Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Saving Money

Who doesn't love the idea of saving money!  Everyone always likes to have extra money in their pockets no matter what they choose to use it for.  For us it has become almost a necessity.  About 9 months before Noah was born Joe lost his job due to down sizing at the company he worked at.  A lot of people ask why we continued with the adoption because of it, but we were so far into the process and already had the finances in place and paying the loans from it why wouldn't we.  So for many months he was out of work and once he did find a job it was part-time making very minimal pay.  Having a baby is expensive no matter how you look at it, but we have the added expense of the adoption on top of it, our choice in a way I know.  So I have tried to become crafty with saving money.  I am no where close to being one of those extreme coupon people, and to be honest I don’t really know if I want to be.  They border being hoarders if you ask me buying stuff they will never even use and so much of it they could never use it all.  I am happy to just save a few bucks on the stuff I do buy and will use.  And then spend it on things for Noah!  I haven’t gotten the save part down pat yet, but I guess it equals out. 
So I thought I would share a few of the things I use to help save a little bit of money in our house.  I do the normal Sunday coupons, sometimes.  I have to say I do need to be better about those, but we don’t get the paper at home and I never think to stop and get one while I am out and about on Sundays.

I use the coupons.com on my computer to print the coupons for items we use.  They have a great selection of items and you can really get some good coupons on there.  The program will let you print 2 sets from each computer you have.  So say you have a laptop you can print 2 sets and if your spouse has one you can print 2 sets from that one too.  I try to spread them out and not print all at one time because it moves the dates they expire out.  So maybe print 1 set each week.  
About 2 weeks ago I downloaded the app to my iphone.  When it asked if it could use my location I said no and the amount of coupons that it listed was crazy!  You can look at them, highlight the ones you want, if you have a wireless connection to your printer hooked up you can print right then.  But if you don’t you can email them to yourself and you get them in a link on your email and can print them from there.  So it was an easy way to get another set of coupons, but a better selection of them.  You can also do a coupon exchange with a friend.  My mom will print the coupons for wipes and diapers and give her set to me.  

 This is another app you can download to your phone.  It has dollar amounts set for certain items they have listed, and you get cash back on it.  For example they have CLEAR Scalp & Hair Therapy hair oil.  You get $1.25 cash back on the item.  And if you have a paper coupon you can use that as well and it won’t affect the cash back amount.  So if you have a $1.00 coupon you save a $1.00 right away and then get the $1.25 cash back for a savings of $2.25.  You have to take a picture of your receipt and then scan the items and submit it via your phone.  It will tell you when you scan the item if it isn't a match to their item, so you have to be very careful you get the exact item they have listed or you won’t get the cash back.  The only thing I don’t really like about the site is there isn’t a large selection of items at a time maybe like 16 to 20, but it is still cash back on what you use.  Usually within a few minutes you get a message the money has been added to your account.  You can leave it in the “bank” until you want to transfer it and then you send it to your PayPal account and use it how you want from there.  Here is an easy link to if you would like to sign up www.ibotta.com/r/NmG8Q

This is an online shopping site that also offers cash back.  To use the Ebates you need to sign up using the email that you use on the sites you order from, that is how they tie back to your Ebates account.  Each store has a cash back amount tied to it, so say you shop at Old Navy you get 2% back of what you spent.  They have Feature stores where the percent back is increased.  When you want to shop you log on to your Ebates account, then type the store name in the search box and shop from there, you HAVE to do it this way for them to track it.  It usually takes a few days for your money to be added into your account and they are very good about it if you email when it hasn’t been.  So keep your emails from the stores until it is added because you need to copy the body and send it to them.  You only get your money I think on a quarterly basis but you can get a nice chunk of money in there if you shop on line a lot.  You can either have them send it in a paper check or add it to your PayPal account.  Here is a link to their site as well

Shopular & GeoQpons
These two are app I have on my iphone that have promo codes and coupons on it.  I used the GeoQpons several times this past weekend while out shopping.  You can search for the store and see if they have any codes for discounts or even coupons.  I just pulled the coupon up on my phone and the cashier just scanned it right from there and no paper coupon needed.  It is more for retail stores and is great for those eye catching purchases you weren't planning on and may not have a coupon for. 

Those are the coupon money saving sites I use and love.  One other way I have been earning some extra money is using the local yard sale site on facebook for our area to sale some of Noah’s things he has out grown.  We also have a great consignment shop in the area for kid’s items and I have gotten a lot of great items for him there, especially clothes for play and daycare.  I have even taken the things I couldn't sale online there and made some money off of them.  They go over all the items and make sure the toys and things are in safe working order and have all the parts and the clothing is gone over to make sure it is in good shape before it is sold.  You get half of what they sold it for and the other half goes to after school programs so it is a win win for everyone.

I would love to hear of any ways you all save money or help cut costs in your household. If you would like to email them to me or even post them in the comments I can write another post of them all in the future.

Happy Saving

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