Category Archives: Financial

A Few Updates

A lot has been going on so I haven’t had a lot of time to even grasp my thoughts long enough to share anything here with anyone. But, I have actually been doing a lot of updates around my site.

I added a new page called Smile Sparkle Save. It’s really just a table of contents type of page for the financial section of my site. I’ve made quite a few updates throughout those pages as well. They include Financial Basics, Extra Money, Savings Tips, Scan Receipts, and Freebies.

I also recently started adding a few picture pages. If anyone isn’t aware, I used to do a lot of photography and promoting of several local bands in my area. That’s how this site even originated. It’s focus has since changed quite a bit. At first, I moved anything LadySkullshine related to a tiny section on the About page. After a little bit of thought though, I decided that I would add a bunch of my old pictures. I have a lot more to add when I have a moment.

Please take a look around and check out the new look so far. Let me know what you think. If you get lost or want to discover more pages, visit the Site Map.

Thank you!
– LadySkullshine

My Favorite Extra Money Apps

I realize there is quite a bit of information on my site that may be overwhelming for some just getting started with these types of things. I thought I would focus on earning gift cards today and also showcase my favorite apps.


An easy fun start would be by playing games. As you play, the app tracks your gaming activity and you accumulate points towards gift cards. My favorite app is Mistplay. So far, I’ve made $120 from it.

Then you have your passive apps, ones that take minimal effort while you are multitasking. They may have other tasks like installing other apps, completing offers, surveys, and so on. My favorites include Giftloop ($40) so far, Lucky Money ($28), and MobileXpression ($75).

Surveys are a bit more involved. You can really make a decent amount of money with these. I have a hard time focusing so I fall short here. My favorites are Crowdtap ($40), and YouGov ($115).


For a lot more information about each of these app, please see the Extra Money page.


Rebate Rewards

I just added Rebate Rewards to the Freebies page. I’ve been using them for about a month. Right now, they are one of my favorite sites to get items for free after rebate. I’ve received almost $300 in all sorts of things.

I just ordered my fourth foot rest. I love them! They have so many uses. I also got an apron with a skull on it, a fairy lantern craft kit, a back stretcher with posture corrector, cocktail shaker, thermometer, UV sanitizer, and more.

Payouts are done through a digital check via checkbook.io. It is then deposited electronically to your bank.

If you try them out, please use my referral link. Thank you!


YouGov Survey Site

I just redeemed points for another $50 Amazon gift card from YouGov. This has been my third payout over the past year, for a total of $115.

I even missed several surveys, so I would have actually made a bit more than that since they are pretty generous with points

YouGov has been listed on my site for a while now, and I have written about it in the past. I just felt the need to share again, since it’s proving to provide a decent amount of extra money for the time spent on it.

If you are interested in trying out YouGov, please use my referral link. I will receive extra points, which I greatly appreciate.

Just so that you are aware, there are two apps. YouGov is the Panel app for surveys, which can also be done on a computer. YG Pulse is the app that runs in the background of your phone, automatically accumulating points.

Thank you!


So Many Great Rebates

If you’ve been following my social media, you’ll notice that I’ve been getting a lot more free items lately. I get packages all the time from Amazon, and sometimes another retailer mixed in there too. I’ve been really fortunate to come across all of these great deals.

I used to write reviews in exchange for free items. I did this for almost a year, and obtained quite a few useful items during that time. October of 2020, my Amazon account was wiped. That means that I can no longer write reviews. Rightfully so, it was against their terms. I’m not upset about it. I do miss the higher value items and the sites full of things available. But, I thought for sure I wouldn’t be able to get any more free merchandise at all. I was so wrong.

Since I’ve stopped doing reviews, I’ve come across more sites and Facebook groups that do no require them. Pretty much every single day, I order at least one item. They actually offer a lot of useful things too.

Some of the things I’ve recently received includes a bracelet, necklace, back stretcher, posture corrector, stretching bands, tote bag, 5 gallon growing pots, large makeup organizer, dress, jaw exercisers, shirt, gaming microphone, rechargeable lighter, pet food bowls, mousepad, a vacuum, and so much more.

Not bad for just purchasing items, then getting most of my money back shortly afterwards. Most of the time, I get all but taxes and PayPal fees. Sometimes, that’s covered too. There’s a few tedious things involved, like providing your order number, advising when received, and keeping your own records so you don’t lose track. But, it’s all worth it.

If you want to learn more about getting free items using rebates, visit the Freebies page. If you are already familiar with this process, check my list of sites to see if there’s any you haven’t tried yet. I will be adding more soon.


Follow me on Instagram – 
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Facebook Group – Smile, Sparkle, Save!


I Love These Coupons Emails

I really do love getting these emails from Coupons.com.

This site have always been a great source for printing coupons. Most people don’t know that you can also link loyalty cards to your account. I have my Giant Food connected. You can then add digital coupons to your card through the site or the app. I always add all of them, just in case. Then these random emails pop up in my mailbox, like an added bonus.

Coupons.com is also another one of those sites that I use to scan my receipts. While some stores are linked, others are not. This includes Dollar General, Target, Walmart, and several more. So you’ll have to upload the receipt in this case. You also need to know the coupon that is being redeemed first because you’ll need to scan those items. It’s a little extra work, but you’re getting paid for it.

Why not sign up, if you haven’t already. If you have, make sure you’re taking advantage of all the savings.


For more like this, see the Savings Tips and the Scan Receipts pages.


Receipt Pal Cash Back

I just cashed out another $10 from Receipt Pal. That brings my total to $55 so far. That’s a decent amount just for scanning my receipts.

You can scan most receipts with the Receipt Pal app. They have sweepstakes that you automatically get entered into. You can connect multiple emails to be scanned for digital receipts. I also have my Amazon account connected.

Last I checked, you can get cards for Amazon, Target, Best Buy, iTunes, Lowe’s, Starbucks, VISA, and Walmart.

If you try them out, please use my referral code: PPTWMPZJ. Thank you!


For more apps like this, see the Scan Receipts page.


Scan Receipts Moved

In an effort to declutter my site a bit, I moved the section about scanning receipts to it’s own page. There’s a lot of sites listed and information included, so I thought it was justified. As an introduction, update, or a refresher, I am including all of the apps that I have listed on the new page here.

I haven’t talked much about scanning receipts lately. Basically, for those of you that don’t know, I save every single receipt from everything. I scan them with several apps, and then log them in my budget spreadsheet. It takes very little time, and I get some money back, so why not? So far, I’ve received $175+ in cash back using the following apps, and a few more I haven’t listed yet. I haven’t updated that amount recently, and the amounts listed below do not include my current pending balances. Over time, I’ve learned to wait to cash out because the payout is usually higher.


These are the apps that I am currently using to scan my daily receipts. I’m using a Droid phone, located in PA, USA. Please use my referral links so that we both may receive an incentive. Thank you!

  • Coin Out
  • Fetch Rewards
  • Ibotta
  • Inbox Dollars
  • National Consumer Panel
  • Receipt Hog
  • Receipt Pal
  • Swagbucks

  • Coin Out:

I scan every single receipt through CoinOut, and also email them my digital receipts as well. They give you random amounts for each one, and there is a daily scan limit. You can earn a $1 incentive if you let your balance hit $20, which is what I’m working on now.

Besides scanning receipts, you can also shop through the app for cash back, enter a contest, sign up for offers, and more.

So far, I have received $23 back.

Please use my referral code: TAYT94E.

  • Fetch Rewards:

Fetch Rewards lets you scan receipts, and also checks your email for digital receipts.. They have a minimum cash out of 3,500 points, which is $3.

This has been great for getting cash back from my Amazon purchases. I just added my Giant Direct as well. I’ve cashed out $41 so far.

If you want to try them out, please use my referral code: E4HFT.

  • Ibotta:

With Ibotta, you add the offer on the app, then scan your grocery receipts and then the items that you purchased. You will get cash back added to your balance. They have a cash out limit of $20.

Besides scanning your receipts, you can also get cash back from online shopping and buying gift cards.

I’ve earned $43.35 so far from this app. I’ve seen others making a lot of money back, if you do this right.

Now that I’m a lot more active with Ibotta, I’m inviting everyone to join my team for even more savings. You can use my referral link, or referral code “N32FQ“. When you do, I receive $10. We then work together towards more cash bonuses. Thank you!

  • Inbox Dollars :

Inbox Dollars is now taking receipts, but it doesn’t seem to work well for me. They are in a beta mode from what I was told.

This is also listed on the Extra Money page, under Surveys.

  • National Consumer Panel :

National Consumer Panel is slightly different. Instead of scanning your receipt, you scan each of your items. You will need to enter things like the price, if there was a sale, total receipt amount, if you used a loyalty card, and method of payment. They also accept things that are unable to be scanned, like take out and Amazon purchases.

NCP also has surveys to complete either on the app or online.

I couldn’t find any referral information, but still wanted to share since I just cashed out $25 from here.

  • Receipt Hog :

Receipt Hog has a minimum cash out of 1,000 coins, which is $5. Keep an eye out for an occasional survey too.

I’ve made $30 back from this one so far.

There is no referral information to share. Last I checked, they weren’t taking any new members.

  • Receipt Pal:

You can scan most receipts with Receipt Pal. They also have sweepstakes that you automatically get entered in. They also give you bonus entries.

So far, I have cashed out $35 in Amazon gift cards.

If you sign up, please use my referral code: PPTWMPZJ

  • Swagbucks:

Swagbucks has a section each for clothing, Hallmark, and everyday receipts. They need to be scanned within 14 days.

I’ve made $14 so far, but I’ve heard people making a lot more.

Swagbucks is also on the Extra Money page, listed under Surveys.


For any updates on Scanning Receipts, please see the new page.

More information like this, can be found on the following pages: Financial Talk, Savings Tips, Extra Money, and Freebies.


New Freebie Sites Added

I just added two more sites to the Freebies page. I have recently used them both and was successfully paid for the items I received from them. If anything, I paid tax and PayPal fees.

The first site is called Fully Rebate. None of their items require a review. They use your Facebook login and have a points based system. From what I understand, each item costs 50 points. In order to earn more points, you need to invite friends. So far, I have ordered a set of tactical flashlights and earbuds for $30 in products so far.

The other rebate site that I just added today is Noodle Campus. They have review and no review items available. I just started using this one. I received a set of resistance bands from them as one of their “giveaway items”. They paid me right away through PayPal. I just ordered a mouse/wrist pad today.

For additional sites like this, please see the Freebies page. I also have some tips for beginners. I will be adding a lot more information soon. Please check back for updates.


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!


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!


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.


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.


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.