Q-insights Online Study Pays $175

QI-logoNOslogan.pngQ-insights is another company where I do research groups, focus groups, and online surveys to earn extra money.

They have a lot of stuff in South Orange County, and less often in San Diego County. This upcoming survey takes place virtually!

They are currently recruiting for a 5 -day online community.

The study will run from Jan 16th- Jan 20th.  It will pay $175.00 as
thank you for your time.

If you are interested in participating please fill out the survey

Are New Years Resolutions on Your List?

I’m personally not doing any NYR this year, but. I know a lot of you are.

If you are on the fence and feel like it might cause you more stress than it’s worth, it’s ok to skip New Year’s Resolutions or anything else that causes undue stress. We all have enough stress in our lives.

If you want to do them, I did a round-up of the top ten NYRs in 2018 (for 2019) here. Some of the links within the articles may be outdated, but if you are looking for something specific, please feel free to reach out to me either via email, Instagram, or Facebook.

You may have noticed that my posting has slowed. I’m spending time with the kids this winter break, and I start my full-time job in the new year. I’ll still try to post here a few times a week, however, it won’t be daily unless I’ve got time. I’ll be posting more on Instagram and FB than blogging.


12/24/2022 Weekend Freebies and Deals!

Howdy friends! I hope your week went well. I had yesterday off and I tie-dyed some shirts and spent the day playing with legos with the kids.

The freebies and deals are late this week- but there are some pretty cool offers this week.

Don’t forget all of the 2022 Birthday Freebies! Make sure to check this article out and sign up for birthday freebies at least 2-3 weeks before your birthday. I will be updating for 2023 mid- January.


Free $5 for QDOBA
Free 5-Pack of Saved by the Bell Air Fresheners
5 Free L’Oreal Samples
Free 8×10 Photo Print at Walgreens
Free Ocean’s Halo Organic Wakame & Kombu Snacks
McDonald’s SZN of Sharing Daily Deals, Free Food & Merch
Free Subscription to HGTV Magazine
Free Key at a MinuteKEY Kiosk
Free AIR WICK Essential Mist Diffuser Starter Kit
Earn Extra Money for the Holidays from Home
Free L’Oreal Revitalift 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum Sample
Free NatureMary Face Oil Sample – Back Again


Vaseline Lotion ONLY $1.61 (Reg. $4.49)
Dyson Vacuums up to 40% Off
Target Last Chance for Gifts – Order by 6pm for Store Pickup
Lauren Conrad Jewelry Sets Only $7.99 + Free Store Pickup
Macy’s Gifts Under $15 + Free Store Pickup, Order by 3pm
Kohl’s Under $15 Last Minute Gifts + Store Pickup, Order by 1pm

Saving Money on your SDG&E Bill

Recently I posted on Facebook that I relented and turned on the heater. Usually, it’s not cold enough, and we are all big fans of cuddly sweaters and socks, and of course piles of soft blankets. The other night I wandered down the hall and the thermostat said 48 degrees- NOPE. I turned on the heater to 68 degrees.

Someone commented that they wish they could do that. I realize that being able to run the AC or Heater is a privilege that not everyone has. I was in that position a few years ago, and then I looked into some of the programs that SDG&E offers (and I’m sure other utility companies offer as well). These programs are on their site, but you really have to dig to find them.

Here are a few programs that might be helpful:

Medical Baseline Allowance Program:  The Medical Baseline Allowance Program provides an additional amount of gas and electricity at the lowest rates for residential customers.  It is not a discount or a rebate.

Anyone who uses certain medical devices or needs space heating or air conditioning because of a medical condition may qualify. CPAP machines are on the list of qualifying medical equipment, as well as about 20 other medical devices. All the information and application can be found here.

CARE and FERA programs: For families that receive various social services or are lower income, these programs can save you 30% or 18%, respectively. To learn more, and apply, click here. 

Energy Savings Assistance program: This is a great program that I took advantage of many years ago. An SDG&E contractor came out and did some work to make our home more energy efficient. They replaced the weather stripping on our front door, gave us energy-efficient floor lamps, and did a few other things. This program is for families that receive various social services or are lower income.

With natural gas prices rising this winter, if you are eligible for any of these programs, or think you might be, it is definitely worth taking a little time to check out these links.

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 5.02.27 PMAnd another way I try to save money is to use Ohm Connect.  We’ve been using it for a few years, and they text and/or email you when you should conserve more power due to the demand on the power grid. It’s a win-win situation: You save money on your power bill, and you earn points from Ohm Connect that you can cash out for Paypal, Amazon, or Target Gift Cards, OhmConnect store credit (to buy energy efficient thermostats, smart plugs, etc.) You can learn more about OhmConnect here. It’s for Southern CA, New York, or Texas Residents. We save about $200/year on our power bill and earn roughly $150 in rewards. It’s a nice little extra for minimal work.

12/17/2022 Weekly Round-up of Research Studies from PRC!

PRC aka iOpinion is a nationwide research study company. They are always running studies and looking for more respondents. They send me an email once a week with online studies they are looking to fill. Here are just a few:

Topic: Groceries
Incentive: $100
Who: Adults, 18+ years
Location: Online individual session
Duration: 5 mins pre-call / 60 minutes online session
Date(s): January 4-6, 2023
Take Survey

Topic: Beverages- January 2023
Incentive: $125
Who: Adults, 18-75 years old
Location: Comfort of your home
Duration: 60-min virtual shop along
Date(s): January 9-12, 2023
Take Survey

Topic:  Vehicles
Who: Adults, 25+ years old
Phase 1: 2.5-hour bulletin board – $325 incentive
Phase 2: 2-3 day adventure – $1,000+ stipend (only the best participants from phase 1 will be selected)
Phase 3: 3-hour in-home interview – $375 (if selected)
Location: Online and in-person
Date(s): January 9 – February 23, 2023
Take Survey

Topic: Gaming Consoles
Incentive: $150
Who: Adults, 18+ years old, who own and use a gaming console
Location: Online via webcam
Duration: 60 minutes
Date(s): January 10-11, 2023
Take Survey  

Topic: Personal Grooming
Incentive: $150
Who: Adults, 18+ years
Location: Online focus group
Duration: 5 min pre-call / 60 minutes online focus group
Date(s): January 10 – 12, 2023
Take Survey

Topic: Household Products
Incentive: $200
Who: Adults 18-64
Location: Online Discussion Board
Duration: 2-hour group + homework
Date(s): January 11 – 12, 2023
Take Survey 

Topic: Financial Services
Incentive: $150
Who: Adults, 18+ years
Location: Online individual session
Duration: 5 mins pre-call / 60 minutes online session
Date(s): January 11 – 17, 2023
Take Survey 








December 2022: New Healthy Freebies From Social Nature!

 If you are into Organic/Natural/Healthy products, then Social Nature is right up your alley. Sign up and apply to sample products that you are interested in. I get probably 1-2 products to sample each month. And most of the time it’s full-size products, not just a tiny sample.

Social Nature has rounded up products that are available to try at a local grocery store or mass merchandiser near you.  Apply to Try the products that interest you to see if you’re a match here.

Here are some of the new sampling opportunities:

      • Lactose-Free Sour Cream by Green Valley Creamery
      • Specialty Nut Butters by Wild Friends
      • Sustainable Dog Treats by Shameless Pets
      • Veggie Pasta by Veggiecraft Farms
      • Dips & Spreads by Litehouse
      • Fresh Frozen Dog Food by Nom Nom

And More!

And one of the things I love about Social Nature is that they don’t leave our friends with food allergies out.

There are sampling offers for Gluten-free, nut-free, and meat-free foods frequently.

Canadian Friends- You are in luck, there are sampling opportunities for you too! So if you love trying new products, check out Social Nature!

12/16/2022 Friday Freebies and Deals

I have some pretty exciting news coming up next week. It’s going to change some behind-the-scenes stuff for the blog.

Christmas and Hannukah are next week, and I know a lot of you have already started your New Years Resolutions, including how to save money. I’ll be posting a series of articles starting next week!

Don’t forget all of the 2022 Birthday Freebies! Make sure to check this article out and sign up for birthday freebies at least 2-3 weeks before your birthday. I will be updating for 2023 mid- January.


Free Tootsie Roll Pops at Select Stores
Free Custom Tabby Alert Pet ID Tags
Free Redbox DVD Rental
Free or Nearly Free Bottle of Wine
Verizon Up Rewards – Free $25 Verizon Gift Card
Free Stitch Your Own Penguin Pillow at JCPenney
Free Nina Ricci Fleur Fragrance Sample
Free Wildwonder Sparkling Drink After Rebate
Free Fixodent Sample
Free Snowball Game from Home Depot
Free Erborian CC Cream
Free 9oz Bag of Orgaanika Coffee
Free Glade Product
Free Element Eight Face Cream
Free Sample of Truvia Natural Sweetener
Free Sample of Seomou Moisturizing Face Mask
Free Energize Energy Pills
Free Sample of Downy Unstopables at Sam’s
30 Free Disney Movie Insiders Points
Free Ithaca Squeeze Hummus after Rebate


Free Medium Fries w/ Any $1 Purchase at McDonalds – Every Friday
Austin 4-Piece Hardside Luggage Set ONLY $99.99 (Reg $300)
Victoria’s Secret 40% OFF Sitewide + Shipping Deadline
Kate Spade Tinsel Flap Crossbody 79% Off
Kate Spade Flash Glitter Crossbody ONLY $59 (Reg $279)
Kate Spade – Up to 75% Off + Last Day FREE Shipping Deadline
Save up to 70% Off Boots at DSW + Free Shipping
Kohl’s 60% Off + Last Chance to Order in Time for Christmas
Coach Outlet 70% Off + 20% Off & Free Shipping in Time
Famous Footwear BOGO 50% Off & Last Chance Free Shipping
Last Day to Order – 2022 Christmas Gift Shipping Deadlines
Today ONLY: $3.97 Women’s Holiday T-Shirt at Old Navy

Coupons & Samples from Betty Crocker and General Mills!

If you are like me, one of the ways you save money is with printable coupons and free samples. I love free samples because they usually come with high-value coupons.

If you love to bake, check out these sweet offers from Betty Crocker and Pillsbury! Get exclusive coupons (up to $250 per year in savings), access to free samples (quantities limited – one per member), the hottest recipes, and more.

12/12/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI’m pausing our  Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box subscription until January as we have a lot going on, and I’m having a hard time cooking all the veggies each week.

Over the weekend I made roasted veggies using Urban Accents Veggie Roaster seasoning blends. I use the Citrus pepper for green beans, and carrots, Italian Squash, and onions. For the baby Brussels Sprouts I use the Balsamic Onion kit. 

I also made spiced apple sauce, which is a kid favorite.

We’ll be having those throughout the week with our dinners.

I cleaned out the fridge and reorganized the freezer, and this really helped me see what we have on hand.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. The big kid brings his lunch from home every day and the littlest buys her lunch at school about half the time. In California, all public schools provide breakfast and lunch for free.

Dinner: This week looks to be on the slower side, but we’ve still got a lot of holiday fun stuff going on. It’s cold here at night (for California), so I’m turning the oven on to make dinner with greater frequency.

  • Monday: Chicken Pot Pie (recipe later this week), roasted veggies

  • Tuesday:  Baked mac and cheese, Spiced Apple Sauce

  • Wednesday: Nuggets, fruit, crackers, and cheese (the typical Wednesday night dinner)

  • Thursday:  Shakshuka, Sourdough toast, fruit salad

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday: Breakfast for dinner (egg and veggie scramble, toast, fruit salad)
  • Sunday:  Leftovers

Recipe: Chicken Gnocchi Soup

A few weeks ago my mom and I cooked a dinner for 50 people as part of our local SCA group’s winter event. Most of the recipes were historical in nature, however, this Chicken Gnocchi soup is not strictly historically accurate for our group (pre-1603ish), as most people in Europe didn’t consume potatoes or potato gnocchi. The gnocchi did exist, however, it was usually made from cheese, flour, and eggs (example and recipe here).

This soup is a great complete meal. It freezes well and makes a great gift.

I’ve scaled down the recipe to make it a little easier to prepare for the average size family.

Chicken Gnocchi Soup Serves 6-8


  • 2 T. Butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 T. Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 cups of chicken cooked and cut into bite-size pieces- leftover rotisserie chicken is perfect for this.
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1 lb. package of Potato Gnocchi
  • 12 ounces of your favorite milk (I used 1/2 and 1/2)- evaporated milk is a good choice too.


  1. In a large stockpot, melt butter, and add onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until onions are translucent (about 10 minutes).
  2. Add garlic, and herbs/bay leaf- cook until fragrant.
  3. Add broth, and scrape brown cooked bits off the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add chicken, and simmer on low for about 20-30 minutes, allowing flavors to meld.
  5. Add in Potatoe Gnocchi and allow to cook on medium for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep gnocchi from sticking together.
  6. Finally, add in your milk of choice. Bring soup back up to a simmer for 10-ish minutes.

Serve topped with parmesan cheese. I also like this soup served with a salad like this one.

Dietary Substitutions:

  • If you are Dairy Free, use Dairy Free milk. I recommend nut milk like unsweetened almond milk.
  • If you are a vegetarian, use vegetable stock and substitute chicken for 1 can of rinsed and drained chickpeas/garbanzos.
  • If you are vegan, do the 2 above recommendations and saute veggies in olive oil instead of butter.
  • If you are Gluten Free, use GF Gnocchi, like these.