Get 25% off EVERY Online Order from Papa John’s with this Pizza Hack (Courtesy of RetailMeNot)

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I am happy to report that I tried this code and it WORKED. Take note, though, that it can’t be used with other offers (trust me… I tried) and there are individual locations and franchises that can opt out of the offer- so make sure you enter in your address first and choose the correct store to see if it works at your local Papa John’s.

I’m always a little skeptical of coupon codes I find online. They have usually not worked and provided tremendous disappointment. As they say, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!” When they do work, it restores a slight bit of my faith in humankind.

Just enter:

25OFF

Then the discount will be applied at checkout. 1/4 of your pizza is on me tonight, guys. Boom.

Apply for Papa John’s Jobs on SnagAJob now!
Search and apply for hourly jobs on Snagajob

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(Via RetailMeNot)

Do-it-Yourself Thrifty Mouthwash

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For my YouTube video on this topic, click here!

Buying toiletries can be expensive! I know when I first was living on my own it was always a rather annoying and often unaccounted for expense. There are many things, however, that you can make at home using simple ingredients. Follow these instructions to make one such thing- your very own homemade, natural mouthwash!

You’ll Need

A small container (I used a recycle glass milk jar)

1 cup of distilled or filtered water

4 tsps. of baking soda

4 drops tea tree essential oil

4 drops peppermint essential oil

Funnel (optional, but recommended)

To Make it

Pour the water into the container then add the baking soda. Finally add the essentials oils, cover and shake, and you’re good to go. Use it like any regular mouthwash to clean your mouth.

Additional Notes

Baking soda has antibacterial properties and is a great item to have at home for a variety of frugal needs- from cooking to cleaning to personal grooming. The essential oils can be a little pricey, so you may need to shop around. They can typically be found at stores that sell organic and natural foods.

The oils add a minty flavor to the mouthwash and have additional antibacterial properties. It isn’t recommended that you make any more than one batch at a time because the oils can settle and change flavor over time. To save even more money, skip the oils all together and just use baking soda and water! This form of mouthwash isn’t medicated like the store-bought variety, so if your dentist has recommended other types of wash for specific dental needs, follow their directions.

If you enjoyed this blog post, make sure to check out my YouTube Channel for additional thrifty living tips and follow The Thrifty Man on Pinterest and Twitter for updates!

Traveling Across the U.S. on a Budget: Tips for the Young and Adventurous

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For my YouTube video on this subject, click here!

You might see traveling as an expensive luxury reserved for those with the pocket change to handle first-class plane rides and five star hotels. The reality is, though, that if  you set your mind to it, you can travel on almost any budget. When you’re young, it’s great to get out and explore new areas that you’ve never been before. Whether you are in college and taking a summer trip with friends, or a single, millennial 20-something like me, traveling can be a highly rewarding experience.

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Here are my tips for traveling across the continental United States on a budget!

Consider Your Ground Transportation Options

Planes aren’t the only way to get around, it turns out. You can take an Amtrak train, a Greyhound bus, or, in certain areas, a discount double-decker bus line called Megabus. Megabus is a service that is popular in Europe and has now come to the United States. They are known for EXTREME discounts (they claim as little as $1) if you book ahead of time. Most transportation options offer a rate that varies depending on how early you book, but Megabus takes this to the max.

I was able to take a trip with a couple friends from Kansas City, MO to Chicago for about $10 round-trip because we booked several months in advance. While if you book the day of, the price skyrockets to what is often more than $100 one-way, if you plan ahead this could be a good way to save money. Do be forewarned, though- double-decker buses have a tendency to tip over when sliding and there have been a number of highly publicized accidents on Megabus rides. You get what you pay for, so pursue it with a cautiously adventurous spirit.

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Whichever option you take -plane, bus, or train, you can always save money by booking as early as possible. Or drive it yourself and make a road trip out of it!

Visit the Megabus website

Visit the Greyhound website

Visit the Amtrak website

Try Different Lodging Facilities Besides Hotels

When most Americans hear the word “hostel,” we probably have images conjured in our minds of the horror movie. Rest assured, though, that true hostels have NOTHING to do with this movie. I have had only amazing experiences in hostels and you could, too! Hostels, like the Megabus, are another European import that is picking up steam in the U.S. With a hostel, you have dormitory style lodging- think summer camp as a kid with a room full of bunk beds.

Hostels differ from hotels in that they function as more of a community space. There are often free events for travelers such as walking tours and community meals. It attracts a young, diverse crowd of travel-enthusiasts from all over the world. It can be really fascinating to meet the different array of people and, because you are sharing a room with others and pulling together resources, the fees for hostels are very affordable (think $30-$70 per night, depending on the city and size of room).

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In addition to hostels, consider Airbnb. This functions as a service where people can rent out their homes or apartments to travelers and is often much cheaper than a hotel. This requires a level of caution, though, so make sure you have received a good word about the host you are staying with. Plus, don’t ever feel afraid to ask family and friends if you can crash on their couches for a few days while you’re traveling- nothing beats FREE lodging.

Visit hostels.com for hostel listings

Visit the website for Hosteling International USA

(side note- Hosteling International offers a yearly membership that gives you discounted lodging and other benefits such as discounted car rentals, even tickets, etc. with any of their partnering hostels worldwide)

Visit the website for Airbnb

Eat In, Rather Than Eating Out for Most Meals

Now of course one of the best things about traveling to a new city is trying the food and I’m not saying you should deprive yourself of this experience. Rather, when it’s time for the “filler” meals, or those where you’re just eating because it’s lunch time and you need to grab some quick food, go back to where you’re staying and eat there.

Try to pack as much non-perishable food to take with you such as granola bars and soups, then when you arrive to the place you’re traveling to go grocery shopping and take the food back to your room with you.

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Even if the room you are staying in doesn’t have a kitchen, most hostels and hotels have a communal kitchen area SOMEWHERE, so look around or ask the management!

Food can be the one thing that if you really add up can get super out of hand against your budget, especially if you choose to eat out for every meal. Even if you tell yourself that you’ll just get cheap fast food, the prices at restaurants may be higher than you’re used to in the place you’re traveling to, so be wary.

Find Free Things to Do

Sure, there may be different landmarks and tourist traps in your travel destination that likely charge an arm and a leg to get in (not to mention outlandish prices for parking, food, and souvenirs). The real way to truly soak up the culture of a city, though, is to see where the locals are- walk around, window shop, see the different neighborhoods and soak up the ambience. This is totally free (if you resist the urge to buy things, that is!).

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You can also look up free things to do on Google. EVERY city has free things to do somewhere. You may be surprised at the depth of experiences you can have by just doing free activities.

163 Free Things to do in the U.S.

50 Free Things to do in North America

Your Adventure Awaits

Remember, you only live once! Get out and explore while you can and have fun. Don’t think that you have to be held down by a budget. With the proper planning, you can travel on ANY budget without draining your life savings.

If you liked this blog entry, make sure to check out my YouTube channel for more thrifty living tips, plus follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter for updates!

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Jobs Like Uber: 15 Alternatives for Freelance Work

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For my YouTube video on this topic, click here!

We’ve all heard of Uber and many have been attracted to the flexibility that it’s “work anytime” policy offers. They are definitely a great option to check out, and you can always apply to become an Uber driver here. It turns out, though, that this is FAR from the only option if you are looking to pick up some extra money with freelance work. Here are 15 Uber alternatives that you can find work from!

Make sure to check the websites for availability in your area. The companies may not operate services in your city. 

Uber EATS

Uber EATS is a spinoff service from Uber that offers on-demand delivery of food and other products and it is rapidly expanding across the globe. Uber EATS delivery partners can use either a car, bike, or scooter for work depending on what’s available in their city. You’ll deliver both food and other products customers have ordered with Uber EATS and your schedule is 100% up to you!

To drive you must be at least 19 years old, have a driver’s license, and a vehicle that is from 1997 or newer. What’s great about Uber EATS is they have a rapid sign-up process so you can get on the road very quickly, plus once you start work you can transfer your earnings to your bank account instantly after a delivery!

Apply here to become an Uber EATS delivery partner

GrubHub Delivery

Think of the delivery service that GrubHub offers as kind of like “Uber for food.” Customers order food through the GrubHub app, a delivery driver is alerted from their own GrubHub Delivery app and the driver brings the food from the restaurant to the customer. This is something that I’ve had personal experience with and I would in general recommend it. It does differ from Uber in that you have to sign up for specific shifts and it doesn’t allow you to begin working at a whim’s notice (unless someone decides to suddenly drop a shift).

Apply here 

Check out my YouTube video on becoming a GrubHub driver

Find out how you get paid DAILY with DailyPay here

Wingz

Wingz is an app that is very much like Uber, except that it originally focused primarily on rides to and from airports. It has since expanded to offer pre-scheduled rides from anywhere, while still focusing on airports and special events (like sporting events or concerts).

Apply here

Turo

Turo is a service that lets you rent out your car for others to drive. So if you have an old roadster that’s collecting dust, this a good way to make some extra money off of it. According to their website, they offer a $1 million dollar insurance policy on vehicles that are used through the service that’s covered with the customer’s fees (although you can use your own insurance if you like and get more money from each transaction). Depending on the value of your car, you could literally make thousands of dollars a month from this-so it’s worth checking out!

List your car here

Wimdu

This services is a little like Airbnb, except that it focuses on city apartments. So if you have an urban dwelling you are willing to rent out to others while you’re away, this could be a good option for you!

List your apartment here

Roost

Roost is an app that lets you rent out storage space to others. This can include attics, basements, warehouses, sheds, or any other facility, whether indoors or outdoors. When you have extra storage space that isn’t being used this could be a helpful way to make some extra money.

List your space here

Instacart

This is a grocery delivery service that is currently operating in numerous metro areas throughout the United States. They partner with different grocery stores, such as Whole Foods, and some stores have dedicated Instacart check-out lanes. What’s nice about this service is that you can work either as a part-time employee or an independent contractor, with or without a car. If you have a car you can work as a driver, while if you don’t have a car or don’t wish to drive, you can work solely as a shopper who prepares orders for customers in a particular store. So overall it can be very flexible depending on your needs.

Apply here

Postmates

Postmates is similar to GrubHub in that it focuses on food delivery, but it is much more versatile in terms of the job responsibilities.  Whereas GrubHub only delivers from restaurants that partner with their company, Postmates allows delivery from ANYWHERE the customer requests. Additionally, they can also request errands where you might be picking up products from a store or even picking up a customer’s dry cleaning. Their website claims you can make up to $25/hr. so it could be a good way to pick up some extra money.

Become a Postmate

Amazon Flex

With Amazon Flex, you can turn your vehicle into a package delivery mobile by delivering for Amazon. It is currently operating in more than 30 cities, with more coming down the pipeline eventually. Delivery drivers for Amazon use their own vehicle, set their own hours, and will deliver both same day orders from Amazon Now as well as regular package deliveries in place of Fedex or UPS.

Apply here

Dolly 

Dolly operates as a moving service that is app-based. So if you are in the mood for some heavy lifting, this will be good for you! You can work as either a “Helper,” or someone with a truck or cargo van they’ll drive in addition to moving, or a “Hand,” which is someone who assists with moving but doesn’t provide their own vehicle. Both Helpers and Hands need to be able to lift up to 75 pounds, so if you aren’t keen on physical labor you might need to look elsewhere.

Apply here

HelloTech (merged with Geekatoo)

Are you a tech geek? Then this might be the job for you. HelloTech is an on-demand tech support service that provides technical assistance to both individuals and businesses. They offer a broad range of services for everything from computer support, TV mounting and installation, assistance with wireless networks, and helping people use their smartphones.

Apply here

Freelancer and UpWork

These services are very similar so I’ve included them together. They are websites that post a directory of companies seeking help with projects that freelance workers can apply to. If you have skills ranging from data entry, graphic design, digital marketing to accounting this could be a good place to look for some extra work. After setting up an account with them, you can apply for whichever jobs you like and the companies will make their own hiring decisions. If you are looking to make some extra money, it wouldn’t hurt to set up accounts on both websites!

Freelancer website

UpWork website

LawnLove

We all trimmed a neighbor’s lawn or two as teenagers to earn some extra money, so why not try it again? With this service you can offer lawn services from mowing, weed-eating, to snow removal. You MUST provide your own equipment and truck, so take note of this. Once you’ve applied and been approved you can pick whatever jobs you like and set your own hours.

Apply here

Thumbtack

Whether you are a cake decorator, personal trainer, housecleaner, or repairman (or woman!), Thumbtack offers a website and app that can connect you with people interested in hiring you for freelance work. Notable for its wide-ranging versatility, this service can be great for almost anyone.

Apply here

If you liked this blog post, please make sure to check out my YouTube channel and follow The Thrifty Man on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more tips on saving money and making money! Make it rain!

This post contains affiliate links

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Welcome, all ye peasant folk

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It’s a tough world out there for a 20- or 30- something person today. Adulting, as it turns out, is much more difficult than we could have anticipated. This blog will help those looking to navigate the treacherous waters of adult life by showing you tips, tricks, and other life hacks so that you can live stress-free! (okay maybe there will still be SOME stress, but we can dream, right?!)

I hope that everyone finds this blog, as well as my YouTube videos*, helpful as we journey together towards our future financial awesomeness!

*Shameless plug: please visit my YouTube channel at this link where you can watch my latest videos as well as subscribe. Be sure to “like” my videos because liking stuff is cool/fun/sexy/all the cool kids are doing it.