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Tuesday, May 8

Omaha Trip Winding Down

All it takes is a week away from home to make you want to be back!  Lucky for me I will be home later today.  I arrived in Kansas City on Sunday evening after completing several gas station audits.  I settled into the only hotel stay that wasn't either free by redeeming Hilton Honors points or free due to mystery shopping.  Since I was paying and I'm tight with my money I stayed at a Days Inn, which was $37 with tax.  It wasn't worth a penny more!  I'm a stickler for cleanliness so the hairs in the bathroom were kind of gross and the stains on the walls were mysterious.  Fortunately the sheets looked clean although I did wake up in the middle of the night feeling like something had bitten me.

Monday morning was a real treat.  Andy from Tight Fisted Miser was in town to pick up a friend from the airport.  I had a great time meeting him and sharing tales of frugality and mystery shopping bloopers.  Our visit was too short due to the fact that I was driving 600 miles on Monday.

The drive wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I stopped in St. Louis at a hole in the wall BBQ restaurant and had some fabulous BBQ for lunch.  I made two additional stops to break up the monotony and arrived at my hotel at 7 PM.  I was pleasantly surprised by the hotel.  It was a newer Hampton Inn on a golf course and pond in one of the most remote locations I've ever seen a Hampton... I'm surprised people find it but I was told it is a popular spot for Civil War buffs and those seeking outdoors activities.

This morning I am auditing four gas stations on my drive home.  I also lucked out and found four gas stations to mystery shop (not audit) that are on the same route I will be taking.  I have a new store merchandising setup job that is supposed to take several hours so I will probably be home by sunset.  Fortunately the new store is only 3 miles from my house.

All in all it's been a great trip.  I am under budget and made some decent money by mystery shopping.  I'm not worn out like I thought I would be... I'm refreshed and energized.  Hopefully later this week I can put together a post about the total cost of my trip along with how much I made by combining mystery shopping.


  1. I can't believe you can do so many audits/shops in one day. I did a restaurant today. The write up took me way longer than I thought it would and I spent more than I needed too. I think I made a buck fifty and a free lunch. The lunch was very good, however. Now, I worry that I did something wrong and they won't pay me. How often does that happen?

  2. Pat,
    You will find that rejected shops are few and far between. Always remember the mystery shopping companies don't get paid until they submit an accepted report, so even when you do something wrong they will often work with you to make the report presentable. I've NEVER had a higher-end shop rejected - it's too hard for them to get the shops completed.

    I've had fewer than 5 shops rejected out of more than 10,000. This was always due to stupid mistakes on my part - purchasing the wrong product/meal, visiting at the wrong time - really simple things that I should have caught.

    One last thing... I limit the shops that require heavy narrative. If they have a lot of narrative, they better be nice places. For example, if I want to treat me and my partner to a nice meal for free I might take a restaurant shop that requires some narrative. But for day to day shops, I stick to the checkboxes and 2-3 sentence narrative shops.