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Shopping and Services

Coupons and Cashback

I have been using Honey and Rakuten for years. You can use it several ways, but the easiest for me are the Chrome plug-ins. When you get to the checkout page of any website, click the Honey button. It will check out any coupon codes available to get you the best price possible. They also often have 1-3% rewards available. Next, I click on the Rakuten button. If the website allows it, Rakuten will activate and provide (typically) 1-3% cashback.

With Honey, I periodically check my rewards and redeem as a gift card. I always choose Amazon since I spend so much money at Amazon, but you can choose from tons of options.

Rakuten deposits money (yes money!) directly into your PayPal account on a monthly basis.

I have earned tons of cashback with Honey and Rakuten . They are 100% free! All you have to do is sign up, add the plug ins to Chrome (or use their apps if you shop on your phone), then start earning cashback.

Meal Kit Delivery Service

I have tried ALL of the meal delivery services. Some did not have the types of meals I wanted, some got boring after a few weeks (always the same things), some had poor ingredients or bad customer service. One meal delivery service stood out from them all: Sunbasket.

Sunbasket uses organic ingredients. They have the BEST customer service. They have tons of wonderful recipes that you get to choose from every week. This was my favorite part. I am pretty food adventurous, so I liked the variety offered. If you are more food conservative, they have those recipes as well. But for me, I like to cook Persian, Peruvian, Chinese, French, and everything in between! It kept me from getting stuck in a recipe rut of making the same dishes over and over. It also took the work out of weekly meal planning and ingredient shopping. You can make your weekly recipe selections from their large weekly library of options, or you can set your meal preferences (gluten free, low carb, vegetarian, etc.) and let them choose for you.

Great food. Easy (and easy to follow) recipes. It’s a no brainer. Go sign up for Sunbasket – you won’t be disappointed!

Clothing Subscription

If you are too busy to shop for clothes, or like me, get stuck in a wardrobe rut (I tend to always select the same styles and colors), try a clothing subscription service. Stitch Fix allows you to not only enter your sizes, but curates clothing selections based on your color, style, and price point preferences. Your personal shopper will knock it out of the park. Some of my very favorite (and most complimented-on) clothing pieces are from Stitch Fix. Anything you don’t want goes back in the bag sent with your clothes. They send you a shipping label as well. Slap it on, throw it in the mailbox, and your return is done!

Stitch Fix also offers shopping services for kids and men. Get a wardrobe refresh for the man in your life or new pieces for your kiddo.

Get a monthly (or every other month, or every three months) Stitch Fix, pause it anytime, enjoy free shipping and returns. Guaranteed you’re going to love it.

Jewelry Rental

Now this one is a bit dangerous, but I’m going to mention it anyway: Rocksbox. Rocksbox is a jewelry rental service. It’s $21 a month. To start with, they send you three pieces of jewelry with return packaging and label. When you want new pieces, send them back, and they will immediately send three more. You don’t have to keep them for a full month. Keep them for a week then send them back and get three more if you like. You can also keep them as long as you want (as long as you keep paying the monthly membership fee.)

Here’s the dangerous part, your $21 a month also serves as a credit. Like one of the pieces in your Rocksbox so much you want to keep it? Well, you can use that $21 towards the cost of a particular piece. In other words, you can buy any of these pieces you are renting. And I’m telling you right now, almost every Rocksbox I have received had something I just couldn’t send back and had to buy. You’ve been warned!

Financial Investing

Sadly, I am not a stock market wizard. But I don’t want my money to sit in my checking account earning a meager amount (although earning something is better than nothing – side note: I bank with Ally who offers interest on their checking and savings! Highly recommend them.)

So, I decided to put some money into SoFi to see what I could do with it. Their Active Investing tagline is “Become an investor without commissions.” Setting up my SoFi account was free and easy. I have a moderate investment strategy selected with them. From there, it’s hands off for me. I let SoFi manage the money, and so far, I’ve seen a good return on my investment. Better than my CD.

If you are more hands on, SoFi allows you to manage your money yourself. They have tons of options for trading and such. Give it a try – put that money to work.

Photo/Video Storage and Backup

Like most people these days, we take tons of pictures and videos on our phones. Since my son is an actor, we do a lot of self-tapes (where we record auditions from home to send into casting.) I love Amazon Photos because it is very affordable (there is a free option, but I have so many photos that I selected the paid plan which gives you more storage space.)

The phone app will automatically upload your photos and videos from your phone into your Amazon Photos storage (you can turn this off if you want, but I like to auto-upload everything so I have piece of mind that my files are backed up at all times.) Your plan also allows the same for your family. So my husband and son can also make sure all of their photos are backed up (and shared among us if we choose to do so.)

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