I’m all about saving money, but I’m also busy and somewhat disorganized (I know, shocker!). There are some bloggers who save some amazing cash, but some of the methods they use frankly sound like a full-time job to me, which is great if you have the time. Unfortunately, I don’t right now. So I wanted to put together a list of some ways you can save money without spending all your time doing it.
If you haven’t signed up for Ebates yet, seriously, there’s no excuse. My sister tipped me off on this site after telling me about the checks she gets from them, just for shopping like she normally does online. I just got word of my first check that’s being sent out in the mail and decided you all need to be doing this if you’re not already.
There’s really nothing to it. Sign up for an account. Then next time you want to purchase something from any major store, like Target, Amazon, Lands End, Toys R Us, Barnes & Noble, go to Ebates first. Then find that store there. You’ll see what the current cash-back percentage is. It could be anywhere from 1% to 26%, depending on what kind of promotion they’re running at the time. The click on the link for that store through the Ebates site and you’ll be directed to the store’s website, but you’ll automatically earn that cash-back from Ebates when you place an order. You have to do nothing else!
Check back often with Ebates because they have double cash-back bonuses and all kinds of other promotions, where you can really save some serious cash. I plan to use Ebates for my Christmas shopping this year. Can’t wait to get that check in the mail!
(By the way, just so I’m fully disclosing, Ebates also has a great referral program. So if you click on the Ebates links in my post here and sign up for an account, I’ll earn a bonus. Just so you know.)
2. Clip Coupons
If you don’t already clip coupons, don’t worry. Those who have gone before you have suffered the snickers and eye rolling and blazed the path to thriftiness before you. It’s no longer embarrassing, inconvenient or just for “poor people.” In fact, couponing has become somewhat chic I think. I mean, who can’t use an extra dollar or two in their pocket?
Easiest place to start? Your Sunday paper. There are usually two different inserts, Red Plum and Smart Source, which contain coupons from a variety of manufacturers for all kinds of products. Sometimes you’ll also get a bonus insert from Proctor & Gamble or another company that produces many different brands. Go through the coupons and clip the ones for products you normally buy or that you would be willing to buy at the right price.
Next, organize your coupons. You can pick up a plastic or fabric organizer at a dollar store or can find really cool ones on places like etsy. You can even just use different envelopes that you label and keep together with a rubberband. Just make it easy for you to find coupons as you go through the aisles of the grocery store or superstore. (And by the way, don’t forget to TAKE your coupons with you to the store! Just stick the organizer in your purse or car and you’ll always have them.)
When you are deciding whether or not to use a coupon, make sure to pay attention to the prices of the other brands if you’re not married to that particular brand. Just because you have a coupon doesn’t mean it’s the best price for you! You may find that another brand still has a better price, and you’re willing to buy that brand. The best time to use coupons is when the store has that product on sale. You can get some great deals that way! Make sure you check the store’s coupon policy to see how many coupons you can use for an item per transaction.
3. Subscribe to Money-Saving Blogs
I find out about tons of great deals through a few different blogs. I subscribe to them via email, so the deals just get sent to my inbox daily or sometimes more than once a day! They offer links to coupons and other great sales, as well as what I love—scoping out the deals at major stores like Target, WalMart and Walgreens, and linking coupons you can print out with their sale items to get you the VERY best deals. Yeah, sometimes things are even BETTER THAN FREE! These bloggers do all the legwork so you don’t have to, and I’m very appreciative!
Here are my favorites, although I’m sure there are more great ones that I don’t know about!
Deal Seeking Mom
A Frugal Friend
Vocalpoint is an online community where you can sample new products, take surveys, share your opinion on products and more. What I love is that you will receive samples of products along with amazing coupons in the mail. Many times the coupons will be for a FREE item, as well as several coupons for significant savings to use or share with friends. It’s easy, and I like it because I can share my opinion about what I liked or didn’t like if I want to. It’s worth it to me.
5. Sign Up for Newsletters of Brands You Love
Many times, brands or manufacturers will have their own websites and newsletters that you can subscribe to. This is an easy way to keep up with the latest, as well as receive promotions or coupons to use. Some I subscribe to are Kraft, Betty Crocker, SC Johnson and Pillsbury. If there’s a brand you use a lot, just find them online. There is likely a way to subscribe for coupons.
There are more ways you can save money, but these are 5 easy ways to get started. What about you? How do you save money?
Cool money photo by J.D.R.