Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Too Cheap to Pass! Great Deals for the Holidays!

Hi everyone!  Hope you're doing well!

The holiday season can be a little stressful, especially when the purse strings are forced to stretch farther than my sweat pants!  Wouldn't it be nice to find cheap gifts and maybe even make a little bit of money in the process?

In the past, I've done another post about making money from home.  One of the websites I mentioned was Swagbucks.  I've spent most of today's evening accruing points  by doing a few of these offers which will make my Christmas shopping a little easier (ie free stuff and extremely good deals!).  Here's a few I'd like to share with you, if you're interested.

**Disclaimer: I'm not endorsing anyone or any company, nor am I compelling anyone to act.  This is solely a recap of my experiences.  Results are based on personal experiences.  Offers are subject to change.

Now that we got that out of the way; let's start!  You do need a (free) Swagbucks account and go through their website for the rebates.
or preferably use my reference url: 

**Updates below in orange
**Results of experiences in red!

  1. Winc (formerly Club W) is a wine subscription services.  If you're not at least 21, please don't bother!  
    • Deal: Sign up for the monthly subscription service (which can be cancelled by calling the company--a pain, I know, but bearable) and earn 3200 Swagbucks ($32).  Stay subscribed for a second delivery and earn another $20.
    • My experience:  So after clicking on the link, I was taken to Winc survey, which asks a series of questions to guess my palate and make recommendations.  I chose to let them pick 2 white and 2 red wines for me ($13 each standard for the offer).  The checkout screen said $36.xx which I was okay with for four bottles of wine... they only charged me $32.  And, I immediately received $32 back in Swagbucks.  I will trade it for a paypal gift card, ie, get my money back!  Now... I have to wait until I get my wine and cancel the subscription unless I realllllly like their wine.  Probably won't, because I don't drink a lot, but I know people who do so... free Christmas presents???  I just better not forget to cancel the subscription.  Putting that on my calendar.
    • Results: Wine came as described.  Packed very well.  I called and canceled about a week after it arrived, no hassle.  
  2. Graze Boxes.  You've probably seen the commercials. It's a snack box subscription.
    • Deal: Sign up for the monthly subscription of Graze (I know, I know, subscriptions are a pain) and earn $5.00.  Just pay $1 shipping for a FREE box with four FREE snacks!
    • My experience:  So after I did the offer, I went to my account and cancelled the service.  Easy peasy.  And, Swagbucks gave me 500 point so... $4.00 FREE after the $1 shipping. I may sound like a degenerate for cancelling these things without giving them a chance but honestly, if I really liked something that much, I wouldn't mind returning to it and paying the full price.  I just don't happen to feel inspired that often to shell out more cash.
    • Results: I made the mistake of cancelling the future subscriptions before my free box shipped/arrived so Graze gave back my $1 but I also didn't get the box.  I wanted it.  Darn!  Make sure to keep this in mind if you want the box.
  3. Home Chef Subscription.  Delivered Meals.
    • Deal: Limit one per household.  Place your first order and get $20 back.
    • My experience:  First and foremost go to the left toolbar on the Swagbucks home page and click on Shop. Then select Food&Drink and then find Home Chef.  This will give an additional 20% back in Swagbucks!  Select 2 Meals for 2 people so with the select offer of $30 off, checkout should total $19.80 ($10 of which is for shipping).  Now, Swagbucks will rebate $20 so that's two free meals. Plus, 20% cashback on the purchase (I haven't received this part but I heard others have). 
    • After purchasing, immediately go under Account and select the preferred meals in case the meals they selected aren't to your liking. AND, add an extra smoothie or fruit choice for $4.95 more.  Now that the subtotal of purchase is over $45, shipping is free.  What I mean is... free smoothie or fruit!  No additional charges.  It was in my case anyway and I took advice from other awesome Swaggernauts who had the same results.  
    • If you just want to try Home Chef and not go through Swagbucks for some reason, please use my referral link for $30 off: 
    • Results: Delivery was supposed to come today (12/09) and didn't.  I'm guessing it'll be tomorrow.  However, on 12/09 I was charged for the next shipment before I even received the first shipment.  So, I called in and had them cancel the charge and my account.  I didn't notice there was an option to delay delivery to every 4 weeks instead of 2, just FYI, which will give you more time to cancel.
  4. Schwan's Grocery Deliver (Under the Discover section)
    • Deal: Grocery Delivery Service.  Spend at least $70, get 50% off at checkout and $20 back.  This one isn't money making but for $70 worth of stuff for $15 is pretty great!
    • My experience:  I took the referral, bought some nice seafood I wouldn't otherwise.  They're like Costco prices, so I hope they're Costco quality.  I just ordered so I can't speak to quality.  I spent $70.96 total, with 50% off and add in taxes, total comes to $35.80.  Swagbucks gave me back $20.  And best of all, delivery is free.  This is not a subscription services as far as I know.
    • Another Swaggernaut mentioned this which I also tried and succeeded: At checkout, Schwan's will ask if you'd like to donate 20% of your purchase to a charity.  If you want to, google Schwans-cares.  The website provide a list of campaigns and fundraisers.  Find one you like and enter in the code.  Can only be one or the other.  I tried to enter one of each and it didn't work.  So, good food and donate money to charity, all for $15 total is not bad in my book!
    • Results: Delivery came today.  The driver made an odd comment that he'll see me again in two weeks.  I thought I must have misread the fine print, that this is a subscription service and plus he caught me off guard so I said... 'okay?'  Went on the website, doesn't say auto ship and then I researched online and found that many folks who have been Schwan's customers are not happy with their delivery tactics.  Even if you won't buy anything, they'll come by and hand a flier anyway every two weeks and ask you to purchase more of their stuff.  Some people have told the drivers to stop coming by and they still do it.  I don't care for coercion and if I had known, I would have reconsidered this offer.  Please, proceed with caution!
  5. Shell Fuel Rewards Program
    • Deal: Sign up and earn 300 swagbucks ($3.00)
    • My experience:  Once I verified my email, I received 300 swagbucks.  No commitment to use the card if you don't want to (as far as I know) since it's a rewards program.  I did not link any credit cards; it is not required.  Up to you but I'm paranoid so I didn't.
  6. Kiwi Crate (Kid's Activity Subscription Services)
    • Deal: Use promo Swag30 to get 30% off and also receive a rebate from Swagbucks for $18.
    • My experience:  I received the credit about 10-15 minutes after purchase.  Overall, I spent $13.95 and received an $18 dollar credit.  Good deal!  One disclaimer though is that Swagbucks mentioned if you don't really intend to enjoy the product, ie, cancel the subscription after receiving the credit, they (Swagbucks) have the right to revoke your account.  I am waiting until after my nephew receive his box before I cancel.  Unless he really loves it then being the sucker that I am, I might let the subscription run a while longer.
    • Results: Crate came but I haven't opened it.  Will leave that up to my nephew.  I canceled online just fine.
  7. Loot Crate (Nerdy items for nerds!  ie, me!)
    • Deal: Subscribe and earn $10 back... actually, mine said $13 is pending.  Won't receive credit until end of December.
    • My experience:  I did not use swag's promo code for $3 off,  I found a better one on retailmenot: GEEKMASSP.  This took off $4.95.  Total was about $14.95 and if Swag rebates $13 back end of December, not bad at all.  This is not free but a good chance to try out a subscription service that's pretty awesome. 
    • Disclaimer--Loot crate does have discrepancies on cancellation so be sure to read them.  I haven't purchased one for years so I don't know if they've changed.
    • Results: Lootcrate lets you cancel online now so that's good.  Customer support is really lacking.  It's one of those put in a ticket and we'll get back to you whenever we get to it, so if you need help with something, better have patience.
  8. Sign up for Gamefly 
    • Deal: Try out Gamefly subscription for two months for $10+tax and get back $20 in SBs.
    • My experience:  Offer credited immediately and I'm waiting on my first game now.  Just remember to cancel before the next billing cycle unless you want to keep it.
That's all I have for now.  I'll add if I see more.  Happy Money Making!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

A little late to post this but... Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Bargain Hunting!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Random Post: Hakuoki Kyoto Winds!


I just heard from an otome-fan on Twitter that the new Hakuoki Kyoto Winds otome by Idea Factory and Otomate will include <3 Sannan-san<3  (Sannan Keisuke) as an obtainable character along with Shinpachi, Yamazaki and three new characters!  Coming in 2017.

I love this series, despite the MC being annoyingly cliche.  The characters develop well, the art is amazing and the voice actors are on point.  Now, if you've read by bio, I mentioned having written fan-fic about a series which started me down this path of otome novels.  That fan-fic was a rewrite of Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom which focused on my obsession at the time of Saito and more importantly, Sannan-san.  I love his character, from the design, to the voice to the semi-tragic hero that he is.  A few attributes of the fan-fic that I wrote about Sannan-san was later embellished into the character San An from my series, Polaris.  Hence also the name similarity.

I didn't think Sannan would ever be an obtainable character from Hakuoki but I should have known for money, Idea Factory and Otomate are willing to go the lengths.  Thank you for that.  Am I being sarcastic?  A little only because the game is available on Vita.  I have a PSP, darn it!  Be nice if I had a rich uncle.

As much as I've come to love Sannan Keisuke, I might have to pass on this game for now until Vita becomes dirt cheap or when maybe they make a VR version and I can see the hotties in life-size.  That, I will shell out big bucks for!  Until then, I'll be looking for some nice vids on YouTube of other people playing his routes.

If you've played the Hakuoki series, who is your favorite?


Sunday, November 13, 2016

OKKO Sweet Romance: Office Lover 2 Ritsu Tachibana!

OMG!!!!  Ritsu Tachibana's route is out!  *Swoon!*

Have only read about 15 story tickets and um... he's not what I expected.  I thought Ritsu was the detached, aloof, semi cold person who would eventually show his kind side... typical tsundere based on my impression from Kakeru Yamagata's route.  Boy, was I surprised to see him kiss the MC just like that!  He pulled a very Kakeru move in the meeting room... maybe for a reason.  Undoubtedly, there will be more character development and I'm looking forward to seeing how he plays out.

What are your impressions of him?