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Category: life lessons

How to Save and Make Money: Website and Apps to Make it Easy

As I have more free time on my hands, I have had time to really look into things that help make life easier when looking to save and make money. When I first lost my job, I went into a quick panic wondering how we would support ourselves. It didn’t take long before I realized I still had a job, so I wasn’t income-less. I knew I didn’t want to return back to a similar job because my life was being consumed and I had ZERO time for myself. I turned into someone I didn’t like and I was exhausted, mentally and physically. I knew that meant less pay to have the freedom to TRULY LIVE. I am so glad I was forced to find myself again. So, I wanted to share some websites and apps that I have utilized to help save AND make money. Mind you that some of these websites are apps, and vice versa. But I wanted to share how I use them.


For selling used/non-used clothing:

Poshmark. I have sold numerous items on Poshmark that allows for some extra spending cash. Mostly I re-purchase on their app with my credits because there are some great deals. You can also bundle items and offer a price for the bundle. I went through and found athletic clothes and bundled them and offered a price. I got athleta shirts for $5 each! This was great to get athletic clothes cheap, since I needed regular athletic clothes rather than logo’ed of a school I no longer work at. If you use my code “UISBD,” you get a free $5 credit. I also will receive $5 if you make a purchase. You can grab the app here.

Grocery Shopping:

Both of these options allow you to look at the cash back options and add them in your app. When you purchase the item in store, you take a photo of your receipt and sometimes have to scan the item, but you receive cash back if the item qualifies. I’ve already received over $10 in cash back for my grocery shopping and have only had these apps for a month or so. 


Ibotta: Use my code “p2ttbq” when signing up or click here to get $10. I will receive $5.

Then if you like grocery shopping and have time for a side hussle, or main hussle, you should see if Instacart is in your area. I am LOVING this job. I get to pick my own hours, help others and love it because I love to grocery shop. If you don’t want to do the grocery shopping and you want someone else to, then you should still check out instacart and see where they deliver in your area and which stores are available! Hate fighting the crowds? Don’t have to when someone else does your shopping!


Acorns – this is a brand new one for me. But I have read great things about it and decided to give it a shot. My main reason? I like the fact that you’ll connect it to your banking account (100% safe,) and any purchase you make, it will round up and put the remaining money into investments. You can choose how you want your round ups. Since I’m cheap, I have my round-ups to the nearest $1. That’s such little money to notice, but can make such a big difference in the future. Then I have chosen to invest $5 each month. Since I’m not knowledgeable in investments, this is great because they do it all for you and I don’t feel like it’s much money to risk for a nice profit later in life. I invest my spare change in a jar, and now I can invest my card spare change in an investment. Get $5 for your first investment with my referral code CSX8L4. I will also receive $5.



I have each of these installed as “gadgets,” or add-on’s for my google chrome browser. When online shopping they will alert me of each of their deals. I normally will pick the best one, as they vary from website to website. – This was the very first add-on I had for my browser. I used it for the simplicity of finding me coupons and % off codes for anything on my online shopping. Just like the two other I mentioned, it will pop up the best offers and I compare with all the other add-on coupon sites. Some days they even offer triple cash back. If you are already online shopping, may as well receive cash back for your purchase. It’s so easy too. You just press activate and it refreshes your page and you just continue shopping like you normally would. – I recently found this website. I didn’t know the connection with Real Housewives until I saw the commercial, though. I sign up for the daily emails as they let you know each day which retailer has a “$ off $” deal. It will show what time until claim is. I scored a $20 off $20 coupon from Staples which allowed me to buy my pens that I love and kcups to make it to the free shipping amount. Each day are different ones. I will say, the amazon ones go QUICK! But I will think of things we need around the apartment or in general then if a retailer I know will have our items, I will claim the coupon. So, thinking further into the next month, I will probably try to claim a Walmart or Target one that will cover anything! You are only allowed a certain amount of claims in a given time, so that’s why I’m waiting. They also have certain %’s off for your favorite online shopping, or coupon codes. – Much like Coupon Cabin, this has a % off or shows the best coupon codes for the websites you like. This provides in-store and online abilities. I recently received cash back on our order of protein powder. So, I was able to get my % back off my order but also save $10. With all our coupons and’s deal of buy one get one 50%, we were able to get ~13 pounds of protein powder for under $50. That is a STEAL. 

Those are the main add-on’s I have for my browser. But I always search for coupon codes online and find the best option, but normally these three already have caught the same codes. 

For printable coupons I visit:

and then any manufacturers website as they tend to have coupons on their websites.

As usual, there are affiliate codes in this post, but does not change my love for the products or sites I have suggested. This is another way I make very small amounts of money. I would not post anything I don’t truly use or suggest. 


Q: How have you been saving or making money?

Q: Have you used any of these suggestions?

Accepting Yourself as a Different Runner Than You Once Were

Let’s set the scene….rewind back to 2010. Wow, 7 years passed already! That’s quite insane. In April of 2010 I ran a race that was going to determine my fate on a collegiate career of running. 2009 I was diagnosed and received surgery for bi-lateral compartment syndrome. I went from collapsing after 1 mile to training for my first ever half marathon. WHAT?! Yes, I knew after my recovery from learning how to walk again, re-wiring my brain to even know how to wiggle my toes, that I would start on my ultimate running dream. I have always loved the idea of half marathons and wanted to celebrate my running recovery with one. The coach at my college at the time trained me for it and stated that because of the time I ran, I could walk on the team to help continue my pursuing my personal goals. 

The funny thing is that I thought I wasn’t close to a good runner because I wasn’t collegiate runner speed. But man would I take that back in a heart beat right now…



Here are my splits:

mileage time
mile 1 7:56
mile 2 8:02
mile 3 8:04
mile 4 7:54
mile 5 7:58
mile 6 8:01
mile 7 7:56
mile 8 8:02
mile 9 7:49
mile 10 7:57
mile 11 7:46
mile 12 8:26
mile 13 8:10
.21 1.36

Average pace: 8:00/mi

I went back to my recap post to read how I felt during this, what my thoughts were and I wrote that I casually ran this and didn’t race. But can you just look at how happy I was (mind you this was at the start, but the picture below was toward the end.) I LOVE running and we have been through so much together. 



So what are you getting at Sam? 

It’s time to stop getting down on myself. Some days I think back to my collegiate running career and think about how I could run in the 6 min mile paces and I’m even shocked because that seems so far out of reach now. I look at those splits from that half marathon, or even the fact that I was able to run that much without stopping. 

I want that back. 

Currently, I’m having a hard time getting over those 1-2 milers when I run by myself. I’m running slower than 8:30 min/miles. These are the thoughts that I used to have during runs, and yes I used to post about everything I would think about during my runs and thoroughly enjoyed reading them again. 

Thoughts on the run (then)

  1. These shoes feel great
  2. It’s not too bad outside. The weather is kind of nice.
  3. This is my first time ever wearing two sports bras, how funny.
  4. Holy cow that reeks. I can’t wait for the day this raccoon goes away.
  5. Looks like it might storm.
  6. Sprinkler!!
  7. Time to head to the track
  8. OH I hope the water fountain is on.
  9. These ins & outs are fun
  10. Guess I should take off my ipod since that thunderstorm is coming my way.
  11. Rain would feel good.
  12. Time to get another drink and finish up
  13. YAY another sprinkler!!
  14. Hi whoever is waving to me!
  15. Dang my mileage is off, I have to keep running. Bye house, see you shortly.
  16. Good timing. It’s getting ready to pour.

Those are pretty decent. Nothing crazy. Just mindful of every moment of my run and truly embracing my thoughts and feelings. Now enter my thoughts when I run now:

Thoughts on the run (now)

  1. Okay Sam, a 3 miler. That’s nothing. That’s such a small amount.
  2. (half mile in) Oh my gosh I’m dying. I need to break. 
  3. Okay you got this, you know what, let’s just make it to one mile then turn around.
  4. Two miles, sure that’s okay I guess. Not three miles, but two is all we got today. 
  5. Wow, mile pace is 9 minute. I swear I felt faster. 
  6. You know what though, I do feel really slow now. I can’t even get my legs moving. Am I even moving?
  7. Eff this. Let’s go home. 
  8. Two miles was better than no miles. 

These thoughts are my battle between trying to be optimistic and cheerleading myself, but at the same time trying to listen to my body which ends with self defeat. I finish and think, man that wasn’t even a real run. Then my thoughts pour in on how easy it used to be to run and how much I want to do my beloved 5 mile runs (my perfect distance I truly believe.) 

“Anything less than 3 miles isn’t even a run.” – old self

We get this “runner brain,” as I like to call it and it’s this self absorption where only you and running matter and anything outside of that just won’t get it or understand. It took me getting injured in college to escape and step back from this runner brain. My version of runner brain was obsessing over splits, needing to make my run exactly even to the .0 on my Garmin, to knowing my competition and obsessing over their race results from the previous weeks, to scheduling life around my running schedule, and to even telling my mom that I had to get my run in even when it was >100* regardless of her concern of my safety outside in that heat and her then offering to pay for my access to the local gym to run instead. 

The fact is. None of that matters and should not consume your life like it did to me, but also to so many that I have come in contact with. I even heard people missing rehearsal dinners because they had to get in their second run of the day, or not going to big events because they had a long run the next morning. There’s preparation and planning and then there’s missing out on life. Running should be a part of life, but not life itself. I learned that myself and now I’m working on getting it back in my life with a good relationship. 

So now, I’m working on accepting that even if I only make it 1 mile, which is exactly what I have done the past two times I have ran, that it’s better than nothing. I also won’t look at my pace, nor care anymore. It’s like I was taught in high school, you focus on the distance first and then the speed. I’m just trying to accept myself as the runner I am right now and not compare to the runner I used to be. 

I always say this and then get discouraged and then I stop running for a few days after a nice training block of solid small runs where I start feeling good and then I end up back at square one and just get in my head that I will never get back my fitness. I’m by no means trying to be what I was in college, I’m just wanting to be able to run a solid chunk of miles comfortably, no matter the pace. 

I think this article written by Alexis Lynne as part of the Lane 9 Project, helps reassure that I’m not the only one and I know this. But you just have to listen to your body and sometimes that means slowing down. 

Summer Slow Down by Alexis Lynne – Lane 9 Project

I know I’m not the only one out in the world that has gone through this and maybe this post helps someone know they aren’t the only one feeling this way or that it’s okay to lace up your shoes and just make it out of the door. I’ll tell you right now that even on my shortest of one mile runs, I still feel better for doing it and know it helped me re-focus and clear my thoughts that are all jammed in my head currently. So, yes please, give me a run, no matter the distance, no matter the pace, because I just need my safe space and love of the road meeting my shoes and my brain running free. 

Q: Have you found yourself comparing to an older version of you?

Q: Do you find yourself in running slumps?

Q: Can you relate at all to this?