Smile and Help A Charity

Amazon allows you to select your favorite charity and give them a small percentage of the money you spend on your purchases.  It’s simple to sign up and select a charity to support.

Use Amazon as you normally do–filling your shopping cart, saving items to purchase late, putting items on a wish list, etc.

When you are ready to complete your purchase, be sure to log on to Smile so that your charity benefits from your Amazon purchase.


Get What is Due to You!

With paper coupons, electronic coupons, in-store sale prices, and special manager promotions, it’s easy for items to be incorrectly charged on your receipt. Who wants to drive all the back to the store when you find out that an item in your grocery bag is not “the deal” that you thought you were purchasing?

The solution is a time-saver and easy to do!  After paying for your groceries and before leaving the store, step aside out of the way of other customers. Do a quick scan of your receipt to ensure that items were charged the correct price. If there are any errors, show the cashier while you have both the item and the receipt available.

Taking this simple step prior to leaving big box stores, grocery stores, home improvement stores, etc., has put money back into my pocket and lessened my frustration level! Marsha Lane

Make Shopping Easier with Handy Grocery IQ App

My husband and I use the free Grocery IQ app on our smartphones.

I can scan items at home as I use them up or I can type in what I need. My husband can also add items to the grocery list as well.

When I go to the store, I have our complete list which includes the brands I like to buy. It is a really great tool. Bernice



Catalog Shopping Sprees

I used to have a horrible mail order catalog shopping problem. But once I analyzed why it was so enticing and pleasurable, I was able to break my catalog habit relatively easily. This is how I did it:

When the catalog arrived in the mail, I would browse through the merchandise and then fill out the order form (omitting the payment information). Then I’d stick the order form in the catalog and put it aside to finish later.

I’d shop to my heart’s content with each catalog that arrived in my mailbox. Amazingly, I’d forget all about them and end up throwing them out when the “later” stack got too high. This worked like a charm. I am now to the point where I toss catalogs without opening them! Doris

Saving with Gift Cards

I have been using this tip for a while.  I have joined the rewards program at the local Shell gas station.  For every purchase you make, you earn points toward cents off on 20 gallons of gas.

In order to earn more points, we have started buying our gift cards at the gas station.  If we are going to make a purchase off Amazon, we first go buy a gift card, then make the purchase.  If we are going to go out to eat, we will try to stop at the station and buy a gift card for the restaurant we are planning to go to.  They have a wide selection of other gift cards as well.  I save those points up and will be able to purchase gas for cents on the dollar.

Now, if you also go through Rakaten when you are planning a purchase on Amazon, you earn cash back through them as well.

I always love it when I can stack savings upon savings!

Spend Less Time on Lists

We all know having a list helps us save money when we visit the grocery store, especially when we can stick with it. But sometimes just making the list can be time-consuming, and it’s easy to forget items, necessitating more trips to the store.

To help me stay on track, I created a standardized list for each store I visit. I listed all of the items I typically buy and even items I only buy occasionally. I leave space to add other items I may need. I group them by category – dairy, frozen, produce, etc. I even put the items in order of the path I normally take through the store so I don’t have to go back if I missed an item on my list. Before I do my shopping, I go over the standardized list- crossing off what I don’t need and adding quantities of the things I do.

I used Excel to create my standardized lists but you could use any word processing or spreadsheet program. Doing this has cut the amount of time I spend writing the biweekly lists. Sometimes it also reminds me to check on items I’m not sure about needing before I’m actually at the store. (How much cat litter do we have left?) I also leave a space on the sheet for sale items on the store’s advertising flyers so I can write down the price. If I have any coupons, I just attach them to the sheet.

It took a little time upfront to create, but having the lists on my computer has helped me stay committed to having a list before heading to the store.

Get Cash Back When You Shop

Various websites and apps offer cash back for shopping, but the one that I’ve recently fallen in love with is Ibotta. Ibotta is a rebate site that gives you cash back for name brand items, as well as for “any brand” items in a category. You simply upload the app to your phone, create an account, select offers that you are interested in purchasing at your favorite stores, upload your receipt or link your loyalty card, and collect the rebates. Rebates can be redeemed for cash via PayPal or Venmo or can be turned into a gift card for a favorite retailer once you reach $20 or more.

There are several other ways to earn money through Ibotta, including various bonuses, paying through the app, and shopping through the app. It is simple to use and coupled with retailer specials, discounts, and other coupons, you can significantly reduce the amount you spend on groceries, and other products.