Sunday, February 3, 2013

Savings: Secret Weapons Part 2

Secret weapons Part 2

Aside from rewards cards, savings can come in many other avenues. Here are some sites for savings, along with things you can afford to save money on by buying generic. 

Sites for savings: 

Groupon, Living Social & Amazon Local 
Use these sites to score the deals of the day to save money on local shopping from restaurants, vacations, services such as hair cuts and goods.

price comparison website to compare prices for items you wish to purchase. Bizrate will generate a list of prices and show you how much said item costs at multiple stores.

3. Retail me not
Coupon codes and savings for retailers. Most coupons are posted from real consumers. They also give you a % of times that the coupon has been used successfully. There is nothing worse than having a bogus coupon code.


Use this website to learn to coupon, combine savings and price match. Lots of tips and ideas for beginners.

5. CamelCamelCamel 

This website is great for big ticket items. After signing up, you type in the brand or type of item you are going to purchase. It brings up the history of selling cost, as well as stores and prices. You can also sign up to have an email sent to you when your coveted item goes on sale! Check this hidden gem out.


This website is awesome, if like me you want to live like Carrie Bradshaw. Simply create an account, and you can set up a delivery date for a particular designer dress. You can also rent accessories such as bags, jewelry, watches and belts. Some designers include, Badgley Mischka, Diane Von Furstenberg,
HERVÉ LÉGENicole Miller ,BCBGMAXAZRIA,D&G by Dolce and Gabbana ,Kate Spade & Vera Wang. Totally worth checking out if you have an event or hot date to attend. 

7. Bill Shrink
This website allows you to enter your current payments for cell phones, and cable and it generates other money saving options. It was featured on CNN as well as ABC.

8. Scoutmob
Utilizes local discounts that you can download directly to your phone. Most are time sensitive. For example, you could get a $10.00 haircut, but the voucher may expire within the day or two days. 

9. LIfesta
This websites buys pre purchased vouchers from Groupon that you may no longer need to use or forgot about. Don't let your money go to waste, re sell your vouchers.

10. I Heart CVS
This website allows you to preview the weekly circular, and also use store coupons with coupons from the Sunday Paper. You will get information on how to accumulate extra bucks and what to buy each week. There are many free items each week if you know the tips and tricks.

Things you should buy generic to save a buck

1. Milk
Cows milk is milk. There are no designer or brand name cows. Unless you have to have organic, or almond milk, buy whats cheap. It basically all the same inside the gallon.

2. Baking Staples
When buying baking soda, flour, and sugar, its OK to go generic. The ingredients are the same for the store brand vs. the name brand. When was the last time someone ate a cupcake and questioned if it was made with store brand flour? You see my point. 

3. Cereal
Hans will attest to this. Its pretty hard to screw up Rice Crispies and Frosted Flakes. Even Cheerios are generally comparative to the store brand. Over all, there isn't much difference if you go generic, except of course, the savings.

4. Bottled Water
Water is water in the area of plain old purified H20. I would prefer you didn't buy water, but just used a reusable bottle instead. But if you are like my mom, and have to have bottles of water around, then buy generic.

5. Aluminum Foil                 
Again, foil is foil. Saran wrap ( plastic wrap) is often another story. If you buy cheap, its harder to get out of the tube and can cause some annoyances.

6. Cleaning Products
Bleach, window cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner
All these things have mainly the same ingredients. Check out your brands to see how they compare. 

7. Pain Relievers
Tylenol & Advil can be replaced with store brand. Again, ingredients are comparable. I have never noticed a difference.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Credit Card Rewards: Secret Weapons Part 1

I am always on the hunt to get the most for my money. More recently, I was having a battle over whether or not its worth spending $50.00 on a bra from Victoria's secret. Since all of mine are basically ready to break at the seams from overuse. I have been wearing them for God only knows how long, College or longer. I decided that I would of course shop around, but since they last for years and are high quality, its worth the money. This lead me into thinking about sharing some money saving secret weapons. I know what works for me and I will share those sites and ideas with you tomorrow. This morning, I enlisted the help of my best friends. I am asking everyone to let me know which splurges and expensive products you hate to spend money on. My goal today is to research these products and find you money saving coupons and alternatives to paying full price. If you have something to share, please post a comment and I will do all the leg work to bring you the deep discounts. Today starts  a two part mini blog series I like to call Sneaky Money Saving Secret Weapons. Today, I will feature credit cards as weapons and tomorrow bring to you sites and cheap secret weapons for shopping. 

Secret Weapon: Discover Card
Credit Cards- I know in some instances credit cards can really be evil, but if you can control your spending they can sometimes give you major kick backs.  When getting a card, do your homework to make the most of your spending. The savings can really add up! I can only speak of the Discover card, cause I only have one credit card but its really awesome for Cash Back. Like many cards, each month there are specific sign ups for cash back. Here is the calendar for Discover. 

January- March- 5% cash back on all restaurants and movie tickets

March-June- 5% Home Improvement

July- September- 5% Summer Fun

October- December- 5% Holiday Shopping

You also get 1% cash back on all purchases. You can save  or spend your bonus cash.Each month you can use your points to get gift cards ( which I do) or use it to get a cash back bonus check. You can have the check sent to you, or use it toward paying your monthly bill. They also allow you to use your reward cash to donate to charities such as Make a Wish Foundation and The Red Cross. As always, its best to pay off your balance in full each month, so make sure you are careful with the card. You don't want to get into debt just for the sake of rewards. For years, I was using a crap Citi bank card with rewards that sucked. You couldn't use them unless you wanted to get a discount off of an item you still had to pay for. Totally lame. Depending on how much and where you shop, you can really make out. For instance, I try to buy groceries at Walmart. I save money because its cheap and I also get 5% cash back each time I use my card. Not too shabby. I also like to buy from Groupon and Living Social. I get cash back from each Groupon purchase, plus Groupon in itself is a discount for services or goods. If I buy gifts and beauty supplies at Ulta, I get 10% back each time! Its not for everyone, but it may be for you. Here are the current cash back bonuses for Discover.

5% Cash back 





10 % Cash Back 



15% Cash Back 

20% Cash Back 

  If you are like me, and you shop at any of these stores. It might be worth your while to look into the Discover cash reward card. To sign up or get more information, click on the link below.

* If you decide to sign up for a card, leave me a comment so I can email you. If I refer you, we both get a $50.00 cash back bonus! *

Here you will find a website listing other credit cards with cash back or rewards bonuses. Check it out!  It ranks them by reviews as well as credit scores so you know what you can get! If you have another card you use that gives you great deals, I would love to hear about it. 

Until tomorrow, Stay Cheap my friends.