Ways I Save

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Anyone who really knows me, knows that I love to save money! My family will tell you how embarrassed they get when they're with me at stores because I am always looking for ways to save and I am not opposed to asking about deals or a discount. Hey, all they can say is no, right?

I tried doing the crazy couponing thing for awhile, but I never quite got the hang of it, plus I spent entirely too much time trying to clip and plan my trips. If that's your thing, I applaud you.

Anyways, I wanted to share a few of the ways I regularly save while shopping online and in-stores. I hope you find it helpful, especially being that it's the time of the year you may find yourself out shopping ;) 

1. Ebates
My Mother-In-Law is actually who told me about Ebates a few years ago. I had seen it online a few times, but assumed there was a catch. Then when I saw the check she received in the mail from them, I realized there isn't! I use it anytime I shop online for a percentage back on my purchase. All you do is go to the Ebates website and set up a free account. Each time you shop online you go to their website, search for the store you want to shop at, and then click the link where it will open an Ebates shopping trip and you will earn money for your purchase. It will tell you what percentage each store offers back and a lot of times they run deals on their websites so you can earn higher percentages at featured stores. The money is saved on your Ebates account, and then a few times a year Ebates will send you your "Big Fat Check" in the mail of your earnings for that quarter.


Ebates Coupons and Cash Back
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2. Loyalty Cards
Most stores have rewards or loyalty cards they try and get you to sign up for. I always do simply because that usually means you will either be earning points on the purchases you make at the stores, or it gives you a lower price on items. For example, we buy all of our animal food online. Not only do I get free shipping which saves me a trip to the store and carrying the heavy bags of dog food by myself, but I earn money back for every dollar I spend, which then generates money back for me to buy more dog food or pet supplies next time.

Also, for some of the bigger department stores, being a cardholder offers exclusive discounts and special shopping dates. I know, right? Another reason to apply for that card each time they ask you checking out.

3. Retailmenot and Mobile Store Apps
Retailmenot was one of the first discount sites I started using. I use it not only for online shopping, but for in stores as well. I check their website whenever I am buying online to see if there are any promotional codes I can enter at checkout for a discount. I have the app on my phone too so whenever I am shopping in stores, I check it for in-store coupons. Some stores do not offer in-store coupons, but it never hurts to check. Target has a Cartwheel app that you download on your phone and it provides in store coupons. It also has a handy scan feature that allows you to scan the item through your phone's camera, and will tell you if there is an available discount or suggest other items that are on sale.

4. Coupons and Coupon Codes
Occasionally I will use an actual coupon. Sometimes I see coupons in magazines, or they print automatically when I am at the store, so I always keep those in my wallet in case I am buying an item that I can use it for.

5. Website Promo Codes
Another thing I do, is check the home page of the website I am shopping. A lot of times websites will state they are running a special and to enter a code at checkout to receive a discount. Most often, they offer free shipping if you spend a minimum on their site. I never like paying for shipping if I can help it, so I will spend the minimum. Another hint is to shop at stores where you can easily return to store, or stores who offer free return shipping as well to avoid paying if it doesn't work out.

6. Damaged or Discounted Items
This is one of the reasons my family gets embarrassed in stores with me. There have been a few times when I find a clothing item for instance, that I love in a store, but there is something flawed about it, and it happens to be the only one in the store. In that case, I will ask if they can discount the item. Sometimes, they are happy to offer a small percentage off, and other times they cannot. As a rule of thumb, I don't typically ask if I am shopping at stores where items are already "discounted," but if it were something damaged then certainly it doesn't hurt to ask.

7. Know What an Item Costs
I always try and watch the register as I am checking out. There have been plenty of times I purchase an item because it is advertised as being on sale, no sooner to get to the register and have it ring up for full price. If I catch it, I can speak up right then and ask the cashier. I hate getting home later and looking at the receipt and realizing the mistake because I wasn't paying attention.

8. Dollar Shave Club (For the Hubby)
Oh my gosh, buying razors for myself is bad enough but when it comes to the husband who goes through them weekly, I was all for trying out the Dollar Shave Club. I was so tired of making special trips to the store for razors, and paying an outrageous amount for them even buying them in bulk, so I decided this would be perfect to try. Razors are delivered right to your door each month and there are 3 different, AFFORDABLE options to choose from. We are signed up for the $6/month for 4 razors a month, with free shipping. So convenient, and much cheaper for us! It would make a great gift for a special guy in your life as well!

Box
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There you have it! The ways I try and save money where and when I can. What are your favorite ways to save?

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