Tag Archives: paid for survey

Get Your Free Stuff!

free stuffAs a MindField Online member, you’re probably pretty savvy when it comes to saving, surveys, rebates, couponing, and free stuff in general. If not, here are few ideas from MoneyTalksNews.com for grabbing those sweet, sweet freebies. Some are classics, and some have a new spin – many having to do with online resources and new technology. Take a look, read the original piece, and then try out a few of the links provided. Yay, free stuff!

  • House Parties: This field has expanded – It’s not just Tupperware and Pampered Chef these days!
  • “Swap Sites” allow you to set up lists of stuff you have and stuff you want to get rid of. To paraphrase George Carlin, “Why is everybody else’s stuff junk, and all your junk is stuff?”
  • Free samples: of stuff! Cosmetics are big on these.
  • Free-after-rebate sites: You have to buy it, you have to mail it in, and you have to wait. But it might be worth it!
  • Health freebies: Prevention is big these days. Often, you can avoid co-pays for preventative doctor visits. And there always seems to be a Free Screening of some kind at every weekend event.
  • Other health care freebies: My mom has done this for years – asking for free drugs at the doctor’s office!
  • Free fitness: Find a diet or fitness plan, free places to work out and exercise, even free trainers!
  • Free classes: From free language courses, to how-to classes at Home Depot, and beyond!
  • Free phone calls: Conserve your data with Skype.com! Me, I use the NON-video option so I don’t have to look presentable
  • Free Books: It’s not just the public library that offers free books these days – there are online options available as well!

Here are some links to some potentially useful Freebie sites:

How about you? Are you big on freebies? Is the work you put into them worth it? Have you found some good ones we missed? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Your Best Deals for February

february dealsJanuary is certainly one of the big “best-buy” months, but there are still good deals to be found in cold, boring February. The post-holiday “everything must go” still lingers. The big Consumer Electronics Show has transpired in Vegas, which immediately determines what’s hot (and not) for the techies. And, of course, the price of anything romantic will drop after Valentine’s Day. In general, winter items are a good deal, and timely: you still need them, yet the retailers are trying to make room for the spring stuff!

So, what’s hot – and NOT – in February deals? Here are the bullet points, followed by some helpful links. Check ‘em out!

Get it!

  • Winter Clothing
  • Jewelry, Flowers, Perfume (AFTER Valentines Day, of course!)
  • Mattresses
  • Humidifiers
  • Indoor Furniture
  • Wedding Supplies
  • Travel
  • Tax Software
  • Presidents Day Sales
  • Broadway Tickets
  • Skis and Snowboards

Forget it!

  • Mattresses
  • Smartphones
  • Eyeglasses
  • Suitcases
  • Refrigerators

Link it!

One more possible deal for February: Chipotle! Apparently, the health scares are over, and they want you back. There will be good deals, even freebies, at Chipotle in February, including Super Bowl deals. So, if you are feeling adventurous…

So, what’s on your spending agenda for February? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Drugstore Deals

drugstoreDo you look to your drugstore for deals? I admit that I don’t. My drug store, which I won’t name, spits out half a dead tree in coupons every time I pick up my prescriptions. They know who they are dealing with, so they tell me “Give these to your wife!” So I bring them home, all excited, thinking I have done something swell. And she tells me that they are so full of restrictions and exclusions that they are hardly worth the effort.

Oh well… it’s a place where I get my pills and, occasionally, an emergency or convenience item. No big deal.

Apparently, though, if you aren’t a big lazy quitter like me, you CAN get good deals at the drug store. According to DailyFinance.com, it takes a lot of elbow grease; you have to read the circulars, cut coupons and join the loyalty clubs. If you do the work, you can often find deals on the following:

  • Cereal
  • Dairy   
  • Eggs
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Makeup
  • Personal care items
  • Store-brand garbage bags
  • Drugstore-brand diapers
  • Hair color

There is plenty of detail at the original article, along with a couple of links to saver sites that concentrate on specific drug stores, so check it out!

How about you? What’s your fave drug store? Do you find deals there? What kind? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Preparing for Winter Storm Jonas

iciclesAccording to the Weather Channel, “more than 85 million people – or roughly one in every four Americans – were covered by either a blizzard watch, blizzard warning, winter storm watch, winter storm warning, winter weather advisory, or freezing rain advisory from eastern Kansas to the Carolinas to the New York City area.”

Even here in not-a-chance-of-snow Charleston SC, people are freaking out. But I’m not going to make any jokes about “OMG! Snow-pocalypse 2016!” Not this time, because this sounds like the real deal.

Preparedness for you and your family is key. So, as a public service, here are some useful links on winter storm preparedness.

Well, there’s some winter reading for you. Though, chances are, you’ll be reading it by candlelight! From MindField Online, we hope everybody stays safe and warm!

A Fast 50 Bucks?

job adsHappy Friday MindField-ers! How are your new year’s finances? What does this next year look like for your pocketbook? About this time of year, I start adding up all the potential projects that are rumored to be coming my way. I have come to realize that if my year EVER matched my rosy January predictions, I could have retired years ago.

So, in the meantime, you look for ways to make more money. Maybe a big new job. Maybe a part-time thing to help pay the bills. Maybe it is a lot of little things, which is today’s topic.

MoneyTalksNews.com has compiled a list of “50 Ways to Make a Fast Fifty Bucks.” You will find a lot of the usual things (have a garage sale!) but there are some unusual ideas, as well – many of which relate to opportunities you can find on the web. Here are some highlights…

  • Performing tasks: Lists about ten websites you can visit to pick up odd jobs
  • Sitting: House, pet, baby, etc. Includes links
  • Selling: Garage sales, Craigslist and more. Lots of links.
  • Renting: Airbnb, etc.
  • Crafts: From swap meets to Etsy.com, sell your crafts! Links aplenty!
  • Claim lost money: I have done this. It can be a hassle but, if the money’s big enough, it’s worth it!
  • Medical Research: Like those two dum dums on the old Drew Carey show!
  • Manual Labor
  • Using your talents: Be a math tutor, teach piano, etc.

I don’t know about you, but I have stumbled onto this article at just the right time. I will be looking into this for sure. Here’s that link again. How about you? Could you use a few extra bucks to help pay off those holiday bills? Have you tried any of these ways? How did it work out? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

January’s Best Buys

jan dealsPersonally, I am in a bit of a spending hangover after the Holidays. Sometimes, though, our spending is dictated not just by need, but by the calendar. If you have a need in your household, there is likely a “best time” of year to purchase that thing. So let’s take a look at your best buys for January, as well as some things you might want to wait to buy  later.

Buy it in January:

  • Suits from last fall
  • Big Appliances left over from the previous September rollout
  • Carpet and Flooring: lots of home remodels happen in time for Holiday parties. What’s left at the home center will now be on sale
  • Christmas Supplies and Decorations: Naturally. We just saved 80% on decorations and cards at Michaels!
  • Winter clothes
  • Cars: People buy cars in spring. Right now, they are just sitting on the lot.
  • Fine Jewelry: Christmas and Valentine’s, January is DEAD at the jewelry store. Take advantage!
  • Big Ticket Electronics: Remember we talked about the Consumer Electronics Show? All of those amazing rollouts will begin happening, and the old stuff must go!
  • Fitness Gear and Health Clubs: Resolutions, man!
  • Furniture: The new models come out next month. The old stuff must go!
  • Star Wars Merchandise: We talked about this earlier. At some point, everything there is to have, is HAD. Buy the leftovers!
  • Bedding: Of course, it’s White Sale month. Linens and bedding are cheaper now.

Skip it in January:

  • Luggage: wait until closer to Spring Break.
  • Tax software: Wait until closer to Tax Day
  • Gaming Consoles: Wait until April
  • Big Screen TV’s: Unlike the rest of electronics, TVs are usually cheaper in February
  • Mattresses: Again, unlike the rest of bedding, mattresses are a better deal in February.

So, there is a (hopefully) useful list of purchasing Do’s and Don’ts for January. Links are below. How about you? Any planned purchases this month? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Nutty New Year’s Traditions

new year2One of my favorite New Year’s traditions is writing a consumer blog in my pajamas. It’s a tradition that goes all the way back to the old country (in my case, West Virginia.) Anyway, time to check in with New Year’s Eve traditions, some familiar, some downright NUTTY.

Auld Lang Syne: What’s the story behind this classic? Find out HERE.

Kissing at midnight: if you don’t, it’s “a year of loneliness” for you, according to tradition.

Black-eyed peas and collard greens: In the South, they represent pennies and dollars. In other words, prosperity!

Colorful undies: in Latin America, the color of your unmentionables at midnight will affect your fortunes in the coming year.

Ooh, MELTY! Those crazy Germans drop molten metal into a bucket of water, and whatever twisted shape it takes reveals your fortune for the coming year.

Fireworks: The Chinese invented them, and set them off at midnight to ward off evil spirits.

Polka dots: In the Philippines, the circle represents prosperity. So wear those dots. Similarly, the Filipinos eat round food, too!

The night for white: In Brazil, you wear white on New Year’s Eve. Otherwise, bad luck!

Renewal in Japan: New Year’s is super important in Japan. Lots of emphasis on flushing away the troubles of last year, and hoping for better in the new. Temples strike their gongs 108 times, to banish the 108 types of human weakness. Personally, I have 137 kinds of human weakness. So GET ON IT, Japan!

Burn that mother down! In the Netherlands, they build bonfires in the streets using their Christmas trees, while in Chile they torch scarecrows representing last year’s misery.

Watch for falling furniture: In South Africa, a potential new tradition of throwing old furniture out the window was quashed when someone was injured by a falling refrigerator.

Chew carefully: When eating New Year’s cake in Greece. One lucky person will find a gold coin, bringing good fortune in the New Year.

12 grapes: In Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries, you eat one grape for every stroke of the bell. Statistically, it’s the New Year’s tradition with the most Vitamin C.

You dropped something! In Mt. Olive NC (oddly, the home of the Mt. Olive Pickle Co.) they drop a lighted pickle instead of a ball. Meanwhile, in Eastport Maine, it’s a lighted sardine! And in Brasstown, NC 25 years of tradition (and 25 years of controversy!) continues as the town lowers an opossum in a Plexiglas box (and PETA hates that!) Personally, I would be more offended by the Miss Possum beauty contest, in which burly truck drivers and lumberjack dudes compete in the evening gown competition!

So, we’re all from somewhere else… do you have any different or oddball NYE traditions to share? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a happy, SAFE New Year!

Sources: Herehere , here , here and here!

Merry Christmas from MindField Online!

christmasHope everybody has a great time with family and friends this Christmas Day. BE SAFE! If you get a chance, join us over at the MindField Facebook page, and tell us about the most meaningful gift you received this year. Not the biggest or most expensive, but the one that touched you most. Take care and Ho Ho Ho!!

Here are some fun Holiday spending statistics (including Hanukkah and Kwanzaa) to quote at the dinner table, as reported by the National Retail Federation. You’re welcome.

  • Total Spending: $804, up 5% from last year
  • Gifts for…Family $460, Friends $80, Co-workers $26, Pets $30
  • Decorations: $54
  • Food: $100
  • Cards: $30
  • Flowers: $20
  • Where we shop: Discount stores 62%, Department stores 60%, Internet 54%, Grocery stores 52%, Catalogs 31%
  • When we started shopping: Before Halloween 40%
  • Average spent when we start early: $636
  • Average spent when we start late: $1074

Regifting Do’s and Don’ts


First of all, when did “giving” become “gifting”? And why does that  bother me so much?

Anyway, today’s topic is REgifting. When did that become a thing? When did it become common enough that we feel OK talking about it, and writing an article like this one in Time Magazine telling you when it’s OK to regift, and how to do it without getting caught?

Apparently, the answer is NOW.  Back in the 1970’s, not so much. One Monday in December was the third grade class Christmas party and gift exchange. By Sunday afternoon, either I had forgotten to tell my mother, or she had put it off (or both), but I had no gift to give. We had to rush out to the store but, before we could go, it snowed. Real hard. No trip to the store, and I had to wrap a used gift. I knew it was a bad idea, but I wrapped the used race car. The next day, the paper wasn’t even completely off before the kid yelled “Gross! A USED gift?” Children can be so kind.

So, this article tells you how to avoid scenes like this when regifting.

  • Regift strategically (Who and When)
  • Completely repackage the gift
  • Regift only good gifts

And it also suggests the kind of items that might make suitable regifts. Here are the bullets…

  1. Gift cards for stores you don’t like
  2. Food or treat gift baskets: Store bought and shrink wrapped only
  3. Flowers or décor arrangements
  4. Toys your kids won’t play with: If nothing else, donate them
  5. Neutral accessories:neutral being the key – no nutty colors or patterns
  6. Bath products
  7. Coffee and mug sets: the kind you always see at discount stores
  8. Gifts you don’t love and can return for store credit: turning unwanted items into gift cards
  9. Books you won’t read
  10. Entertaining items:I have regifted barbecue tool sets a couple of times

For all the details, read “How to Regift Without Getting Caught.” So, how about you? IS it OK to regift? How and when? Have you done it? How did it turn out? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!



app shopping
freedigitalphotos.net/ Stuart Miles/ imagerymajestic

When we first did a piece on Holiday shopping apps – about 4 years ago – the “gee-whiz” developments were apps that helped you remember where you parked your car, or ones that had detailed maps of malls across America.

They have gotten smarter since then. Some of this year’s highlights (and no, these are not endorsements) include the following:

  • BuyVia: Price comparisons, mobile couponing, price alerts and product reviews — along with secure online shopping.
  • Clutch: Store all your coupons, as well as loyalty and gift-card data with this app.
  • Favado: Cut your bills by comparing real-time sale data from more than 65,000 supermarket and drug stores nationwide.
  • Goodzer: Compares prices on products ranging from deodorant to little black dresses carried by stores in your neighborhood.
  • Ibotta: Receive cash rebates for everyday purchases in over 80 stores.
  • Pounce: See a product you’ve been looking for advertised in a circular or catalog at a great price? Snap a photo of it with your iPhone and this tool lets you buy it directly from the retailer in two clicks.
  • PriceGrabber: Scan products’ barcodes while shopping to see whether other retailers offer lower prices.
  • PriceJump: Scan bar codes and compare prices from stores near them and at more than 5,000 online vendors.
  • RedLaser: Scan an item’s bar code to compare prices at thousands of online retailers and local walk-in stores.
  • RetailMeNot: Collects coupon codes and sale information from a range of retailers and lets you bookmark your favorite stores so that you can check for discounts while you’re shopping.
  • ShopAdvisor: Search for your desired item (or scan its barcode), save it to your shopping list, and wait. The app will alert you when its price drops at any store.
  • Shopkick: earn rewards simply for browsing — no purchase required.


Download Smart!

A final note – wherever you choose to download your new apps, there should be a rating/review system to give you an idea if this app is worth it, and if it is “safe” to download. Always check the ratings and reviews!

Holiday Shopping App Links:

Have you downloaded any exciting shopping apps for the Holiday Season? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!