A Recap of Our January, Goal Progress, and a Big Announcement!

I can’t believe it’s already February! My apologies for not writing this earlier this month; work has been insanely busy with a few managers needing time off and so I needed to work longer hours than usual to keep up with everything.

January Recap:

Even among all the craziness, January was still a great month! The best man from our wedding, Luke, got married at the beginning of the month, so we started the year with a road trip down to the wedding. I found a great deal on hotels.com for a beautiful lodge near the ceremony.

Cedar Creek Lodge was absolutely wonderful! It was originally a conference and corporate retreat center, and they opened up to commercial bookings a few years ago. When we arrived, we learned that they decided not to put us in the more hotel-like atmosphere of the lodge, but instead upgraded us to our own little cottage! Had I been thinking ahead, I would have taken tons of pictures. These cottages are brand new. Everything was pristine and beautiful. The cottage had a king sized bed, plus a twin with a trundle, and vaulted ceilings. We had a screened-in porch with a table, chairs, and twinkly lights. The description stated that breakfast was included, and in the kitchenette we found a basket of fruit, cereal, granola, and muffins. In the mini fridge were bottles of milk and orange juice, and cartons of yogurt. We had supper at their Town Hall restaurant, where I had the best sweet potato fries and veggie club I’ve ever tasted. And I (barely) beat Peter at a game of pool. 🙂

We had just gotten cozy for the night when suddenly – we lost power! I called the number it said to call for emergencies, and the woman told me that there had been a sudden outage in the area and about 1,400 other people were also without power. She said we were welcome to leave and they were going to give us our money back for our stay either way. I told her that since it was 10:30pm, we didn’t know where we were, and we have a toddler, we would stay. We took the blankets off the twin and trundle and that kept us plenty warm. The power turned on again around 7am, and the heater was very welcome. We are already talking about coming back this summer to stay there and enjoy their saltwater swimming pool.

2017 Goals Progress:

Personal Goals

Complete the 15 Days to a Healthier You challenge in January  This was so beneficial for me. It was much more holistic than I had anticipated and I’ve really been mindful of more aspects of health since this course. I’m drinking more water, processing emotions (something that is very difficult for an ESFP personality type like me since we prefer to be happy all the time, even if that means that we have to ignore issues or just hope they go away). Crystal will be hosting another challenge later in the year; be sure to sign up to be notified for the next round!
Complete 2 yoga challenges and 1 CouchTo5k challenge
Quit coffee for the month of January. I did it! I can’t tell if I have any more energy than usual, but coffee is back to being a treat that I choose to enjoy rather than need to survive. It’s more fun to have coffee with Peter on the weekends now that I’m not depending on it to wake up.

Family Goals

Save a certain amount (I will update you all on our progress by %). More on this in a minute.
Take an actual family vacation.
Find a meal plan system that works for us and stick with it. I’m making slow progress with this. We decided that it would save us money to travel 35 minutes each way to head a couple towns over to the nearest Aldi, so we tested this theory on Friday. We were able to get 25-30% more food for the same amount of money that we normally spend each week at Walmart! This week I’m looking forward to marinated pork with roasted brussel sprouts,  spaghetti with meatballs, and quiche. We were able to get 3 dozen eggs for $1 less than 1 dozen here at Walmart! I couldn’t believe it! I’ve missed Aldi so much!
Grow a garden. Not quite the season to check this off yet, but I am in the planning stages of what I want to grow. 

Business Goals

Get my blogging/writing done early before my family wakes up. I love blogging, but I do not want it to interfere with family time. I’ve been doing well at this, but when I’ve been getting to work at 7:30 and not getting home till 5, I’ve been too tired this week to get up earlier.
Complete 2 Pinterest improvement challenges. Keep track of numbers before and after to see if it’s making any difference.
Stick to an organizing system for income and expenses.
Transition to a different hosting platform for the blog.  Done! Now hosting through Siteground, and their customer service is amazing!
Post in CHL at least 4 days/week. This needs to change to 2-3 for the rest of the year. I love writing, but as I wrote earlier, I’ve found a better balance if I take a couple days off writing to spend improving the site, focusing on Pinterest, or writing articles for other sites.
Send at least one newsletter a week (be sure to subscribe! I share what I’m learning, what kinds of fun things we discovered, and good deals if I find them). This happened once this month. I’m thinking these will be a Thursday or Friday night task.
Submit at least one freelance/guest blog post every week. I submitted one in January.

Announcement:

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know this already. On January 6th we found out we are expecting! After two years of struggling with an inability to gain weight, I’ve finally found something that works. I was able to stabilize my metabolism and I think that had a lot to do with being  able to carry another baby. We are currently 8 weeks, due in mid September. No real food aversions right now, but I have noticed a much more intense nausea after eating something sugary. When we were expecting Tristan, I ate a half pan of brownies for breakfast. Now if I eat one brownie, I’m kicking myself for not choosing a piece of fruit. Thankfully I can still (usually) tolerate my chocolate plant-packed protein powder, which I either make into a shake with hemp hearts and coconut milk or I add collage hydrolysate powder and hot water for a delicious mug of 24g of protein and nutrition from 26 plants.

I haven’t really gained any weight yet, but I’ve already had to pack away all my regular pants and switch to the much more comfortable maternity waist band! Coworkers joke with me that I might be having twins and the doctor I work with wants me to get an ultrasound to rule it out. He’s used to my more traditional ways by now, and laughed when I told him “if it’s twins, we will find out eventually!”

I mentioned above that our savings goals have changed. We took one look at our little Chevy and quickly realized that there isn’t enough space for two carseats! We are currently saving up to pay cash for a Chevy Traverse. We looked at an Equinox but decided that if we had more than 3 kids (which is still our goal), we would have to upgrade cars again. We drove a Traverse last summer while our car was in the shop and we loved it, so now we are aggressively saving and will hopefully begin shopping for one in late spring/early summer.

The owners of our rental house are looking to sell, so we did some quick house hunting in the area to see if anything was worth the hassle of a quick move. Ultimately, we decided to sign a new one-year lease, since any new owners have to honor the existing lease. It was a busy week of looking at houses, looking at our budget, and deciding that we are truly happy and content with our current location.

We were also planning a summer vacation trip to Chicago, but after needing to adjust our savings goals, we have decided that staycations are much more within the budget for now.

February Goals:

I found a prenatal yoga course on YouTube that I will be doing this month.

We will continue to save for our new vehicle, and I will continue to work on meal planning and creating good food for my family.

I will create a filing system for income and expense tracking.

I will submit my two articles for February’s contribution to Splendry.

 

I hope you all have a marvelous Monday!

 

{This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!}

New morning routine!

I always seem to start the year with ideals. Ideally, I will finish all the dishes and prep for the morning the night before, wake up at 6:30am, and have between 6:30-8 as my designated “blogging” time. Occasionally this happens. More often than not, here’s how much current mornings go and how I am embracing flexibility:

Wake up at 6:30, go downstairs to start the coffeepot (currently for Peter, will be for me again on Wednesday!). While water is heating up, finish the dishes.

Wash my hair. We purchased a new-to-us brand of shampoo a couple weeks ago and accidentally got the kind with extra moisture, which my hair doesn’t like, so I’m washing my hair more frequently (otherwise it looks greasy and gross).

Pack my snacks. I eat lunch at work, but I snack throughout the day. Currently I bring dried figs, walnuts, carrots and hummus, and a piece of fresh fruit. I also bring a cup of bone broth.

Take my salad bar capsules and make a protein shake. I am loving getting to drink chocolate first thing in the morning! My new favorite way is to use some of the hot water from the coffee pot to make my shake into hot cocoa. Hot cocoa with 13 g of protein and nutrition from 24 plants? Umm….yes please!

From about 7:30-8:15am is about the time when I get to sit down to blog. I’ve decided to take the self-placed burden of posting every day off of myself. I’m laying out topics to be able to post several times a week still, but also using that time during some days to connect with other bloggers, work on my freelance articles, write my newsletters, and do some general maintenance behind-the-scenes. This has opened up so much space for me to actually take care of this blog and enjoy it, because now I have the time to get it all done.

By 8:15 it’s time to leave for work, and I can feel accomplished already, knowing that my family is taken care of with a clean kitchen, Peter’s coffee waiting for him in the microwave,  and we all have good food to nourish us.

This morning routine is not exactly how I pictured it at the beginning of the year. And it likely will not stay this way as I continue to work on my goals for this Year of Discipline. I usually turn on YouTube and listen to MoneySavingMom’s short videos while I do the dishes, so I can continue learning and growing. Today I listened to her walk through how she plans out her weeks. I realized that I have a super cute planner that I am not using properly. I’m barely opening it! Later today I’m going to sit down and plot out my goals for the week. This will become a Sunday night routine, so I can lay out my whole week at a glance. This planner is going to get used well!

On Wednesday I will share with you a recap of our January, how our goals for 2017 are coming, and a few other reflections.

Happy Monday!

Why I Gave Up Coffee for January

Coffee is a huge part of my life. We are on a first-name basis with all the baristas at our local coffee shop, my precious Mother-in-Law gave me a coffee poster for Christmas (which I love and it’s hanging in our kitchen), and it’s even part of every social media bio about me. Coffee and I are BFFs.

But starting now, and through the month of January, we are going to spend some time apart.

Truthfully, I had never considered giving up coffee up until a couple weeks ago. My blogging idol Crystal Paine announced that she (another coffee fiend like myself) had not had coffee in 12 weeks. Along with some other nutritional changes, she had given up coffee and was experiencing amazing energy! The thought grew in the back of my mind “maybe there’s something to this…

I started paying more attention to my coffee habits. I typically pour my coffee into a travel mug just before I leave for work. But once I finished it, I was much more likely to go fill it up with more coffee than with water. I started waking up earlier each day to work on this blog before my workday begins, and drinking my coffee there. No travel mug at work = no extra coffee. And then I realized how thoroughly dehydrated I am.

So yesterday, I did it. I said no to coffee. I took an extra dose of my salad bar capsules for extra nutrition (and to ward off a raging migraine). I drank a hot cocoa. I had two mugs of tea. When we went to the coffee shop, I ordered a horchata. I had a mild nagging headache, but I managed to get through it. And I drank so much water.

I’m giving up coffee for January for my health. I do not like being dependent on something other than myself and my food choices for energy. I do not like feeling tied to it and getting sick if I don’t get it. I want to see how energized I can feel naturally. And hey, it might lead to more healthy changes – like getting the proper amount of sleep and actually drinking water.

Inspired by her newfound zest for life, Crystal has designed a 15 Days to a Healthier You program, and she’s offering it for $15. That’s $1 a day! Unlike her other programs, this is not all pre-recorded, complete-whenever courses. This is live and interactive. Along with the workbook, there is a private Facebook group and videos to watch each day. She won’t be instructing that everyone give up coffee,  but she will be sharing how whole food nutrition is changing her life and, in many ways, giving her her life back.

Completing this program is one of my goals for 2017. Will you join me and take the steps towards a healthier life? Hurry – enrollment is open now but closes January 3!

I’m excited to see how good I feel in 2017.

 

{This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!}

Reflections on 2016, and Planning for 2017

Reflections on 2016

It shocks me on a daily basis that it’s almost 2017. Our little family had a crazy year! Here’s a quick recap:

February: moved to Iowa

July: I published my first ebook! (pssst! You can get it for $0.99 through the end of the year!)

September: became debt free!

October: Peter graduated from college

When you throw in several visits back to St. Louis (and several visits by others to here), making new friends, turnover at my job, Tristan turning two, and just getting used to a new routine here, I am both exhausted and exhilarated.

2016 was way different than we ever imagined it would be, but we still managed to achieve all of our goals.

I am also learning more about blogging and freelancing. I studied to be a nurse since I was 3 years old. With this blog, I get to not only hone my writing skills, but also learn marketing, business strategy, law, photography, graphic design, and HTML coding. Every change I make to the blog, I do myself. Thank goodness for tutorials and YouTube! I’ve even conquered my fear of live video.

Planning for 2017

I believe in keeping goals simple. At the end of the week/month/year I want to look back and know that I actually accomplished what I set out to do. I also know that this time of my life requires more flexibility since I have a toddler and a work schedule that can be unpredictable. So with all this in mind, here are my goals for 2017:

Personal Goals

  • Complete the 15 Days to a Healthier You challenge in January (will you join me? HURRY – enrollment is only open through January 3!)
  • Complete 2 yoga challenges and 1 CouchTo5k challenge
  • Quit coffee for the month of January.

Family Goals

  • Save a certain amount (I will update you all on our progress by %).
  • Take an actual family vacation.
  • Find a meal plan system that works for us and stick with it.
  • Grow a garden. 

Business Goals

  • Get my blogging/writing done early before my family wakes up. I love blogging, but I do not want it to interfere with family time.
  • Complete 2 Pinterest improvement challenges. Keep track of numbers before and after to see if it’s making any difference.
  • Stick to an organizing system for income and expenses.
  • Transition to a different hosting platform for the blog.
  • Post in CHL at least 4 days/week
  • Send at least one newsletter a week (be sure to subscribe! I share what I’m learning, what kinds of fun things we discovered, and good deals if I find them)
  • Submit at least one freelance/guest blog post every week

I will do my best to give monthly updates on all of this progress. If you are subscribed to our newsletter, you will get a more behind-the-scenes look at our goals (like how January will go without coffee…I’m a little nervous!).

 

{This post contains affiliate links. Please read our full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!}

Urban Garden Wish List

I am a firm believer that “to grow your own food is to print your own money.” Imagine the amount of money that would immediately open up to you if your grocery budget was significantly decreased! Thanks to the Urban Gardening movement, it is now completely possible to grow your own food, even in small spaces.

I’ve been combing through Amazon, putting together my wish list of urban gardening supplies. We are renting, so even though we have a small front yard (no back yard), I doubt my landlord would be too thrilled if I tore up the grass to plant a garden. Some precious friends with a huge farm have graciously offered to let us use a portion of their land for a garden, and I am equal parts humbled and thrilled, which is a very difficult mix of emotions to convey through words. Picture me jumping up and down squealing but also flabbergasted, and that would probably be pretty accurate.

I know many people are in the same sort of renting living situation, so I wanted to share this list and show you how possible it is to have a garden in small spaces, or without the whole plowing and tilling process. Here are some great products that will help you create the urban farm of your dreams:

1. Envirocycle compact compost bin

These are created with small spaces in mind. It comes in two sizes, the 35-gallon (pictured) and the 16-gallon. They sit on the ground and spin easily. Every garden should have at least two (since you need one to fill while the other one “brews” for 6 weeks or so). These guys are even BPA-free! I think they look like snails.

2. Tower Garden

I can’t say enough about these powerhouse growing systems. They are aeroponic growing systems, self-watering, and grow tons of food in 5 weeks or less. No weeding. It’s planting and harvesting, and that’s about it. You can purchase one at a time or a family pack in sets of 3. These can even be brought inside and continue your harvest year-round! To grow in here: lettuce, kale, spinach, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, cucumber, strawberries, and possibly a melon or two.

3. 20 gallon fabric growing pots

Sometimes, you just need dirt. These pots are made of a sturdy fabric to allow for better drainage and easier air flow to the roots. To grow in these: sweet potatoes (check out this post on growing sweet potatoes in buckets), beets, garlic, and raspberries.

Other items on my wish list for our garden:

Urban apple trees (they are a hybrid that can stay planted in pots!)

Kitchen compost bin.This particular bin is great for under the counter storage. I used to have a countertop storage system and even though I kept up with it, it had an odor. With this, I can lock the  container closed and keep it under a cabinet. Less odor = happier family.

Harvesting Bushel Tote bag – to bring in all your delicious fresh produce!

Miracle-Gro AeroGarden – Absolutely, positively cramped for space? This little guy can even fit anywhere!

I am so excited to get my garden this year!

Want even more tips for gardening and DIY? Get access to ebooks, webinars, printables, and more with the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle and the Ultimate Herbs and Essential Oils bundles flash sale December 28-29, buy one for $29.97 and get the second for $15!

{This post contains affiliate links. All opinions entirely my own. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!}

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{Guest Post} Easy Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am so excited to get to share a special guest post with you all today! Jennifer, from Real Food to Heal, and I have been talking for weeks about guest posting for each other. My post for a DIY facial was just posted last week on her site. Today, Jennifer has given us an amazing treat – Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip cookies! Be sure to visit her site and check out the rest of her recipes. She has an InstaPot section with incredible soups and other healthy comfort food goodness.


This post contains affiliate links, which do not add any cost to you but help support my {Jennifer} blogging activities if you end up purchasing through Amazon using my link. Please see my full disclosure ​here​.


Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies are truly a labor of love and we are very pleased to finally share the recipe with you! We have worked hard to make these easy for you 🙂 After months of testing at least one batch per week, we have finally come to the final result. There can be so many variables to consider when making baked goods, and IMHO even more when using alternative ingredients.

These cookies combine my two favorite grain free flours, coconut and tapioca plus a little xanthan gum to hold it together, making them vegetarian, rather than using the grass fed gelatin I use in my ​other cookie recipe​.

It is important to note that little variances in the recipe instructions can make a very different result. Please make sure not to grease your pan too heavily (or at all if it is any sort of non-stick material). Doing this can result in your cookies flaring out and becoming crispy around the edges. If you like this then don’t worry about it, if you don’t then I also recommend letting the cookie sheet fully cool in between batches (chilling it in the freezer for a few minutes is even better!) and also chilling the dough. This was the best result by far so again I encourage you to pay attention to these little details for the most perfect cookies, it is worth the extra steps!


Ingredients
❏ 2 eggs
❏ 1 cup chocolate chips of choice (we like 1/2 milk 1/2 white)
❏ 1 1/4 cup ​coconut sugar ​or 1 cup white and 1/4 cup dark brown-we prefer the
latter
❏ 1 cup ​tapioca starch
❏ 1/2 cup ​refined coconut oil
❏ 1/2 cup ​coconut flour
❏ 1 1/4 tsp ​xanthan gum
❏ 1 tsp sea salt
Method
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Chill a baking pan of choice
3. With a stand or hand mixer, beat sugar and oil until well combined
4. Add eggs and let mix until creamy
5. In a separate bowl gently combine all dry ingredients aside from chocolate chips
6. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet mixture and mix until sticky dough
forms-careful these flours create a bit of dust if not mixed slowly!
7. Slowly mix in chocolate chips until well combined
8. Form rounds of cookie dough using 1/2 tbsp to measure, flatten into about 3″
wide cookies (this dough is sticky, so it might be helpful to flour your hands first!)
9. Make sure you space them about 2 inches apart from each other around all sides
10. Bake 8 minutes then let cool for at least 3 min before attempting to remove from
pan, longer is better, they hold together once cooled enough but come apart when
still really warm
11. In between batches, allow the baking pan to cool and chill the dough to prevent
the cookies from flaring out around the edges.
12. Enjoy and store leftovers in a sealed container

 


About the Authors: Jennifer and Roy Wakumelo
We are a very busy family passionate about eating real food without sacrificing real flavor! All of our recipes are made for busy people who love tasty food. Please let us know how you like the recipe, we love to here from you! Search Real Food To Heal to find us on social media and please su​bsc​ribe for even more on our blog!

Dear Tristan

Dear Tristan,

Today is your second birthday. These past two years have flown by, and I treasure every memory I’ve been able to make with you.

The day we found out you existed, we spent our last dollar to buy you this sweater. It warms my heart to see that you are now big enough to wear it.

The day you were born is one of my favorite memories. You made the entire process of childbirth magical.

Now here we are, two years later, and you’re the biggest ball of never-ending energy. You have a smile that lights up the darkest room. You love without holding back. You rock out to Daddy’s music with good rhythm. You are insulted if I try to put on your shoes for you, because you can do it yourself. You love anything related to the Minions and you have a tender heart for the hurting.

You are the coolest, T-dawg. I’m so honored to be your Mommy.

<3

 

Get the Most out of Your Holiday Budget – Part 3: Groupon Coupons

{This post is sponsored by Groupon. All opinions are my own.}

I wrote before about the amazing wonders of Groupon Goods, but did you know that there are also Groupon Coupons?

I am a recovering coupon queen. Yes, I was one of “those people.” I had bookshelves dedicated to my stocks of razors, shampoos, and hair dyes. I had buckets of toothpaste. I had a 5 inch zippered binder that held all of my coupons in neatly organized card pages that was so heavy it set off my airbag alarm. I was addicted to the show Extreme Couponing. I even went dumpster diving at the local dump (once). I was a mess.

I left that life once I went hippie. I started making my own toothpaste, so I stopped purchasing it from the store. I made my lotions and my deodorant and I stopped dying my hair. I stopped buying the Sunday paper, but I still love a good deal and happily use coupons whenever I can.

So let me tell you just how happy I am that Groupon now has coupons for major retailers! For instance, Shutterfly has 13 coupon deals right now – including signing up with Shutterfly and getting a custom magnet, address labels, and 50 4×6 prints, all for free! I love Shutterfly’s frequent deals featuring free prints, but I have never seen one with free prints plus free address labels and a magnet!

Overstock.com has Groupon Coupons right now. I will tell you, my favorite set of sheets came from Overstock and I absolutely love the quality. Their deals are already great, but through the end of the month they have up to 70% off their inventory. I see great deals for everything from furniture to jewelry to clothing – and with free shipping!

If you’re traveling, the Marriott has special deals, including saving 20% off room rates and a free breakfast.

I love holiday shopping, and can’t stand paying full price for anything. Be sure to check out Groupon Coupons before you purchase anything online to make sure you are getting the very best deal!

4 Strange Ingredients for Your Next Cup of Coffee

4ingredientsforyournextcupofcoffeeOh, coffee. My favorite beverage – no calories, energy-inducing caffeine, and warm, full-flavored goodness. My daily hug-in-a-mug.

My usual routine is to just add a splash of cashew milk as a creamer, but sometimes I want a specialty coffee without the specialty price. As I’ve gotten more frugal, I’ve also become more adventurous when it comes to what I add to my coffee. Here are my four favorite additions:

1. Butter

Butter in coffee is…just delicious. The key is to blend the two together, otherwise you end up with butter floating at the top of your mug. Butter (especially grass-fed butter like Kerrygold) is full of good fats. Butter also has fat-soluble vitamins. This coffee concoction is the best with a sprinkle of cinnamon and the tiniest splash of vanilla extract.

2. Coconut oil

Like butter, adding coconut oil to coffee adds healthy fats. Coconut oil has natural antibiotic, anti fungal, and antiviral properties, which helps the immune system. Coconut oil is easily absorbed in the body, making it a good quick fuel for an energy burst and gives your metabolism a boost. This is  a great addition to your morning coffee! Start off with a 1/2 teaspoon or so added to your coffee until your body gets used to it, or you might end up with a pretty significant detox reaction. (Tip: the popular “bulletproof” coffee is a mix of butter and coconut oil!)

3. Collagen Hydrolysate

Collagen is a connective tissue in the body, known for its ability to support muscles and bones with an elastic quality. Adding a spoonful of grass-fed collagen hydrolysate to your coffee each morning will aid your body’s restoration efforts for better joints, stronger hair and nails, and healthier skin. Collagen’s protein is easy to digest, making it a powerful choice for improving your gut health.

4. Raw Eggs

Don’t knock it ’til you try it, raw eggs are amazing in coffee! Eggs are rich in protein, fat-soluble vitamins, and good cholesterol. Check out this post by Elizabeth at Living the Nourished Life to learn more. To make my egg latte, I first blend one or two eggs in the blender and then use a small amount of coffee to temper the eggs before I pour in the remainder of the coffee. Add in some cinnamon and cloves for an eggnog-like drink!

{This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!}

Get the Most Out of Your Holiday Budget: Part 2 – Earn gift cards with Dealspotr

get-the-most-out-of-your-holiday-budget

Part two of our frugal holiday series brings me to my latest exciting discovery – Dealspotr!

I am a big fan of Swagbucks, a search engine where you can earn points towards gift cards. Those gift cards were a lifesaver in our early marriage, and we used most of them to pay for groceries.

There are many deals I want to share with you readers. I struggle with sharing deals because I never wanted this blog to become a “deals blog,” partly because that’s not my passion and partly because that’s an awful lot to keep up with. Occasionally I will post deals related to natural living, but that’s about it.

Enter Dealspotr! With Dealspotr, I earn gift cards by posting thrifty deals I find. I also have my own profile “feed” where I share deals I believe my followers will be most interested in. I’m especially excited about this feature, since I can share my favorite deals with you all without changing the focus of my blog.

I’ve been able to play around with how everything works, and I’ve already earned a $20 gift card! This will definitely come in handy this holiday shopping season, as I have some things on my list that can only be ordered online.

Pros: 

  • Using Dealspotr makes it possible to earn gift cards fast! I like Swagbucks, but it takes awhile to earn gift cards without spending money on the shopping or deal features.
  • Are you ready to make a purchase but want to make sure you’re getting the best deal? Be sure to check out Dealspotr for any coupon or promo codes – if it’s out there, it’s posted and available for you.
  • I can post my favorite deals on a feed for my followers, which is great for deals that I want to pass on but aren’t necessarily in line with the “voice” I want for this blog.
  • I can add affiliate links to the deals I share.
  • I can insert specific Dealspotr deals into blog posts (with affiliate links if I have them!), and if that particular deal expires, it is automatically replaced with a similar product. This way I don’t have to go back and change my posts and links, they stay evergreen.
  • Gift cards are offered in the form of Amazon gift cards or Paypal. I am especially fond of using my Amazon Prime membership to order things with gift cards, so I’m thankful to have another avenue to earn ways to purchase things I want but don’t want to use our regular family budget to purchase.

Cons:

  • It took me awhile to navigate the website for the first time and post my first few deals. Once I learned how, it was much easier. It could just be me and my inability to learn new websites quickly. As a bonus, I’m now thoroughly comfortable with how to screen shot deals on my computer.
  • Adding affiliate links to any deals I share is time-consuming. I generally spend 5-10 hours a week on the blog between writing, marketing, and working on various projects “behind-the-scenes” that no one necessarily sees. I love that I can just earn points by scrolling through and liking/sharing new deals on my Dealspotr feed, but if I want to work on increasing my affiliate income, it’s a bit tedious and time-consuming. I also don’t like that if I share deals with my affiliate links, I don’t earn points towards gift cards like I would without the affiliate links.

Conclusion:

Dealspotr isn’t just for bloggers, everyone can sign up with a profile and earn gift cards! There is huge opportunity to earn lots of free or discounted products using gift cards and shopping through rebate websites! I would highly recommend it as another gift card source.

 

{This post is sponsored by Dealspotr and contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation in the form of products or money, but all opinions are completely my own. Please read my full disclosure for details.}