Sunshine Kids


-- Humane Society

-- Red Cross

-- Ronald McDonald House

-- Shriner's Hospitals for Children

-- Make-A-Wish Foundation

-- Salvation Army

-- Homes for Our Troops - Builds or modifies homes for severely injured veterans

-- Habitat for Humanity (Volunteer opportunity)

-- Wildnerness Volunteers (Volunteer opportunity)

-- American Hiking (Volunteer opportunity)

-- All For Good - (Volunteer opportunity)