Listia: Free Auctions for free stuff

It’s kind of like a free ebay. You get free credits for just signing up.  You get free credits for connecting to your facebook and twitter.  You get free credits for referring people to the site.  You get free credits for listing your first auctions.  You get the idea.

Use your credits to bid on items.  It looks like you do have to pay for shipping on some items however and some are for local pick up only.

http://www.listia.com/signup/53225

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What do you think about the Russian ice dance last night?

I totally missed the folk dance part of the ice dancing where the Russians are getting heat for the inaccurate aboriginal dance.  I did however catch their performance last night where they had ropes attached to their costumes that they used to do their lifts. So ok, it was allowed because there is nothing in the rules. It bothered me though watching their performance. It just felt like they were cheating to me.

After their performance the commentator made a statement with something to the affect that, we would probably see a new rule regarding costumes in the next olympics due to the ropes.  I mean, all the other countries are using their hands and lifting/flipping/carrying their partners in that way.  It seems to me that’s the way it should be.  The Olympics are the best of the best.

I probably could have got over it,  until,  the Russians bumped the Americans out of 3rd place to medal. It just didn’t seem right to me.  What is your take on it?

I have a link to a story i found regarding the aboriginal performance:
http://www.ctvolympics.ca/figure-skating/news/newsid=44529.html

And one to the costumes from last nights performance, found this on another blog and completely agree with her:
http://almostbutnotentirely.blogspot.com/2010/02/russian-ice-dancers-and-ropes-that-help.html

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When it comes to baby formula, is store brand really ok?

Let me first start of by saying: Yes, Breast feeding is best when possible. I nursed all three of my children for several months until i had to switch to formula. Now, that that’s said….

I love to get a great deal and I love to save money. Though, my kids’ health is more important to me than saving a few dollars. Anyone who has used formula with their babies know that formula is expensive. If you look around you’ll see Formula choices from Enfamil, Similac, Carnation Good Start, Store brand and probably other I just can’t think of right now. Most pediatricians will recommend that once you pick a formula you should stick with it. So you have a real decision on your hands.

First thing you may notice is the price. Ouch I know but stay with me here. the 27.5 oz cans of Similac and Enfamil are somewhere around $25-$28 dollars. Then you see the store brand such as Parent’s Choice $15. Big difference. But what else is different?

I get the little postcards in the mail saying that store brand formulas have the same nutritional values as the name brands. So I decided to take a good look myself. For the remainder of this blog post we will compare Parent’s Choice to Enfamil.

Both have vitamins: A, D, E, K, B1, B2, B6, B12, and C in reading the labels on the cans side by side

Both have Minerals: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Manganese, Copper, Sodium, Selenium, Potassium, Chloride, Iodine

Both have Protein, Fat, Carbohydrates, Water, and Linoleic acid. The difference here is that Parent’s Choice (PC) has 2.3 g of protein and Enfamil has 2.6. The fat content is the same at 5.3 g as well as the Linoleic acid at 860 mg. PC has 10.8 g of carbohydrates while enfamil has 10.5.

Both contain the Lipids DHA and ARA which in reading are associated with infant mental and visual development.

I’m not a doctor or a nurse. Each mother’s choice is their own with breast feeding vs formula feeding and which brand of formula to choose when choosing to use formula.

In comparing the nutrition labels i chose parent’s choice because they were so similar with the nutritional content. I also found this information helpful on the Parent’s Choice website for baby formula regulations: http://www.parentschoiceformula.com/baby-formula-regulations.aspx

Don’t think it’s always best for your baby to buy the most expensive item. Not just with formula. Compare your diapers, diaper creams, clothing, baby food and more. When you do the research you can still save your family money AND take care of all your babies needs without stressing the budget.

Also found this youtube video i just thought was cute and entertaining:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziw-T6A2xEw

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Why should you consider shopping with a company rep/consultant?

There are so many home sales companies out there. Companies like Lia Sophia, AVON, Pampered Chef and lots more. There are newer ones popping up all the time as well like the Dove Chocolatiers and Scentsy. If you are like I was, you’d probably only order from these type of companies to help out a friend or if you were invited to a party for one of these companies where you knew the host/hostess.

My ideas have changed though. More so in the past 2 years I’d guess. With the economy the way it is, people losing their jobs, and people just trying to make ends meet. My sister had been an AVON rep. Of course I bought from her because, well, she was my sister. But she gave me a lot more info on AVON than I was aware of. I always knew that AVON had good prices, good products, and great sales. I slowly started replacing my products with AVON products. I started comparing prices and realized AVON’s prices are similar to if not better than other brands even at walmart. Their products are a guaranteed and AVON supports a lot of great causes.

Other companies like Lia Sophia offer lifetime guarantees on their products as long as you have your receipt as well as great incentives of hostesses.

If you find a good consultant/rep/etc for a company they will let you know of upcoming sales, when you’re favorite products has a deal, new products etc.

There are still other companies out there that offer green cleaning products like Shaklee.

A company I recently discovered was RADA knives. A coworker was selling them as a fundraiser for her daughters horse riding club. I bought the knives to help out (mostly because they were a great price. Most of the knives were between $4-6) I LOVE them. Each time she sells them I buy more. I’m slowly replacing all my old knives that were given to me and no longer would…well…cut it. lol.

Most, if not all, of these companies offer shopping through a website OR a consultant. It’s so much easier to find out info about a product from a local consultant, to return items if you’re not happy with it, or to reorder items you like.

The best part is, you’ll be helping out someone in this tough economy. Whether it be a neighbor, friend, facebook friend, coworker, etc.

Read the companies information. See what causes they support, check into satisfaction and/or product guarantess, ask about specials, sign up for newletters, or mailing lists of companies and/or reps you’re interested in. Who knows, you may also get into selling as well.

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Entering contests. Do you do it? What have you won?

I was inspired to write this blog because I won a prize in a recent contest. Nothing major but I did win. I won a TAG reading system from the Wendy’s Learning Adventure Sweepstakes. I’ve won prizes in other contest before.

The biggest prize I think I ever won was roughly about 7 years ago. I used to be a huge fan of Mystic flavored spring waters. Does anyone else remember those? Anyway, they had a contest that I entered online. I had pretty much forgotten about the contest when I got a letter in the mail saying I had one 1st prize (NOT the grand prize unfortunately, grand prize was something like $10,000) But I digress. I had won a year’s supply of Mystic and a Mystic T-shirt.

The point of me telling you this is not to brag but make a point. I’m telling one of my coworkers about my recent win of the TAG reading system. She says “you’re so lucky I never win anything”. Lucky, no i don’t think so. I think the law of averages falls into place somewhere.

For anyone that knows even a little bit about me, I love to enter contests and I’m not afraid to get free samples (and tell people about them)

You’re odds increase the more you enter. Some contests allow you to enter daily, weekly, monthly or only once. There are many great sites out there that offer a list of great sweeps and contests. Some of the ones I enjoy using are:

www.mysavings.com this one is also a great free sample site

www.sweepstakestoday.com
this site allow you to easily re-enter contests.

There are also other websites that offer great contests such as:
www.sheknows.com
www.womansday.com
www.madberries.com

Personally I must enter 100s of contests a year. So if I win one or 2 things a year I’m really not THAT lucky. A lot of sites make it easy for you to re-enter as well. Google tool bar offer an autofill button on their bar. There is also something called “roboform” available online that i’ve heard many people use. I personally don’t but mostly because I like the google autofill. I’ve never won the big prize in a contest but I’m working on it 🙂

Also a little more rewarding is Online Instant Win contests or IWGs.
www.myinstantwin.com
While it doesn’t seem to be that they are updating the main page of the site you can go into the forums and find many instant win games. Often there are lots of prizes being given away in these games and you’ll have better odds of winning something. I’ve won things like: free wendy’s frosty’s, a $50 amex gift card from Kraft, free m&ms for the mars halloween IWG they do, and more from contests like these.

Most online contests are free to enter. If the contests requires a code from a package purchase check the rules. Often times they will offer an alternative entry method or list a “free code” in the rules.

Also as a matter of courtesy. I don’t enter contests if I’m really not interested in the prize. For instance, I would never enter a contest for something like free sky diving lessons, or “spend the day with _______ football player ( i wouldn’t even know what to say) or something like that. Not for me, but I’m sure there are people out there that would truely enjoy that.

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