Limited Income….Love Coupons!

Hello everyone! It has been a while since I last blogged, my apologies! A brand new hobby that I’m proud to say I’ve become addicted to is couponing, which will explain my title. I am in my late 20s, on a limited budget and live in a very expensive zip code at home helping a family member with health issues. How do I do it over and above a straight job?  I COUPON to save money, and I’m proud of it. Let me explain how I saved around $100 on groceries and gas this week. Yes, $100 saved.

My family does the majority of our grocery store shopping at Giant for two reasons, its our closest grocery location with great deals, and also gas points at participating Shell stations. For every dollar you spend at Giant, you earn a point, get 100 points, you earn $0.10 off per gallon of gas, 200 points, $0.20 and so on…reach 1000 points, $1.00 off each gallon. Certain items have deals each week, if you buy 5 of the participating items (shampoo), you then earn an automatic $0.50 per gallon, along with all of the other points earned based on the dollar amount you spent for that particular grocery shopping trip. For example, you spend $50 on groceries, and also purchase the participating products for gas that day ($0.50 additional gas points) then you earned a total of 1000 points, or a $1.00 off per gallon. Make sense? It is a bit confusing at the beginning, but it becomes pretty routine and easy once you get the hang of it. Now people have pointed out to me that I’m still spending that money on these items, in order to redeem my gas points, so isn’t it a waste? I say no. My logic is, if I’m going to use the item anyways and it won’t expire  (non perishable items) or pantry goods that have a long expiration date, it really in the end evens out because you are saving at the pump, the same dollar amount you spent at the grocery store.

My most recent triple saver was one I am especially proud of. It was on shampoo. I had a manufacturer coupon for $2 off two bottles of a specific brand of shampoo. The store had a promotion of not only 2/$6 but also, if you buy 5 of them, then you earn $0.50 additional gas points. Bam! I was able to combine all 3 promotions. I ended up saving $20 on gas with previous points earned.

Let me just say this, I’m not a crazy coupon hoarder, I don’t just take items out of the store I don’t need just because I can get them for crazy cheap, or free, I use all of my items. I also don’t store 25 bottles of laundry detergent, I store 20…..kidding! But in all seriousness, I use commonsense when it comes to deals, and have not built any additional storage places in my house, so I have keep in mind the amount of room we have to keep everything.

Last bit I will say on this, as you can tell, I am really passionate about saving money. Go onto different coupon apps, they are a money saver….Ibotta is a major one I use, it ranges from $0.25 off of bread, to $3 off detergent, every penny adds up! I also go to coupons.com and print out deals. Check with your local stores policy, many times they will allow you to stack coupons. Good luck!

 

Money Back…AFTER Shopping??

Smart phones, both Android and iOS devices are owned by a vast population; benefits ranging from 4G networks to all of the apps available for download. One of the apps that I use, with some money benefits is “Ibotta.” It is a shopping app that can be used on several different items ranging from grocery to more luxury purhases. With just two grocery shopping trips, I’ve earned back almost $10. That is a lot of moola! “Ibotta” is very easy to use, once you learn all of the tactics behind the intended use.

The way it works:

1) Go to the type of shopping you will be doing (ex-grocery, at Walmart)

2)Once at the proper shopping destination link, look at the items available for rebate. They can range from $.025 and higher. Sometimes you will have to unlock the item, or other means as instructed.

3) Purchase the item and then use the camera on your phone to scan the bar-code, and then once all of the bar-codes from purchases have been scanned, take picture of the receipt to verify the purchases. Submit your receipt and wait for approval.

All of the instructions are very clear, and might differ per purchase. It’s a great way to make some change back from shopping trips. I haven’t always gotten lucky with earnings every trip, but if I’m going to  use the product anyways, then might as well purchase now, and earn the money back.

This app pays you back to shop!