Posted in Promotions and Giveaways, Tips

8 Ways to Score Freebies

Freebies?  Where?  Who doesn’t love free stuff?  What more if you get free stuff doing nothing?  Well.. here are 8 ways to score freebies.  Not all of them are free doing nothing.  Some needs a little bit effort which doesn’t require a significant amount of your time.

Attending a Grand Opening or a Convention:  I remember when I was still working in Beijing.  A retail store opened in our office building and as a way to show our support, we went there on the first day and spent about an hour of our time to listen to what the store is all about.  At the end of the talk, they gave each person RMB 50.  Some grand opening offer discounts or will give swag items.  My sister got a canvas bag from Uniqlo when they opened in Chicago.  When I joined my sister on a dental convention in Anaheim, I got a lot of dental stuff to bring home.

Enroll in loyalty programs:  My mother-in-law asked me to purchase some items at Bath & Body Works as Christmas presents, I’m planning to claim my 3 free products this weekend.  At Walgreens, my online purchases for my friends earned me Walgreens cash, which my husband happily spend in-store.  Head to the store you normally frequent, check if they have loyalty programs and join.

Scanning receipts for gift cards:  Since you go grocery shopping or buy stuff online or even eat out at restaurants.  All of those receipts can be converted to points.  Earn enough points and you can exchange them for gift cards.  Two apps that I’m using regularly are Fetch Rewards and ReceiptHog.

Continue reading “8 Ways to Score Freebies”
Posted in Finance, Health, Life

July 2021 Personal Challenge Update

Summer is in full swing!  We only had one travel this month and that was to celebrate my stepson’s and husband’s birthday.  My apologies for the delay in blog post.  Learning the ropes in my new job does that.  Moreover, I’m trying to get my routine straight.  Anyway, here’s how the month go.

Health:

  • Averaging 10,000 steps a day: For July, my aim was to average 3,500 steps a day.  I’m happy to say that my average in July is 4,977 steps.  I really tried hitting the 3,500 steps per day and didn’t miss any.  For August, my goal is to average 4,000 steps a day.
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables: Fruits is still a miss. My stir fry ground turkey with tomatoes, mushroom and spinach is a weekly staple.  The grilled chicken berry salad from Kickback Jack’s is also making an appearance at least every other week.
  • Drinking water: I really want to track it but it’s difficult using different glasses or water bottles.  However, water is still my go-to drink.  Green tea in the morning and chamomile or peppermint tea before bed.

Blog/Instagram:

  • Instagram: I think I only missed a day posting on @bear.prototype … As for my main account, @chefclaudine … it’s dying.  I think I’ve only updated it once in July.  My other account, @thecoffeedisciple .. I rarely update it as I’m not the coffee drinker but my hubby.
  • Blogging: I had a hard time posting this month with catching up with class.  I was able to post some towards the end of the month but not consistent.  I don’t think August will be good to me as well since I will start on my new job and trying to settle in a new routine. 
  • Blog traffic: In June, my blog traffic count was 63.  In July, it went up slightly to 84.  I’m hoping it will consistently be on an uptrend.  That means, I need to write more.

Finance:

  • Cashback Apps: My ReceiptHog coins went up from 5,071 coins to 5,248 coins. My Fetch Rewards points went up from 17,395 to 18,071 points. I wasn’t able to take photos of my receipts consistently.
  • Balikbayan Box:  Box #5 was shipped to the agent towards the latter part of July.  Hubby was busy and wasn’t able to schedule a time.  Box #6 is almost full and we’re hoping to ship it on the second Saturday of August together with my mother-in-law’s box.  I guess this would be my last box for the year.  I’m quite sad as I won’t be able to reach my 8 box goal.  COVID really did a number as the shipment is taking longer to reach the receiver.
  • Stock Market: I earned $2.45 from dividends and interest this month. I bought DADA stocks and $20 worth of DOGE coins (cryptocurrency). That $20 won’t be added and will just sleep there. My husband just ok’d that amount. Whether it goes up or down, I won’t lose sleep if I lose $20. My portfolio increased 3.79% in July.

Education:

  • Payroll Specialist Class: I got my $750 in the mail.  Class will end on Aug 12.  I was cramming as I want to finish everything before I start working.  Well, I finished the lessons in our Payroll Accounting book and took all the tests.  The only thing I need to do is complete my assignments
  • Eat Smart, Move More Class: We had two classes this month and had our final class last July 30. I will be expecting my $30 back in the mail as I met the attendance and health tracking in class. I surely learned a lot and will tell you more about it in future posts. This is one class I enjoyed that the state offers to their residents.

That’s it! Hopefully, I can write more post as I settle in a routine at work.

Posted in Finance, Health, Life

June 2021 Personal Challenge Update

Another month passed and we’re halfway through the year. Time really flies so fast. Next thing I know I will be a year older. For the month of June, 3 of my aunts in the West Coast and Australia celebrated their birthday. We had 3 zoom parties with raffle, bingo and other games. It was fun and a good way to catch up with everybody. Aside from parties, here’s the rest of June’s update.

Health:

  • Averaging 10,000 steps a day: For June, my aim was to average 3,000 steps a day. I think I started really aiming for the 3,000 step goal mid-June. I’m happy to say that my average in June is 3,556 steps. That New York day trip really helped as I hit 16,781 steps that day.
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables: It’s slowly getting there. I try to cook the stir fry ground turkey with tomatoes, mushroom and spinach at least once a week.
  • Drinking water: As much as possible, I drink water every meal or throughout the day. I don’t go turkey with sweetened beverages but try to limit it to twice a week. When I’m sick, I do lemon juice with honey.

Blog/Instagram:

  • Instagram: I didn’t realize a lot of people are into posting the day to day of their plushies. Well, I created an instagram account of our bear plushie named Prototype. You can catch his antics on @bear.prototype … I update his account every two days. As for my main account, @chefclaudine … I missed the 3 days and sometimes update it on the 4th day. My other account, @thecoffeedisciple .. I rarely update it as I’m not the coffee drinker but my hubby.
  • Blogging: the vacation earlier this month didn’t help me. It seems like it took me a long time to recover and get my groove back. I was able to only post 4 articles and a quote. No review or anything and most of them were written later than the post date.
  • Blog traffic: If April was my previous low at 72, June is now my new low at 63. I really need to write more articles and consistently. (crossing fingers)
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Posted in Finance, Life

Quotes About Money and Finance

The second quarter of 2021 is about to come to an end. Summer is raging and everyone wants to head to the beach to get a tan and relax. Temperatures out west is sizzling hot but here in Triad is comfortable (mid-80s to upper 90s). Here’s this quarter’s 10 quotes about money and finance.

Samuel Butler: “Friendship is like money. Easier made than kept.”

When a kid visits a playground, it’s easy for them to make friends. Money no matter how big or small it is can be easily found or earned. However, just like friendship, if you don’t give time, effort and energy to it, it’s easily lost.

Nathan W. Morris: “Every time you borrow money, you’re robbing your future self.”

One thing I don’t like here in the United States is their love for credit. Credit for me is a necessary evil. I prefer to buy something when I have the money to pay for it. Borrowing money makes you lose sleep and increase your stress levels especially if you don’t know how to pay for it. Stress is the number one cause of a number of health issues. If you follow the trail, your future self will be robbed of a happy life.

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Posted in Finance, Health, Life

May 2021 Personal Challenge Update

Sorry for the delay but I wasn’t able to write this in advance of our Memorial Day trip. The trip was more than a week and I didn’t have my laptop with me. It was a long drive to New Jersey and quite tiring. I’m thinking never to do anything more than 5 hours drive. I don’t know how I survived our west to east coast trip early last year. In any case here’s an update of my personal challenges. I’m telling you right now it’s not pretty.

Health:

  • I failed in logging food, 10 flights of stairs a day, strength training, planking for 2 minutes for this month. Either I forgot to log them, I’m traveling or I don’t feel like exercising. Usually my motivation is when I see the scales going up.
  • Average of 10,000 steps a day: I did hit the 10,000 steps a day during our travels but when I’m at home, I average 3,000 steps a day. I tried to keep it up to more than 3,000 steps a day and I hope I would be able to increase it to an average of 3,500 steps by next month. Slowly but surely. Also, I hope I won’t get sick or feel sick to lower my average.
  • Eating fruits and vegetables: It’s strawberry season, so I have at least 1 cup of fruits a day for at least 2 days a week. Towards the latter part of the month, I saute mushroom and spinach with ground turkey (Healthy!)
  • Health checkups: I was quite busy with doctor visits this month. On May 5 was my 6th month post op, the surgeon requested for an MRI and it came out clean. I had a mammogram the next day and nothing significant to report. I had my annual physical in the latter part of the month and my A1C is down by 0.1%. I’m not yet out of the pre-diabetes stage but 0.1% down is an achievement already. I’m happy to say that my cholesterol level which the doctors in China were asking me what I’m doing is keeping my doctor here happy.
Continue reading “May 2021 Personal Challenge Update”