It's time for our monthly install of money saving tips. I hope you have been able to implement some of the tips you've read on this blog. Saving money is very possible even in this economy. Let's do this!
1.) Look at your receipts. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten FREE food just by simply filling out a little survey from my restaurant receipt. Make sure you read the small print! I don't fill out the ones that say "you could will $5000!" but I do fill out the ones that say "FREE cheeseburger". Um, yes please!! All you do is fill out the survey and then write down the validation code on your receipt. Take the receipt back with you the next time you go (usually needs to be within 30 days) and get your free food! Now that's what I'm talking about! Also, Starbucks is notorious for their $2 grande drinks after 2pm. Again, look at your receipt. If it says you can get it, then get it!!
2.) Use reusable bags. Not only is this better for the environment (I heard that it takes something like 1000 years for a store plastic bag to decompose!!! Yikes!!) but it can also save you money! You might be surprised to find out that some grocery stores actually PAY YOU to use reusable bags. For example, Reasor's (a local grocery store) pays 0.06/bag and they apply it towards your total grocery bill. Heck yes!! Not only are you helping the environment, but you get money off your bill. Ask your local grocery stores if they offer this. You might be delightfully surprised.
3.) Join store loyalty/rewards programs. This is a no-brainer. CVS is a prime example of how you can save a ton just by having a store card. This is NOT a credit card. I'm not telling you to have a store credit card just so you can save money. Studies have shown when you use plastic, you tend to buy more. CVS has something called extrabucks. You can get these when you buy certain items in the store and you also get them quarterly. CVS will often have awesome sales but you can only get them if they scan your store card. It's easy, FREE, and will save you a bunch!
4.) Use restaurant punch/loyalty cards. How many times do you eat at McAlisters, Panera, Qdoba? If you go there with any frequency, you can rack up some major points and even get FREE food just by them swiping or punching your card every time you go there. Simple. Do it. There's no reason you can't save when eating out.
5.) Scan your mail for coupons. Each week you get what looks a lot like junk mail. Before just throwing the stack away, look through it. I have found some AWESOME coupons and have even gotten FREE food/store items this way. This requires absolutely no extra effort on your part. It's delivered right to your door and all you have to do is look through it. This also includes the blue Valpak envelope. Dude, there are some awesome coupons in there that range from electricians, to window replacements, to plumbers, etc. Check it out!