Ebates Review (Part 1)

I have heard about Ebates.com a few years back & ever since, I simply kept forgetting to signup for them. (I'm signed up now, though! Took literally less than 1 minute. Easy peasy!) For those of you who shop online anyways, especially during the holidays (like Cyber Monday), you can get cash back via a check in the mail for doing what you're doing online anyways..shopping!

I have yet to use them myself, but that time will be coming this Fall for Cyber Monday. I will do a Part 2 Review after that to let y'all know how much I spent VS how much money I got back from my online shopping for Christmas gifts. I had found out from a friend of mine years ago who used them and swore by them, but I just simply kept forgetting to signup for it! I can only imagine how much cash back I would've got back, had I signed up then.

How it works:
*Sign up for Ebates.com
*Look for the store(s) you want to shop at
*Start shopping!
*Rewards post to your account within 48 hrs

When Will I Get Paid? 
What are options to receive my payments?
*Check or Paypal

What's the Payout Minimum?
*$5.01 (not including bonuses)

Here's a sample of how much cash back you can get at different stores:
*Target: up to 2.5%
*Kohls: 6%
*Walmart: 1%
*Sears: 7%
*Lane Bryant: 2.5%
*Kmart: 7%
*ToysRus: 1%
*JcPenny: 4%
*Old Navy: 2%

They have nearly every online store on their website, so odds are, you'll find the store(s) you're looking for.

When you signup, you can pick from an option of gift cards as a bonus! I chose the $10 Target gift card since I shop there more often than any other store.

Addition Bonus:
If you have a Target Red Card (the debit card, not their credit card one), you get 5% off of your online purchases plus free shipping! Add that with the 'up to' 2.5% cash back, and you have some serious savings! Keep that in mind for Cyber Monday this year! ;)

Like I said, I have yet to use them, but do know that it works via a friend. I will do a Part 2 Review, including pics of my 1st cash back check & $10 Target gift card as soon as it comes in. (That'll be in a few months, as they only pay out quarterly). In the meantime, start getting some money back while doing your online shopping! Don't be like me and forget for 3 yrs. lol :P

Happy shopping!!

Just Being Cheap or Budgeting? You Be the Judge

Call it whatever you want, I'll call it being smart! I proudly call myself a "Budget Queen". I'm that girl that will do most of her grocery shopping at Aldi's and the rest at the Dollar Store. I don't buy Windex, I use rubbing alcohol mixed with water in a spray bottle. I don't buy dishwasher detergent or laundry soap; I simple make my own for pennies per load.

It's not a matter of how much money is in the bank, it's the point of keeping whatever is in there, there! No matter what my bank account says (and at times, I'm surprised I don't get fined for having less than $X amount in it lol), I always live like I'm on a budget.

I'm on a strict $XXX/per month budget, despite how much moola I have in the bank. Here are just a few things that I do to cut costs:

*I shop at Goodwill for most things, except furniture. (I always buy furniture brand new!)
*I buy meats, divide them up, and then put them in the freezer.
*I have a free hobby, called Geocaching. (it's basically treasure hunting w/ a GPS unit)
*We don't have cable, but get free cable. (I'll post on how we do that in a minute).
*We go to $1 nights at the Budget Cinema & bring our own goodies.
*I make my own laundry soap & dishwashing detergent.

TIP: If you live near a lot of Goodwills, go to the one in the best community; one that is more of a fancy-schmancy kind of town where rich folks donate stuff like Polo, Hollister, etc. You can get nice, new-looking for clothes for about $4/shirt & $6/jeans.

The more money you save, the more awesome things you can do with your saved money later on..like a nice vacation! The goal is to save money, but don't forget to treat yourself once in awhile with your saved cash!

If you love to read books, then I'm about to blow your mind (unless you're already aware of this wonderful website). There's a website called PaperbackSwap.com where you can send/receive books for free. I've been a member for about 7-8 yrs now and I swear by them. I list the books that I already have and don't want, someone requests a book, I send it out, then I get 1 book credit to shop around for a new book. Love it!

"Free" Cable Trick:
This only works if you have cable internet. Using a cable splitter ($1 on ebay), hook up a cable lines between your TV-Modem-Cable Splitter. You get all the channels that are free over the air (same channels as you get with rabbit ear antenna's) but a strong solid signal. I get 19 channels, including TBS, CBS, FOX, ABC, NBC, which is perfect for me since I don't really watch TV that much.

The HDMI Cord Trick:
This only works if you have a laptop. Make sure your laptop & TV both have an HDMI input. Buy a HDMI cable ($20 @ Target), hook up between your laptop & TV and that's it! You can now watch free shows from your favorites websites (ex: Hulu, A & E, Discovery.com, etc) on your tv! Add a wireless mouse as a "remote" and you're all set. ;)

Homemade Laundry Soap:
2 Cups of Borax
2 Cups of Super Washing Soda
2 Bars of Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap (shredded up in a bowl)
1 box of Baking Soda

Shred up the bars of soap using a cheese grater/shredder.
Mix everything together, put in a container, use 3 TSP per load.

Optional: Dryer sheets @ the dollar store

Homemade Dishwashing Detergent:
1 cup of Baking Soda
1 cup of Borax

2 TBLS/per load

Alright, I rambled off enough for one day. ;) I hope some of y'all enjoyed the tips!!

Ghost Hunting: It's Not Just for TV Shows Anymore

(Pic of me, on left, ghost hunting back in 2006.)

Ahh..ghost hunting. One of my favorite topics of all time!! You might be seeing a lot of posts about ghost hunting on this blog because it's not only a hobby of mine, it's a big part of who I am...well, not the hunting part, but the interests in afterlife/ghosts.

I think those that don't believe in ghosts, are people that just haven't had any personal experiences...yet. ;) Most people have had encounters with the afterlife but either brush it off & dismiss them, or they're not profound enough for them to question the what/why/how. If there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that ghosts do very much exist. And they're everywhere. 

By definition, I am what they call "a sensitive". Just like any other skill, it's one that takes practice as mastering. Though I've come a long way, I will always be fine tuning my senses. I've always been a "sensitive" ever since I was a kid, or at least that's when I first noticed it. I think anyone can be a sensitive, it's just fine tuning your intuition, which everyone has naturally. Ever walk into a room and you just felt a "vibe"? Or walk into someones house and there was just an overwhelming feeling of sadness or anxiousness? It's the same thing, just heightened when you're a sensitive.

So, what is a sensitive? It's someone that can sense the presence of a spirit. For the most part, I can now turn it on/off, unless there's a heavy presence near me that I can't just shake. Anybody can see ghosts/spirits, they don't discriminate. ;) lol Personally, I've seen 3 in my lifetime, which is my least favorite thing in life..I think I age about 7 yrs every time I see one. Not fun. The 1st one, was my late-great grandma. The 2nd, an angelic-like "ghost" at my grandma's house when I was 21 yrs old, and the 3rd was at a cemetery, walking right next to me. 

Alright kids, gather around, it's ghost story time! 

1) My great grandmother appeared as a full apparition to me when I was 18 yrs old. She appeared to me in my apartment out of nowhere, with my grandparents dog (Bubba)..which was confusing at the time, because Bubba was still alive, though he was fading in & out beside my deceased great gram during her visit. A week or two later, I found out that Bubba had dog cancer and a few months later, he passed. I believe that this was my great grams way of saying 'He's coming with me.' 

2) I was living with my grandparents at the time (I was 21 yrs old) and the bed frame that my bed was on, was very old. It was so bouncy, to the point where if you sneezed while on the bed, it became a trampoline. lol So one morning, I felt the bed on the right side dip down, as if someone was on it. Knowing that my bedroom was locked, I quickly woke up & found an angelic-like ghost in the most beautiful pastel multi-layered dress looking over me with a "who are you?" kind of confused look on her face. I screamed so loud that I was sure I woke everyone in the house up. She quickly disappeared, never saw her again. 

3) This was during a ghost hunt in 2006 with my ghost hunting team. Now this was different type of experience and I'm not sure I would call it a "ghost", as I now believe it could've been demonic. Let's put it this way, you couldn't pay me enough money to step foot inside that cemetery again. As our group entered the cemetery, I was pulling out my gear (voice recorder, camera, extra batteries) and I was talking to one of the ghost hunters (Chrissy) as we walked side-by-side. She was on my left. I had asked her a question and when I didn't hear a response, I looked up from fumbling with my gear, only to realize that Chrissy wasn't there anymore. I called out her name and she responded...from the front of the group, about 5 people away from me. I asked her how she got up to the front so quickly, when she told me she's been in the front the entire time since walking into the cemetery. Then who the heck was I having a back-and-forth conversation with? Who/what was I seeing walk next to me? The reason why I think this might be demonic, is because they can manipulate/mock voices and morph into anything they want. From that night, something attached to me and followed me home. The next 3 days were pure hell...I couldn't sleep (heard growling in my ear as I tried to sleep), glass candle jars would explode without being touched, and I had the worst sense of being closely watched. I finally had to call an expert up in Burlington, WI for help on how to get rid of it. (*I did a prayer + sage cleanse, that worked.) 

Back to the point of this post...

Ghost hunting just isn't for TV shows anymore. Anyone can do it, and while it's fun and interesting, it can cause some havoc if you're not careful.

I just came across WVpenTours.com the other day, which I found fascinating. They let the public go into West Virginia Penitentiary to do their own ghost hunting..daytime, twilight hours, or overnight (depending on how much you're looking to spend). Not only would I go & do a ghost hunt there, I'm actually planning to go there in Spring 2014. Thanks to TV shows such as Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, ghost hunting can now be done by anyone with a voice recorder and a camera.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, this is one of my favorite topics, so I'll be posting about this topic from time to time. 

Before I end this post, I figured I'd share this audio clip of an EVP that I captured on Nov. 17th, 2012 in my current apartment. I had just got home from work, sat in my recliner, when I felt an overwhelming presence in front of me. (Ever feel the weight of someones stare? It was that feeling..but I felt like it was right in my face.) So I busted out my voice recorder, asked 2 questions, got a response from 1 of them. Here it is:

(Turn your volume up or wear headphones to hear it better.)

Restaurant.com: Great Food on a Budget

Somewhere around the year..oh, let's see..I think it was around 2006'ish?..I stumbled upon Restaurant.com and quickly realized that this was going to be the start to be a beautiful & budget-friendly relationship. ;)

If you're not familiar with Restaurant.com, let me break it down for ya:
1) You shop for restaurants in your area that you either like or would like to visit.
2) You select from their options of gift certs (ranging from $15, $25 to $50).
3) You purchase your gift cert for a discount (between $4-$10 for a $25 gift cert)
4) You go to that restaurant and use your coupon.
5) Enjoy your highly discounted meal! 

My favorite part of using Restaurant.com gift certificates? They NEVER expire!! :D

What is even better than that, is that they now have a mobile app that is so simple to use and you can take your gift certs everywhere you go and use them via their app. On this past Wednesday night, I did just that!

The boyfriend & I were starving and frankly, I didn't feel like cooking. lol I pulled out my handy-dandy Restaurant.com app and looked at my gift certs that I had recently bought when they had an awesome sale going on (I snagged up a bunch of $25 gift certs for just $4 each!) & picked one out.

We picked The Loaded Slate in Milwaukee, WI.

We told the waitress as soon as we got there, we had a Restaurant.com gift certificate to use, just to give her a heads up. So we ordered as usual & ate some yummy food:
After we finished our food, I pulled up the app on my phone, brought up the gift certificate and the waitress took my phone to do whatever it is she needed to do in order for me to get the discount:

Our waitress then came back with the new bill:

Our bill came to: $45.53
Gift Certificate: -$25
New Total Bill: $20.52 + $7 tip

I had bought that particular gift certificate when they had a $4 for $25 certificate sale going on, so we ended up saving $21.00 in total when everything was said and done!

If you've never tried Restaurant.com before, you can get gift certificates right now for just $5!!! Use coupon code: FIVE & snag up some awesome deals!!

Breaking Bad: Am I The Only One?

With the series finale of Breaking Bad coming up, I figured I'd so some rambling about this show..but it's not going to be a long post because I don't even watch it! So why am I posting about? Well, read on.

I'm one of those people that tend to get into a series either as it's ending or has already ended. For example, I initially hated "Seinfeld" when it was on the air, but I'm a huge fan now and own pretty much all the seasons on DVD. Same thing with the 80's/90's show, "Roseanne". I didn't get into "Sopranos" until the last season was about to premiere, so I only had about 3 weeks to watch all the seasons leading up to the last one.

You get the picture.

So when I heard that Breaking Bad was ending, and I haven't heard of 1 person not liking it, I figured "ehh I'll give it a shot!" I sat down and watched the 1st episode with high hopes. Thoughts? Boring. 2nd episode? Boring. 3rd episode? Yep, you guessed it..boring! After the 4th episode, I simply gave up.

Now, I've been told by many, many people (*including my boyfriend who is a huge fan of the show) that "it gets better". I can't tell you how many times I've been told that line..."it gets better". Okay, how many boring episodes do I need to suffer through before it gets better? I watched half of a one season! I'm actually bummed out that I didn't get into the show because (1) I loved Bryan Cranston on "Malcom in the Middle" & (2) I had never heard of Aaron Paul before (Jesse Pinkman on BB) and I loved his character! 

Am I the only one not watching Breaking Bad? I feel like I'm not fitting in the with the 'cool kids' by not liking it and will now be forced to sit at a geeks-only table at lunch time. 

While I don't like the show, I can say that the acting that I did see from both Bryan & Aaron was amazing! The momentum of the story was just too slow for my liking and I caught myself being more interested on what people on my friends list were posting on Facebook. 

To those of you who love the show, I commend your pateince and I hope the series finale is one for the books (unlike Dexter's series finale the other day. I'm not sure I have the strength to make a post about how awful that finale was!)

Welcome to Jamies Ramblings

Hello! :) Welcome to my little nook in cyber space, where I will talk about..well..everything!! From TV shows that I watch, discount codes/online coupons, product reviews (and maybe even some giveaways at some point!), and just about anything else you can think of!

If you're looking for a daily blog that will change topics every day, then this is the blog for you. I've been blogging for several years and this is my "dream blog", if you will: a place that I can come to and talk about anything and everything. Who knows, you just might find your new hobby or favorite TV show through all my ramblings. ;)

So sit back, relax, bookmark the blog & enjoy!! :D