I'm the blessed mama of 4 daughters. I'm a homeschooling, Jesus-praising mass of contradictions. Addictions include coffee, chocolate, social media, school supplies and great quotes.

Pinecone Research

Online surveys can be an easy way to earn a little “fun money”.  I have done surveys for Pinecone Research for nearly ten years and I believe they are one of the best online survey companies.  They do not accept applications for new participants very often, but they are currently accepting applications at http://www.pineconeresearch.com/signup/ds710.aspx*.  There is a limit of one registration per household.

Once you have been accepted, they occasionally send short household questionnaires to determine if you qualify to complete a survey.  There is no compensation for completing these questionnaires, but your name is entered into a sweepstakes for a cash prize.  When you qualify to complete a survey, you will receive an e-mail with the link to the survey and the survey deadline.  Surveys generally take 20 minutes or so to complete and the compensation is usually $3.00.  Occasionally, you may also be asked to try a product sample and give your opinion of it, which can be very interesting.  The best part is that in addition to providing the product, they also provide compensation for completing the follow-up surveys.

If you have any questions, you may contact Pinecone Research directly at scott@pineconeresearch.com.

*Note:  This is not a paid referral program.  I have had nothing but good experiences with Pinecone Research and want to share that with anyone who may be looking for a great, reliable survey company to work with.



Here we go again

Today is the first day of my college semester, so I’ve spent my morning getting organized. Assignment due dates are recorded on the calendar, syllabi are printed and the online components of my courses have been activated. Now it’s time for me to get to work. My oldest daughter’s courses begin next week, so she is enjoying her last breath of freedom. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we saved about one-third by purchasing used textbooks through Half.com, Amazon and Alibris. Our final textbook arrived this morning and I am very pleased. Every item we ordered came on time and was exactly as described. All of the activation codes we received were unused and registered without a hitch too. I think we just had a spring semester miracle!

I’m done shopping for now, but Half.com just put out another coupon that might help some of you. Code BTS01 is worth 12% off a textbook rental or purchase of $25 or more. The code expires January 21, 2013.

Have a great semester!

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. ~Albert Einstein

Half.com is ringing in the new year with another coupon. Coupon code BTS13 is good for 15% off a purchase of $40 or more. The code expires January 7, 2013.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the code BTS12 is good for 12% off a $25+ textbook order; it expires January 3, 2013.

Happy shopping!

Spring semester is nearly upon us, so it’s curriculum-shopping time again. My oldest daughter and I are both in school, so I know just how large and painful a dent this can create in the wallet. If you have the time to shop around, you’ll find that there are much cheaper ways to get textbooks than going to the bookstore on campus.

I start curriculum shopping by visiting the school bookstore’s website. Look up the textbook information for each class and take note of the title, author, edition and if a CD or online access code is required for the class. If you’re very fortunate, you’ll find the ISBN number there as well. The ISBN number is the most foolproof way to assure you are purchasing the correct materials. Once you have this information, you’re ready to begin shopping.

A couple of quick notes about those online access codes:

Access codes are not reusable (or transferable, to my knowledge), so if you find a great price online, be sure that the code is unopened. If the listing does not mention the code or CD, always assume that it will not be included. That can make a huge difference in price — some access codes cost $100 or more.

I have always trekked to the campus to purchase the codes that I was not able to purchase with my textbooks, but I made a discovery last semester. I plopped down $69 for an access code and was presented with a legal-size envelope which contained a generic-looking printed code. When I checked online, I could have saved nearly $20 by purchasing the code directly from the publisher’s website. Ugh! Live and learn.

Here are some of my favorite sites and a few tips for purchasing curriculum:

Amazon is usually my first stop. If I wasn’t able to get the ISBN number from the school bookstore’s website, I can usually find it there. (Always make sure you are purchasing the correct edition.) I check for used copies in ‘Very Good’ or better condition to get an idea about pricing because they are less likely to be highlighted.

Half.com code BTS12 is good for 12% off a $25+ textbook order; the code expires January 3, 2013. (The code can only be used once per customer. I placed a large order and one item was cancelled by the seller. When I re-ordered another copy of the cancelled item, I e-mailed them and asked if they would apply the code to the second order as well and they refused.)

Alibris is another good source for textbooks. Retailmenot.com has a lot of coupon codes listed for Alibris. I was able to get $8 off my $60+ purchase, which was enough to cover shipping.

All told, this semester I was able to save over $250 by shopping the sites above. That is just over 30% less than the prices listed by the school bookstores. Do you have any curriculum-shopping tips to share? What is your favorite site for finding deals on curriculum?

(Edited to include Half.com response)

Great Deals at Crest Foods

I love a great deal, and I found lots of them at Crest Foods in Midwest City this morning.  They have some really great sales on Proctor & Gamble products.  A lot of their Cover Girl makeup is half price — $2.29 for mascara and lipstick is a great deal any day.  To make it even better, I had coupons for $3/2 CG products and $5/2 lip products.  I got 2 lipsticks and 4 mascara for only $3.16 + tax!  Color me happy!   I know there are lots of Cover Girl coupons out there, so there are lots of great deals to be had.

Here are some of my other finds:

  • Disney/Marvel kids’ vitamins $2.29 ($1 coupons available)
  • Zyrtec (30 count) $12.48 ($4 coupons in last week’s paper)
  • Keebler Soft Batch Cookies 99¢ (printable coupons for $1 off 2)
  • Hi-C drink boxes, 10-pack 99¢ (no coupon, but still a great deal)

What was your best deal this week?



Autumn has finally appeared in Oklahoma.  This is my favorite time of the year for many reasons.  The air is chilly and the leaves have started changing to glorious shades of orange, gold and red.  I love breaking out my cardigans and fuzzy socks and smelling the fragrance of apple and pumpkin-laced treats.  Oh, and I love shopping for school supplies, which brings me to one of my favorite movie quotes:

Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. ~ “You’ve Got Mail”

I especially love this time of year because it was in autumn that I met my match.  Late one September I went to the State Fair with a guy from work.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that he was the mate God made just for me.  We fell in love and when he proposed 5 weeks later, I happily accepted.   We celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary last spring.  We’ve been through plenty of ups and downs during that time and although marriage isn’t always easy, it is always worth it.

So tell me, what is your favorite thing about autumn?

Amazon Mom code

I have a 20% off code from Amazon Mom that is up for grabs on the Blessedx4girls.com Facebook page.  Click the Facebook link on the right side of this page for details.

%d bloggers like this: