Tuesday, March 31, 2009
But I haven't always been a coupon junkie! Until about a year ago I had no idea places would send you LOADS of coupons if you just sign up for them. Usually all you have to do is give them a couple of the following: your address, email address, and full name. Sometimes they will want you to fill out a rewards or "loyalty programs," survey. But its usually just a couple questions of why you enjoy their product(s). If you ever get asked by a cashier to join a rewards program, and the program is free, do it!!! I get coupons and promotional or special sale offers monthly, sometimes even as much as every week from companies. Here are a couple of my favorite rewards programs:
1) Your bank--most banks will let you earn rewards for using your debit card. You have to look into your bank's specific conditions, but a lot of the time you can earn cash back or gift cards and travel miles for just using your debit card for every day things you need anyway.
2) Hallmark Rewards--Hallmark has one of the BEST reward programs I have ever run across. You get coupons and deals every month and for the points you earn you can get an "upgraded status" that earns you even more rewards. They have a program you pay for as well but unless you shop there a LOT, its not really necessary. Also--at the end of the year they tell you how much you spent with them--which is great for helping you budget for the next year.
3) Perks Place at The Children's Place--With this swipeable pass you earn point on each person. Spend $150 and get $10 back. Best of all its free, you don't need to get their store credit card! And they will also send you exclusive coupons in the mail.
4) BabiesRUs and ToysRUs--you can sign up for a rewards membership online. They track how much you spend and send you coupons for $ off any purchase and will send you coupons in the mail along with a booklet of upcoming sales.
5) Gap Credit Card--This is quite the investment and normally I would say DON'T do a credit card. But if you are like me and like to order things online--this credit card has free shipping offers. I save myself about $100 annually off of shipping costs and don't have to drop $100 to get the "free shipping" bonus that most stores make you use. And because this a store I frequent ALL the time, I save money by shopping online so I won't overbuy. Because we all for that trap on at least one item. But if you do a credit card, make the purchases worthwhile by not carrying a balance. ALWAYS pay your balance in full.
6) Huggies, Similac, Enfamil, Pampers....anything baby! You can sign up for vouchers and coupons at all of these websites.
7) P&G Coupons--Proctor and Gamble will let you sign up for mailer coupons at their website. These are very handy and can save you money on things ranging from Tide to Cereals.
8) Barnes and Noble Rewards--If you read a lot of books this is a great offer. But it ALSO can save you money off of toys, puzzles, calendars, music, and dvds. Can't afford the annual $25 membership? Try and find someone who has one because you just need to know the phone number to look up the account. For instance I have frequently let my mom or closer friends use mine. Best part is you always get 10% off. And often times they run promotions of up to 40% off or send out coupons to your email address. This is especially great for purchasing textbooks if you are a student. Barnes and Noble has special section online for getting reduced price text books that are old or new. You get to use your discount and they will sometimes throw in free shipping.
9) Your most used grocery product--Mine is Rogers Dairy, I eat their yogurts and drink their milk DAILY. I checked out their website and discovered they also have coupons they mail out occasionally. All I had to do was give them my address and they send them to me in the mail.
10) Target--when you register for a baby registry or wedding Target will send you coupons after you have "completed" it. After my wedding, target sent me a coupon for 20% off anything remaining on my registry and I could still access it. I needed a new camera since mine broke. So I added it and saved $50 plus got free shipping. Also, you can sign up for coupons and even print some off online at Target.com.
BONUS TIP: Any place that asks for your email address wants to send you a coupon! So always give them it. For instance, Bath and Body Works, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Victoria's secret will always ask for your email address. When you give it to them they sign you up for email offers and send you coupons. Banana Republic actually gave me one for 20% off online! You can also find most of these offers by googling but companies are getting smarter about encoding them and limiting them by using bar codes so my best recommendation is to sign up for your favorites yourself. Take advantage of all the great deals to be found out there, especially in this economy when companies will do back flips to keep you as a customer.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
- Declare a spending freeze--no shopping except for bare necessities and stay out of the malls and stores. See how long you can stay away from your favorite place to shop.
- Cheap entertainment-- Don't pay when you can have fun for free. Try game nights, movie and popcorn nights, walks to park, and getting books from the library.
- Pantry-only cooking--no grocery shopping except for basics like milk, eggs, butter for 1 week during the month
- Drive less--don't go to places that are not necessary and save on gas money. Plan any trips out so you are not wasting time driving back and forth.
- Drink less sodas and pops--switch to waters, koolaids, and crystal lite instead. You can even try making your own lemonade for a nice spring treat.
- No eating out--cook at home instead or bring a lunch to work. Try some new recipes to keep yourself from getting bored.
- Clean out the closets--sell items for cash or give away. An extra bonus: this declutters your home and you will have your spring cleaning done!
- Pay with cash--Try to not use your debit card and pay with cash. You will be more conscious of what you spend when paying with cash.
- Use coupons--Utilize your local newspaper and clip coupons and plan plan plan to save money at the store. Also try looking online for coupons or savings codes.
- Invest wisely--To make it all worthwhile put 90% of the savings into a savings or power checking account to earn interest. Then treat yourself to something nice after 1 month of saving money!
I would give it all to families trying to rebuild their homes in Cedar Rapids, IA. Cedar Rapids had record flooding last summer and still isn't back to normal. The downtown area is empty and its a sad sight to see. These families could use money like this to rebuild their homes, clean up their community, and make their neighborhood better for their kids again. This is an investment everyone can benefit from. Our kids will benefit and will give back more than a million dollars in gold.
Today I love reading this book to my son. It was my favorite as a child and now I can read it to my son too. We also try to make chocolate chips cookies and drink milk before reading it. It's just great to have before bedtime and goes perfect with this book!
I love this book because it reminds me of Kindergarden. What person doesn't remember reading this book in class as a child? Even better is now the book has its own series. So when my 3 year old asks for another book I will just read another one!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Try Pandora now at: http://www.pandora.com/
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
My husband and I ordered this highchair from Target last week. Only we ordered a cherry colored version of it. We decided after watching Jon and Kate +8 that we wanted to try using a wooden high chair instead of a big bulky plastic one for this baby. The plastic ones are more than double, sometimes triple the price of this one at $39.99. We waited for it to have a special or promo code for free shipping and ordered it first thing on Monday last week. We got our highchair in the mail today and it is gorgeous. I couldn't believe it only took my husband 10 minutes to set up and the wood is very high quality too! Target still is offering free shipping on select items for a limited time, so if you know you need something order it now!
Link to highchair:
Monday, March 23, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Old Navy--They had a whole wall of infant and baby items for $5 each. It didn't include toddler sized items (only up to 24 months included in the sale) but I needed some spring and summer items for Oliver so I picked up some 1 pieces, shorts, and Oliver's Easter outfit. Oliver's Easter outfit from head to toe totalled only $20! And its going to double as his baptism outfit so I totally scored!
The Children's Place--They did it again! All the winter clearance items were $2.99 and under. So for $25 I was able to get 5 pairs of corduroy pants, 2 matching velvet blazers for next Christmas AND some footed pjs for next winter! And I earned rewards points by swiping my Children's Place Perks pass. So I will be earning my next reward very soon! LOVE it!
Carters Outlet--I love Carters rewards cards. I get the email offers and they always send me $10 off coupons but this time I also got to use 2 $10 off a $35 purchase coupons that they gave me for shopping a couple weeks ago. I still have one left to use and they are good through April 4th. All together I saved $30 making my total $60. Everything I had was 70%+ off so I got lots of inexpensive finds for both boys next winter and fall.