Friday, March 25, 2016

Money Making Apps

I am obsessed with finding new ways to earn money with little effort on my part.  Right now, I've got a few different ways that I use to make money.  I'm never going to get rich with apps on my phone, but I can use the money to help in other ways.  Last year, I saved as much money as I could with apps, and was able to buy a Playstation 4.  This is a greedy use of "my" money.  After that purchase, I decided to start using the money to pay down my debt.  Basically, get all the money I can in either Paypal, or Walmart gift cards.  Use the money at Walmart instead of cash, and put the cash towards a debt.  I'll write about paying down debt in another post.  So far this year, I've made almost $200.  It's not a ton of money, but by the end of the year, I will have made at least one extra car payment.  On to the apps.

The best way to make money on Swag-bucks is by watching videos on your computer.  Just click on the Watch link, and start watching videos.  You can earn up to 500 points a day, which equates to $5.  You can redeem the money by purchasing gift cards to Wal-Mart, Bass Pro, and a bunch of other places.  I personally like the Wal-Mart gift cards, simply as a way to pay off debt.

Receipt Hog & Receipt Pal
These two apps are very similar.  You take a picture of a receipt, and you get points.  Receipt Hog pays out in Paypal and Amazon, while Receipt Pal pays out in Amazon gift cards.  It takes a while to earn any money from either app, but it can be a good way to bank cash for a large purchase.  Or you can just use Receipt Hog to pay for Netflix.  I haven't had to spend a single dime from a paycheck on Netflix in several years.

Walmart Savings Catcher
This app is genius idea for Walmart.  You take a picture of your receipt, they price match and give you the cash back on a gift card to Walmart.  Some weeks, I get no money, some weeks I've gotten back as much as $8.00.  I've manage to make over $300 since the app was launched almost a year and half ago.  Again not a ton of money, but every little bit helps

I've got a few more apps, and sites that I like to use for making money.  I'll post them up soon.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Foraging for Spring Edibles

Spring time.  If there is a better time for foragers, I'm not sure when it is.  Everything is starting to green up, and there are so many wild edibles.  The other nice thing is you don't even have to travel far to find them.  Just today, as I was taking the garbage down to the street, I found several different plants.  Dandelions, docks, pennycress, and more.

Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale
Dandelion Flower
Almost everyone knows what dandelions are.  Large yellow flowers, and green leaves that have look like teeth.  Uses are varied, from the flowers you can make wine and jelly.  The leaves can be eaten raw in salads, sauteed, or boiled.  It possesses a long taproot, that can be dried, ground up, and used as a coffee substitute.

Dandelion Plant
Dandelion Leaf

Curly Dock, Rumex Cripsus
The docks I'm looking at right now have a stem, and curvy, curly (probably why they are called curly dock) green leaf.  They grown from a central basal rosette (leaves are all similar in height, grow from a central location).
Curly Dock Leaf
Basal Rosette
Curly Dock

Wild Onions, Alium ...
There are several different kinds of wild onions.  The most popular right now are probably the leeks.  Here today, gone tomorrow.  They don't last long, but they are delicious.  Also available are the regular green wild onions.  Steam them, cook them with some fresh caught wild fish, or use them in your salads.

Pine Tree, Pinus...
And of course spring is a great time to harvest from pine trees.  Yes that's right, I said pine trees.  If the cattail is called the supermarket of the swamp, the pine tree should be the supermarket of the woods.  So many edible parts.  Right now, you should be looking for the pollen, male cones, and freshly grown needles.  The pollen is a great energy booster, and contains androstenedione, which can help the adrenal gland raise testosterone.  You can make a tea from the needles, or eat them raw, or probably just about any other way you would eat a green vegetable.  One thing I am interested in trying this year is to make some pine jelly and pine syrup.  

There are tons of more edibles available right now.  I'm hoping to get a chance to get after some spring mushrooms next week or the week after.  Right now, the most popular are the morels.  Hopefully I can find some in the coming weeks. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Garden Plants: Snow Peas

I am a huge fan of snow peas.  In all my experience with plants, they are one of the easiest to grow.  I've tried several different brands and varieties.  The germination and harvest rates are amazing.  I can find nothing bad about growing snow peas.

Snow peas are a vining crop, therefore they benefit from some type of trellis system.  I've grown them successfully without any trellis, and they seem to grow fine.  They are just harder to harvest this way.  I have tried several different trelllis' in the past, but I found that using some type of string allows to them to hang on tighter.

The thing I really like about snow peas besides the ease of growth, is the rapid rate of growth.  After a long winter of not being able to work in my garden, seeing the fresh growth of snow peas is exciting.  I usually plant mine in early February, or right after I think the last frost has come and gone.  I have planted them, and the weather has gotten cold and nasty.  They still seemed to do alright.  I'll also plant them again in the fall.  The timing depends on how everything else in my garden is going, and what space I have left.  I've successfully planted them in last August, and again in September.  It all depends on your climate.  They will die quickly once the it starts to get hot. so getting them in the ground as soon or as late as possible is the only way to do it.

Snow Peas after two weeks
One last thing about snow peas, one thing I love about growing them is the benefits in the garden, besides the food that is, they are great at fixing nitrogen.  They don't need a deep root system, and I feel like that is beneficial if you are trying to create a garden spot out of clay.  I've never had to fertilize them, and they seem to have few pests.  Plus, I feel like since they are vining plants, they are easy to bury right back in the soil.