Thursday, May 2, 2013

Yesterday da boyfriend became da fiance!  He proposed at the top of beautiful Sam's Point on a perfect spring day. Don't mind my manly-man hand, its hard to take a picture of your own paw!

Friday, March 1, 2013

What I've Been Up To

I've had a very busy month...mystery shopping! Just as I jumped head-first into couponing many years ago, I've jumped straight into the world of being a secret shopper.  Do any of you do this as well?  I started during the last week of January, plowed on through February and did my first March shop this afternoon.  Including items/meals that I've been reimbursed for, I've made $682.49!!!!!  I can hardly believe it myself.  Now granted, when I start something new, I almost always go overboard, so I've been doing shops just about every day of the week.  Some shops are straight reimbursement - you buy an item, they pay you back, some are straight pay - $10 to go somewhere and evaluate something, and some are a combo of both.  I've done a bunch of shops at grocery stores that reimbursed me for my purchases - I combined these purchases with rebate items, Savingstar credits and catalina deals wherever possible.  My hunny and I have eaten out at a bunch of restaurants for free or close to it and I even did a shop at an oil change joint and got reimbursed for all the charges.

If you shop too, I'd love to hear which companies you use.  I've had very nice experiences so far with Market Force, GFK and Reality Based Group. You can search for legitimate mystery shopping companies and/or jobs through MSPA's website. As with anything else, do some research before signing up with a company to see what other folks are saying. And you gotta be organized. I've been keeping a spreadsheet of what jobs I've completed, how much I'm owed, what format the money will arrive in (Paypal, check, direct deposit, etc) and if/when the money has arrived. And you'll need to keep copies of your documentation for a while, depending on the company's policies.  Its been similar to the system I use for tracking my rebates.  A little organization goes a long way.

Happy shopping!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

More Adventures in Woodworking

Take a look at the newest home-built addition to our house - a home-built headboard!  Da boyfriend made this beauty for me for Christmas and stained and installed it this weekend.  Eventually, I'm planning on painting the bedroom a light green and I think this color is going to look great with it.  

He's now crafted our lovely mantle, a rustic dining room table and created a spacious jewelry box..  Not only is it great that he enjoys doing projects like this, but I think of all the money we're saving by creating these things versus buying them in a store.  I have a bunch of other projects in mind to keep him busy!  Hopefully next on the list will be a corner shelf like this one.  :)