Thursday, August 13, 2009

Moral Obligation

Hello, dear readers.

I think times are tough for everyone right now, the Babbling Family included. (My last paycheck came almost three months ago! Eeh! Oh, how I long for you, September 4th!) Anyway, being of the frugal persuasion, I really try my hardest to make our paychecks stretch as far as possible. This means clipping coupons, following money-saving blogs, trying as hard as possible to stick to monthly budget, signing up for freebies, trying to be Dave Ramsey-ish, and listening to the sage advice of those who have gone before me (i.e. my mom).

With that said, I want to alert you to some money-saving and money-making possibilities that are around right now. Do with them what you will, but just know that there are many ways out there to save, stretch, or make a buck.

1. I check Money Saving Mom religiously. I obtain MANY MANY MANY of my good deals through her site where she regularly posts the latest freebies, meal plans, grocery deals, coupon links, and the like.

For instance, last September she posted a deal where you could receive 25 FREE Omaha steak burgers after some coupon codes and registrations. I'm with you: I thought it sounded waaaaay to good to be true - until I received a confirmation email and then a cooler full of burgers on dry ice showed up on my front door step! I seriously laughed out loud when they arrived!

Today, she posted about a free $10 gas gift card, which I promptly registered for. Free gas?! I am soooo there!

2. Sign up for freebies and mailing lists. I know, you hate junkmail too. BUT, when you're put on a mailing list, it usually means good coupons are in your future, whether by mail or e-mail. I have an email account set up specifically to handle all these mailing lists, and I regularly receive coupons via the mail.

3. If you're not clipping coupons already, START NOW. Or Sunday. Or whenever the coupons come in your paper. I regularly save between 30-70% off of my grocery bill, and have saved as much as 90% before. I am so proud to read that percentage at the bottom of my receipt. In fact, my husband and mother are usually on the receiving end of the good news, as I just have to tell someone how much I saved!

4. Register your Kroger Plus Card (or any Kroger affiliate card) with sites like Shortcuts, Cellfire, or P&G e-saver. These sites link e-coupons directly to your card, preventing you from cutting coupons or if you forget to bring them to the store they work automatically when your card is scanned.

5. Register your Kroger Plus Card on the Kroger website and update your information! I found out recently that Kroger will email you manufacturer coupons and Kroger store coupons as long as they have the right address. Apparently, they've had my college sorority house address for years, and I couldn't figure out why my mom and sisters regularly got coupons and I didn't! Darn!

6. Buy All You magazine. I get mine at Walmart. It is loaded with coupons, and a great magazine too.

7. Join the Huggies Enjoy the Ride Rewards program. You just add codes to your personal site after registering (many of which I found on Money Saving Mom, but they can also be obtained from Huggies products), and then spend your points playing games or entering sweepstakes. Since yesterday, when I registered, I've won two $10 cash prizes that will be mailed to me! How exciting is that?! You don't have to have a little one to play, either.

8. Join Swagbucks. This is probably the easiest way to earn free stuff ever. After you join, you add a toolbar to your internet explorer, and then you do you internet searches through them. Some, not all, searches will credit you with Swagbucks that you can redeem from a variety of prizes. I've been a member since the early spring (I think) and have accumulated 115 Swagbucks. You can earn GREAT giftcards,magazine subscriptions, electronics, PayPal cash, etc. It's awesome!!!

9. I don't know if they're accepting new members, but it's worth a try. Visit Vocal Point and become a member. I absolutely love receiving their coupons in the mail, which are usually for a new or re-branded products. They often send a freebie coupon, along with 4 or 5 other coupons for the same product to share with friends. Today, I received a coupon for box of free Rice Krispies along with 4 $1 off coupons to give away. They're big on feedback, which takes only seconds of your time, and totally worth it.

10. Yard sale! Your neighbor's thrift is a great place to score amazing deals - even if you only plan on buying something to resell on eBay. (Which I've certainly done!)

Okay, hope you weren't totally bored, but I just felt like God was calling me to spread the wealth. Hopefully, you can take advantage of some or ALL of these deals too. And, feel free to email or comment if you have any questions. And, again, I'll reiterate that Money Saving Mom is who I frequent for the best deals! Go see her site!

12 comments:

Nate and Kate said...

Abby- thanks for posting this! We are tying to be "Dave Rasmey-ish" as well..and boy is it tough! We are coupon clipper addicts and they do help! I will MOST DEF. check out these sites you have posted. Thanks for sharing the wealth! :)

Jennifer Harris said...

Wow, too funny...I just won $10 in the Huggies 'find the baby' game after reading your post and going over there. Thanks for reminding me!! I won a $25 Gap gift card a few weeks ago as well. Either we're pretty lucky gals or Huggies is giving out a lot of loot!!

Also, have you ever checked out babygoodbuys.com, freebies4mom.blogspot.com, or stlmommy.com? Those are a few of my faves and I'm now adding Money Saving Mom to my list, thanks x 2!

Nat said...

Thanks for this- I'm always looking for ways to save! I signed my visa check card up for Visa Extras and I already 15,000 pts in 1 year which can be redeemed for prizes, gift cards etc.
I also never said thank you for suggesting Dave Ramsey to me, I signed up for his newsletters- his tips and advice are helpful reminders, and great for a reformed spender like myself!

Ramblings of a Crazy Mom said...

One thing I do because of our large family is plan a menu a month at a time. I then pick the meals from the menu for which those items are on sale that week or I have additional coupons for. It saves tons of money to follow a menu plan according to sales.

The Pettijohn's said...

SUPER helpful post Abby!!!!

I'm sure my husband thanks you for this one :)

The Lutz Family said...

Hey Abby-

Thanks for the advice! Will definitely be checking those out in my spare time. My favorite "free money" is our credit card. Not sure if your a credit card person or not, but we have a Chase Rewards card. We use the credit card as a debit card and pay the balance every Friday. We use it for EVERYTHING! We never pay any interest because we always pay it off. I forget the exact way you earn points, but I think its 3% in your top three categories and 1% on all other purchases. You can redeem your points (money) in fifty dollar increments, but if you wait until you have $200 they send you a check for $250!!! So not only are you earning $200 free dollars (points) they are also throwing you another $50 for waiting to collect! We get a check for $250 about every three months! Amazing huh? :)

Lindsey B. said...

Great ideas and tips!! Love it! 90%??? I'm impressed sister!

Rachie (Walker's Mom) said...

Great post. There are so many ways to save money, but it takes time and effort. It's worth it when you see how much you cut off your family grocery bill - I am impressed with your percentages! Keep these helpful posts coming and my husband might build a statue in your honor, sister:).

Lea Liz said...

Im so excitied!! I'm glad you posted all of this I didn't know about any of these websites, Im going to check them out so I can SAVE and win! :) :)

Anonymous said...

Check out southernsavers.com for good deals at Kroger.

Biz said...

Thanks a bunch, some of those ideas I had never heard/thought of.

I have to say everytime you mention Kroger I get homesick, I'm from Detroit and I practically lived at Kroger! LOL

Biz said...

you inspired me to get back into couponing, I used to be so savvy but got lazy. I spent over an hour this morning searching, printing clipping and organizing. Wrote my list. Went to the grocery store. ONLY got things I had coupons AND store discounts for (loyalty card), get to the cashier and THEY WONT ACCEPT ANY COUPONS. They've had too many problems with fraudulent coupons. ERGGGG. I was so mad. I left with nothing. Now I'm calling around to see who does accept them. How frustrating.