Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post, which means if you sign up or enter through my link, I will receive a small referral fee.
Admittedly, I am not the best bargain hunter. I have very little patience for shopping. I don’t have time to go from store to store to take advantage of the best deals. And, I like what I like…I tend to be loyal to my favorite brands. But like anyone else, I want to save money, and there are “easy” money saving tips all of us can do to save a little, without changing our lives.
If you shop online at all, you need to check out Ebates. Basically, it’s free money! Ebates gives you cash back when you shop online through their site. Almost all of my favorite online shopping sites are on there! Their selection is huge…Lands End, Gap, Athleta, American Eagle, Macy’s, JCPenney, Apple, Wag.com, Tavelocity, even iStock for when I need stock photos for my blog…just about anything you could ever need! Before I place any online order, I always check to see if the site I am shopping on is on Ebates. 2% here, 5% there…it all adds up. To date, I have received over $500 cash back from Ebates. (If you sign up for Ebates using my link above, I will receive a one time bonus for referring you.)
Another great way I save is with online coupons. Again, this is free money! You’re planning to buy the item anyway, why not use an additional coupon if it’s available?! I always google to see if I can find one before I check out, and a good portion of the time, I do! When I score a coupon in addition to cash back from Ebates, I definitely feel like I have gotten a bargain!
Use your rewards cards
The downside to rewards cards is they capture your shopping habits. The upside is that you get rewards in the form of savings. I don’t use rewards cards everywhere I shop, but my favorite is the CVS extracare program. They email you discounts that you can transfer to your card, and send you coupons you can print out. Their flyers have extrabucks rewards for spending a specific amount on certain sale items. These coupons print out with your transaction, and you can use them the next time you shop. Right now the milk I buy is on sale for a dollar less than I would pay for it at the grocery store, plus there is an $1 extrabucks reward for my next purchase! My favorites though are when they offer $5 and $10 extrabucks rewards. Last year I saved $465 using my Extra Care card!
Meal planning is often overlooked as a way to save money AND time. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the average American throws away approximately 20 pounds of food each month. If you go to the grocery store without a list, you’re going to buy things you don’t need. Plan ahead, and you won’t come home with extra food that you may not use before it goes bad. Stretching your leftovers is another good way to save, but again, that involves planning. I made white bean pork chili on Sunday, which we ate over rice. The leftovers are being made into enchiladas for dinner tomorrow night. You might also want to consider planning your meals based on the sales. If a certain meat is on sale, I might plan a meal around it, and buy extra to freeze. Or I might make a double (or triple) batch of my meal, and freeze the rest. The one thing I try not to do is buy things without a purpose in mind for them. Even if it’s a great sale, if I don’t have a use for it, it’s a waste of money.
What do you do to save money?