Monday, July 30, 2007

Good advice from: Jim's Rants: With some common sense, you can save money.

Here's a link to a good blog post about saving money. I left a comment there if you'd like to read it. There's also a link to another good site with 101 ways to trim your budget.

Jim's Rants: With some common sense, you can save money.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Make money with Affiliate Marketing - AdBrite

If you have a website or blog, you probably already know about affiliate marketing. But are you actually making money from it? Affiliate marketing programs are programs where you promote someone else's site/product/service & they pay you a small fee for your efforts. Basically they are paying you to advertise on your site.

There are many programs out there, and I'm not sure which ones are the best, but I do know from my experiences which ones I prefer to use (or not use). I've tried Google's Adsense, but didn't make much, not even a penny a day. So I dropped them and switched to AdBrite and now I make 5 to 15 cents a day, which is pretty good since I don't get a lot of traffic (averaging 50 visits/day for each of my 3 blogs) . But I just started blogging, and I'm hoping to get the numbers up to 50 cents/day & 500 visits/day in the next few months.

AdBrite is a good site that offers 3 kinds of advertising: Text, Banner, & Active Interstitial ads. Just sign up, describe your site, customize your ad, then wait & see which companies decide to advertise on your site. The great thing about AdBrite is that when someone clicks on "Your Ad Here" they get sent to a page with statistics about your site, and they can bid on your advertising space. This is good because the bidding drives up the ad price & you make more money. AdBrite also pays you for referrals. For buying or selling of ad space referred by your site, you get 50% of the profit for the 1st 3 months, 10% for the next 9 months.

There are other affiliate programs out there, and I will write about them in future posts. I will also update you on my profits from my all my affiliate marketing programs.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Money Saving Tips from my Vegas Vacation


So, I have returned from "Sin City" - Las Vegas, and I have many money saving tips to share with you. Unfortunately, I didn't win any big jackpots, I actually lost money gambling. BUT, I did manage to save money on food & entertainment while I was there.

First of all, I always go to Vegas during the week because the room rates are much less expensive than the weekend, and it's also less crowded during the week. On this particular trip, I got the best deal ever - my room was 100% FREE. That's right, I said FREE. How did I get a free room in Vegas, you ask, well it's easier than you think. I sign up for Player's Club cards at the casinos I visit often. Player's club cards are cards that you use while you gamble (slots, table games, poker, or bingo - each casino has different rules & rewards) and the casino tracks your gaming and rewards you with free stuff (comps) or with cash. The free stuff can be anything from a free T-shirt, to a free buffet, to a free room at their hotel, or more. I am a member of the Harrah's Resort club which includes the following hotels: Harrah's, Rio, Flamingo, Paris, Caesar's, Bally's, & more. I got 2 nights free at the Flamingo hotel which would have normally cost around $75 per night, so I saved roughly $150 just in hotel costs.

If you don't have these deals available to you, then I would suggest checking the hotel websites directly for their best deals and any promotions they might be offering. A good time to go to Vegas is immediately before or after a holiday. Those days are usually the cheapest. I never use a travel company/agency to book my reservations. It's usually cheaper to book everything yourself directly with the airline (if you fly) or with the hotel. That way you can shop around and get the best deal that airline or hotel is offering.

Whenever I go to Vegas, I always stop at State line (the Nevada-California border) to have their Jackpot Special breakfast. I leave really early in the morning so that I get to the border around 9am (driving time approx. 4 hours). The Primm Valley and Buffalo Bill's casinos both have the Jackpot special which costs $3.75 for 3 eggs, hash browns, & toast. A good, cheap breakfast to start the day.



At the South Point Hotel & Casino, I found a good, cheap all you can eat buffet for $6.45 for breakfast and $7.45 for lunch. Dinner is a bit more, at $12.95 but I haven't tried that one, so I can't comment on the quality. The breakfast has a large variety of "breakfast foods" but it also has Chinese and Mexican foods as well. The lunch buffet is also good for the price, which includes shrimp, and Italian food, as well as Chinese, Mexican & other foods.

For the rest of my Vegas money saving tips be sure to come back & visit my blog. I will post the rest of my Vegas tips in the near future.

And to read more about my Vegas Vacation visit my other blog - Weezy's 2 Cents where I will be posting some of the best pictures from my trip.

Or click HERE to see my gallery of pictures.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Vegas Vacation

I'm leaving for my Vegas Vacation tomorrow, so I won't be posting for a few days. But when I return, I'll share some of my money saving tips while visiting Las Vegas. That's right, you can vacation, gamble, drink, party like a rock star, AND save money at the same time. I'll tell you how... When I return.

Wish me luck!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Buy Generic & Save Money

You can save a lot of money by buying generic (or store brand) products instead of the name brand. Generic products are less expensive and are usually just as good as name brands. I've even heard that some generic products are the exact same product as the name brand, but without the fancy name brand label.

Here are some good examples of cheap, but good generic products. These are some examples of what I buy on a regular basis. You may or may not have the same opinions on these particular generic products, but if you haven't tried them, I would suggest trying them at least once. You never know, you may end up liking them, and switching over for good.

  • Canned & frozen fruits & vegetables
  • Paper products like paper towels, tissues, and toilet paper
  • Plastic bags - sandwich, snack size, freezer bags
  • Cereals
  • Laundry detergent
  • Crackers, chips, & nuts
  • Soda (unless you're addicted to Coke or Pepsi products)
  • Bottled water (again, unless you're addicted to your brand of water)

Here are some generic products that I believe are not always better than their name brand equivalents:

  • Trash bags
  • Canned soups
  • Tooth paste
  • Soap - hand soap or body bars
  • Shampoo & Conditioners
  • Antiperspirant/Deodorant
  • Hand & face lotions

Please feel free to comment on your experiences with these products, or add new ones the the list.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

How I Saved $5.25 for Dinner last night + I have leftovers

So I just wanted to share with you how I saved money last night when I went out for dinner. I went to a local shopping center and ate in the food court. I had a coupon for Daphne's Greek Cafe which was buy one plate, get another plate for 50% off. My plate was $7.50, and so I saved half of that, or $3.75. And I didn't order a drink, I got a cup for water, so I saved another $1.50. And I didn't eat the whole thing, so I had the rest for lunch today. $3.75 for a Gyro plate (basically 2 meals) - 1 dinner & 1 lunch at work. That's roughly $1.88 per meal - what a bargain!

Whenever I eat out I know it will be somewhat expensive, so I always try to find the best bargain for the price. That is, I try to get enough food for that meal, plus at least one other meal, but for a good price. Pasta dishes, Mexican food, and Chinese food, are usually good large meals that give me lots of leftovers. I love saving money, but I also like having something quick & easy, and ready for me to eat the next day at work.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Recycling update 7/16/07 = $2.75


So, I just recycled a bunch of my plastic bottles and got $2.75. This was about 2 weeks worth of recycling. I don't buy bottled water or sodas, but I get them from other people who do (mostly at work). Because I live in California, we get $0.05 for each small bottle & aluminum can we recycle, and $0.10 for each large bottle/can (small = less than 24 ounces, large = 24 ounces or larger). And you can also recycling other materials too (usually by weight): glass, newspaper, computer paper, aluminum, and other scrap metals. Each state is different so check your state's recycling programs. Some states pay more or less than the 5 & 10 cents California pays.

If you can collect a lot of bottles/cans from wherever you can find them, you can really make a lot of money. Like I said, I usually get them from my co-workers, but you can also find them in parks, or on the street, as people just like to throw their bottles/cans anywhere, littering up our neighborhoods.

Recycling is really a great way to help the environment by reducing trash and saving energy. It takes less energy to recycle an old bottle into a new one, than it takes to create a new bottle from scratch. Less energy wasted means less pollution/toxins that are released into the air, and thus keeping the air we breath nice and clean.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Use your credit card to Make Money

A great way to earn extra cash or bonuses like airline miles is to get one of those reward credit cards. These cards can be very rewarding if you use them wisely. I'm not saying that you should go out there and get a bunch of credit cards and buy, buy, buy, just to make money. I am saying that if you have a credit card, and are responsible enough to pay off your bills each month, then why not be rewarded for it.

There are tons of reward cards out there, so make sure you get one that doesn't have an annual fee, or high interest rates. If you travel a lot, get a card that offers free hotel rooms, or free airfare. If you just want free stuff, there are cards that allow you to accumulate points to use towards free electronics, DVDs, sporting equipment, & more, or just get a gift card to your favorite store or restaurant and buy what you want. And then there are cards the reward you with cold hard cash. But these cards usually have low limits on the amount they payout each year.

Bankrate.com is a good site for comparing credit cards. You can search by different categories like rewards, lowest interest rates, airline miles, and no-fee cards. Also remember that with some credit card companies, you can negotiate for a lower interest rate. But you have to ask, and be persistent. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 tries to get them to give in.

I have the Citibank mastercard which gives me points that I usually use to get gift cards to Target, or one of my favorite restaurants (note: you can get gift cards for free and give them out as Christmas or Birthday gifts; your friends and family will never know).

Some of the Citibank cards even give you a bonus for signing up. Usually anywhere from $50 -$100 (they give you 6,000 - 10,000 points which you can use to get $50-100 in free stuff.)

Just remember that you really only need 2 -3 credit cards in total, and please do not max out your cards to the point that you feel like you can't recover. Know your spending limits and never spend more than you can afford to pay. I always use my credit card so that I can accumulate free stuff, but I always pay off the balance each month. This is the best way to use your credit card, so please try it!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Money Saving & Environmental Tips



Here's a few tips that can save you money, make you money, and help the environment, all at once.

  1. Recycling - depending on where you live you can get $0.01 - $0.10 per plastic bottle, glass bottle, or aluminum can. Or if you go by weight you can also recycle these items and some types of scrap metals & newspaper.
  2. Using energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL'S) instead of the old incandescent bulbs can not only save you money on energy bills, but will also help the environment by using less electricity. Buy them in bulk (6-8 pack) at warehouse/club stores to save even more.
  3. Turn off lights, computers, televisions, & other electrical devices when not in use.
  4. Unplug any electrical devices you don't use on a regular basis. Even though they are not on, they still suck a small amount of electricity just by being plugged in.
  5. Unplug your cellphone charger, or any other charging device. It only takes a second to plug it in, and this will save a lot of energy over the long run.
  6. Set your air conditioner thermostat at a higher temperature than you usually set it at. At least 1 or 2 degrees higher will make a big difference in the amount of time your AC is running. You won't even feel the difference in temperature, but you'll probably see a difference in your electric bill (if you also do the other energy saving tips)

All these tips will definitely save you money in the long run. If you do them all, you should definitely see a difference in your electric bill. Which means money saved for you, energy saved for all of us, and the beginning of a global trend towards improving the environment for all mankind.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Safe Summer Fun

Just a little reminder to have a safe summer. Be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen, minimum SPF 45 for people with sensitive skin & burn easily, SPF 30 for the rest. Also, make sure to reapply often, especially if you'll be swimming. For those heavy sweaters out there (don't worry your secret is safe with me), make sure you also reapply often since sweat can wash away the sunscreen just as easily as the water you swim in.

And while I'm on the topic of sweat, make sure you rehydrate yourself by drinking plenty of fluids. You'd be surprised at how fast you lose water on a hot day. Just because you don't feel the sweat dripping down your back, it doesn't mean that you aren't sweating. Be sure to drink at least 8-10 glasses (8oz. glasses) of water per day. (That's 64-80 oz. per day). And drink more if it's hot and you think you've been sweating more than usual. Some signs of dehydration are fatigue, headaches, and dry mouth. But don't wait until you feel the signs, keep ahead of the game and drink plenty of water - start as soon as you get out of bed. I like to drink 2 glasses of water before I eat breakfast, that way I know I'll get a fresh start and avoid those nasty headaches.

And please, try to drink plain water, not those power drinks that add sugar and other junk to the water. Just pure, clear water is the best. As I like to say, "You wouldn't wash the outside of your body with any thing but clean, clear water, then why wouldn't you do the same for the inside of your body."