Thursday, December 20, 2012

A few ways to save

John thinks that I'm queen of being frugal, yet we like nice things and we like to go places.  In fact we travel a lot and it is easy for expenses to add up.  Here are a few of the ways we've saved some dough this year.
Nov CVS deals for about $20 with $30 ECB back

Coupons and Sales

Obviously clipping coupons and shopping grocery store sales (particularly Buy One, Get One Free deals) are a great way to save.  We've saved hundreds of dollars by doing this.  John even asked for a coupon at Captain D's last week!  Sometimes coupons are a good deal but if it is for a product you will not use or would expire before you can use it, think twice.  You may be adding to your bottom line bill if you use coupons and purchase alot of items that still end up being high dollar that aren't really needed.  

If you print and redeem coupons from Swagbucks you can earn points to redeem on anything from Amazon gift cards to pencils and baseball cards to movies.  You can also earn SB (Swagbucks) by searching the web.  We have used some SB redemptions for baby shower gifts and stocking stuffers.

Search travel sites but don't always book online!

Most everyone searches Travelocity or maybe even Groupon before  taking a trip. If you are looking for a very specific location and date then searching, planning, and booking in advance is most likely the way to go.  However, if you are simply traveling up the interstate and don't know exactly where you will reside for the evening, you may want to use your smart phone to get some ideas of places and prices.  We have found on at least 5 occasions over the last 2 months that if you take your phone into the hotel with the online price pulled up, they will beat it.  That's right.  They will usually not only meet the price without you having the hassle of entering your credit card info into your phone, but we find that we get about 10% extra off.  Of course this would be a gamble to expect that each time.  Worst case scenario is that you then book online or go somewhere else!

February 2012 at Magic Kingdom - A much needed escape
We do like to use specialty travel agencies, like Mouse Tales Travel .  Kimberly or Lori can help you book a trip within most any budget, and plan out all the details of your trip.  That would include park tickets, park plans, and dining, amongst others.  Tell them I sent you and if you book a qualifying trip, I'll get some Disney dollars.  Then when you refer your friends, you may can get a bonus too!  We first booked a trip to the Animal Kingdom Lodge with Mouse Tales and two weeks before we went, John was feeling good and wanted to go to Mickey's Halloween Party the next day.  Kimberly gave us a few options and booked our trip while we were picking up essentials at Wal-Mart and all we had to do was drive to Orlando.  Priceless.  Lori helped plan a large family trip earlier this year and get flights and transportation scheduled for John's family and make reservations for our meals.


We have fallen in love with Ebates! You get cash back for online shopping.  I wish I had discovered it sooner!  You get paid a percentage back to buy the things you are purchasing online.  Plus, you can get referral bonuses when  your friends sign up.  I've racked up almost $40 over the last 5 weeks.  For the first person you refer who makes a purchase, you get a quick $25 to be paid out in February.  My favorite deal so far was using an email coupon code for and getting 52% cash back.  I got two magazine gift subscriptions for $1.96 with $1.02 in cash back from Ebates! Cha Ching.

Shopper Card and Credit Card rewards

Don't forget to check balances on rewards.  I have redeemed my Sears shop your way rewards for groceries and other goodies that will total about $50 before the end of the year.  Also, if you have rewards on credit cards, check out the items that they offer.  I got a free car seat from Discover last year and with Bank of America rewards I got a birthday present or two for others.

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