First of all, live within your means. Pay off your credit cards and get rid of them- the interest alone will break you. It is very hard in this society. But if you don’t have the cash for it-don’t buy it. Also take care of the items that you have, be more gentle with life, control your emotions-don’t throw things – this is a big reason why humans go through so many items.
If it still works – you do not need to purchase a new one. Cell phones are the biggest culprit. Just because there is a new version doesn’t mean you need it. With our cell phone plan my phone was paid off in two years. I used that phone for a whole third year before getting a new one. The old cell phone still worked very well. I chose to donate my phone to someone who needed it. But in that year when the phone was paid off I saved 32 dollars a month. That 32 dollars a month went straight into savings.
Coupons-cut coupons! Coupons save a bunch! I save over $300 dollars a month in coupons. Every month. If its not on sale or doesn’t have a coupon it doesn’t get purchased for this household. We have learned that the key to a comfortable lifestyle is working hard and spending less.
Here is the key to using coupons- Don’t use a coupon just because you have it on that item. Only purchase items you already have in your regular grocery list that you know you like, unless you are willing to try a different brand. We will most of the time purchase the store brand. It is cheaper and on most occasions tastes just as amazing! I look for the overall best deal too.
There are free apps that you can download onto your cell phone that will give you money back for items that you purchased. Sometimes it can be a bit tricky about what items qualify and expiration dates of the digital coupons. Just keep at it. These are the apps that make a difference in our budget, the apps that make us money.
Savings Star – You can cash out after you have reached $20.00 in you account. We have been able to load our Giant card (local grocery store card) to the app and it is super easy when grocery shopping because I don’t need to scan my Giant grocery receipt when we get home. You are able to select other stores in which they have coupons available, but you will need to scan your receipt in. You do need to go into the app before you go shopping and select the items you intend on purchasing. Saving Star says that it can take up to 20 days for your rebates to show up in your account but I have usually only had to wait up to 3 days before I see my new account balance. They also have a section where you can see each date and coupon you used.
Ibotta Sign up on your own, or with friends. Use my referral code:fvclxby to join as a friend.
For this app you do not need a referral code, but there are bonuses involved if you do. When you are in a group there are group goals that everyone will benefit from if you achieve the goals- which is free money. In the app you select a store and it will list the available items that have a rebate on them. You need to activate the coupon first. Don’t wait to activate your app coupons- sometimes they are such a hot deal the apps run out of the specific coupons. Next grocery shop. When we get home we do our receipt scanning.
Checkout 51 is another free app that works the same way as Ibotta. You active the coupons you want, shop, then scan your receipt when you get home. Use my referral code to sign up- https://checkout51.app.link/7zHqWVfQUQ
Receipt Hog is an app where all I do is scan in every receipt. It is a market research group, they are just interested in what you are purchasing so that the companies can better promote their products. Depending on what I am purchasing and how large of a purchase decides if I receive coins, or tickets or spins. Tickets are placed into a monthly drawing, I have never won in drawings and I don’t ever intend to. Spins are a bit different, they are like a slot machine. They say you win 50% of the time. Honestly its about 30% and I have only ever won the most of 10 coins but I like to think positive and I will take it. It earns us free money. Coins is where it matters! Hog Coins. When you reach 1000 hog coins you can choose to cash out which equals $5.00 and they send it to your paypal account. Paypal then sends it right into your bank account, with my usual spending I am able to receive $5.00 about every three months. I am feeding and caring for only my husband, dog and myself. If you have kids I am very sure it would add up much more quickly. Now $5.00 may not seem like a lot but I like to think positively and every little bit helps. Look at my results over a year- This is a free $20.00.
ReceiptPal is very similar to receipt hog in which you are able to scan in 99% of the receipts that you have for the house hold purchases. The difference is each receipt is worth 25 points. At 2000 points you are able to request a gift card of your choice or send it to your pay pal account. In the beginning of the year I would get gift cards to stores that I could easily stop by on the way home from work. Switching jobs means switching tactics. I have more recently sent 90% of my app rewards to my paypal. I have actually found this to be more helpful in my spending habits. I purchase less non needed items, and I have more money to add to my monthly budget in order to pay the car payment, the electric bill, the mortgage or put into special savings funds such as retirement or my gardening budget.
Fetch Rewards a free app that is similar to Receipt Hog. Here is my referral code: B1RWH They are looking for specific items that you purchase, so the receipts that you can get credit for scanning are: grocery store, warehouse store (Sams, Costco) and purchases made inside of convenience stores (food and drinks from Sheetz, Turkey Hill-not gasoline). You are able to cash out after 500 points which equals a $5.00 gift card. They have a bunch of options of gift cards as well as sending them to your pay pal account.
trunow is a new app I started trying this year for gas rewards. It only accepts your fuel receipts. Also the hitch is that you have to earn “10 dollars” worth of rewards but you only get $5.00. The company keeps $5.00. I remain positive and I would have needed to spend the money on fuel either way because we need to go to work and we are unable to walk to work. I remind my self it is free money and don’t get discouraged. I like to think of it as 1000 points and I can get $5.00.
Sweat Coin my free app that tracks my steps outside of my home. Here is my referral code: sweatcoinapp.uk/i/jeanete891767 I am accumulating coins that can be traded in for items. This app can earn you discounts on certain things but they also do crowd funding for causes such as planting trees and sending meals to needy families as well as their current funding for vaccinating children. My husband and I both have this app on our phones. So when we are raking the leaves in the yard we are earning sweat coins which can be traded in for items. This is a slow earning free app, and the rewards change daily but I love the crowd funding. This app does track your location, and it will not track your steps if you close the app, I let it run in the background. I have noticed when I took the battery saver mode off that my battery does wear down a bit more quickly (I always travel with my charge cord so I can charge while driving or at work or at home while sleeping.) but I am earning about double the steps with the battery saver off.
Facebook Market place– If you have facebook this is a great way to reduce the extras you have. We sell our spare items on market place for very low prices. It helps us reduce and helps out someone else who needs the item but can not necessarily afford brand new. When my husband and I got together we were both established adults living on our own. So when we combined households yes we had two vacuums, two irons, two ironing boards, two dining room tables, four couches and two very comfortable lounge chairs. Not including pots, pans and bedding for days. All in relatively great shape. The couches we ended up donating to the Salvation Army because they would come and remove them from your home. Market place is amazing, we have de-cluttered and we like to put the spare couple of dollars into savings for a vacation. I like to think of it as having a yard sale every day at your house but you don’t have to drag everything out and sit outside all day. I have a few things on market place at all times and so does my husband. It is harder for me now with my new job where we are not allowed to have cell phones at all but we have been slowly switching everything to my husbands account because he works from home and has a bit more flexibility to meet someone at the front door when ever they are available to come and pick up a spare cabinet or chair or microwave.
Make my own clothes– I have seen this on other websites and to be honest, it is so hard!!! But I have figured out a few simple things that I can handle. I have been crocheting some ponchos, are they the most beautiful most stylish of all times- goodness no. But I have been using up spare yarn that people have been giving me for the last 20 years and I have increased my wardrobe selection. I also have been handed down a bunch of material and we are talking from the 40’s and to current times. So I find big peices and make circle skirts super easy by cutting out the middle making sure I can get it over my hips and then hand sewing in elastic around the waist. I don’t make it even at the bottom. I fold a big square in half and in half again and then snip out the place where my body goes through in a little circle. the skirt is nice and full and flowing and all different lengths. You can’t tell if I messed up at all, some of them I don’t even hem any more, the material doesn’t fray and its kind of fashionable. So I increase my wardrobe with clothes made specifically for me, by me.
Shop Kick This has become my family’s favorite app! It is our fastest money maker! And the most fun. Here is my referral code: Best029650 How it works: its like a scavenger hunt in the stores you usually go to while you are shopping. You earn kicks(points, coins, credits, kicks) for finding items in the store and scanning their bar codes. They have tons of different stores. We shop regularly at target, giant, best buy. Some stores offer walk in kicks. Some stores offer kicks not only if you scan it but if you purchase an item on the list. This is where you can get tons of kicks but I personally only purchase items that were on my list to begin with. My husband works from home so about 2-3 times a week we like to go out, we go to stores and scan kicks. We both have the app on our phones. We are both scanning at the same time. This means we are making double the amount, while getting some exercise by walking around stores. You are able to cash out very quickly they have low amount gift cards of $2. You are able to get the earned money sent right to your paypal account but yes of course you guessed it my husband and I get target gift cards. Last month both my husband and I were able to each earn $20.00 in gift cards-yes for scanning bar codes- not purchasing a thing. And we did it at our convenience. Yes that is $40.00 of free groceries. Or a free pair of shoes!
Swagbucks this free app both my husband and I have been using for over a year now and its great! How I use this app daily. I do not need it open for a whole lot of time. At 500 swagbucks I am able to redeem them for a gift card. The really nice part about these gift cards is that they send you a bar code not an actual card through the mail. I personally activate my gift card and then I take a screen shot of the gift card on my phone and that way when checking out I can quickly go through my photos and pull up the bar codes for the cashier to scan, I am able to swipe from one gift card to the next very easily, and this way I am not logging into 5 different apps while holding up the check out line. When I use the gift card I delete the photo, It’s also excellent for when I hit the grocery store on my way home from work. I text the husband and ask him if there is anything else I need on the list and usually he volunteers his earned gift cards by texting me the photos of his gift card bar codes. Getting on the same money saving page with my husband has really helped our communication in our budget and marriage. Swagbucks offers a multitude of different ways to earn money. I personally do the daily poll. It is one question and earns me one swagbuck every day as long as I remember to take the daily poll. They also offer other survey’s that take longer, but sometimes I will be working on a survey for 10 minutes and then I don’t qualify for the survey pay out and so I tend not to do a whole lot of survey’s. The survey profile questions are easy and quick so I tend to keep up on those, after answering 10 questions you receive 2 swagbucks. this will eat up your data. I set my phone to watching the videos while charging and on wifi. So about every 2 months I earn a $5.00 gift card. I forget sometimes on the weekends so I round it to about every two months. Between my husband and myself we are earning $5.00 free every month. When I use gift cards to pay for our groceries it also frees up money so that when a friends birthday rolls around I am able to send a card and sometimes a cute gift and it will not break our budget.
Costco – I pay $65.00 membership fee to shop any and every day of the week at Costco. We get really great prices on our basic necessities. Our dog food, the dog is allergic to corn, German shepherd mix, shes a big dog and eats a lot of food. Grain free is not cheap – Kirkland brand 35 pounds, for just under $30.00, and there is a more cost effective turkey flavor but we get her the beef flavor because she likes it more. We also like to buy in bulk – Tissues, paper towels, toilet paper, soap, laundry detergent, dish washer detergent Kirkland brand is a HUGE discount compared to the local grocery store. The other two items that saves a great deal of money at coscto are rice and honey. I put honey in my coffee every morning to assist with my allergies, which it does. Also a 25 pound bag of jasmine rice is under $20. 25 pounds of rice would last us close to 9 months with just the two of us eating it but we have some friends who have fallen in love with the rice we get and we split the bag whenever we get rice. So we basically have three gallon zip lock bags of rice on hand at all times. We lived closer to the Costco before we moved but I don’t mind the 30 minute drive. I have been taking my friend with me and she hands me cash and we split the purchases, saves her money and time and we get a bit of quality time in. We are both super frugal so its really nice chatting about how we are each saving money and doing well.
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