Apps to Earn Discretionary Income

Try using these 3 apps to add a little bit of extra spending money to the budget!Three apps that are simple to use, require no extra cost investment, and reward you with gift cards and cash!  Use these apps to add some discretionary income to that tight budget, or to fund date night with your spouse!  #budget #frugallivingWhen the budget is tight or if you are paying off debt, spending money on anything non-essential can feel cringe-worthy.  I will be honest, date night for us usually consists of a movie on Netflix.

I’m ready for a change though.  I want a real date!  It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it would be nice to get out of the house together without kids every once in a while. :)  When I discovered that there are apps that pay you to use them, I got very excited and decided that I am going to try to use them for a year (saving up all my rewards) to hopefully fund date nights for next year.

These are the 3 apps I’m using:

Three apps that are simple to use, require no extra cost investment, and reward you with gift cards and cash!  Use these apps to add some discretionary income to that tight budget, or to fund date night with your spouse!  #budget #frugalliving

  1. Receipt Hog

This app pays you for uploading your receipts. (You can black out sensitive information).  You can upload receipts from grocery shopping, dollar stores, gas stations, etc.  As the months go on, you can earn greater rewards for continuing to upload receipts.  You get coins depending on the dollar value of the receipt, and then you can cash those coins in for either an Amazon gift card or Paypal deposit.  You need 1000 coins for a $5 card.  At first, it is slow going.  But the longer you stick with it, the faster you earn rewards.  You can enter receipts that are up to 14 days old.  I like to save my receipts throughout the week and then enter them all together. You can check it out here.

Three apps that are simple to use, require no extra cost investment, and reward you with gift cards and cash!  Use these apps to add some discretionary income to that tight budget, or to fund date night with your spouse!  #budget #frugalliving

2. Ibotta

Ibotta is similar to receipt hog in that you upload receipts, however, they are looking for specific items.  Before you head to a store, you can look on Ibotta to see if they have any rebates for items you are going to purchase.  There are rebates for name brand items and for generic items like milk and eggs.  You can unlock those rebates by taking a one-question survey or watching a 15 second video clip.  Once you’ve purchased the item, you verify it by scanning the bar code and uploading the receipt.  Then Ibotta pays you the rebate amount for the item. You can either have the money delivered via Paypal, or you can get it in gift cards to a variety of places like Amazon and Starbucks.

Now I know what you are thinking – you eat real food and barely buy foods from conventional grocery stores.  Me too!  This app actually contains a lot of rebates for health food items.  I’ve scored big several times on Enjoy Life chocolate chips.  They were on sale at the store and I got $1.50 rebate on them from Ibotta.

The downside to this app is that they don’t accept receipts from all stores.  They don’t take Trader Joes and I know there are some others they don’t accept.  So you will want to check and see if they accept the stores you frequent.  Also, it can be very easy to get sucked into their promotions and end up spending more money at the store than what you wanted to spend.  To combat this, I do my shopping first, and then find the rebates that apply.

I have a friend who paid for Christmas just with her Ibotta rebates, so now is the time to start using it!

If you are interested in using this app, for the month of February you can get $10 when you redeem your first rebate and I will get $5 if you sign up with the referral code bekkoid. Sign up here.

Three apps that are simple to use, require no extra cost investment, and reward you with gift cards and cash!  Use these apps to add some discretionary income to that tight budget, or to fund date night with your spouse!  #budget #frugalliving

3. Shopkick

This is probably my favorite app that I’ve been using.  It’s called Shopkick and you get kicks for shopping (not necessarily spending money).  For example, if you go to Target, you open the app and it will tell you if you can earn kicks just for going inside the store.  A lot of places you can earn kicks for purchasing as well.  We do a lot of shopping at Trader Joes and so I can earn kicks for shopping at Trader Joes.  I love that!

You can also earn kicks for scanning bar codes with your phone.  I occasionally do this, but with three kids, it’s easier for me to just get the kicks for going inside stores.  If you ever go to the mall to just walk around, you can earn a lot of kicks!

The rewards add up pretty quickly in this app and you can exchange your kicks for gift cards to a wide variety of places.  For every three people that sign up through my link, I will earn 2000 kicks which is more than enough for a $5 gift card to lots of different places (hello date night!).  Then you can share with your friends and earn gift cards right away too! Sign up here.

Between these three apps I’m hoping to save all of my rewards for a year and then cash them in slowly starting next year to fund date nights with my husband!

Do you have any apps that you use to earn discretionary income?

 

Grain-free Chocolate Profiteroles {aka Cream Puffs}

These gluten-free and grain-free chocolate profiteroles are sure to be a hit with all of your friends!  There’s even a paleo-friendly option.Grain-free and gluten-free Chocolate Profiteroles (also known as Cream Puffs). This delicately delicious dessert recipe looks complicated, but is made with relatively few ingredients. There is also a paleo-friendly, dairy-free option.

I love cream puffs.  I always have.  I can remember thumbing through my mom’s cook-books in middle school and stumbling across a cream puff recipe.  I decided to give it a try and I felt so accomplished when those little puff pastries came out of the oven beautifully puffed and golden.

When I finally accepted the fact that I needed to be gluten-free, I decided that I will not settle with cardboard desserts (you fellow gluten-free eaters know what I’m talking about!).  It had to be delicious and free of refined sugars (on most occasions).  I also prefer to stay away from rice flour because we eat rice several times a week and Consumer Reports suggests limiting the amount of rice consumed due to arsenic.

Not using rice flour pretty much eliminates most all-purpose gluten-free flour blends. Therefore I mainly bake grain-free.  For this recipe I was torn between using arrowroot starch or tapioca flour.   My first times experimenting I used arrowroot, but what I discovered is that arrowroot flour becomes gloppy when used with dairy. That’s the official term. 😉  That explained alot! The tapioca flour works wonderfully in this recipe, and I dare say that these little puffs taste pretty darn close to their gluten counterparts.

I use this tapioca flour and these chocolate chips.

Grain-free Chocolate Profiteroles
Grain-free and gluten-free Chocolate Profiteroles (also known as Cream Puffs). This delicately delicious dessert recipe looks complicated, but is made with relatively few ingredients. There is also a paleo-friendly, dairy-free option.

Grain-free Chocolate Profiteroles
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Grain-free and gluten-free Chocolate profiteroles (also known as cream puffs). Also a dairy-free/paleo option.
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • ¼ tsp unrefined sea salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 TB cocoa powder
  • 1.5 cups heavy whipping cream (or coconut cream from 2 cans of coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 TB raw honey
  • ¼ - ½ cup Enjoy Life Chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat stirring occasionally.
  3. While the butter is melting, stir the tapioca flour, cocoa powder, and salt into the cup of water. At first it's going to be difficult, but keep stirring and it will all come together.
  4. As soon as the butter is bubbling pour in the water/tapioca flour mixture and stir immediately and vigorously.
  5. Keep stirring. As you stir it will start to thicken, first in clumps, and eventually it will all come together as a clumpy ball. If there is still a lot of liquid in the clumps, keep stirring over the heat. It takes several minutes.
  6. Once you have a sticky goo, pour it into a bowl. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the batter as you add each egg in one at a time. Wait until each egg is fully incorporated in the batter before adding the next one. If you try to beat it too much before adding the eggs, the mixture will climb up your beaters and make a huge mess. Trust me on this one.
  7. Once you have a smooth, sticky batter, spoon out a tablespoon at a time and place on a baking sheet 1 inch apart.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes at 425 degrees and then turn off the heat to the oven but leave the profiteroles in there for 15 more minutes.
  9. Allow them to cool completely.
  10. For the cream filling, beat the heavy whipping cream with the vanilla and honey until stiff peaks form. Fold in the chocolate chips and pipe into the pastries. If you don't want to pipe them in, you can just cut them open and spoon the filling inside. It's less messy to eat them when the stuffing is piped in, but either way they are delicious. :)
  11. ***For a paleo-friendly version, use ghee in the batter and a whipped coconut cream filling by placing a can of coconut milk (without fillers) in the refrigerator over night. In the morning you can scoop out the hardened "cream" on top and place it in the stand mixer and beat on high with the honey and vanilla for 10+ minutes. You will probably need two cans worth of cream. You can also leave out the chocolate chips.