Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Money Saving Monday - More Ways to Save!

I figure this post is better late than never.  I actually TRIED to get this posted yesterday, but I'm trying to figure out how to use MS Word for blog posts... it's not working so well.  I finally got it to actually post, but it didn't keep my formatting or pictures.  And then when I tried adding back in the pictures, it wouldn't put them in the right place.  I don't know if it's something I'm doing, a problem with blogger, or something that got messed up when I tried posting from Word (most likely!) but if anyone has any tips or knows of any tutorials I can turn to, please let me know!
Anyway, over the past couple weeks I've blogged about my top 10 tips for saving money on your grocery budget, how to save money using coupons, and now I'd like to share some other tips on ways to save.
I've listed these tips in order of least amount of effort to most.  I always recommend starting out slowly... don't try to implement all these tips at once or you may get frustrated or burn out.  The first couple tips are really simple though, so give them a try!

Sign up for store cards

Not only do you often save money immediately because you're a "preferred customer", you also usually get special coupons mailed or emailed to you. Here are some of the cards I have and their benefits:

  • Smith's (Kroger) Fresh Values Rewards: save money on certain sale items each week; get points for purchases, good towards money off gas or cash back at the end of the quarter; load coupons to your card; Smith's also mails out store coupons and manufacturer coupons.
  • Target REDCard: This DEBIT card saves you 5% off all purchases every day.
  • Starbucks Rewards: Register your Starbucks gift card and get rewards based off the number of drinks you buy. Keep reloading your card so that the points keep accumulating!
Sign up for "rewards clubs" or mailing lists from your favorite restaurants and stores

Every store is a little different, but you often get special coupons or money back based on purchases. Some examples…
    Get 30% off diapers and wipes, shipped to your door, when you "Subscribe & Save", and get free shipping for up to a year based on your purchases. You can make these deals even sweeter by using amazon.com coupons often found in BabyTalk and other baby magazines. (I actually did a comparison recently, and found it's cheaper to buy Huggies size 3 diapers from amazon.com than at Costco, even when Costco has a coupon! {Regular price on amazon.com is 17 cents per diaper while regular price at Costco is 22 cents per diaper or 20 cents with the coupon.} You can occasionally get Huggies cheaper at Target if you have a Target coupon, plus a manufacturers coupon, and they're doing one of their gift card promotions, but it's definitely more work!)
  • Chili's, Cold Stone, Noodles: Get a free meal or dessert on your birthday; get emails once a month or more with coupons for free items or money off.
  • Carters: Sign up in-store for local deals and emails. Get emails for 20 – 30% off your purchase of $30 – 50; Stamp card for $10 off once you fill up the card (Tuesdays are double stamp days!)
  • Staples, Office Max, Office Depot: Get office supplies for free or next to nothing by taking advantage of these programs. You'll get cash back for purchases and for recycling ink cartridges.
Buy in "Bulk" (this does NOT necessarily mean a huge package of something!)

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Don't pay a premium for packaging… use your own containers and save tons of money while saving the environment! Buy yogurt in quarts rather than 4 oz – 8 oz cups. Annie's Organic crackers cost 3.2 cents per ounce in a big box at Target or 30 cents per ounce in individual packages in the big box at Costco! I buy all my beans & legumes, spices, and baking ingredients (flour, baking powder, etc.) in bulk at Winco.

Buy used

Craigslist.org and other online classifieds are often great resources for finding gently used furniture, strollers, and toys. Yardsale-ing can be a fun way to find amazing bargains if you have the time.

Price Match

Walmart almost makes price matching TOO easy! You don't even have to show them the ad!! Just browse your weekly ads (or use the Grocery Smarts database) and write down the best price for the items you want to buy… then buy them all at Walmart instead of going to 5 different stores! (Keep in mind that Walmart doesn't always carry the same brands that your local grocery stores do, so you may have to go to Harmons to get the Organic Valley milk deal or Fresh Market for the Langers juice deal. They do match store brand for store brand though.)

Take advantage of money-back & money-off promotions

  • Catalinas, Register Rewards, +UP rewards: These print at the store if you purchase certain items, and are good towards your next purchase. Register Rewards are specific to Walgreens and +UPs are from Rite Aid; Catalinas can be found at any grocery store but are most common at Smith's/Kroger stores.
  • Buy X number of products, Get X dollars off: This is something Smith's does regularly. For example, Annie's Mac n Cheese and Ronzoni
  • Rebates: Lots of stores and manufacturers offer rebates, and these can save you TONS of money. Rite Aid has a great rebate program that is super simple to complete online, as does Staples. I usually get my printer paper and a lot of office supplies for free after rebate.

Play the "Drugstore Game"

This definitely takes some time, practice, and patience, but can save you THOUSANDS on toiletries and medicine. I never pay for body wash, toothpaste, razors, or deodorant thanks to the "drugstore game". Basically, spend a little out of pocket up front, but after rebates and Register Rewards/+UPs, you'll get lots of items for free… and sometimes even MAKE a little money!


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Weronika Belicka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Weronika Belicka said...

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And good software means good organization!

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muneeb khatri said...

Great post i must say and thanks for the information. Education is definitely a sticky subject. However, is still among the leading topics of our time. I appreciate your post and look forward to more. tips to save money


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