Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sicky Season! (Yay!) Plus, How To Pay for Christmas Without Breaking the Bank

You can mark your calendars... practically set your watch to it. Yes, school is back in session, and you know what that means... Sicky Season!

You may have noticed the dearth of posts on here lately. The kiddos went back to school, and right on time, brought the gift that keeps on giving. I have no clue as to whether this is a cold, or the 'flu, though I suspect the latter. Fever, upper respiratory ickiness, body aches, the whole magilla. (Yes, I honestly feel like Magilla Gorilla's sitting on my chest.) In the last two weeks, we've seen pinkeye, some kind of stomach thing, and this, the Might-Be-Flu. At this rate, we'll be innoculated against everything before winter even starts. At least, I hope so!  (I can dream, can't I?)

Although I haven't been doing much in the way of creative stuff, I have started getting ready for Christmas. For the past few years, we've been desperately poor- we're talking layoffs, being on the SNAP program (food stamps), and literally having no extra cash to spend. My kids have still had good Christmases, though. We didn't resort to charities to do it, either. I was able to get them wonderful gifts, from, for the last few years. How did I get the money to do it?

Simple. I took surveys, and earned gift codes, ten bucks or more at a time. It's how I get most of my crafting tools, birthday gifts, kitchen goods, and other holiday stuff. Almost all of the "fun stuff" we've gotten, over the past few years, has been earned this way. I don't have to leave the house to do it, and can take 'em at my leisure. In my PJ's, if I want to!

There are a lot of survey places online, and a lot of them are a crock. Having already charted this territory, I'd like to share the best of the best with you.

Opinion Outpost is my #1 moneymaker! These guys pay out in gift codes, PayPal money, and all kinds of other options. Their pay rate is 10 points = $1.00, and they will cash you out at 50 points or more. You can rack up a LOT of points relatively quickly with them, and they're really good about paying out when a survey has had a technical difficulty (which happens from time to time). Also, you can keep taking as many surveys as you want to- they literally never seem to run out of them. They pay almost instantaneously- you cash out, and your code arrives in your email in minutes. I consider them to be the creme de la creme of the survey world. Click here to join up!

The J.D. Power Panel also pays out well- they offer fairly high-dollar surveys, and are really reliable. However- they are slow to pay out, as it can take a couple of weeks for them to verify whether a survey was done to their satisfaction. If you race through a survey (which I've accidently done, a time or two- I blame the coffee), a survey might be disqualified. With them, you have to get to the $25 level to cash out with Amazon bucks. But you can reach that pretty quickly, as their surveys pay out at a higher rate than most. They almost always have a survey or 12 for me to do on any given day, and will also email you to let you know that you have a good one waiting for you. You can join up here.

Ipsos I-Say is pretty good, too- they don't always have a survey for me, but they email to let me know when they do. They also pay out in Amazon bucks (1000 points = $10 Amazon cash), as well as other options. They're quick on the payouts (usually my gift codes arrive in my email within an hour of requesting them), but it does take awhile to earn them. These guys are also great for product testing- if you'd like to get free personal care stuff, household cleaners, food items, etc., Ipsos is great for that. Their one downside has been glitches in the surveys, but if you contact customer service, they're pretty good for getting back to you. If you'd like a referral, contact me, and I'll get you set up! My email link is over there on the right, or you can copy and paste into your email, and drop me a line.

Last but not least is MySurvey. Like Ipsos, they don't always have a survey to do, but they email you with invites to surveys, so you don't have to check all the time. They're very reliable, and have few technical issues. They also have a Facebook app available, so that when a survey is available, you can find out right away. They're a little on the slow side, for building up points, unless you get invited to do diaries- these can run for as little as a couple of days, to an entire month, and they're usually about trivial things like, what did you drink all day, or how many purchases you've made at a convenience store in the past month, and other relatively non-invasive things. THOSE are worth some serious points, and can have you cashing out pretty quickly. Their cashouts for Amazon bucks are 1100 points = $10, and they have a lot of other options, too, including video games, charities, etc. They also send out product tests, from time to time, and overall, once you're doing diaries, the payouts are pretty steady- they pay better than Ipsos, for me, but it's not an all-the-time thing. If you'd like a referral, drop me a line using the email link to the right- I'll hook you up! (Or copy and paste onto your email program.)

Anyway- we're all on the mend at Casa Rodman, and I've started being "good" about doing my surveys, as they come in, once again. (Yeah, I slacked a little for a bit, there!) By the time we get to December, we should be in great shape, and the kiddos' dreams of sugarplums (yeah, well, Legos and Wii games) will once again be fulfilled. I just got them both some goodies, as Thing One's birthday is this week, so the ol' Fountain of Joy (the Amazon account) is low-ish again, but with some work in the next couple of months, we'll be good. If you have any questions about the survey companies above, contact me- it's worth taking a few minutes to join up, and make a little extra cash on the side. You never know when you'll have a rainy day...oh, oops. Sorry, Coloradans! (We're praying for you.)

I mean, really, who doesn't need more money? 

Be well, folks. We're hopin' to be!


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