Saturday, December 6th, 2014
Do you shop at Target? If so, I highly recommend getting a Target REDcard debit card. When you pay for your Target purchases with your Target REDcard you will save 5% on everything! And if you shop online and pay with your Target debit card you will get free shipping on top of the 5% discount! Plus there are lots of other benefits like 30 extra days for returns, pharmacy rewards and more.
I love Target but only learned about the Target REDcard and the 5% savings about 1 ½ years ago. When I saw that I could save 5% on my purchases- even ones that I use coupons on- it was a no brainer to me! Not only have I saved money, I have saved myself a trip to the store many times by ordering online insteadand enjoyed getting free shipping directly to my home. What’s not to love!?
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Friday, December 5th, 2014
I’m excited to share a guest post with you from one of my blogging friends, Sarah Titus. Sarah has an incredibly generous heart and has been such an encouragement and blessing to me. I think you’ll enjoy her no-nonsense approach to saving money. She’s definitely a pro at it!
There is a mass amount of information about how to save money out there. Some of it requires a change in habits that means making more long-term money saving goals and you may be asking yourself, “Yes, but how can I save money NOW without really doing much? I don’t have time for all the ideas out there and need immediate results.” If this is you, here are 10 easy ways to save money without even thinking!
10 No-Brainer Ways to Save Money
1. Brew your own coffee and bring your own lunch
Break up with the drive-thru habit. You may enjoy it and it may seem simple, but have you ever waited in line for 10 minutes? You could have brewed a cup at home in less time than that and it would have only cost you pennies. Drive-thrus of all kinds, like the ones at fast food restaurants, are just a bad idea. They seem to save you time, but in the long run, they cost you so much in your budget and really don’t save that much time. Likewise, they are worse for your health, which ultimately gives you less time…here on Earth!
2. Make a grocery list
This is pretty simple to do and will save you so much time and money when you go shopping. Also, if you can, shop alone. Bringing extra people usually means extra things end up in your cart.
3. Follow your favorite brands on social media
You will often get coupons and special deals just for doing so and you won’t have to do much but wait for them to pop up and snag them when they do. So easy!
4. Borrow and get things free
Borrowing saves you money by not having to purchase things that you may only need one time and it also keeps the clutter down at home. Likewise, stop paying for things you want. Here are 15 things I don’t spend money on.
5. Stay organized
Being organized in many aspects of your life saves you money by allowing you to not buy duplicates of things you already own and helping you stay on top of your important events. Miss a birthday? Chances are you’ll spend much more being late than having things all ready to go before hand.
6. Pay your bills on time
By paying your bills on time, you will avoid late fees which can add up to hundreds of dollars wasted over the course of a year. Likewise, paying your bills late will affect your credit score, which makes for higher interest rates in the future. If you need a little help, set reminders on your phone or computer.
7. Set your thermostat lower in the winter and higher in the summer
Just a few degrees can save you lots of money on your electricity or natural gas bill. Resist turning on the heat or air conditioner as long as you can. Bundling up in sweaters if you are cold or drinking a cool beverage if you are hot can help.
(A programmable thermostat is a great way to do this and often quickly pays for itself.)
8. Sign up for rewards programs
These usually only take a minute to sign up for and can save you many dollars down the road and even earn you free items.
If shopping online, before you pay, look for coupon codes to save a percentage off your order or to qualify for free shipping.
9. Skip out of network ATMs
Those little fees can add up to big money lost very quickly. If you have trouble remembering where your in-network ATMs are, ask your bank if there is an app that you can download on your phone that helps you locate one with GPS based on your location. Many banks provide these now.
And as a second tip, do NOT go overdraft. This is a biggie. In my banking career, I’ve personally seen people go in the negative over a $12 charge and overdraft due to overdraft fees by $500 and the bank refused to waive all those fees!
The list goes on and on and on….you can walk instead of taking your car. Go to the library instead of buying a book. Rent a movie instead of buying the movie or going to the theater.
10. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that lead to the most savings for you
I remember when I first started saving money, the first thing I cut out was fast food. I didn’t realize that our family spent $300/month on fast food alone! Crazy, right? That’s an insane amount of money going down the tubes. Just start wherever you are and don’t get overwhelmed. Anyone can save money by changing up a few things. Things so easy that require barely any commitment or change at all.
What are the things you do to save money without even thinking about them?
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Sarah is a stay-at-home mom of two wonderful children. From homeless to well-off, this single debt-free mom is most known for her ability to live well on $18k/year. Sarah loves encouraging others that dreams do come true if they are willing to consistently work for it. Follow her blog: Saving Money Never Goes Out of Style.
Thursday, December 4th, 2014
Wow! This new Kimberly Clark SavingStar coupon is awesome, awesome!
Here’s the deal. When you buy $30 worth of Kimberly Clark products including Cottonelle, Kleenex, Scott, Huggies wipes and Viva you’ll get a $5 Saving Star credit. The thing that is so great about this offer is that you can purchase the items in multiple purchase anytime between now and January 28, 2015. And you can also use paper coupons on the items as well, allowing you to save even more!
So, if you use any of these products or think you might be buying them, go ahead and electronically clip the coupon now in case it reaches it’s limit.
I love SavingStar! Each week they have a Freebie Friday offer where you can get an item totally free and they also have a weekly Healthy Offer that you can use to save 20% off on a fruit or vegetable. Plus, they always have lots of other offer too.
Here are some of the other current ones.
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Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
Some of you have wondered where I get my printable coupons. Here are the main coupon sites that I use: Coupons.com, Coupon Network, Smart Source, Red Plum, Ibotta, Snap,Hopster, Checkout 51, and Saving Star. Manufacturer websites and Facebook pages are another great source.
- free Starbucks frappuccino
- several free chocolate candy bars
- Dawn dish soap for $0.25
- free CVS batteries
- food to make an almost totally free dinner!
Total Spent: -$20.12 (negative due to gas savings credit, see end of post)
Total Saved with Coupons: $32.17
Total Saved with Sales: $20.98
Total Saved: $53.15 + $69.25 in gas savings
CVS: $5.57 + $0.74 cash
Saved with Coupons: $26.17
Saved with Sales: $9.53
PLUS a TON of other things! (see below)
I bought way more than is pictured above! I am positive that I took pictures of it but I can’t find them. My son was having fun taking pictures with my camera one day this week and I’m kind of thinking that the pictures must have gotten deleted then somehow. Oops! I guess that is just life with kids, right?
The week of Thanksgiving is a fun week at CVS because they always have a whole bunch of freebies (after Extra Bucks)! They have a set of free offers that they do Sunday to Wednesday and then another set that is offered Thursday to Saturday. If you buy the items in batches, you can use the Extra Bucks from the first purchase to pay for the second and so on. That’s what I did which helped me get the $42.01 worth of the stuff that I bought for just $6.31 out of pocket, plus I have $7.98 worth of Extra Bucks to use on future purchases! The store I went to was actually out of stock on quite a few items, so I got rain checks for those things as well.
Basically, everything that I bought was free after Extra Bucks except for the Dawn dish soap. It was $0.25/bottle which is obviously a great price. And the thing is, I was getting low on dish soap so the timing was perfect!
- 2 Dawn $1.00 each
- used two $0.25 Dawn printable coupons
- Gum toothbrushes $2.00
- Revlon nail enamel $4.99
- used $2.00 Revlon printable coupon
- Starbucks frappuccino $1.50
(my store subbed for Starbucks Iced Coffee)
- 2 Robitusson $1.49 each
- Vitamin water $1.50
- M&M box $1.67
- Two 5th Avenue bars $0.79 each
- React gum $1.00
- Advil $0.99
- Kraft Mac & Cheese $0.99
- Twix $0.79
- CVS trail pack training diapers $0.99
- CVS travel pack wipes $0.99
- Stride gum $1.29
- CVS AA batteries $4.19
- Orbit gum $1.00
- Viva paper towels $1.99
Other Coupons Used:
- $24.20 in ExtraBucks (CVS coupons that print at register for purchasing specific items)
- $1.00 in ExtraBucks for purchasing the Dawn (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $2.00 in ExtraBucks for purchasing the Gum toothbrushes (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $3.00 in ExtraBucks for purchasing the Revlon (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $1.50 in ExtraBucks for purchasing the Starbucks (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- Two $1.49 in ExtraBucks for purchasing the Robitusson (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $1.50 in ExtraBucks for purchasing the Vitamin water (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $1.50 in ExtraBucks for purchasing the M&Ms (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- Two $0.79 in ExtraBucks for purchasing the 5th Ave. bars (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $1.00 in ExtraBucks for purchasing the React gum (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $0.99 in ExtraBucks for purchasing the Advil (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $0.99 in ExtraBucks for purchasing the Kraft Mac & Cheese (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $0.79 in ExtraBucks for purchasing the Twix (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $0.99 in ExtraBucks for purchasing the CVS training diapers (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $0.99 in ExtraBucks for purchasing the CVS wipes (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $1.29 in ExtraBucks for purchasing the Stride gum (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $4.19 in ExtraBucks for purchasing the CVS batteries (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $1.00 in ExtraBucks for purchasing the Orbit gum (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $1.99 in ExtraBucks for purchasing the Viva paper towels (can be used on next purchase of any item)
Saved with Coupons: $6.00
Saved with Sales: $11.45
Remember the American Express Small Business Saturday offer that I told you about? Well, it just so happened that a local family owned grocery store, Darrenkamps, was a participating merchant. Well, I registered my American Express card as well as my husband’s card and had fun shopping for some groceries there! The $10 offer was available to do three times per card, you just had to do separate transactions. So I decided to do the offer twice per card which means after the statement credits I’ll only be paying $3.56 for all of this!
Since I’ve had a couple of pretty hectic weeks due to a variety of things, I decided to have a little fun with this offer and buy some special things for our dinner that evening. The pizzas, sub, lettuce/cheese/dressing for Caesar salad and donuts were for that. It was cheaper than buying take out and probably healthier too! My husband loves subs and seeing his eyes light up when he saw that I had bought him one was fun. And we all love donuts, but rarely get them, so those glazed cream filled ones were met with lots of excitement too! And in case you were wondering, they were absolutely delicious and worth every single calorie. Oh and we actually had a pizza and a lot of the salad ingredients left over so we’ll be able to enjoy that for another dinner this week.
I bought the Huggies primarily because I wasn’t sure what else to buy. There were lots of things I could have bought, but nothing I really needed and I didn’t have the time or energy to try to come up with great deals matching coupons with their sales. So buying the Huggies kept it simple!
I was wanting to get some Ritz to use for a couple of things over the holidays. When I noticed that they were on sale and that I had a coupon for them as well, I figured I might as well grab them to help bump my total up to $10. The Mentos however, were totally a filler item. My one transaction was short of $10 by just a couple of cents so I quickly scanned the candy display at checkout and grabbed the cheapest thing I saw. My kids of course wasted no time in claiming them as theirs which was fine since I’m not really a Mentos fan anyway!
- Mentos $0.79
- 2 Ritz crackers $2.50 each
- used two $0.50 Ritz printable coupon (doubled to $1.00 each)
- Romain hearts $4.99
- 2 Crystal Farm shredded Parmesan cheese $2.00 each
- 2 Huggies $8.99 each
- used two $2.00 Huggies printable coupon
- 2 Dr. Oetker pizzas $3.99 each
- Shurfine Caesar dressing $1.50
- 3 Donuts $0.69 each
- Foot long sub $4.95
The last couple of weeks I’ve been buying various items that are part of the Giant gas deals. Basically, you get points for purchasing the products and then you can redeem those points for gas. I was able to get $69.25 worth of gas for free as a result. And since I only buy the grocery items that are part of these deals because they either get me free gas or make me money, I put the savings back into my grocery budget. (To see the details of these purchases look at my previous Giant purchases under my What I Spent & What I Saved posts.)
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Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
Domino’s pizza is offering 50% off all online pizza orders through December 7, 2014, when you use coupon code 9413 at checkout.
If you are planning to eat out this week, this is obviously a great way to save!
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