Tag Archives: Lifeline

HP Instant Ink Revisited; 3 Month Review

If you haven’t read my blog on the advantages of HP Instant Ink – Check it Out Here!

HP offers Internet ready printers to be part of a program called Instant Ink. This is great for people who do high volumes of printing, photos, or high quality / colored prints.

For a single fee you’re able to print a set amount of pages – and the great thing is the ability to have rollover pages; any pages unused for the month can be stored.

It also offers iOS / Android apps to print directly from your device or check the status.

The best thing I found about this program was before I even needed to replace my ink I would usually have a new cartridge shipped and received by the time it was needed. The only time I went without ink during my three month period was when I did a massive amount of printing one night and used all of my ink – I had a replacement cartridge within 3 days.

Since the device is connected to the Internet it automatically orders new cartridges for you. I don’t imagine a casual printer ever running out of ink using this program.

You can try it out for 30 days (which I highly recommend!) just to see how it works.

Tip: Sign up for the $9.99 / 300 page trial if you’re good at keeping track of subscriptions, this allows you basically to print 300 pages free of charge AND receive free ink in the process.

If you’re planning on doing a lot of similar prints – also consider printing multiple per page, this way you can maximize your output during your trial.

HP also offers great software for your desktop or laptop which is compatible with Instant Ink. It has great additional features such as being able to scan directly to your computer.

What are you waiting for? Get your free Welcome Kit now!

Ways to Save Money – Low – Income Programs in California

This article was created in order to help those living in California that earn less than $1,800 per month, or $21,000 per year. If you fall into this category, you should qualify for several of these available programs. If you have a larger household you may still qualify for these programs especially if they are dependents. Most of the covered programs have charts showing the guidelines for qualifying on each program and a link to the proper website to apply or learn more information.

If you read this entry carefully you should be able to save yourself at least $200 a month! Please take your time to quickly read over the provided details so you can maximize your savings. Be sure to share this article if you’ve found it helpful!

As a contractor it is always in my best interest to eliminate overhead (or costs) each month to maximize profits. I’ve done this by using work exchange, volunteer programs, community events, and much more. There are a ton of programs out there – you just have to look out for them! Many of these can be found on the Lifeline California website, but here you’ll get a better description on what exactly the programs are. Let’s begin!

 

Free Phone via California Lifeline

If you live in California and are receiving most any type of government assistance all you need to do is provide proof and some personal information and you’ll be on your way to eliminating your cell phone bill each month. These phones include unlimited Talk and Text each month, and usually some form of data along with a brand new Android smartphone. You can learn more information on the Lifeline California website, or visit Safelink Wireless directly.

UnlTaTeD.jpg

Average Savings: $60/mo

California National School Breakfast and Lunch Program

California offers a wonderful program for those who need assistance with getting meals for their child in school. This is excellent for those struggling month to month with trying to get their child(ren) fed while attending school. The following information has been pulled from their website to qualify for the program:

lunch*For households with more than eight people, add  $7,696 per additional person. Always check with the appropriate managing agency to ensure the most accurate guidelines.
To apply for free or reduced price meals, please visit:
http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Application/application_process.htm/
You can learn more about the California School Nutrition Programs by visiting the CDE School Nutrition website at:http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/sn/index.asp

Average Savings: $42/mo

 

CalFresh, EBT, SNAP (Formerly Food Stamps)

One of the more popular programs in California is CalFresh. This is an excellent way for you to be able to afford additional food (or food in the first place) for yourself. The application process is very easy and can even be done online if you’re not up for visiting your local office. If you do visit a local office, however, – you will be given a CalFresh card immediately and be able to buy food within an hour of leaving if you apply for emergency aid. Remember – always be truthful and honest when applying for these programs! Fraud can and will be prosecuted.

lunch
Application Process visit http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/foodstamps/default.htm.
More information, visit http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/foodstamps/PG847.htm

Average Savings: $100/mo

California Section 8

Section 8 is a program which provides low-rent housing to qualifying individuals. There are many houses available on their list, however there is an extensive waiting period. After applying a family can wait 5-7 years before finally being approved – however once you are approved you’re set! You’ll enjoy low-rent for a period of time allowing you to actively attend other classes, job training, etc in order to better your individual situation. Check it out!
In order to qualify for the California Section 8 (Housing Choice Voucher) Program applicants need to meet a set of income eligibility requirements. These income eligibility requirements are based on the family income and size. Generally speaking in order to qualify for this program, applicants must have an income that is considerably lower than the area’s median income. The PHA divides applicants into three income category namely: very low-income, extremely low income and low income. The low income households are those that earn 80% or more than 80% of the area’s median income while the extremely low income household is at 30% of the area’s median income. The very low-income category earns 50% of the area’s median income. It should be noted that close to 75% of the vouchers are issued to individuals who fall in the extremely low-income category.

If you meet the California Section 8 (Housing Choice Voucher) basic program eligibility requirements, you should go ahead and apply for participation, all you need to do is:

  • Contact your nearest California Public Housing Authority (PHA). A list of local California PHA,s and their respective contact information available on this link: http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/pha/contacts/states/ca.cfm (List of California PHA,s Local Agencies)
  • After contacting your nearest PHA, you should obtain, fill and submit an application.
  • After filling the application, you should wait for the PHA to process your application.

Upon successful processing of your application, you will be admitted into the California Section 8 (Housing Choice Voucher) program, and will be issued with a housing choice voucher.

You can obtain further information on the California Section 8 (Housing Choice Voucher) by using the contact information available on this link:http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/public_indian_housing/pha/contacts

Average Savings: $500/mo

 

California Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

California offers energy discounts to a multitude of various types of locations – more than just residential!
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Block Grant is funded by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services provides two basic types of services. Eligible low-income persons, via local governmental and nonprofit organizations, can receive financial assistance to offset the costs of heating and/or cooling dwellings, and/or have their dwellings weatherized to make them more energy efficient.      This is accomplished through these program components:

  • The Weatherization Program provides free weatherization services to improve the energy efficiency of homes, including attic insulation, weather stripping, minor housing repairs, and related energy conservation measures.
  • The Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) provides payments for weather-related or energy-related emergencies

The restrictions are listed below. Take a look – you may be able to get your service started!
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To apply, find the energy service provider in your community here:
http://www.csd.ca.gov/Services/FindServicesinYourArea.aspx

You may also call the CSD toll-free phone center at 1-866-675-6623.

Average Savings: Varies

Low Income Rate Assistance – Water

     LIRA offers a service-charge discount to qualifying low-income customers. To qualify for LIRA: The Cal Water bill must be in your name. You must live at the address where the discount will be received.
Your household must meet the income guidelines detailed below OR someone in your household must be enrolled in a qualified public assistance program. You must notify Cal Water if your household no longer qualifies for the LIRA discount.
Following enrollment, you may be required to provide proof of eligibility. You are required to recertify your eligibility every two years (four years if you have documentation proving you are handicapped or elderly [62+]).

To be eligible for LIRA based on household income, your household’s gross annual income may not exceed these guidelines:
lunch.JPG     The LIRA is not retroactive. If you qualify, you will receive a discount beginning the month after Cal Water received your application. If you prefer not to mail or e-mail your application, you may bring it to your local Customer Center. If you have questions about LIRA, please e-mail lira@calwater.com or call toll-free (877) 419-1701.

Average Savings: 20

 

 

Medicaid / Medi-Cal

     Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid health care program. This program pays for a variety of medical services for children and adults with limited income and resources. Medi-Cal is supported by Federal and state taxes. Medi-Cal is a large program made up of many separate programs designed to assist Californians in various family and medical situations.

     In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must be a resident of the state of California, a U.S. national, citizen, permanent resident, or legal alien, in need of health care/insurance assistance, whose financial situation would be characterized as low income or very low income. You must also be either pregnant, blind, have a disability or a family member in your household with a disability, be responsible for children under 19 years of age, or be 65 years of age or older.

You must have an annual household income (before taxes) that is below the following amounts:
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To apply online, please visit the Covered California online application portal.
Call or visit your local county social services office and ask for a Medi-Cal application: http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/medi-cal/Pages/default.aspx
 Average Savings: Varies

 

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

The California Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides supplemental foods, nutrition education and referrals to health care, at no cost, to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are determined to be at nutritional risk. To be fully eligible for the WIC Program, applicants must be determined by a health professional, at no cost, to be at nutritional risk (i.e., have certain medical-based or diet-based risk conditions).
wic.pngApplication Process For more information on how to apply, please visit: http://cdph.ca.gov/programs/wicworks/Pages/AboutWICandHowtoApply.aspx Program Contact Information For more information on California WIC, please visit the California Department of Public Health at: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/wicworks/Pages/default.aspx

Average Savings: $100/mo

 

California Weatherization Assistance Program

The Weatherization Assistance Program reduces the heating and cooling costs for low-income families by improving the energy efficiency of their homes and ensuring their health and safety. Among low-income households, the program focuses on those with elderly residents, individuals with disabilities, and families with children.

     If you receive Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, you are automatically eligible to receive weatherization services.
lunch.JPGContact a local provider to determine your eligibility: http://www.csd.ca.gov/Services/FindServicesinYourArea.aspx or call 1-866-675-6623. Program Contact Information For more information, visit: http://www.csd.ca.gov/Services/ResidentialEnergyEfficiencyServices.aspx

Average Savings: Varies

 

California Unemployment Insurance

In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must have worked in the past 12 to 18 months and have earned at least the minimum amount of wages as determined by our guidelines. You must also be able to work and be available for work each week you are claiming benefits. With UI Benefits, you’ll be required to actively seek employment. You will be required to provide proof of your applications such as location, date, and name of the company you applied for.
This is great for someone who was wrongfully terminated and needs to compensate for lost wages while seeking a replacement position.

For more information on how to apply or to file a new claim or reopen a claim, please visit: http://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Ways_to_File.htm

Average Savings: N/A

 

AT&T Access Internet

Now this is a pretty good deal that I just discovered was offered in California. If you receive Calfresh/SNAP/EBT benefits you qualify for Internet starting @ $5.00 a month! AT&T offers 2 plans: 10Mb @ $10.00, 5Mb @ $5.00, and 3Mb @ $3.00 – depending on what’s available in you’re area.

I like this program because it’s easy to qualify and apply for. As long as you’re receiving your food stamp benefits in California you most likely have this amazing deal in your area! AT&T Access.

Average Savings: $40/mo

 

Comcast Internet Essentials

    Comcast has an excellent deal if you live in a home that has a student who is receiving free lunch via the California National School Breakfast and Lunch Program. The program is excellent as it provides High-Speed Internet Access for only $9.95 a month plus tax! Another aspect is they offer laptops loaded with Microsoft Office and Norton Security Suite completely free of charge. These laptops are priced at $149.99.

You can also enjoy free online tutoring and the ability to sit in free classes!

Average Savings: $50/mo

 

 

Amazon Basics USB Extension

If you’re not already aware, I love Amazon Prime. It’s something I’ve been using steadily for about two years now. I order from Amazon very frequently so the same-day and free 2-Day shipping is absolutely amazing to have when I’m in a pinch and need something. As a field rep I tend to complete surveys and deals via Swagbucks in exchange for free Amazon Gift Cards. If you haven’t already go take a look at my article on Generating 100 Daily Swagbucks and Advantages of Amazon Prime. I’ve not only saved money but have GENERATED returns! For example I’ll cash out on $100 worth

I’m writing the review of this Amazon Basics USB Extension cable as a perfect example of utilizing my Prime benefits.

As a web developer I also help local businesses market their flyers and advertisements across various platforms so I’m constantly scanning images to my laptop. The problem is I brought in a new desk to my home office and rearranged everything. The printer ended up no longer sitting on my desk and I would have to step over or duck under the USB cable each time I connected it to my laptop – I quickly got over this nonsense and placed my order for the USB extension.

I paid only $6.49 + $5.99 Same-Day Delivery /w Prime so my total came to $12.48 for a 9.8 foot USB Extension Cable delivered to my door about 8 hours later. Best Buy offers a 6 foot USB Extension cable for $24.99. Half the price + at-home delivery? Seriously, why are you not an Amazon Prime customer?

Don’t forget: Amazon Prime has 2 membership options: $10.99/mo or $99/yr!

XBOX One Bundle – $249.99

Amazon has back at it with some amazing deals – this time it’s for the Microsoft XBOX One!

Microsoft has announced a $50 price drop on their console which Amazon has the luxury of taking advantage immediately. Not only can you enjoy the savings, but Amazon has organized a selection of different XBOX One Console Bundles!

Now let’s take a look at the spectacular savings this week. I’ve arranged them in pricing order.

Up first is the XBOX One – Certified Refurbished 500GB /w Kinect
xbox1.jpgBundle Includes:

  • XBOX One Console (Refurbished)
  • One Wireless Controller
  • Kinect

This is a great bundle especially if you’re just starting out. I personally have used the Kinect and love the ability to use voice commands which makes things so much easier especially when navigating the menus or trying to record clips.

Next is the XBOX One – Name Your Game Bundle ~ $249.00XBOXThis bundle includes:

  • XBOX Console /w 500GB Hard Drive
  • One Controller
  • Your choice of: Forza Motorsport 6, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, or Rare Replay!


XBOX One – White Edition /w Quantum Break
 ~ $249xbox2Bundle Includes:

  • White Edition XBOX One Console /w 500GB Hard Drive
  • One Controller
  • Quantum Break + Alan Wake Games

 

XBOX One 1TB Console + 3 Games Bundle ~ $283.90
xbox3.jpg

Bundle includes:

  • XBOX Console /w 1TB Hard Drive
  • One Controller
  • Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Rare Replay, and Oni games.

 

As you can see there are some great deals going on for the summer right now. Be sure to check out my Bing Rewards post and I show you how to receive XBOX Live Free every month! 

Be sure to visit Lifeline California for the latest news, promotions, and more!

Get Free Ink /w HP Instant Ink! (List of Eligible Printers Included)

 

HP Instant Ink Banner

Are you constantly running out of ink at the worst moments? Would you like an affordable service in which you pay-per-page and not worry about expensive cartridge replacements? Then I’ve got the service for you!

HP Insant Ink is a service which is offered by Hewlett Packard and is supported by a variety of web enabled printers. If your HP printer has wireless connectivity, most likely it qualifies for the program! A few of the features are:

  • Ink is delivered before you need it
  • Multiple monthly plans available
  • HP e-Print – E-mail your device and print from anywhere in the world!
  • Send pictures and documents from Facebook Messenger
  • Compatible apps for your smart device

I’ve personally enrolled in HP Instant Ink and have already received my first set of ink. I’ve utilized 50 out of my 300 pages for the month and definitely plan on taking advantage of the rollover feature. The great thing about the cartridges is they are a larger capacity than XL inks and print in excellent quality! Here’s a sample of a PDF and print design:

sample
HP Officejet 5740

To the left is a document created in Pages, while the one on the right was created using Publisher and on HP Photo Paper. As you can see the quality is excellent!

There are three plans to choose from. You can take a look and easily decide which of these would fulfill your needs.

*TIP! Since you’re using my referral link to receive 1 Month Free, start out with the  $9.99/300 Page plan! You’ll get a free set of cartridges and 30 days to get an idea of how much you’ll actually be printing. More than likely you’ll end up with rollover pages which will last you for some time 🙂 

HP Instant INk
HP Monthy Plans

 

Not sure if your printer is Instant Ink compatible? Take a look at the list below or visit www.hpconnected.com to see if your printer is elgibile. The sign-up process is fast and super easy. I had my ink within about 7 total days!

Are you currently in the market for a new printer? Take a look at the list below! I’ve compiled a list of eligible printer, most of which are Amazon Prime supported so you can have your printer delivered the same day with some models! If you’re not signed up with Amazon Prime, click here for a free 30 Day Trial – afterwards you can choose to be billed $10.99/mo or $99/yr; it truly is an amazing program which I personally use very often.

Bing Rewards – Free Gift Cards & More!

XBOX Live will typically run you either $9.99 per month, or $49.99 per year. Of course there are other options such as the 3 month, but ultimately you’re still spending money to stay subscribed to your XBOX Live Services.

How would you like to utilize the XBOX Live Service completely free of charge? Maybe XBOX Live isn’t your thing and you’re more interested in receiving Gift Cards for various programs such as Groove Music, Burger King, Fandango, Hulu, Skype Credits, and more!

Bing Rewards has a nice program which exchanges daily Bing Searches and Activities for points. At first you’ll start slow, but the real rewards come when you hit Gold Status and begin receiving discounts off the overall price of your chosenReward You can also rack up points if you’re into Affiliate Marketing! Just place your Bing Rewards link on your blog, website, etc and you’ll earn 50 Points each time someone reaches Silver Status. You can even play Scratch & Win games are use your credits to be entered into drawings for great prizes. I personally just use this as a way to save myself an XBOX Live Subscription, but that’s just me!

Prime

You receive 15 Credits daily for desktop searches, and 10 daily for using your mobile device. Each day there are a few extra ways to earn credits by completing a quiz or opening up Microsoft Edge to view more offers. The method I use is to initially load Bing Rewards using Chrome so it bugs me to explore using Microsoft Edge. I usually get about 19-24 points a day. Once you hit gold status all of these add up at the end of your month and you’re able to cash out for your chosen Reward.

Here are the current rewards available as of 3/9/16:

  • Groove Music Pass
  • Microsoft Apparel and Gifts
  • Windows Store Gift Card
  • XBOX Digital Gift Card (Excellent if you want to save your points up and get free games!)
  • XBOX Live Gold Membership
  • Windows Store Credit for Songs / Movies / Apps
  • Discounts at the Microsoft Store
  • Starbucks
  • Toys R Us
  • Fandango
  • Zephora
  • GameStop
  • Macy’y
  • Hulu

You may also opt in to donate to Boys and Girls Clubs America or Teach For America. All of these items vary in the amount of credits needed, but it literally takes less than 3-5 minutes per day to complete the task and once they start rolling in you’ll be hungry for me! Inviting others is a great way to earn more but is limited currently to only 250 Rewards Credits.

What would you do with an extra $100 savings per year? Let us know in the comments how you like the program!

Looking for other programs? Be sure to visit our website LifelineCali which is a vast resource for low-income programs such as Comcast @ $9.95 per month, exclusive rebates and discounts from local businesses, information on free government phones, and more!

 

Be sure to visit http://www.LifelineCali.com for additional content!

Marketing Ideas & Useful Materials

You’re now out in the field and have chosen a perfect location to setup – great job! Now, let’s run through some ideas on how to attract attention and draw customers to your products. It’s important to remember your competitors will also be testing new methods of marketing to discover what works best for them. Staying on top of your services and ahead of the competition is your key to success. Below are a few examples of different items I’ve used in the field with proven success, as well as links to purchase the items online. If you’re not an Amazon Prime Member now is the time to join. The free 2-day shipping and $3.99 overnight shipping can prove to be wonderful tools if you’re in a pinch to refill your kiosk. If you’d like more information on what Amazon Prime is, Click Here.

     The most powerful method I’ve used is harnessing my existing customers’ circles. I always have items at my booth such as screen protectors, phone and tablet cases, candy, lanyards, laser pointers, and various other related products at my local Dollar Tree or .99 Cent Store when I’m running low on stock. Again I fall back to utilizing Amazon because items which you pay $1.00 for in store can be found for .10 cents! How do I use these items? I offer these items not for sale but free of charge if a customer successfully qualifies and activates a phone and then returns with a new qualifying customer. I’ve had people approach and attempt to pull customers already walking up and claim them as a “referral” – I’m mentioning this because it will happen. You can choose how to handle the scenario but what I do is either explain it has to be a person they know or just give them a mini stylus – which costs me a dime ultimately. Allowing customers to do this will result in you spending more money on items which can be eliminated by using these two options.

     My #1 and absolute favorite product to distribute is the Mini Stylus. These end up to be about .14 each after shipping when ordering 100 at a time which I do every 2 weeks. I recommend ordering these first AND often! The only drawback to these is the fact they come from a foreign country so the shipping takes 3-4 weeks. Two options here would be to order from a seller inside the US for your initial batch or order a good amount from China and wait patiently. I highly recommend keeping these stocked up because they’re fun to give away and always draw in referrals.

Another game I like to play if I have a crowd is to say “Pick a number between 1-100” and the closest guess gets 1, a spot on guess gets 2.You can do this with any item at your disposal but these are the cheapest.

Prime

     Maybe you’re an adventurous and fun type of person, or have the extra funds to splurge on hiring someone to dance for you – who knows! I ordered this my third or fourth month in and have no regrets. It’s a silly costume that’s sure to attract attention and it has a slot to insert your customized advertisement when the costume flips open. Click here to view the costume.  This is just part of my strategy: I also purchased a megaphone, some stencils, spray paint, and foam poster boards. The result? Being loud, catching attention, and a sign with large letters saying “FREE PHONES”.

The megaphone can be found here. I haven’t had any issues or complaints while using this item. I suggest being mindful of your surroundings and use it at times when you have a teammate at your booth and the day is slow – this will attract attention and bring the customers in. Trust me it works!

Note: Choose the same colors for all of your marketing materials so you instill the brand image into your customers’ heads. 

     These items should help get you started while in the field. If your first week or two is slow don’t worry – as long as you remain consistent with your hours you will have a steady flow of customers every day. Giving away these items and separating yourself from every other mobile rep is the key to your success.

Be sure to visit http://www.LifelineCali.com for more deals and promotions!