How to Earn Rewards the Easy Way

There are many websites devoted to earning rewards, but if you want a simple one that works with what you already do, i.e. search the web, then check this out. Bing Rewards is a really simple rewards program in that you earn points just by searching the web through their site.

Sign up for Bing Rewards here!

Maybe you already use Bing to search the web.  If that’s the case, then just sign up through the link above and start earning rewards for your efforts.  Maybe you don’t use Bing for searching, but the ease of earning rewards with them is definitely a reason to switch.

Reward Options 

I have used Bing Rewards for over a year now.  In that time, I have earned rewards for Amazon and Tango.com. You can also get Skype credit, Xbox rewards, Hulu plus subscription, Starbucks, Redbox, Groupon, RedEnvelope, and more.  Or you can be generous and donate your points to charities.

Tango.com gives you a few options.  You can choose gifts cards, a check for the amount of your Tango dollars, or donate your dollars to select charities through that site.  There are tons of great options of how to spend your earned dollars there, that’s what I normally spend my Bing rewards points on.

Try It! It’s Easy!

I challenge you to try it for a little while and I think you’ll see that searching through Bing while getting gifts for using it is a pretty easy way to earn some fun rewards.

Have you tried Bing rewards? Have you earned any fun rewards, or are you aiming for any one in particular?

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How to Save on Your Super Bowl Party

Super Bowl (3 February, 2013)

While hanging out with friends and family enjoying the big game is a fun tradition, it can also be expensive depending how you celebrate the event.  So here are a few tips and ideas on ways to save on your Super bowl party.

Make Your Own Food 

Many restaurants and take-out places are offering Super bowl related deals.  However, many of them will still be more expensive than making your food yourself.  There are tons of websites with recipes to make for your Super bowl party, including over at Kraftrecipes.com that has a bunch of chili, wings, dips, and dessert recipes (just to name a few).  Look for sales on the ingredients you’ll need at the supermarket, many will be on sale now knowing that people are buying those items in preparation for the upcoming big day.

Ask Guests to Bring a Dish

If you’re having people over to watch the game with you, ask them to bring a dish or a beverage to share.  If each guest can contribute something small, it will add up to savings for you.  I would consider this justifiable since you’re hosting the party, wouldn’t you?

Save on Take-Out

If you can’t cook or no one else is coming who could bring a dish or you just want to order in, be smart about the deals offered.  Order what you really want and will actually eat.  It may seem like it only costs a few dollars more for the extra wings or the liter of soda, but be careful not to fall for what only seems like a good deal.  If you weren’t planning on ordering that much when you went in there, stick to the original plan.  Save your money and your waistline.

Get a New TV

TVs generally go on sale right before the Super bowl, so now could be a good time to snag a good deal on a new TV.  However, be smart and don’t buy a new TV just because it is on sale.  Only get one if you really need one.  Otherwise, you’re spending more than you should and you’re defeating the purpose of trying to save money.

Enjoy the game, your time spent with family and friends, and the yummy fried foods you probably shouldn’t eat too much of.  I’ll be watching the Puppy Bowl.  Until then, I’m getting a sneak peek here.

Who are you rooting for?  What’s your favorite part about the Super bowl? Or are you like me more inclined to watch puppies?

Free Deals and Discounts for Students

Photo Used Under Creative Commons from CollegeDegrees360

Photo Used Under Creative Commons from CollegeDegrees360


When you’re a student, you may be low on cash and want to find free stuff and deals to save you money.  Here are a few offers for students to save money on stuff you might need or what.

Amazon Student

Anyone with an .edu email address from their college and meets the other eligibility requirements can sign up for Amazon Student free for 6 months.   With Amazon Student you can get free 2 day shipping on eligible purchases and more perks like special student discounts now and then on certain products.

Do note: When the 6 month period is over you will be automatically upgraded (and charged for) Amazon Prime membership, so be sure to turn off the automatic upgrade unless you want to purchase that.  If you do want to continue the service, it is at a discounted price of $39 down from the normal price of $79 for Amazon Prime. Then you will be able to still receive the benefits of this service at a discount for the rest of your time in college (up to 4 years).

Sign Up for Amazon Student here!

Technology

Before you buy that laptop or software for your computer, be sure to check out some of the deals available for students.  Apple offers select discounts for students on their products if you qualify.

See if you qualify for education pricing at Apple

Microsoft also has special deals available for students, including development software you can download for free and a course and exam in programming.  If you’re into the computer programming and development thing, check out their offers.

Check out the free offers and deals from Microsoft

Textbooks and Study Tools

I recently heard about this new site called Boundless.com that offers an alternative or supplemental solution to those expensive college textbooks.  This site has gathered information on many subjects you can read for free, on many devices.  It also has study tools like flash cards, study guides, and quizzes to test your knowledge.  Note: I haven’t personally used the site, but it seems worth looking into for extra help on studying or saving on textbooks.  Also, I wouldn’t recommend using this instead of your required textbook, but maybe in addition to it for the help it offers with studying and accessibility instead of lugging books everywhere.  If you or someone you know has used this site, share that experience in the comment section below.

Check out Boundless.com

For more study tools for free on a variety of subjects, check out Quizlet.com.  Here you can search for the subject that you are studying and find flash cards, quizzes, tests, and games to help you learn the information on that subject.  I have only used it once to test it out, and I didn’t sign up.  If you or someone you know has used this site, share that experience in the comment section below.

Test out your knowledge at Quizlet.com

Movie Tickets

Some movie theaters offer special prices and deals for students.  For example, Thursdays at AMC Theaters are Student Day.  This means that high school and college students with school ID’s get a discount on their ticket price.  So if you are heading to the theater, wait till Thursday and bring your student ID to get the best deal.

See AMC Theater’s Special Offers

Public Transportation

In many areas, cities offer special student discounts on public transportation.  If you take the train, bus, or metro, see if your city offers any discounts.  Here are a few various state and city public transportation discount offers for students:

NJ Transit Student Pass (with participating schools)

Houston Texas Metro

LA California Metro (See Reduced Fares)

5 Ways to Save on Textbooks

5 Ways to Save on Textbooks

Photo Used Under Creative Commons from CollegeDegrees360

I’m a college student, and like many other students, I’m not rolling in dough.  So when I start a new semester, take a look at the syllabus, and see that I have to purchase at least 3 books per class at an average price of $150 a book, I start to sweat a little.  I mean, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have money just lying around or burning a hole in my pocket waiting to be spent on a textbook that I’ll only look at a few times.  So I do what I do best, dig out the loose change between the couch cushions, pinch those pennies, and find the lowest price out there on those required books.  So if you are a college student, will soon become a college student, or know someone who is a college student, this article is for you.

If you fall into any of the above categories, you will most likely have some idea that college textbooks can be quite expensive.  Like, “I’m going to have to start the Ramen noodle diet so I can afford my textbooks” expensive.  So to prevent your sodium from skyrocketing or your bank account from completely being depleted, check out these tips on saving on textbooks.

Buy Online – New or Used

The first tip is to scope out the best deal on your required textbooks.  The campus bookstore is convenient, but that convenience comes at a steep price. There are tons of online retailers selling new and used textbooks, but it’s a hassle to see who is selling what you need for the lowest price.  Use a website like bigwords.com that lets you type in the title, author, or ISBN of your required textbooks and shows you what online retailers are selling it and at what price.  This way you can get the best deal by only going to one site.  There are a few possible drawbacks.  First, make sure you are ordering the right book.  If you bought it at the college bookstore, it’s most likely what the professors told them to order.  If you buy it online, it might be an older version or special edition, so just pay careful attention to what you buy.  Second, find out first that it is all there.  Some used lab manuals or books with special access codes can often have pages ripped out or the code used and now invalid, so some things you just can’t buy used.

Rent Your Books

If you don’t mind returning the book at the end of the semester, you can rent the books you need, usually at a lower price than buying it new.  Just like the fact that a hoard of retailers are selling textbooks, it seems just as many renting them.  Bigwords.com also shows you which online retailers are renting the books you need, so check them out for this as well (or check out other book rental sites).  Some books are impossible to rent because you have to write in them or rip pages out, like lab manuals.  Generally, though, you will probably not need those textbooks ten years from now, so you can rent them.  Just be sure to remember to return them on time or you’ll be charged extra.

The Library

You may have noticed from earlier posts of mine that I love the library, and here is another reason.  Whether it is at your local public library or more likely your college library, sometimes you can find the books you need there.  Sometimes a college library will put books on reserve for students to come and read in the library (not check out and take with you).  This way you might be able to get away with not actually buying the book, but still being able to use it.  The draw back on this, though, is that you can’t write/highlight/underline in a library book or possibly even take it with you if it is on reserve.  But if you are ok with not doing any of those things, then this is the cheapest way to go, free!

Share a Book

If you know a person in the same class as you, or someone who has already taken the class, see if they will share their book with you.  (Or at least split the cost).  You give up a little freedom by not being sole owner, but you’ll save a little money if you’re lucky enough for this method to work out for you.  (Note, though, that if you are getting a book from someone who already took the class that you are getting the right version and that there isn’t anything missing like lab pages or access codes.)

Sell Your Books

After the semester is over, you can possibly recoup some of your expense by selling back your textbooks.  Head over to bigwords.com again, because they also offer the service to show you who is buying your books and for how much.  Usually, the sites buying your books will pay for shipping.  Then, sites like Amazon.com will give you credit on their site, while other sites like textbooks.com will pay you by check or PayPal.  Sometimes a textbook loses some value when a new edition comes out, so try to sell them as soon as you can.

(I noticed I mentioned bigwords.com numerous times in this article, so I better mention that this isn’t an ad for them nor am I getting paid for this. There are many other worthy sites out there for buying, renting, and selling textbooks.  I just have used this site in the past and their service was useful in getting a lower price on textbooks then at the college bookstore.  So I thought I’d share them with you!)

What are some ways you save on textbooks? If you finished school, do you ever occasionally still use any of your old textbooks?