Archive for October, 2007
October 29th, 2007
October 26th, 2007
We all get too much junk mail – both in the regular mail as well as email…but sometimes it can be a good thing! If you go to the websites of all of your favorite stores as well as restaurants, you’ll find that on most you can sign up to their list.
They will then email you when they have sales, as well as give you coupons that might not be on their website. You will find this is a great way to save money! Many times restaurants (and some stores) will give you something right before your birthday, whether it is a percentage off, a free item, free meal, or something else.
If you’re worried about getting too much email, set up a separate email account where all of these emails go. Then you can just search anytime you want to go shopping to see if there is any way you can save money!
October 22nd, 2007
is a great thing to do if you have kids that will be going to college one day, if you know anyone who will be going to college one day, or if you will be going to college one day!
What happens is once you sign up for a Upromise account, you can attatch your credit cards or even your grocery savings cards to the account. Then, when you buy certain things, a certain amount of money will automatically be put in your Upromise account. You can then use this money towards college or to pay down your student loans.
The Entertainment Book
is another great way to save money. You can buy the book for your area for between $15-$45 (depending on the city and the sale going on), and you will get many coupons you can use on retail stores, restaurants, travel, movies, and entertainment in your area. You will more then make up the cost of the book in your first one or two coupons. The book is good for 1-year, and on their website you can see exactly what coupons they have for your area.
is a great site to check before you go grocery shopping if your grocery store accepts coupons. You can just go to the site, see what coupons you like, and print them out…it’s as simple as that! It’s a great way to save money with only a few seconds work.
is a great way to eat out for less. They offer $25.00 dining gift certificates for $10.00 each. Many restaurants all over the country participate, so you can easily find a restaurant near you. It’s a great way to try a new restaurant, or to eat at your favorite one. To make it even better, they often have 50% or 60% off coupons where you can get a $25.00 gift certificate for $5.00 or even $4.00.
This can help you eat out at a really low price! What more could you ask for? We have found a few restaurants that we really like, and go often. Each gift certificate is good for 1-year after you purchase it, so you have plenty of time to use it. When they have coupon codes, we put them in our newsletter, so be sure to sign up so you don’t miss it!
October 22nd, 2007
We often get asked what stores have the best prices. The truth is – it depends on the product. It also depends on if there is a sale going on. While a store might have the best price on DVDs, they might have only average prices when it comes to appliances. Also, while another store might have only average prices regularly, when they have a sale it could be better than other stores.
But let’s face it. You don’t always have the time to comparison shop for everything, so it is nice to know what stores usually have the best prices. These are the stores we usually end up finding the best prices at…and when we do start our comparison shopping, these are the ones we start with before looking anywhere else.
If looking for DVDs, Deep Discount always has really good prices. They also almost always have some sort of sale going on. They also have free shipping which makes the prices even better!
Amazon has great prices on almost everything. This is usually our first stop when looking for anything. The reviews are also really helpful. This way you can see if other people liked what you want to buy, and it can help keep you from buying a bad product! They have free shipping if you spend at least $25.00, so as long as you’re buying a few things you should get free shipping.
Buy.com also has really good prices, especially on books and electronics. As a matter of fact, they try to offer 10% off of Amazon’s prices when it comes to books.
eBay is great if you don’t mind searching for things. While everyone associates eBay with auctions (which they of course do have) they also have a lot of “Buy it Now” items, which just means the items are for sale. I have gotten a few magazine subscriptions for under $5.00, and some other great deals. All I suggest is that you look at the feedback of the person you are considering buying from, and make sure that they have a lot of positive feedback. Then go ahead!
Kayak will show you what the best prices are on airfare. Once you put in your travel information, it will search hundreds of websites to find you the cheapest prices. This is where I always go when looking to buy airline tickets. They also do the same for hotel rooms and rental cars.
Cruise Compete is the best way to get good prices on cruises. You select the exact cruise and date you want to go, and then a bunch of travel agents will get back to you with their prices. They won’t get your email address though, so don’t worry. Since they know they are competing for your business, they usually offer really low prices. Then you can book with the lowest, and save a lot of money!
Those are just a few of our favorite websites to go to when looking for good prices.
October 18th, 2007
I’m sure you’ve seen the pop-ups promising you a free XBOX 360, and all you have to do is enter your email address, or a free $200 gift card to your favorite retail store if you just answer a quick survey on what your favorite restaurant is. Most likely you have, since they are everywhere, and if you are like me, you probably thought it was a scam. I mean, how on earth could you get something worth $50 – $1,000 for free? It just doesn’t make sense.
Well, I can tell you now from personal experience that it does work. The reason I can say this is that I decided on May 2nd 2007 that I was going to do one of these offers, and then October 9th 2007, I was finally able to hold the gift card in my hand. How did I do this? Let me explain…
First off, I would have never done it if I hadn’t seen someone else start the process and be confident about it. A blogger that I enjoy reading (Money Dummy) decided to do it, and since I completely trust her judgment, a month later I decided to try as well. I knew going into it that I would have to complete 4 different offers, and that it would cost me money, but I knew how to go about doing it so that I would eventually get the gift card…and here is what you need to know if you’re thinking about trying it.
1. Pick a legitimate company/brand. If you like an offer, make sure that they have given out gift cards in the past. I used YourTopBrands, and was very happy with them. They also work under the name Brandarama, as well as a few others.
2. Make sure you do all of the offers you are supposed to. For example, in mine I had to do 4 offers – 1 from each page. If I had done 2 from one of the pages, and 2 from another, I wouldn’t have completed the offer, and wouldn’t have gotten the gift card. Make sure you follow the directions exactly.
3. Look at the offer choices, and see what makes sense for you. Personally, I liked an offer that was a $0.99 30-day trial to a music site. It was very little money, and I could easily cancel out of it. I also tried to find offers that I would actually use (although that didn’t happen in every case), but I wanted to make sure I was spending as little out of pocket as possible, while doing an offer that would be done quickly and easily.
4. Make sure you cancel out of whatever you have to! Many of the offers you will be able to choose from will be some sort of monthly program, or trial, where after 30 days you will get billed again. Make sure you write down the date you did the offer, and when you must cancel by, and make sure you do cancel by that date.
5. Every time you do an offer, take a screen shot showing that you completed it. For example if you had to sign up to a website, take a screen shot of the page that says welcome with your name on it. This will help if your offer doesn’t show up as completed within the given timeframe. If you can send them the screen shot, you can help prove that you did complete the offer.
6. Save any emails that you get from the offers you complete. Again, this will help you prove that you did join or purchase what you needed to in order to complete the offer. So if the company you did the offer for doesn’t get back to the gift card company, you can email them with your email and screen shot, and prove that it should be listed as complete.
7. Once all of your offers are complete, you will have to send them a form saying that you want the gift card and that you completed all the offers. It’s a really simple form; you just print it out and write your name and address on it. Make sure you not only send them this form, but also go to the post office and send it certified mail (and if you’d like, also get a return receipt). This will make sure that you know they received it, and can prove that it was sent as well. This will also (in my opinion) make them take you seriously so that they can’t just easily “lose” your form and forget about you.
8. Keep reminding them you are waiting. Once your status is confirmed, they usually say the wait is 4-6 weeks. After about 4 weeks or so, start either emailing or calling them every 2-3 weeks, just asking the status of the card. It does seem that they are always backlogged as far as shipping the gift cards, but it does remind them that you are still there, and are still waiting.
9. Be prepared to wait. I started the process on May 2nd and all of my offers were completed and confirmed within a week. I mailed the form on May 21st (within a few days after being able to print the form out and mail), and the website changed my status to “Status is Confirmed; to be Shipped” on June 18th. I did not receive the gift card until October 9th.
Here are a few more helpful tips when trying to decide on an offer. The bigger the gift card, the more offers you will have to complete to get them. For example, you might only need one or two small offers for a $100 gift card, but you’ll have to do bigger offers (and more of them) for a $500 or $1,000 gift card. As long as you keep on top of everything, you shouldn’t have a problem, and things should go smoothly. Every time I emailed customer support, I got a response within 24 hours.
Yes, I had to wait 5 full months from the time I started the offer until I had the gift card in my hands, but was it worth it? Of course! Overall, I ended up spending less than $50.00, and less than an hour of my time, and got $1,000 in return for it. Would I do it again? You bet. I plan on finding another offer to start next!
Since I have used this company before and know that they are trustworthy, I thought I’d share a few of their current offers. I will be doing one of them, just don’t know which yet.
$400 in American Express Gift Card
$500 Gift Certificate to Borders or Barnes & Nobles – Your choice
$500 American Express Gift Card for Baby Shopping Spree
$100 Godiva Gift Card
$1,000 Visa Gift Card
$500 Lowes Gift Card
$1,000 Circuit City Gift Card
$1,000 Lowes Gift Card
October 13th, 2007
Today was a lot of fun at Stop & Shop. The bags of Ore-Ida French Fries retailed for $3.89 each and were on sale for $2.00 each. To make it even better, if you bought $15.00 worth of them, you would get a catalina for $5.00 off your next order. Now, what’s nice about Stop & Shop is when they do this type of deal, the total is based on regular prices, not sale. So if I bought 5 bags of French Fries, I would get the catalina for my next order. This means that each bag is now only $1.00.
Stop & Shop also happily surprised me by having coupons for $1.00 off the Ore-Ida Roasted Potatoes, which meant that for each of those I bought, they were free!! I only got a few since I wasn’t sure we would like them, but my overall was 10 bags of french fries, and I spent $10.00 (I had a $3.00 catalina from last week’s Dove Deal), and have a $5.00 catalina to use for next week now! So I was very happy. I would have gotten more if I had a bigger freezer (both are completely full!)
October 12th, 2007
October 11th, 2007
It’s possible to go on an amazing vacation without spending a lot of money. In the middle of September, we went to Walt Disney World, in Orlando, Florida. It was an incredible deal. The airfare was under $150 per person from Newark, NJ to Orlando, and the entire trip total was less than $1,500. This included airfare, hotel on Disney property (we stayed at the All-Star Music Resort), 6-days of park tickets with park hoppers plus more (meaning we could go to the water parks, DisneyQuest, and more), and all transportation.
If that wasn’t great enough, because it was after school started, it was a lot less crowded than normal! Don’t get me wrong, because of the free dining promotion, there were more people than would have probably been there otherwise, but we hardly had to wait on line for any rides. It was amazing to be able to walk onto rides when other times of the year you have to wait an hour per ride!
Also, we were able to eat a lot of great meals, all for free! The Disney Dining plan (which was free during our stay) included a counter service meal (with entrée, dessert, and drink), table service meal (with appetizer, entrée, dessert, and drink) as well as a snack each day. You can use them however you want.
The entire trip was great, and was really inexpensive if you consider all that we got for our money. They have been doing this every August/September, so if we’re lucky, hopefully they’ll do it again next year. We did this same trip in September of 2005, and if they are still offering it, will probably do it again in a few years.
October 9th, 2007
Anyone who is interested in Dove products (specifically the shampoo and hand wash) might want to go to Stop & Shop today. They have a deal where if you spend $10.00 (before sale prices), you will get a $3.00 coupon off your next order. In most areas, 2 shampoos + 1 hand wash comes to $8.00 after sale prices, and if you have $1.00 coupons off of all 3 products, that means you’ll pay $5.00 for your order, and get a $3.00 coupon for your next order. If you get other coupons either from friends or eBay, you can do this multiple times, where each additional order will be $2.00 after the coupons, and you’ll get another $3.00 off your next order each time. I plan on doing this a bunch of times. I would have gone earlier in the week, but I needed to order more coupons, which came in today’s mail. If you miss this deal, starting tomorrow there will be a Catalina deal (where you get x off your next order when you purchase a certain amount of items) with Ore-Ida products. I’ll figure out the best deals and then post it.
October 9th, 2007
One thing I have been doing the past few months is going to the library more and more. I had started going to the library to get fiction books since I stopped buying them since it was too expensive. My problem is that I read a lot -and I read very fast. I can easily finish a paperback fiction book in less than a weekend, and therefore was spending a lot of money on my reading addiction! So I have almost stopped spending money in bookstores completely (unless I have a gift card, which I usually get from MyPoints or other free places.)
Another nice thing is I have a library a few blocks away, so when the weather is nice, it’s only about a 10 minute walk each way. But what I realized recently was that the library is a great place to get some non-fiction books too. When I was buying my books, I very rarely bought non-fiction, but now I’ve been getting books in things I’ve been interested in. For example, I recently went to Disney (I’ll talk about that more in my next post), and when I got home I wanted to read more about Disney. I had read the Disney War a while back (from the library of course), and just rented Michael Eisner’s Work in Progress and read it. It was great to learn more about Disney that way, and not have to pay a penny!
I know that a lot of people will say that they would go to the library more – but their library hardly has any good books etc. I will be the first to tell you that you’re probably wrong! If you walked into my library, you’d see it was small, and has a very tiny new releases section. But, online it is connected to all of the other libraries in my county, and they will easily (for free) move any book I want from any of those libraries to my local library so that I can pick it up and read it. It’s really a great way to have a huge selection of books!!
I just got a $1,000 gift card in the mail! It cost me less than $50, and took about 5 months, but it’s here! I’ll post all about how I got it in a few days. I just wanted to share how excited I am!!