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Our Health Insurance gave us $150 for Amazon.com

September 10th, 2009 at 09:27 am

My husband's coworker just told us the other day that if we logged in to our online health insurance account (which is how we manage our account anyway), there is a tab for "Health and Wellness". There are ways for us to earn "Health Dollars" by doing things like filling our a health assessment, online coaching and wellness coaching. We each did a health assessment that took about 10 minutes each and were awarded 75 health dollars each. We then exchanged that for two $75 gift cards to Amazon.com. We chose from a list of hundreds of merchants including Kohl's, Babies R Us, Target and others.

We had no idea that this incentive program was offered! It says we can do another health assessment in six months. I don't know if we'll earn more health dollars, but I think it'll be worth checking.

We are using our $150 towards a food processor I have been wanting for months. I am so excited because it will be FREE after I use this $150 and other Amazon gift cards I have earned through Swagbucks.

After I get my food processor, I will be selling my breadmaker and probably blender. This cash will be used to buy my son's booster seat. Yeah!

We have already started the online health coaching which is worth $25 each. I need to figure out how to start the online wellness coaching worth another $75 each. Anything else we "earn" will be used for Christmas for our kids and we'll probably get cards for Target which will help with household expenses.

I am so excited! Yeah!

Frugal Christmas

November 16th, 2008 at 07:12 pm

My husband and I have decided not to buy gifts for each other for Christmas. We will give each child three gifts with one being more of a "big gift". We want to get a digital camera for our toddler. He LOVES taking pictures and we figure it'll be about $50 for that. I was given some toys that I know he'll love from a friend (gently used by her children) and we plan to use those at his other two gifts. He's two so he'll never know the difference and we know he'll love them. I'm not sure what we'll get for our newborn. Probably a small toy or something.

We got significantly discounted Restaurant.com gift certificates for our parents in August (I blogged about it). We plan to add a custom made notepad to each of their gifts. I took pictures of my son's "artwork" and made 4.25x5.5" notepads with his art in the bottom corner. I have printed them and cut them down, now I just need to make it into a notepad. (I like to give something that my toddler's helped with, last year we gave birdseed cookies with photos of him helping us make them.)

Anyway, I have one sibling (and her family) to buy for. We have a rotation so we only buy for one family a year. I have found good clothes for her baby (she needs clothes) on 80-90% off at Kohl's. I still need something for her husband another something for her.

I just sent my brother (he's not part of the rotation yet, will be in a couple of years) a shirt from my CafePress store. I got 20% off as a shopowner if I ordered this weekend. I had enough money in commissions made to pay for it and shipping; yippee! That's like a free gift right there. I know he'll like it too; he's mentioned getting one several times.

I ordered some magazines from an online discount magazine website for three long distance friends. $3.55 each, a steal if you ask me. (I also blogged about this.)

I have one bro-in-law and one niece to buy for and should be done getting the gifts.

I do have a few people that I want to give something small to and plan to bake something closer to Christmas. I will plan on packaging it cute and adding a thought/poem/etc and that should work fine.

I feel pretty good about how's it's all come together. We WILL end up traveling about 5 hours to visit with a cousin (and sister who's driving to cousin's house also) just after the new year so need to plan on gas for that. Other than that, we aren't traveling and are not close enough to visit family. I'm not sure what I'll do for a meal, but we'll either keep it incredibly low key or have a potluck with other friends.

Anyway, this is more rambling than anything, but overall, I feel good about where we are and what's been spent this Christmas. Once things are shipped, it will be a relief. I hate that added expense; that's one reason I like magazines so much! No shipping!

Oh Happy Day & Frugal Magazine Gifts

October 19th, 2008 at 09:55 pm

I was just cleaning out my wallet and found a Visa gift card that I had forgotten I had. I thought there was still some money on it and I was right. I have $9.70 left, yeah! That'll cover two of the magazine subscriptions that I want to give as Christmas gifts. I'm going to order them now.

I like giving magazine subscriptions because they give all year. I am giving these friends the Family Fun Magazine so it's more like a gift for the family. It's a great magazine and very reasonable. I think it's usually about $5/year, but if you go to http://www.magazinepricesearch.com/index.html, you can get it for $3.55/year. They have great prices on other magazines too that change each day. I always check there first. Last year I gave all the nieces & nephews a children's magazine subscription; they all LOVED it (they got mail and they were about animals, Thomas the Train, etc.) and I didn't spend more than $12 or $13 each. I have also renewed my husband's ESPN subscription, which is the only magazine he asks for, for $4.94! ESPN was wanting $26 to renew. I just ordered Parents magazine for $5 about a month ago.

Just a heads up, if you want to do this for Christmas, now would be a good time to order since it usually takes 8-12 weeks for the subscription to start. It takes a little while because you'll be going through a third party. Also, keep your receipts! I have ordered about 7 or 8 subscriptions so far and had one that never came, not sure what happened there. Anyway, enjoy!

Simple Pleasures

October 6th, 2008 at 09:58 am

We had gotten the Finding Nemo gummy treats for my toddler as a special treat (he's still adjusting to having a new sibling). I was getting ready to recycle the box when I had the idea to cut out the picture of Nemo to laminate and make into a figure for his felt board. Well, he saw the box on my desk (I had tried to hide it!) and started begging for "Meno!" I cut Nemo out of one side (I still have the other side for the felt board!) and my toddler ran away yelling, "Thank you Mom!"

Isn't it great to get such pleasure out of simple things?

Frugal Christmas Gifts from Restaurant.com

August 9th, 2008 at 11:44 am

Thanks to MariRDH's Personal Finance Blog for this tip! She posted this information:

80% off at Restaurant.com thru 8/10/08

In honor of 08/08/08, Restaurant.com is running this special.

$25 gift certificates for $2...Sale expires Aug 10 at 11:59pm -
Enter Discount Code: FIRST At Checkout and Hit "APPLY"


I have just ordered 3 $100 gift certificates and 5 $50 gift certificates to Restaurant.com for only $44! I'll use these for Christmas, birthday and wedding gifts. This way the recipient can choose the restaurant AND there is no expiration date! The people that I'll be giving these to like to eat out and travel so even if there are not a ton of restaurants in their home area; I feel confident that they'll enjoy this while on vacation.

This is so great! Thanks again MariRDH's Personal Finance Blog!

*No expiration date applies to Restaurant.com Store Credit Certificates only. See comments.