Top 10 Apps and Websites That Earn You Money

After sampling so many different sites, I’ve discovered very differing results from each. I’m now confident in saying that you don’t have to do this dirty work yourself!

Advertisements

How much free time do you spend on your smartphone or laptop? Are you scrolling through stuff that isn’t rewarding in either sense of the word?

Sure, we all need some mind ‘bubblegum’ at times, but, if we’re not learning or earning, we can feel unfulfilled.

When you next have free time and are at a loose end, you may like to try websites and apps that earn.

After sampling so many different sites, I’ve discovered very differing results from each. I’m now confident in saying that you don’t have to do this dirty work yourself!

What should I expect to do on these sites?

  • Complete surveys (from very short ‘micro-surveys’ to pretty long ones!).
  • Play games
  • Use the websites to shop for your usual purchases.
  • Use them as search engines.
  • Watch videos (including getting to watch the latest film trailers).
  • Look at suggested deals, such as a free credit report.
  • Test products.

What are the rewards?

  • Cash via cheque or PayPal
  • Gift-cards (physical or digital) for many retailers such as Amazon, Argos, and supermarkets.
  • The ability to donate your earnings to charities.

There are further sites that I’m still researching. Until I’ve confirmed that they are legitimate and worthwhile, I won’t recommend them. Once I’ve learned enough about them, my ‘Top 10’ may change.

The chance of receiving surveys or the chance of getting screened out of surveys will vary. It will completely depend on the demographic that the survey creator is looking for. Sometimes you’ll be desirable to them and other times you won’t.

Will you be able to get rich or give up your day job by using these sites? Almost definitely not. There are people who somehow manage to make this a very profitable sideline, but they are rare.

Yet these sites can help you to earn enough to buy some groceries or treat yourselves and others. Success will depend on your usage.

So without further ado, here are my top ten favourites:

 

10) Google Opinion Rewards (App only) Cover art

Users of this app get notified on their smartphone of when the next micro-survey is available.

Surveys usually consist of one to three questions, so each takes mere seconds to complete.

Earnings are up to 60p in Google Play credit per survey (for android users) or via PayPal earnings for iOS users.

Google Play store rating: 3.9 (I’m surprised it isn’t higher).
(Also available for iOS)

 

9) Mobrog 

(www.mobrog.com)

Cover art

This survey site pays on average 50p to £3.00 per survey.

Users get notified of new surveys as they become available. Before beginning, they’ll also learn how long each survey will take and what the reward will be.

There aren’t any penalties for not completing all surveys.

Users can cash out their earnings through PayPal once hitting the £4.00 pay-out threshold.

There’s also an app and whilst I didn’t think it was awful, it wasn’t great.
Google Play store rating: 2.9
(Also available for iOS)

 

8) inCompass
(www.incompass.me.uk)

Cover art

As with Ipsos i-Say (number three in the list), inCompass is run by Ipsos Mori.

There are currently two ways of taking part; both of which are studies on the consumption of media in the UK.

For some participants, this research will involve either:

  • For a period of time, installing a smartphone app (if participants have one) or/and..
  • Installing the inCompass app on any other electronic devices owned.
  • Keeping an online diary of their media usage for seven days.

Panelists in the former group get rewarded £20 in vouchers after their first month on the panel. They can earn an extra £10 for every month they remain part of the panel.

Some panelists receive a smartphone-like device. This device has the media monitoring app pre-loaded to it. These panelists receive a £10 reward every month they carry the device. Panelists must also keep the app running on any other devices they own.

For those completing the diary, they’re rewarded £5 for completing the seven days. An invitation to complete a diary usually occurs every quarter.

The data gathered will help form the future of TV, radio, music, and internet services.

There is also an app, but I haven’t tried it myself.
Google Play store rating: 2.2

 

7) CitizenMe (App only)

Cover art

Users complete micro-surveys, which take only seconds. Cash rewards vary in amounts (I’ve found these to be between 10p to £1 per micro-survey). There are also ‘just for fun’ micro-surveys, which provide more insights for users to enjoy.

CitizenMe works in partnership with the University of Cambridge Psychometric Centre and the University of Sheffield Open Data Science Institute.

CitizenMe says that its app is a way for users to take control of their data and discover what it says about them.

Users can choose to exchange data with organisations (including charities). Users still keep a copy of their data. This data gets added to users’ accounts, forming personalised and private future insights. The more data added, the better the insights for the user.

Businesses use CitizenMe as market research and data analytics platform. Users’ data is only used for research purposes. Collected data gets mixed with other users’ data and is anonymous.

CitizenMe receives a transaction fee from business brands. Some of this gets rewarded to the user in the form of the reward.

Google Play store rating: 4.3 (It can be temperamental on the odd occasion, but for the most part, it’s fab).
(Also available for iOS)

 

6) Nectar Canvass
(www.nectarcanvass.rn-partner.com)

Cover art

Do you have a Nectar card? If so, you can sign up to ‘Nectar Canvass’ and begin earning Nectar points for completing surveys. Surveys vary in length and reward, but this is clear before completing each survey.

You can complete up to two surveys per 24 hours and take as few surveys as you like. The great thing is that if the survey quota is full or you get screened out, you’ll still receive two Nectar points.

Nectar points are redeemable at various retailers online via Nectar.com.
Nectar points are redeemable in-store at Sainsbury’s, but also many other places such as Legoland and Vue cinema.

No app available yet.

 

5) InboxPounds*

InboxPounds

This is a very generous site where users can earn money by:

  • Signing up to offers (including free trials and competitions).
  • Completing surveys of varying lengths for varying amounts of money.
  • The daily ‘Spin and Win’ wheel where you can (and often will) win more money.
  • Using the website’s search engine. Users earn every time they complete four qualified searches.
  • Playing free games.

Users can request their cheque once they reach £20.00 of earnings.

No app available yet.

 

4) TopCashBack*

Cover art

For online shopping, the best UK cashback website is this. Sign up and make your usual purchases, from holidays, insurance or groceries. Find the retailer you want, click through to the retailer’s usual site, and earn cashback!

Another way to use the site is by looking at their available voucher codes. These are valid on top of the cashback offers!

When you decide to cash out your earnings, you can decide between various methods:

  • A direct BACS payment into your bank.
  • PayPal.
  • Gift vouchers.
    (Some pay-out methods give a bonus of up to 10% on your earnings).

There’s also an app of the same name (that I’ve not used much). In the ‘Groceries’ section of the app, you can browse available offers. Once you’ve chosen an offer, take a photo of your receipt. Upload the photo to the app and once confirmed, the money gets added to your account.
Google Play store rating: 3.7
(Also available for iOS)

 

3) Ipsos i-Say
(social.i-say.com)

Cover art

As with inCompass (number eight in this list), Ipsos i-Say belongs to well-known research group Ipsos Mori. This site works by members earning points by taking surveys. These points are then exchanged for gift vouchers. Surveys are worth between five to 250 points. You can expect to receive an average of four surveys each month, though I’m sure I received more than that.

When users sign up, they get entered into a prize draw for 30 pre-paid shopping cards. These cards are worth £90 each and there are thirty winners every quarter.

Also every quarter, members who complete update studies get entered into another draw. Winners of the draw will win 10,000 points each and there are 10 winners each time.

i-Say’s ‘Rewards Programme’:

Besides collecting points from completing individual surveys, members receive bonus points each time they reach a survey number threshold. E.g. once five surveys completed, 10 surveys completed, etc.

There is also an app: ‘i-Say Rewards your Opinion‘.
Google Play store gives it a five-star rating & I can confirm that it works well.
(Also available for iOS)

 

2) Valued Opinions
(www.valuedopinions.co.uk)

Online surveys with Valued Opinions

This a fabulous website offering paid market research online surveys. Survey rewards are between 25p and £5.00 per survey. Once users reach the £8.00 threshold, they can ‘cash out’ their earnings for digital or postal vouchers. Vouchers are redeemable at many retailers such as Tesco and Argos. Or, you can donate your earnings to charities such as the World Wildlife Fund.

No app available yet.

 

And the winner is……

 

1) Swagbucks*

Cover art

Sign up (using the link above) and earn 300 Swagbucks this October and you’ll receive a 300 Swagbucks bonus. Plus if you spend £5 or more via ‘Shop and Earn‘, you’ll also receive another 200 Swagbucks bonus!.

I’d say this is by far the best site. There are many ways of earning things called ‘Swagbucks‘ (or ‘SB’), which one redeems for cash or retailer gift cards. A PayPal account is necessary for cash payouts.

Ways to earn include:

  • Completing surveys.
  • Playing games.
  • Using their ‘Shop & Earn’ site.
  • Using their search engines.
  • Installing their ‘SwagButton‘ on your web browser.
  • Watching videos.
  • Looking at their suggested deals and taking up certain offers. E.g, signing up for a month’s FREE trial of a digital TV service & earning 350 SB for doing so.

There is also a Swagbucks UK Facebook page that’s worth checking out. They post ‘swag codes‘ daily for extra SBs.

There are also eight different Swagbucks apps for your mobile phone. Here are my findings after trialing them for you:

1) ‘Swagbucks – Best App that Pays’ Cover art

This is the condensed version of the website in the form of an app. Thus, you can watch videos, discover deals, shop, answer surveys and search the web.
This is a great little app if you like to see trailers for new and upcoming films. I’ve found out about SO many great films this way. There are also videos on fashion, music, travel, celebrities, recipes, news, and more. It’s all U.S sourced news, from what I have seen.
The best part about it is that you earn by setting the videos running and while you get on with other things.
Google Play store rating: 3.8

2) ‘Swagbucks Watch (TV)’ Cover art

This is for the same video content that’s on the main Swagbucks app (No.1) but without the full functionality. I’m not quite sure of the point of installing this app too.
Google Play store rating: 3.6

3) ‘Swagbucks Answer – Surveys that Pay’ Cover art

This is a very handy way to take surveys on your mobile. Though I can’t find the source, I’m sure I’ve read that there are surveys on the app that aren’t available on the website. If so, I don’t know if that also means that there are surveys on this app that aren’t on the standard Swagbucks app (No.1). If not, I don’t see the benefit of installing it.
Google Play store rating: 4.2

4) ‘Sportly.tv’ Cover art

This is pretty self-explanatory. It’s an app that has sports news and entertainment content. There’s a lot of yoga, including yoga with your dog! It seems to all be U.S content.
Google Play store rating: 3.6

5) ‘Indymusic.tv’ Cover art

This app shows hundreds of thousands of music videos. These videos are from a worldwide selection of indie music. I found the ads on there very intrusive.
Google Play store rating: 3.4

I can’t find a huge difference between the following and final three apps. They all offer film trailers and videos on other topics already contained within the Swagbucks app (No.1) or Swagbucks Watch (TV) app (No.2). I’d say those already do the best job and are easier to earn SBs with. Also, the ads on these next three are, as with Indymusic.tv, very annoying:

6) ‘EntertaiNow’ Cover art
Google Play store rating: 3.3

 

 

 

7) ‘MovieCli.ps’Cover art
Google Play store rating: 3.5

 

 

 

8) ‘Lifestylz.tv’  Cover art
Google Play store rating: 3.7

 

 

 

Have you used any websites or apps that have promised to reward you? What have your experiences been? Are there any that you love that I haven’t listed? Let us all know!

*Some of the links provided may provide a VERY small reward for me referring you to them. If they do, they’ll have an asterisk* and will be at no cost to you. I would NEVER recommend anything that I hadn’t researched or that I wasn’t happy with.

I love hearing from you and want to grow this community that is growing each day. Don’t be shy! Comment, contribute to the Facebook page, send me a private message or all three! I will always try to help you.

Lisa a.k.a ‘Bunchy’

Foraging For Our Food (Off-Topic Tuesday)

This post began as part of my new ‘Off-Topic’ series. Yet, as I wrote, the more I discovered that it ties in with money-saving and frugality!

On Sunday we had a lovely afternoon that didn’t cost us a penny.

Our car has been stuck at the local garage for over a fortnight now and won’t be coming home. (More on that disaster another time). Even being the hermit that I am, even I was getting a little cabin fever.

Mr. B and I both have bicycles, so if I’m not particularly fatigued or in pain, I’m able to cycle a reasonable distance.

We decided to ride to the local nature reserve that isn’t far from us. It’s blackberry season (my favourite fruit!) so we packed some containers and off we went.

We rode the distance of the reserve first, to scope out the best picking areas, then rode back, stopping to pick. Though we took some gardening gloves, we didn’t use them. Yes we got some scratches and nettle stings and yes it rained a little, but it was so relaxing! I ate a fair few berries along the way, though not the ones that were low down and liable to have been peed on by dogs!

We spent a couple of hours at the reserve, passing the time of day with friendly people and even friendlier dogs. It was a lovely afternoon and was even nicer due to the fact that we hadn’t had to take our wallets with us.

We bagged a large container of blackberries for zero cost, plus a handful of sloes, of which there were many. There were also rosehips and let’s not forget nettles too if you make nettle soup.

You don’t need a nature reserve nearby to forage your own food, as blackberries are everywhere now. Hurry if you don’t want to miss them! One thing; you might want to avoid berries growing by roads with heavy traffic pollution. Yet, this article shows that this concern may not be as worrisome as you might think.

Do you ever forage for your own food? What dishes do you make from your pickings?

I love hearing from you and want to grow this community that is growing each day. Don’t be shy! Comment, contribute to the Facebook page, send me a private message or all three! I will always try to help you.

Lisa a.k.a ‘Bunchy’

How To Save Money On Christmas 2017

Yes, I mentioned the ‘C’ word! I’m sorry, but at the time of publishing, there are only 89 days until Christmas (I found out by using this pretty cool countdown clock!). While it’s too late for me to share the numerous money-saving tips I have that can be used for planning next year’s Xmas, (fear not, that will appear in a later article), here are some things that you can do to make Christmas 2017 just that bit easier:

Make A Budget!

Really, this is THE most important thing you can do:
1) Look at what money you’re expecting to come in over the next few weeks or months (depending on how often you get paid) and what you know has to be paid out and write down what you have leftover to save each week/month.

2) Think about what you would expect to spend on Xmas this year, not forgetting all of the food, possible nights out for work parties, kids’ school parties, entertaining at home, Secret Santa gifts, wrapping paper, cards, alcohol, basically anything that you usually shell out for, (not to mention the gifts you buy) and tot it all up. Divide that total cost by the number of pay-cheques you’re getting and you’ll see how much you’ll have to save each week/month to be able to achieve the spending you’d like to do without going (or going further) into debt. Write that number down.

3) Finally, compare the amount you came up with in step one with the amount needed to be saved in step two. Is there a discrepancy? Will you have less to spend than you’d hoped? If so, then you’ll either have to make cuts in your discretionary spending leading up to Xmas, reduce what you spend on Xmas or find a way to bring in extra money before Xmas, plus, check out the next tip:

Cut Down On Who You Buy For:

This isn’t easy and may require a few conversations with people, but there really is no law that says you have to buy your child’s teacher a gift each Xmas, or that you must buy that cousin you don’t really like a present, as well as all of her children, just because she buys you all something you don’t want or need each December. If you can’t afford to, don’t want to, or it’ll push you further into debt, just decide to stop. It’s much easier than you might think. Focus on your family and your financial peace of mind. If you really can’t say no to people then consider the next tip:

Homemade Gifts:

Some people groan at the thought of this, but it can be much easier than you think. Everybody has some sort of skill or service they can offer. Are you a knitter? Then look at Pinterest for cool knitting ideas, such as a mug cosy pattern (buy a cheap mug for 75p and fill it with marshmallows) that won’t take long to create. Don’t possess a creative bone in your body? That’s ok! Offer a new mum an afternoon where you’ll hold her baby and do some laundry while she grabs a shower or maybe takes a nap. Wrack your brains for what you can offer and know that whilst people rarely remember what you’ve bought them, they’ll always remember the time you’ve spent with or on them. If they don’t appreciate you for it, then you might reconsider why you’d give a gift for them in the first place.

dreamstimefree_1537888
Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Secret Santas:

This is something that most office workers will be very familiar with. It usually involves receiving some useless but hilarious gift from an unknown colleague, but the idea can also be extended to family and friends. If it’s a completely new concept to you, it basically just involves a group of people putting their names into a ‘hat’, everybody taking a name and without telling anybody else, buying that person a gift. A price is set for the gift (an amount everyone agrees on) and by Xmas, the gifts are all put together (labelled, obviously), and passed out to the correct recipient. In this way, everybody gets a gift and everybody only has one gift to buy. It can save a fortune.

Consider Second-hand:

Yes, I really said that! When you say ‘second-hand’ to some people. they envisage smelly and horrible clothes from a charity shop, but come on, don’t be a snob, there are so many beautiful, gently used items to be had both in shops and online (it’s what eBay was built on after all!). It’s a great way to give somebody something you’d never usually be able to justify buying brand new and it also keeps those things from going into landfill. A double win!

Xmas Cards:

These were introduced by inventor Sir Henry Cole in 1843, who had helped to bring about the penny post three years previously (a coincidence?) and whilst I can see the value in posting a card to somebody you’re not going to see over the Xmas period, and who you’d really like to keep being reminded of the fact you care about them by the presence of a card on their mantelpiece, I don’t see the point in writing a bajillion cards and handing them to people you are going to see right up to the big day, or posting numerous cards to people who you never have any sort of contact with from one Xmas card to the next. It’s a massive waste of money, resources and who knows if the recipients even want the hassle of finding somewhere to put the cards, let alone the mountain of recycling they have to add to in the New Year (that’s if they don’t just throw them into the normal waste – shudder!).
There are ecards, email, instant messaging, texts, a whole host of social media and even the old telephone call that can replace sending a card. All are either free or very cheap and you’ll probably say more to the person you’re contacting. ‘But I like to support my favourite charity by buying cards!’ you cry, well then you’ve got to read this 2015 article.

dreamstimefree_1483833.jpg
Image courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Meal plan!

Whenever I’ve not made a proper plan for eating over the festive season, I’ve invariably gone overboard with how much food I’ve bought. I’m guessing I’m not alone with this.
If you’re fed up buying food that spoils, are sick of turkey and even chocolate (you’d have to be MENTAL), then before you shop, plan out how many of those days off work you’re planning on eating differently to your usual week then plan what you’d like to eat for breakfast (even if it’s a chocolate orange), lunch, dinner, snacks, and booze, and what you know your family and/or guests will likely want to eat and buy only that.
If you are having guests, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask them to bring some food or drink that will travel well and if it’s all getting too expensive, consider just one day of feasting. Not only will it help your wallet, but your waist will probably thank you for it too.
Finally, if nobody likes Xmas pudding, sprouts or turkey, etc, just don’t buy them purely in the name of tradition!

What do YOU do to save money on Christmas? What’s your biggest festive, financial regret?

I love hearing from you and want to grow this community that is growing each day. Don’t be shy! Comment, contribute to the Facebook page, send me a private message or all three! I will always try to help you.

Lisa a.k.a ‘Bunchy’

Why Being On Camera Isn’t For Me

(The First Post Of My ‘Off-Topic’ Tuesday Series)

In late 2016, after being inspired by the ever-growing world of the personal finance YouTube community, I thought it’d be a good idea to jump on board and share my own ideas and passion about this topic.

I had a mixture of feelings about this experience; from excitement to fear, but after a few months of trying it, I decided that it wasn’t for me.

Fast forward to Summer 2017 and I felt that I was missing creating videos in an area of interest that I feel passionately about and so decided to give it another go. I did lots of research (research is my thing) and off I went again.

Throughout the first and second attempt at becoming a YouTube creator, despite enjoying the process, for the most part, I was always a little uneasy.

Now, I’m not for one minute knocking YouTube or any YouTube creators. I rely on YouTube on a daily basis for education, instructions, and entertainment. What I want to explain is why what I was doing just wasn’t for me and why I switched my videos from ‘public’ to ‘private’.

  1. I’m very private. (I know that I write about some personal things here, but it seems a much safer environment and there’s something about the medium of writing that allows more anonymity than video does.)
    I’d rather not have my face and voice out there for everybody to see. Yes, I could’ve created videos that didn’t show me, but this leads on to my next issue…
  2. I can’t seem to master video editing. – I’ve put, at least what I consider to be, a LOT of effort into really trying to learn this skill. Granted, the various apps or software I used were all free and therefore somewhat limited, but I just couldn’t crack it and frankly, ran out of patience!
  3. It takes up too much time. – I may not be a paid employee but on the days that I’m not bedbound, I’m busy being a housewife and being a frugal housewife often means that things take longer, due to cooking from scratch, etc. Housework also takes me a lot longer to do than your average person, as I have to frequently stop and rest. All that to say, that time, as it is for everybody, is very precious and I’m not okay with spending it doing something that isn’t completely enjoyable to me.
  4. I’m very sensitive – Now, I was too small a channel to experience any ‘haters’, ‘trolls’, or negativity in the comments section of YouTube, but it was always a possibility. The longer I made videos and the more my subscriber count grew, the more likely it would’ve been that I would’ve encountered this sort of response. I know that it’s possible that it could happen on this blog, but people are less likely to stumble upon this blog (they’re more likely to find me due to sharing an interest in what I write about) than they would have stumbled upon any of my YouTube videos, plus, there’s a culture on YouTube that seems to make people feel entitled to write hateful comments to perfect strangers. I’m a highly sensitive person and just don’t deal well with that sort of behaviour.

So there it is! My YouTuber days are over, but I learned a lot during the time I did it and let’s face it, no knowledge is wasted knowledge.

I love hearing from you and want to grow this community that is growing each day. Don’t be shy! Comment, contribute to the Facebook page, send me a private message or all three! I will always try to help you.

Lisa a.k.a ‘Bunchy’

 

Vegan Friendly Frugal Tomato Soup

Credit must go to Mr.B for this recipe, which he created last week from a wonderful gift of tomatoes grown by my out-laws. 

I’m a pretty good cook but unless it’s something I’ve made many times, then I have to follow a recipe. Mr.B, on the other hand, is a wizard at rustling up delicious meals out of what appears to be nothing in the kitchen (and I’m eternally grateful for this!).

Soup is a usually always a frugal winner and as we were so impressed with how this particular creation turned out, I thought I’d share this cheap and cheerful, yet healthy recipe with others 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
  • 1 large onion (roughly chopped). 
  • 6 garlic cloves (chopped).
  • 1.5kg of tomatoes.
  • 2 tablespoons of mixed herbs (or basil, if you prefer).
  • 4 tablespoons of tomato puree.
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes (dissolved in 1 pint of boiling water).
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

  1. Grab a large saucepan, add the oil and heat on a low to medium temperature (the temperature remains the same throughout the recipe).
  2. Add the chopped onions and garlic and cook until soft. 
  3. Meanwhile, wash the tomatoes and remove their cores.
  4. Add the tomatoes, herbs and tomato puree to the saucepan and stir. Put the lid on. 
  5. Cook for approximately 15 mins, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes begin to soften and break down.
  6. Add the vegetable stock.
  7. Put the saucepan lid back and cook for approximately 30 mins, stirring occasionally. 
  8. Allow the mixture to cool slightly and blend it until it’s smooth.
  9. Return the soup to the heat and simmer until it’s your desired thickness (if too thick, add boiling water). 
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  11. Enjoy!

(N.B. If you don’t want the tomato seeds in the soup, then pass the mixture through a sieve before serving). 

Make this recipe even more frugal by growing your own tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, and by making your own vegetable stock (which can be made from leftover veg and kept in the freezer for whenever you need it for recipes).

You may also want to look at this Frugal And Healthy Spicy Lentil Soup, my Chunky Autumnal Vegetable Stew Slow Cooker Recipe, and my Easy Carrot, Orange, Coriander and Ginger Soup.

I love hearing from you and want to grow this community that is growing each day. Don’t be shy! Comment, contribute to the Facebook page, send me a private message or all three! I will always try to help you.

Vegan-friendly Frugal And Healthy Spicy Lentil Soup

Wait! Don’t be put off by this recipe title!

I know, I know, ‘lentil soup’, even with my strategic inclusion of the word ‘spicy’ (and don’t let that put you off either, as you don’t have to have it spicy) isn’t particularly appealing, but even my meat-loving husband gets excited when I serve this, which tells me all I need to know. This is one of the two soups that I make most often and we eat it as a main meal, either with sandwiches or yummy bakery bread.
It’s so quick and easy to make. Try it and let me know!

Ingredients:

200g dry red lentils
100g carrots (peeled & diced)
120g onion (peeled & diced)
1250ml vegetable stock
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Seasoning: Salt, pepper, cumin powder & chilli powder.
(N.B. I recently ran out of cumin and chilli powder, so used curry powder and some cayenne instead and Mr.B actually preferred it, so I think the key is just to add any spice that adds some heat. If you want that).

Method:

Put the lentils, stock, carrot, and onion into a large, lidded saucepan.
Simmer for 25 minutes until the lentils are disintegrating. Let the mixture cool and liquidise.
Add seasoning and lemon juice to suit your taste and reheat.

This soup freezes really well, so I make a bigger batch of this than the recipe above. It can be reheated on days when we can’t be bothered to cook. Which, let’s be honest, are most days.

You may also be interested in Mr.B’s Vegan-Friendly Frugal Tomato Soup, my Chunky Autumnal Vegetable Stew Slow Cooker Recipe, and my Easy Carrot, Orange, Coriander and Ginger Soup 

I love hearing from you and want to grow this community that is growing each day. Don’t be shy! Comment, contribute to the Facebook page, send me a private message or all three! I will always try to help you.

Are You Jealous Of The Joneses?

Too many people spend money they earned..to buy things they don’t want..to impress people that they don’t like. –Will Rogers

Making comparisons with people is a common thing. We all do it to some extent, but some people find themselves not only consumed with wanting to see what other people own and do but trying to keep up with this self-imposed standard of what is ‘crucial’ to have for themselves.

In our material world, success and wealth are so often confused with what we own.

Let me make two fictional examples:

Your friends, Mr & Mrs. Jones have a brand new luxury car, they take two luxury holidays overseas each year and their home is like something from an interior design magazine.

Your other friends, Mr & Mrs. Smith have driven the same car that was already a few years old when they bought it eight years ago. They go camping in the UK for a long weekend each year, and stay with family occasionally, but hardly ever seem to go abroad. Their house is clean and tidy, but it’s filled with second-hand, mismatched furniture and their kitchen and bathroom are both a little dated.

So which couple is ‘successful’? Who is earning a good salary? Which couple is struggling with debt and arguing about money when nobody can hear? Which couple has a greater than average net worth for their age? Who has the most in savings and which couple have their retirement investments on track? Who has the highest Credit Score?

The answer is, we just don’t know.

Mr and Mrs. Jones may have worked their arses off to pay cash for those expensive holidays, or that brand new car, or they may have an expensive car payment each month and they may still be paying off a holiday taken five years ago as they sun themselves on their latest dream destination.

Mr and Mrs. Smith could be raking in fantastic salaries and investing 70% of their incomes each month so that they can retire really early and travel the world or they may be paying off crippling debts and about to split up due to one of them having a secret gambling habit.

There are so many variables to each situation in this fictional set-up and so too are there when observing the lives of others around us or on social media. Unless a person chooses to tell us how their personal financial situation is, we’ll never truly understand the real picture and frankly, it’s none of our business.

Finally, not everybody measures success by material, financial, educational or vocational factors. For some people, a contented marriage or happy and well-adjusted, kind children are much more of sign that their hard work (in spending quality time with loved ones) has paid them dividends. To them, these are the only dividends they’re concerned with.

I love hearing from you and want to grow this community that is growing each day. Don’t be shy! Comment, contribute to the Facebook page, send me a private message or all three! I will always try to help you.