All posts by LadySkullshine

I'm not an expert or rich, but I like to help others any way I can. I'm now sharing ways to save money and also supplement income. For more information, see the About page.

So Many Free Items Already This Year

We are one week into the new year, and I’ve already bought a bunch of things on Amazon.

In my defense, most of it was FREE. In fact, out of the last ten orders, I didn’t pay for nine of them. I have received a CD storage case, wine stoppers, a hoodie, gloves, several iPhone chargers, an 80 piece tackle box, a chakra bracelet, and two towels. If anything, I paid tax. I didn’t even have to leave a review either!

I’ve been getting free merchandise for over a year now. I started out by providing reviews in exchange for products. Things like jewelry, electronics, kitchen gadgets, household items, auto accessories, clothing, pet items, office supplies, and so much more. In October of last year, Amazon removed my ability to review. It was my own fault, because it goes against their guidelines.

Since then, I’ve been on a mission find items that don’t require a review.

I already had a handful listed on the Freebies page, but I actually have been working with a few others as well. Before I share any resources, I like to personally have a successful transaction first. Some items I received because I belong to particular sites. To get the other items, I was referred to agents to place an order. I belong to several groups that will share deals, as well. I also have developed some connections over time.

I want to share as much as I can to help others.

I may post things that are no longer available, but I still want to brag about my finds. A lot things I get are on the fly, literally. I stumble across things in my Facebook newsfeed, and get Facebook messages, texts, emails, what’s app, telegram, and more. I skim through everything to find relevant deals and freebies. I buy what I can, log it in my spreadsheet, then go about my day. At some point, I collect my thoughts to try to share what I’ve snagged.

For the companies I have dealt with, see the Freebies page. Eventually, I will add my other resources, like Facebook groups, sellers/agents, and more. Please check back for updates. Thank you!


Thank You For All The Visits!

I’ve noticed quite a bit more traffic on my site in comparison to previous years. Since inception 2011, 2020 had the highest amount of visitors. What’s even more awesome? I already have more visitors this month, than I did in January 2020.

All of this is incredible to me. I greatly appreciate everyone that has taken the time to visit, especially those that check back for updates. It really means a lot to me. Thank you!


Follow me on Facebook and Instagram:

LadySkullshine

Smile, Sparkle, Save!

Happy Notes To The Universe

Pet Rattie Pics


Thoughts On Inbox Dollars

I just cashed out another $15 Amazon gift card from Inbox Dollars. That makes $45, since I started using this site in 2019. My first payment of $30 was in February of 2020.

For me, it’s been very slow to accumulate. This is because I rarely do a lot of the tasks. Inbox Dollars pays you to take surverys, watch videos, read emails, shop, complete offers, and more. But, I feel like it’s still worth it as a passive app.

If you try it out with my referral link, I’ll get an incentive. Thank you!


2021 Resolutions

2020 was crazy in so many ways. For me, it ended very well overall. I’m so extremely grateful.

I can barely tell you what I plan to accomplish today, let alone any serious resolutions for 2021. I just hope to continue on this path of who I am now in life. I’m far from perfect, but I’m happy, and feel like I’m in a very good place in general.

If anything, I’ll strive to better myself. Among so many things I need to battle, I may poke the anxiety bear a bit more. I need to also find more ways to focus properly, instead of letting my OCD and ADHD fight it out. I lose so much time, and my mind in the process.

Thank you to those that have put up with me along my life’s journey. Especially when I wasn’t at my best. I appreciate all of you. Mostly those that stuck through the many phases of Jessie. Even if you have been a jerk to me, I probably gained a lesson from you. So thank you as well.


RIP Laptop 2020-2020

Unfortunately, my laptop will not turn back on, as of this afternoon. I literally just bought it this year, second hand. It didn’t even make it to the end of 2020. It’s somehow fitting for the year we’ve had.

I’m so extremely upset about this. I can’t get any of my work done. I’ll do my best to still post, but I’m limited as to what I can really do on my phone.

Luckily, I recently started saving up my Amazon gift cards for one. I just didn’t expect it to be this soon. Or this tragic. I hope I can somehow get some files off of it yet. Have I mentioned how upset I am?


Save On Amazon Prime

I will admit that I am addicted to Amazon. Even when I’m not ordering my freebies or using coupon codes, I’m still shopping on there quite a bit. Of course, I have Prime so that I get free and fast shipping. There are other perks included like music, photo storage, and their video service. You can also add family and friends to your account so you can share these benefits, and maybe even the cost.

If you’re concerned about spending the extra $12.99 a month, you may be able to get it at a reduced rate. If you are a student, see if you qualify to pay $6.49. Only $5.99 a month, if you are an EBT/Medicaid recipient. If you want to skip paying for Prime altogether, keep your qualifying purchases over $25 each, and you’ll get free shipping.


Year End Stats Coming

I’ll be doing my end of the year calculations soon, where I will figure out what apps and sites have been the most profitable. It will help me to determine what is worth my time to continue using.

All of it is very time consuming, regardless of what is being done. It also gets overwhelming. That’s added anxiety that I don’t need. So, I try to limit it any way I can. Not to mention, there’s only so much time in a day.

I’ll share once I have the data. I also want to do some year end assessments of some of the companies. In the meantime, I’ve been cleaning things up a bit across the site. I may be making a few more changes.

Stay tuned for updates.


Get Cash Back For Late Deliveries

I get a lot of packages, mostly from Amazon with Prime shipping. So I rarely ever pay for shipping. So, I didn’t think this would apply to me. It actually does!


There’s a few companies out there that will keep track of your Amazon orders, and let you know when they are late. Sometimes you can get cash back. I have two currently set up. One of them is called Earny. They send me notices, but when I ask Amazon, they say they don’t qualify. The other one that I use is called Paribus, which is through Capital One. Paribus has been the most reliable and successful for me. I’ve received $16 back so far with their help.

When applicable, Paribus will send an email stating that they have detected a late delivery, and that you may be eligible for compensation from Amazon. When you click the link, it takes you to their site. There will be a pop up with the steps, along with the order number, and a pre-written message for you to use in chat.

It literally only takes one minute to do this and receive a credit. I’ve done it myself, four times. I usually get either get $3 or $5 in promotional credits. This does not go on your Amazon gift card balance. It will show up in your cart when you place an order. You’ll see it in the payment section with a checkbox for you to choose it.


I don’t have a referral link for Paribus, but I still wanted to share. Especially since a lot of things have been late recently, and we could always use the couple extra bucks.

For more like this, see the Savings Tips page.


Year End Take On Mobile Xpression

I downloaded Mobile Xpression in November 2019. According to their site…

Once a week, I click on the app. It opens a browser. I click continue, then collect five points. When you accumulate thirty points, you can trade them in for a $5 digital gift card to Amazon, Dunkin Donuts, and more.

In one year, I’ve made $65 on this app. Just from clicking a few buttons once a week. That’s not bad at all.  This is one app I’m definitely going to continue using.

There’s no referral information, I just really wanted to share, since Mobile Xpression is one of favorites.


Pet Rat Care Page

While, I’m somewhat new to the rat world myself, I’ve picked up a few things that I thought I’d share. I created a Pet Rat Care page for others to reference. The following is based off of my own experiences as a new rat mom, as well as what I have learned via my own research and from others in the Facebook rat groups. I will be adding more to this page as I learn more as well.


How Many? Boys Or Girls?

You should know that rats do get lonely and depressed if they don’t have a friend. Even when you constantly play with them, they need their own rat companionship as well. Be sure to always have at least a pair of either male or females at a time. While every rat’s personality is different, girls seem to be more adventurous and boys are more laid back. I’ve also read that boys tend to be messier and will piddle more on your things. My goal is to find a super chill female.

Cage And Accessories

Since you are now looking at getting at least two pet rats, this means you will need a large enough cage for them. I’ve seen a lot of people love the Critter Nation cages. You can sometimes snag a good deal on Facebook Marketplace. Whatever kind you get, It should have multiple levels and things like toys, hammocks, ropes, baskets, tissue boxes, and more. They love to explore and should stay active. If you decide to get a wheel, please make sure it’s the larger size. Otherwise, it can actually hurt their spines. Same thing with the exercise balls. They are not good for them at all.

*Please do not use an aquarium. Rats are very susceptible to respiratory issues. A tank doesn’t allow for enough air flow to get through properly.

Besides having a decent size cage with activities, I would suggest having the following:

  • Water bottle & food bowls
    • Preferably ones that attach to the cage
  • Litter box & flat, smooth “pee” rocks
    • Place in at least one corner of cage
  • Thin shower curtain clips
    • Great for attaching baskets to cage
  • Aspen bedding & large storage bin to store it
    • If left in plastic bag, it’s messy when dispensing
  • A good food mix & large storage bin to mix in
    • I use multiple types of food, paying attention to nutrition content
  • Vinegar water mix for cleaning
  • Baby wipes to spot clean the rats
    • You don’t want to regularly bath them

Shop around as much as you can to try to save some money.

When I first started, I purchased a starter rat setup from Petco for $110. The water bottle leaked, the food dish is a waste, and the spinning wheel seemed to just take up a lot of space. I also picked up a huge back of aspen bedding for $14, while I was there.

Once I realized the water bottle was leaking, I immediately replaced it with a perfect one from Amazon. It’s out of reach, and is really easy to refill. I later bought a slightly smaller cage for only $50, when we needed to separate the boys and girls. The doors stick a bit, but it’s not horrible.

You can also save a lot on accessories if you shop at a Dollar Tree. They have lots of baskets, plastic bins, dog ropes toys, rocks, and more. I also managed to find 230 L of aspen bedding on Amazon for only $20.

Now it’s time to adopt.

It’s better to adopt them from a rattery if possible, rather than getting them from a pet store. A rattery knows the history of the rats, and most likely has several generations invested in the line. They should also be temperament tested prior to adopting. There will usually be a rehoming fee of around $20 each on average from what I’ve seen.

Once you have chosen the right ones for you, and get them home, it’s time to start bonding. You are going to want to handle your new rats as much as possible. Be careful that they don’t wander off or jump away in the process. They are very curious. If you have other animals, gently introduce them. We have a large black lab/pit bull mix. He just sniffs at them and tries to lick them once in a while.

To see a few of our pet rat pics, go to the Ratties album.


**More info will be added soon. Please check back for updates at Pet Rat Care***


Pet Rats Ready For Adoption

Our ratties are officially ready for adoption. They are six weeks old. We are located in the Lehigh Valley, PA. I already have several people interested, and I haven’t even finished getting pictures of them.

I mentuoned recently that I created an Instagram account so that I can post updated pics there. It’s @Malakai_the.rat.king, where I share stories from Malakai’s view. I’ve been having a little too much fun with that LOL.

Here’s what I have so far of our girls. When I finish all the pics, I’ll update them here as well.


Happy Notes To The Universe

I just created a separate blog called Happy Notes To The Universe. I also made an Instagram to go along with it.

I will be sharing things like happy affirmations, the Law of Attraction, and more.

I don’t normally discuss these things here

Please follow if you are interested in seeing these kinds of posts.


Are You Owed A Settlement?

You may be owed money as part of a class action settlement. To find out, check the Class Action site. If you are able to claim settlement money, they quickly take you through the process to submit it online.

It’s worth taking a look through the list and checking back once in a while. I get the email notifications, but still forget to check it. I just added this site to the Extra Money page.

Per their site: “Every year, millions of dollars are left on the table in unclaimed settlement funds. In some cases, this is simply because people are unaware of their rights to claim settlement money – or are confused as to what’s involved in staking their claims.”


Crowdtap

I have been using Crowdtap for about two and half months now. I just added it to the Extra Money page. They have an app and a site where you can take surveys. Most of them are quick with one question, and pay three points. Some are slightly more involved, but nothing like most of the other survey sites.

When you open the app, you’ll see what resembles a bingo board full of colored boxes. You click each one to answer a question, until you have cleared the board. Then wait a moment to see if you get any more. Once it’s completely cleared, you can check the site for more surveys.

So far, I’ve made $35 with Crowdtap. If you’d like to try it out, please use my referral link. Thanks!


For more like this, see the Extra Money page.


Bath Bomb Freebie

Since I can no longer write reviews on Amazon, I’ve been on a mission to find any no review items. I’m testing a few at the moment, and will add them here soon.

In the meantime, I just had to share what I received today.


I recently found a bath bombs giveaway offer on Facebook. There was a referral from someone in one of the groups that I belong to. I applied, ordered for $29.63, and had my money back of $27.95 shortly after.

For $1.68 (tax), I received this big box of 12 giant fruit scented bath bombs. I think I did well, and my daughter is super happy.

For more information about getting items for free, see the GPT Test Items page.


Malakai_the.rat.king

If you’d like to follow Malakai’s stories about his rat family and the humans that care of them, he’s now on Instagram!


Yes, I’m a dork! I made my pet rat an Instagram. His bio is that we once thought he was a Suzy, but found out he’s a Malakai. He now has 31 babies with Nora and Dollie. The saga continues…

I have been posting pics of all the rats from his view. He actually has gained a few followers already. There’s a lot more rat enthusiasts out there than I realized.

If you’re on Instagram, follow malakai_the.rat.king for bunches of cute rattie pics and silly stories.



Smile, Sparkle, Save!

No, I still haven’t changed the name. I’m not 100% sure that I absolutely want to. I have no issues with keeping it. I actually would rather not change it. I have used LadySkullshine as my username on everything for the past ten years.

It’s just that, it no longer really applies to my site content. Lady Skullshine originated when I was working with a lot of metal bands. Now, I’m sharing tips about saving money. It’s definitely a bit of a switch. The name doesn’t exactly scream “savings”.

I have a really hard time coming up with names. A lot of time and thought needs to go into it. Nothing I can think of really seems to fit. ‘Smile, Sparkle, Save’ is one of my favorites. I think it’s because I’ve always said “Smile, Sparkle, Shine”. That will probably be my new catchphrase lol. I’m just not sure it’s a great name to change it to.

So for now, the name will have to remain, with the happy catchphrase.

LadySkullshine
Smile, Sparkle, Save!


Another $10 From Receipt Pal

I just cashed out another $10 Amazon gift card. That’s $45 total now, just for scanning receipts.

Recipt Pal is one of the apps that I use to scan my receipts. This one is pretty basic. Just receipts, sweepstakes, and referring friends.

If you use my referral link to download the app, I’ll get 250 points. Thanks!


For more about Receipt Pal and similar apps, visit the Savings Tips page.


Keep An Eye On Your Bills And Reduce Them Now

I’ve noticed that a lot of people are complacent with their bills. They may just be comfortable dealing with the same company. If anything, they’ll complain that they are going up. And, that’s if they even notice the increases or any extra charges. I was one of those people, for a long time.

Now, every few months or so, I go through all of my accounts to see how much I’m paying. Depending on the bill, I may contact them to see if there’s anything that can be done to decrease it. When I first started doing this, I contacted every company I owed money to. It doesn’t hurt to ask. For some, the answer was no and I would kindly move on. In other cases changes could be made, discounts applied, and even credits were given. Make sure to keep notes so you keep track of what was able to be done.

It’s definitely worth the extra time spent doing this. After a while, you have an idea which bills won’t budge versus which ones can be worked on. For example, I had massively horrible phone service for a few years. They refused to admit they had no coverage in my area, and I was stuck in a contract. So I would often call complaining about this, requesting credits. I got them most of the time.

Another thing I’ve seen a trend with, is that people have a habit of subscribing to multiple things that add up really quickly. This happens a lot when people cancel their cable service. They will often start ordering different streaming services that end up costing more than the cable did.


As always, I hope this helps. I’m not an expert, and I’m not rich. I’m just obsessed with saving money and sharing with others. Please let me know if you have any tips as well. I love hearing from everyone.