Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I've moved!

I've moved! I am now over at my own self-hosted Wordpress blog SharingMyTwoCents

If for some reason you find my new site down, I apologize. The DNS is taking awhile to propogate and there have been periods of downtime. Hopefully it will be up 100% soon!

Monday, August 27, 2007

What is the Grocery Game? - The Grocery Game Review

I do my grocery shopping on Monday or Tuesday each week. I make a meal plan so I know what I need to make dinner each night. Because I stockpile things when they are on sale a lot of the ingredients I need are already in my freezer and pantry. Then I print off my grocery list from The Grocery Game, spend a few minutes clipping the coupons I'll need for the trip and off I go to the store.

For my family of five I spend about $450 a month on groceries. This includes all food (including a lot organic meat and fresh produce), paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, napkins), cleaning supplies, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, razors, diapers and wipes. I usually get back about $60 in rebates a month, so after my rebates my monthly total comes to about $390.

You must spend a lot of time looking at ads and cutting coupons right?

Nope. I admit, I have gone this route before but I easily get burnt out. I'm a mom of three boys, between them, the house, my husband and life I don't have a lot of time. Now, there are plenty of couponers that enjoy doing the work themselves, and it can be done, but I'm not one of them.

How do you do it?

I use The Grocery Game to help me save money on groceries. It's a service I stumbled across a few years ago when my husband was in the military and money was tight.

How does it work?

Once a week you login to your account and print of your weekly grocery list. The Grocery Game provides you with a list of the items that are at "rock-bottom" prices. When an item is at a rock-bottom price that is the lowest price it will ever be on sale for and is when you should stock up. Store sales run on a 12 week cycle so for pantry, freezer, health and beauty and paper items you should stock up to last you 12 weeks (when the item will be on sale again). Not everything on the Grocery Game list will be in your store's weekly sale flyer either. The list will feature all the UNADVERTISED sales that you don't know about unless you walk the aisles of your store and check out all the price tags.

I'm still not sure it would for me, can I just try it out?

Yes. You can get a 4 week trial for $1. Although I suggest giving it at least 12 weeks so you can get a good overview of just how much you get free or cheap.

Free things?

Yep. The Grocery Game lists also features things you can get free. Combine a good sale and a coupon and you will be surprised at all the different things you can get free. I don't pay for toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, sour cream and many other things anymore!

Who Can Use the Grocery Game?

Currently the Grocery Game is available in the United States, the UK and has just expanded to France.

Just getting started and don't have a good supply of coupons yet?

There are many places and ways to find coupons for the products that you use.

If you decide to sign up with the Grocery Game, I would appreciate your referral. My email address is
I am available for help if you have any questions about the Grocery Game, using coupons, or saving money on groceries. Feel free to email.

Still not sure that you want to mess with coupons to save money? There are still other ways to save money on your groceries.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Earnings for the Month of August

In June I made $167.84. In July I made $208.70. You can see July's earnings here.

For August my goal is to make $250. I do this very part-time so I don't expect huge earnings.

UPDATE: I was updating my earnings everyday, but this can pretty time consuming and I'd like to focus more on writing articles. Earnings updates will now be done once a week on Fridays or as time permits.

Here are my earnings so far for the month of August:

My Survey $44.25
Survey Savvy $2.00
U30 $20.00
PineCone Research $10.00

Rebates $16.98

Get Paid to....
CashCrate $27.92
Fairy Tale Treasure $0.35

Blog Money
Adsense $4.80
Commission Junction $6.25
Amazon $0
Misc. Affiliate Programs $1.25

Associated Content $.83

Total $134.63 as of August 27th

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday Freebies 8/24

There are some good freebies today, especially the Chik-Fil-A sandwich and coke one. I'm not sure if supplies are limited on that one or not, so you might want to sign up with that one first.

(note, these are NOT affiliate links. They are actual freebies, and I sign up for the ones I like too.)

Free Chick-Fil-A Chicken Sandwich and Coke! (thanks to my friend for this one!)

Tetley Tea- Send a friend a sample

Free Metamucil Fiber Kit

Free Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder-Gel

$8 IAMS dog food coupon

Free Kashi snack

Sample of Curves Cereal

Nature Made Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplement

What freebies have you gotten in the mail this week?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

PineCone Research Review

This survey site review is going to be a bit different than my other reviews.


Because I can't even give you a link to sign up!

PineCone Research is one of the best online market research companies, so much so, that the only way to join is by viewing one of their ad banners and clicking on it. Members risk having their account cancelled if they announce where a banner is. So even if I know where they had a banner at, I couldn't tell.

I remember when I first heard about PineCone Research a few years ago. I kept an eye out for months while surfing the internet hoping to find the ever elusive PineCone banner. Eventually I found it and was able to join.

What are they?
PineCone Research is an online research panel. Panelists participate in online studies and test products.

How much do they pay?
$5.00 per survey, with varying amounts for additional studies.

How are panelists paid?

Either by check or paypal.

How often do they offer surveys?
1-2 times a month or more.

Good luck!

Part Two of a Money Making Blog

Earlier I talked about setting up a blog. Many like to take the next step and earn money from their blog; whether to help pay for their domain, hosting, or all those cups of coffee they drink while blogging.

I'm going to do a quick overview of how to "monetize" or add advertising to your blog. I will not go over everything, if you are an experienced blogger there are many places to get more in-depth information. I don't want to rehash what many other bloggers have already talked about.

Before you go any further, I want to stress, it is VERY important you read the Terms of Service (TOS) for each advertiser you sign up with. There have been bloggers and website owners that have lost earnings and had their advertising accounts cancelled because they did not followed the Terms of Service. Fraud is taken very seriously.

How much do I get paid?
It depends. Read the program guidelines carefully. Each company offers different rates of payment.

Do I get paid just for placing the ad on my blog?
Typically, no. You will know if the advertiser wants to pay you just for placing the ad on your blog. Usually you get paid when visitors click on your links and/or sign up with the advertiser or make a purchase.

Does it cost me anything to do this?

Google Adsense-
If you have a self-hosted Wordpress or Google Adsense is an easy way to begin adding advertising to your blog. Relevant ads are placed by Google on your blog and you earn money when visitors to your blog click on the ads they are interested in.
Please see the Google Link on the right-hand side of this page directly below "Earning Money with Your Blog" for more information.

Amazon Associates- Show items available for sale through Amazon on your website. Make a commission when products are purchased through your link.

Commission Junction- From their website- Commission Junction is a leader in the online advertising channels of affiliate marketing and managed search. Perform and get paid for every sale and lead you generate.

Plainly put, Commission Junction offers companies that want to place paid advertising on your blog. There are hundreds of companies to choose from so you are sure to find ones relevant to your blog.

Been blogging for awhile? What advertisers have you found beneficial to your blog or website?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What is a Niche Website? (and why should I care?)

What is your niche? (If you don't have one, or have NO idea what I'm talking about, keep reading to find out)

When I first started blogging I started reading other blogs more and more. I would keep coming across the phrase "niche website" and didn't understand what it meant.

Plainly put, a niche website is a site that is focused on a single theme, market segment or product. A niche website can be in the form of a regular website or a blog.

I could make a website about dogs. But it wouldn't necessarily be a niche website. It would be a themed website, yes, but too broad of a topic to be a niche. Continuing with my Purple Dogs theme.... If my website was about "purple dogs" then that would be my niche. I would post informative articles and content related to purple dogs. Most likely visitors to my website would be those in search of information on purple dogs. With the "purple dogs" theme I've taken the subject of dogs and narrowed it down to focus on a small portion of the population who are interested in purple dogs. (Please note: my use of "purple dogs" is only an example.)

But WHY make a niche website?

Because it's a great way to make extra money. Create a website in your niche, add informative content and advertising. The goal is to have the niche website generate revenue from that advertising.

So how do I know that my niche is something people are even interested in? Maybe it's too narrow? Maybe it's an overdone niche and the web is glutted with websites in my niche. How do I stand out?

Those are all questions you need to consider and research before you create a niche website specifically to generate revenue. More on that later...