Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Easy Ways to Save

Long post ahead; I apologize now!

Who here doesn’t like to save money?

*crickets chirping*

If you know me at all you know I love saving money. Sales, deals, coupons; you name it, I probably use it/have heard of it. I am in no way an expert on it nor am I an extreme coupon person. That would just take too much time! But when it comes to everyday, money saving tips I got the scoop! I’m sure most of you have heard of the following things I am going to tell you about but you might be skeptical. On some I have inserted an image of my total savings just to give you an idea of how much money you could be saving! Most of these are through specific apps on your phone (which should be available across all devices). So keep on reading to find out how to save some mullah!

1. Ibotta: This is by far my favorite app out there for in store shopping. Ibotta is a cash back app in which you unlock rebates, buy those products and scan your products/receipt when you get home and viola! You get money back. I love using this app and I have gotten into the habit of looking at available rebates before I go shopping. Wal-Mart has the largest amount of rebates (go figure) so that’s where I do most of my shopping. They also have Target, CVS, Walgreen's, local grocery and specialty stores and they even have some places like Best Buy and Joann Craft stores (those are different, you have to have the checkout person scan the barcode within the app to use it at these stores). Just make sure you look through the requirements for cash back before going to these specific stores. My lifetime cashback as you can see below is over $300 and it’s totally worth it! I have my cashback go straight into my PayPal account which I can then transfer to my bank account. You can “cash out” once you hit $20 and you get a $10 welcome bonus just for signing up and submitting a rebate! You can also cash out your earnings by getting a gift card as well. Some that are available are Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, Best Buy and more! Use my code utqfawt to get started! 
*Tip for Wal-Mart pay users: If you use Wal-Mart pay like I do sometimes, you know that you don’t get a physical receipt that it’s on the Wal-Mart app. All you have to do is e-mail it to yourself and you can scan the QR code from there to still get your money back.

2. Ebates: This is another great app that you can use if you do a lot of online shopping. I know in today’s world it can be easier to buy things online and I know a good amount of people now do their Christmas shopping online as well. Why not earn money while spending it?! With Ebates you just download the app (or go through their website) search for the online store you are going to purchase from, and click on the link to get to the website. That’s it! Once you make your purchase Ebates will credit you with however much percentage was listed and viola! It’s that simple. There are a TON of stores that participate. Throughout the year Ebates has random days or weeks where you can earn double cash back and sometimes they have promotions where you can earn up to 10% cash back! It doesn’t matter how you pay for what you’re buying so you can use PayPal, gift cards or certificates and you can still use promo codes as well. Ebates is also great because they also list sales that are happening on websites and sometimes have money saving codes as well. Unlike Ibotta, Ebates will send you a “big fat check” every quarter and it can be directly sent to your PayPal or they will mail you a check, whichever you choose. My next payout is next month and I'm getting $24 back! It sounds like a gimmick but my total back is over $140. Click the link to get started!  
 * Reminder: You must go through their website or app in order to receive money back. 

3. Wal-Mart: If you do your grocery shopping at Wal-Mart, they have an app you can download and you can use their feature called Savings Catcher. Once you checkout, you open the app, find the little piggy bank symbol for the Savings Catcher and scan your QR code. Wal-Mart automatically compares prices to similar stores (Target, Dollar General, other grocery stores) and if a store advertises a lower price, Wal-Mart gives you the difference! You can set it to where it automatically loads an e-gift card that you can use in store or you can add it all later at your convenience. I have mine set to where it reloads automatically. You can then either set it to where your Wal-Mart Pay uses it when you check out or you can use it later as a gift card. If you use Wal-Mart pay all you have to do is click “Submit Receipt” after you pay and that’s it!

4. Target Cartwheel: I feel like everyone knows about this one! The Cartwheel app is an app for Target shoppers and it kinda works like Ibotta. You create an account (you can sign in with your Facebook like Ibotta which I forgot to tell you!) and you can go through all the available offers. Some offers are $$ off but most are % off like 5% or something of the like. The Up & Up brands are almost always on there. What’s nice is that as you’re shopping you can scan the item you’re about to put in your cart to see if there is an active offer for that item, instead of having to scroll through all of them before you shop. It will let you know if there is an active offer for that item and if there’s not, it will let you know of a similar item that is available. For instance, if you scan Tide detergent and there isn’t an active offer it will show you one for the Target brand of detergent. At checkout all you do is show the checkout person your barcode associated with your Cartwheel (found within the app) and voila! The offers are applied. Most associates will ask if you have a Cartwheel app. I know Target also offers 5% off always for using your Target credit card so if you combine that with your Cartwheel you’ll save even more.

5. Printable Coupons: I love actual coupons. Having the physical piece of paper in my hand that says I can save $1.00 makes me happy and helps me feel good about saving. There are always coupons in the paper on Sunday but I found recently that they kinda suck (You’ve seen those. “This is not an actual coupon, go online to print”). You can create an online account with the P&G brand saver and you can print coupons from there. Another site I love using is coupons.com I have gotten a good amount every week from this website.
*Tips with coupons: One of the great things I love about couponing is combining them with Ibotta. For instance: I have a coupon right now for $4.00 off a Neutrogena makeup product. Ibotta has an active rebate right now for $4.00 back on any Neutrogena makeup product. Combine the coupon with your Ibotta offer and bam! A $7.00 makeup product has made you a $1.00 profit. I know it doesn’t sound like much but if you think about you’d essentially be getting that product for free. This happens quite often (not so drastic savings all the time) but it’s pretty neat to have a paper coupon and an electronic offer at the same time.

6. Survey Mini: A lot of people don’t know about this app. I didn’t know about it until my good friend Anna told me about it. Survey Mini is an app you download. You keep your location settings on for it and when you visit stores, you receive a short survey about your visit (which is why it needs the location turned on even if you’re not using the app). The questions are generally “why did you choose this store, how was your food and beverage (if purchased) how friendly was the staff” etc. The surveys are generally short and usually take less than a minute to answer. Once completed you typically receive points (100-500 but 100 to 200 is the norm) and once you reach a certain number of points you can redeem them for gift cards. Sometimes though you can receive offers for $$ off or a free item. For example, I’ve had multiple “Get a Route 44 free with the purchase of a regular drink” from Sonic. You show them the code on your phone and you’re good to go. I have redeemed two gift cards so far, one for a $25 one for Michael’s and I can’t remember the other one. It takes a while to earn enough points to redeem but it’s free and doesn’t take much time!

7. Retail Me Not: This is a simple one. It's an app you download and you keep your location on to use it. While you're out shopping, it uses your location to see where you are and it will load offers for stores that you are close to. For instance, if you are in a shopping area with a Kohl's near by it will automatically load all the available offers for Kohl's for you. It won't have the specific ones like you would get in the mail tailored to you but it does have general coupons. All you do is show the barcode or savings code to the cashier and that's it! Savings applied. 

I hope this was informative and helpful to someone. I’m sorry the post is soooo long but I love saving money and any tips I have I love sharing with other people. Any money saving tips/apps you use that weren’t mentioned?? Happy saving friends!

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