Top 5 Tips for Saving Money on Everyday Purchases

Who doesn’t love to save money? This week, I was asked to serve as a guest blogger over at Mamatoga.com. As a little detour from my usual deal posts, I created this post for Mamatoga readers on how to save money on your everyday purchases and now I would like to share the same tips with you. Here is my top 5 list:

1) Coupons! This is my favorite because it is so easy to find coupons for products you use everyday and they can lead to great savings on your grocery and household items bills. There are a few ways to easily get started without devoting loads of time or effort:

  • Start with an online site like coupons.com where it’s easy to quickly scan through products and find things you use.
  • Pick up the Sunday newspaper and flip through the coupon section.
  • “Like” companies on Facebook or visit the websites of products you buy regularly- they often have printable coupons online.
  • Don’t like to clip coupons? Several stores (including Price Chopper and Shoprite) allow you to load coupons right onto your loyalty cards from their website; the savings are automatically deducted from your bill.
  • Sign up on store websites (Target is a good place to start) to have coupons sent directly to your smartphone– have the cashier scan the barcode on your phone for your savings!

2) Daily Deals/Discount Sites. There’s nothing like finding a restaurant you like or service you needed on a daily deal site for half price! There are five major daily deal sites that offer discounts for the Capital Region and many others that offer national chain and online deals. Find the local list here and the national here.

3) Never pay full price. That’s my motto and I try to stick with it. Practically every item eventually goes on sale so look for these discounted prices as an opportunity to stock up or shop around for a store that sells your favorite item for less. (For example, our favorite tomato sauce goes on sale at Price Chopper for $2.50 a jar but the regular price for the same sauce at Target is $1.99 so I try to hold out and buy more where I can get it for less.) When buying online, visit RetailMeNot.com to search for coupon codes for almost any online store. You can even get discounted gift cards to use for your purchases by buying them at PlasticJungle.com.

4) Cash Back and Incentives. Their are several places that offer cash back for online purchases but my favorite is Ebates. Ebates gives you cash back at over 1,200 online stores PLUS when you sign up, you will get a $10 gift card after you make your first $25 online purchase using Ebates. It really is that simple- search for the store where you want to make a purchase on Ebates.com and they will automatically apply any coupon codes out there and give you a percentage in cash back. A second great way to earn money or get freebies is by participating with a survey company- there lots out there that will pay you for your opinion, send you free products to try or provide you with other rewards such as gift cards and airline miles. Find a list on my website here.

5) Reward Programs. It often seems like a well-kept secret but LOTS of companies offer reward programs for using their products. My favorites are Stonyfield (enter the codes from yogurt lids to earn coupons for free products), Nature Made vitamins (enter codes found on bottles for high value coupons) and the wellness rewards program from my health plan to earn cash or gift cards  (both CDPHP and MVP have great ones). Find an ever-growing list on my website here.

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