Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Save MORE Money This Year!



Some of you probably already know that I am a bit of a coupon queen and I get a thrill out of saving money and fabulous free finds. Many of you voted on our blog poll and asked for more money saving tips, among other topics. So, I wanted to share some quick and easy tips to keep and put money back into your wallets this year!


Over the past year alone, I've saved hundreds of dollars on groceries, clothing and I've received 10 free magazine subscriptions (some full and some partial) and have also received a lot of free goodies by using rewards cards/points and filling out free product mailers too. It ALL adds up!  Now here is how you can do it too.

TIPS TO SAVE MORE MONEY 




1. Sign up for EBATES today!- What is ebates? It's a simple website that you log into first before selecting the online retailer you want to shop at. You'll be automatically directed to the site from ebates and will receive a percentage of your purchase amount back just for logging in there first! They make money on referring you over to the site and then give you a kickback, so it is legitimate and the best kept secret!


You can save anywhere from 1% to 21% of your purchases! You can also earn $5 for each qualifying person that you refer to the program. I don't spend a lot of money online but we do buy our vitamins, some rental car reservations, some flights, clothing, and other necessities. Every cash back amount helps to add to the greater total. This is FREE money, no sign-up fees are involved and it takes me an extra 10 seconds more than it would to log into the retailers site directly. It's SO worth it and I found it at the referral of a fellow coupon queen! I signed up in mid-2009 and have already made back $36! Hubby has his own account and has earned $25. What a great way to set aside that free money to use for this year's Christmas gifts or towards a vacation!





2. My FAVORITE Website- I have a favorite website, it's true. It's not for home decor or clothing but rather vitamins, supplements and personal care items. The website is  Vitacost. They beat amazon.com and every individual retailer or store front on price and shipping costs. You can save up to 78% off of items that you use everyday! Their shipping is a flat rate $4.99 and they often have free shipping specials or you can find coupon codes online for free shipping, free prevention magazine subscriptions or other great goodies. They ship most items in just a couple days and I've never had a problem with their service or products. They also offer a money back guarantee, are a completely secure site and are on the Inc 500 hall of fame. Check them out HERE. The best part is they are listed as one of the stores under ebates so you can get 5% cash back on your purchase too!


* I am not compensated in any way for recommending Vitacost.





3. Print Online Coupons- There are so many websites with great coupons to be had. Some may think, why waste my time coupon clipping? Well, when you can save 40-50% off of your grocery bill by piling a manufacturer's coupon on top of a store coupon on an already on-sale item, it makes for a sweet deal and a lot more money in your bank account for something wonderful. Below are a few of my favorite coupon websites.


CLICK ON EACH NAME FOR THE LINKS TO THE SITE


*For a specific store or item, just type it into google and then add 'coupons' to the end of it and you'll see websites with free coupons for organic products, brand name items, etc.


 Use a small expandable file folder to store your coupons. You can file them by store or by item category. I always categorize and place the ones that will expire soon at the front. Be sure to look at the store's flyer before heading over so you can get organized before you go.





4. Redeem Rewards Points- There are so many rewards points clubs available via credit card companies and air miles providers as well as valued customer points for free merchandise. The great part is they all equate to free stuff or in many cases free money.

My husband and I love to travel and have been on several trips (many were international) on airmiles from all of the points that he has collected over the years. It's a great feeling to get ready for a trip and know that the airfare is already covered. Likewise, there are other programs that provide valuable rewards for your patronage too.

My credit card and debit card are tied together in a rewards points program so that every dollar I spend equates to points. I have already scored $75 worth of Target giftcards as well as a $10 Starbucks giftcard too, just for spending money that I was going to spend anyhow. It just encourages me to use that particular bank account and credit card for my purchases instead of the others. Check out your bank and credit card company's offerings. Perhaps it is as simple as switching from one type of account to another. Just be sure that you are not paying a fee or premium or higher percentage for such a program, otherwise it would outweigh the benefits.

Last week, I discovered a fun points program to get free organic food. If you like Organic milk and yogurt, Stoneyfield Farms has a program running until the end of March. They give you a specific points allotment for every code off of the lid you enter in which translates to free products like organic chocolate, baby products and even books. Point redemption starts at just 25 points and many items provide 4pts each! I just purchased a couple items and already have 7pts, I know the next 18 pts will come quickly because we eat a lot of yogurt.







5. Pay As You Go- My husband and I went from spending $75 per month for our combined cell phone bill to spending only $8 each per month, that's a savings of over $700 per year! How did we do it? We traded in our AT&T family plan with roll over minutes (that we never used) to a pay as you go plan called Go Phone with AT&T. It took us about a month to adjust to the plan but it was well worth it.


We spend less time talking while driving (well actually neither of us talks on the phone while driving anymore) and we do not need a texting plan. Let's face it, we all got along fine before the ability to 'text' became available. I check my voicemail from our home phone so it's free and we only use them for emergencies, when meeting a friend or when lost and needing direction. You can add minutes as often or as little as you like and the purchased blocks of minutes last about 3 months which is perfect for us.


I thought it was drastic when we first did it and it was uncomfortable for a few weeks but I'm so glad that the money we are saving is going towards a trip and not to a telecommunications provider. It also lets me be more productive by not spending time on the phone.


An alternative to this is to eliminate a land line in your home and exclusively use your cell phone to save over $40 per month!


What is your favorite tip for saving money? It doesn't have to be one listed above. Do you have a favorite coupon website or a unique way that you and your family cut costs? Leave a comment, we'd love to hear from you!

2 comments:

  1. I just stumbled upon your blog ~ it's wonderful!

    I love this post. I've been using Ebates but have yet to receive my check ~ have you ever had any problems like this?

    Jo

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aw, thanks Jo! I'm glad you're enjoying my blog.

    I haven't had any problems with ebates payments. They pay out quarterly and the next pay period is Feb.15th I believe. They do wait until you have a minimum of $10 first before transferring payment. If you look under the FAQ page, it should hopefully answer those questions. I like getting paid monthly via programs so that was the only thing to get used to but it's always a nice surprise to see it in my paypal account. :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by, your comments make my day! I read every single one and will answer any questions you have. I hope you'll visit again soon! :) I look forward to reading your positive, inspiring and interesting thoughts! *Please note I remove all spam which includes shameless self-promoted posts with blog/website links. This comment space is for quality dialogue, not advertising.

Warmly,
Karla

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