I am definitely not one of those extreme couponers, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to shopping and eating out on a budget… I’m excited to share my secret tricks with you!
Everyone can use some tips when entering the money spending Abyss we refer to as Target. Is it one of my favorite stores? Absolutely! But budgeters beware; you need to enter with a plan of attack!
This leads to one of the most beloved apps on my phone, the Target Cartwheel.
You can either scan the product in store or plan products according to your list ahead of time. Take my word of advice and PLAN AHEAD OF TIME. More times than I would like to admit, I went in for milk and came out -$150 and acquired no milk. Ok, so how do you plan? Look for the ads in the Sunday paper and try to plan your monthly “big trip” when they are doing their “stock and save” sales. (Ex: Buy two or more of these products get a $5 gift card) Next, combine this with corresponding items on Cartwheel. What makes it even better is that on top of already being on sale and using Cartwheel you can also pile on Manufacturer coupons! (Yup, they still print those).
It may not seem like a ton of money to you but $841.71 saved on stuff I was buying anyway is a #momwin for me!
While we’re already on the topic, let’s talk coupons. Sometimes you just need to keep it old school! Clip the coupons you get in your newspaper. (If you don’t get the newspaper anymore it’s worth signing up for just Sunday delivery. My local paper is only $5 a month.). These coupons are still great because most grocery stores will still double them up to a $1.00. They are also combinable with some of the Apps I am telling you about!
Another great store app to have handy is the Walmart Savings Catcher. All you need is the Walmart app and you can use the Savings Catcher to scan the bar code on your receipt. Wal-Mart compares their prices to their competitors and Boom! you get the difference. I saved my rewards all winter and used them to pay for Easter gifts!
The last “store app” that I think is totally worth the storage space on my phone is the Kohl’s app. If you are a Kohl’s shopper, you would be totally lying if you said you never forgot a coupon or your beloved Kohl’s cash! Forget no more, my friend! Once you create your account, you can link your credit card and have all of your coupons and Kohl’s cash in the palm of your hand! Another thing that goes directly on your app is your “Yes to You” rewards. If you haven’t gotten this yet, you need to. It is totally free and works just like any other rewards cards. Once you get 100 points (which equals $100), the following month you will get an e-mail with $5 Kohl’s cash. A few times a year they also do triple points!!! So if you spend $35, you earn enough to get your $5 reward Kohl’s cash!!! Lucky for you, it will automatically go to your app instead. The beauty of Kohl’s is you can stack coupons and Kohl’s cash. Cash in all those rewards and Kohl’s cash you earned and treat yourself! 🙂
Another resource you might want to take advantage of too is Ibotta. With Ibotta you get rebates for items you purchase in certain stores. This is another rebate based tool that I prefer in app form. It just makes it easier that way!
Ever see the commercials for eBates? And you’re like, yeah right? That has to be a gimmick! I know, me too! But I saw someone else talking about how they used it and I was like, why not? I’m happy to report it is not a gimmick. Literally, all you have to do is make an account, go to the website you were going to purchase from and buy what you need! As long as you went through eBates website first you will automatically get cash back in your account. It IS that EASY!
There are some great websites out there for you to use to get the best deal as well. Groupon is one of them. You can purchase anything from an entire vacation to dinner at a local restaurant. I have even purchased codes to use on websites for picture keepsakes. Pay attention, because they might have a promo code for you to use as well! This is a website that you can get cash back through eBates too!!
One of my favorite websites is Local Flavor. They feature restaurants and fun things for my kids to do HALF OFF. Who doesn’t want to get half off for somewhere you want to go anyway? These deals are a great way to get the kids out of the house on a rainy day. Don’t forget to check for deals where you are going on vacation, you might be able to plan a day trip or dinner at half price! This goes for Groupon as well, always make sure you check for any coupons or deals before you go especially if you have already been there before and know where you want to visit!
When it comes to other local deals, check your mail box for things like Valpak coupons! They send you free coupons for stuff like shoes, to getting your HVAC repaired!
Restaurant.com is a site you should always check before going out to dinner as well. You never know what you’re going to find on there and you can get up to 60% off! Don’t forget to go through eBates to activate up to 10% cash back!
Sign up for your favorite restaurant’s email club. I know, no one likes getting those flood of emails! But you can either set up your email account to save the most recent one and delete the rest or have them sent to their very own email account. A lot of places will send you a coupon for your birthday and sporadically through the year. Visit your email when you know where you’re going, search the name of the restaurant and print off your coupon before you go. (Sometimes they can scan it off your phone but a lot of places require you to have a paper copy.)
Another e-mail club that is MUST, is Brads deals. They search all the best deals all over the web and tell you how to get them. They literally all do the work for when it comes to finding the best deal on what you are looking for! Make sure you pay attention to the coupon codes you need when checking out.
Speaking of coupon codes, Retail Me Not has the mother load. Always check to see if they have something you can use before checking out online! This is kinda like extreme couponing, use as many codes as you can and watch that total disappear.
This next one is something you probably already use, Amazon. But are you taking advantage of subscribe and save? If you just have 1 or 2 things, you will save 5% off with your subscription but if you keep 5 things on your list it jumps up to 15%! Think of little things you always forget at the store, toothpaste, mouthwash, hand soap, toilet paper, baby wipes…Bam! You got your 5 things and you didn’t even have to put them on your grocery list! Pay attention when adding them to your subscription, they might even have a coupon for you to “clip”.
Yes, these methods are time-consuming, but take a few minutes out of your week to clip some coupons and check a few websites! If you are just throwing your hard-earned cash at big box retailers, you will get lumped into the “having more money than brains” category. You don’t want to be there!
*This post contains affiliate links, if using any of my referalls I will recieve a small comission. I do not promote anything I do not use myself and LOVE.