Friday, February 26, 2010

A Few of MY Favorite Websites

I read A LOT of blogs. Ever since we moved to Germany for 6 months (that time flew by!), I have been reading a lot of blogs to stay connected to the world, learn how other expats cope, etc. I found a lot of really great people with really interesting stories. Some of those people are listed on the right of this page. Others, I follow in blogger just to get their updates. I am following a cool teacher in Germany, teachers in Illinois, people in our new neighborhood, and all kinds of good stuff--in addition to my real-life friends. It's honestly more interesting than television. There are also crazy coupon cutter (most stay at home moms) ladies who teach me a whole lot about saving money. Since we're in the process of {trying to} buy a house, it's nice to be in-the-know. Though, I don't think I can ever be as devoted as these ladies.

Aside from learning a ton about saving money--something I'm already fairly good at--I learned about some new websites that I now used daily or as time allows. Here are a couple of those:

ShopAtHome - This site is awesome. I buy stuff online ALL the time and actually prefer it to shopping in stores. I usually get free shipping codes and things end up being cheaper. I have recently gone to this website and typed in the store I want (recent purchases made from The Body Shop, Macy's, Godiva, Barnes & Noble) and they give you a percentage back from your purchase. For example, we bought chocolate for my wonderful sister-in-law and got $1.92 back. I am up to $14.04 just for using the link to any website on Shop at Home. It takes zero minutes extra and it's totally great.

Swagbucks - This one is more work and I'm still not sure it's worth it... but since I just earned a $10 Amazon card just for using their search engine (which is a little annoying, but if you use it once a day, you'll have about a $10 gift card ready for redemption in a maximum of 3 months since usually it will award you 10 free "bucks" per day). I like that I'm getting a free $10 Amazon card, though, I'm not going to lie. Some people get really into it and have purchased like a Wii and other expensive items just on free Amazon cards... so if you're dedicated, you can make some dough. I'm just a lazy user... so it took me a couple months.

Redfin - What a great website for home buyers who are prepared. If you are on a time crunch, want to save money, want to make your own decisions, or just plain hate the idea of a real estate agent running your home-buying show, this site is the best for you. I am not advertising or getting any compensation. We are buying through them and they've been incredible, quick, accomodating (buying a house and dealing with logistics while 7 hours ahead and a big ocean in between is tough!), and professional. If you think of buying a house now or even in the future, it's nice to watch the market and the options for awhile. We did this for over a year before placing our offer and I am happy to say we are pleased with all of the people who have helped us in the process.Though, I think Redfin only works in big cities, for now.

Swagbucks & ShopAtHome give you a kickback if you promote them and your friends use them. I hate spamming friends on facebook, twitter, or email... so I figured if you cared, you'd read this blog post. And, since I actually use them and like them, I don't mind promoting them anyway. I won't post it again... but this are some things I've learned lately about stretching a buck (aside from my uber-excellent economics teacher in high school who taught me to use a credit card for every purchase, but pay it off in full every month). Of course, with that, we also get cash back and free flights, pay no interest, and have a list of all our spending to boot!


Sneaker Teacher said... [Reply to comment]

I am so obsessed with blogging and reading other blogs it's not funny! In the morning, before I even get ready for work, I am at the computer reading all the updates that ocurred in the US while I was sleeping. You are right, it is really entertaining!

I know you already know the outcome, but I am super excited for the Bachelor finale on Monday. I think he doens't choose either of the finalists to be his wife...