Posted on

How to Find Brand Name Clothes for Less

If there’s one thing I hate spending a ton of money on, it’s clothes.  Styles come and go too frequently for my taste, and the thought of spending $40 on one garment just makes me cringe.  That’s why I shop for clothes in more unconventional ways.

In the early days of my marriage, I think my hubby was embarrassed that I bought used clothes.  He always bought them new, and didn’t understand why I didn’t want to do the same.  I made less money back then than I do now, so I wasn’t about to waste my entire retail paycheck on the latest pair of “fashionable” shoes.  My goal was simply to find quality, brand name clothes for less money.

Fast forward about 17 years, and my clothes shopping habits have not really changed much.  However, there are a lot more options available now, and that’s what I want to share with you today.  I hardly ever shop at regular department stores because what I’ve been able to find through thrifty shopping is just as good or better.  I regularly find clothes from such brands as –

  • Ann Taylor
  • LOFT
  • Talbot’s
  • Limited
  • Calvin Klein
  • Michael Kors
  • I.N.C.
  • Jones New York
  • H&M
  • Zara
  • White House | Black Market

Here’s my list of 5 great places where you can find brand name clothes for less.  🙂

***

This post contains affiliate links, and I may receive a small compensation for any direct links that you visit.  Visiting the links shown here in no way obligates you to purchase or sign up for any program, and does not result in any increased cost.  Please view my disclosure policy for complete information.

Picture of accessories with text overlay - How to Find Brand Name Clothes for Less

 

Thrift Stores

Shopping at thrift stores has been my go-to option since the very beginning.  Where I live, there are not a ton of options for thrift stores, but I do pretty well at Goodwill, the Salvation Army Store, and a couple of smaller local shops. I cannot tell you how many times I have found clothes with the tags still on them and with prices that would give my bank account a heart attack.  There’s just no reason to pay that much!!!

What makes these places even better is shopping on sale days.  Half price days are common at both Goodwill and Salvation Army, but the days vary at both stores.  For instance, it’s normal for Salvation Army to have 1/2 price tags on a certain color tag throughout the week, but then put all clothes at half price every Wednesday.

Probably the best thing I have available near me is the Goodwill Bargain Barn.  To shop there, you need patience and a shopping cart cuz you’ll be there awhile.  It’s similar to shopping at a yard sale in the sense that there is no dressing room, and you need to know your size based on the brand before you go in.  All the clothes are priced at $1.75/lb.  They rotate the bins of clothes every 30-45 minutes, and I’ve been known to be in there for 2 hours and not even realize it.  Hey, in the end it’s all worth it – I usually leave with a giant bag of clothes (at least 25-30 pieces, maybe more if they’re lightweight) for $20-$30.  That’s my kind of deal!

Instagram

I didn’t even know this was a thing until I first joined Instagram, but there are some ladies that are making some serious $$$ selling their brand name clothes for less on IG!  Instagram originally caught my eye thanks to this video.  I had no idea that women were finding and offering such great bargains on social media!

I haven’t gone clothes shopping there in several months, but there are definitely some bargains to be had.  For instance, I bought a beautiful pair of light tan Talbot’s dress pants for about $10, and they were in perfect condition.

The downside of shopping on Instagram is similar to the Bargain Barn in that you need to know your size based on the brand.  Most of the time, there is no return policy so you’ll need to shop carefully.

Consignment Stores

These stores will vary according to your area, but there are some chain stores that have started to pop up such as Clothes Mentor, Plato’s Closet, and Once Upon a Child (for babies and kids).  There are one or two other local stores in my area that I visit frequently, too.  

Here’s what I like to do – take the clothes you’re no longer wearing into the store.  Don’t worry too much if they won’t take everything…they really can’t.  Once you’ve been given your offer, some stores will offer you an additional percentage if you want to apply it to store credit.  For instance, Clothes Mentor will give me an additional 25% of my offer if I use it as store credit rather than have them pay me cash.

Other stores work the opposite.  You only get a payout once your item(s) sell.  In those cases, I like to wait until my items have sold before I go back in to cash out/shop.  

Consignment stores are picky because they only want to accept the items they think their shoppers will buy.  Take great care of your clothes, keep them in resale condition, and you’ll be able to “trade” for some new-to-you items every few months.

Swap.com

Swap.com is a new site for me, and boy, it is addicting!!  They literally have over 50,000+ items in stock ready to buy – HOLY COW!!!  The prices they have are so affordable, and you really can’t go wrong if you check out their clearance section.  There you’ll find additional savings of 25-35%.  Some shirts are as low as $5 which is a great bargain.  

One thing I love about them is that they have a maternity section.  In my opinion, there’s nothing worse than having to buy a certain type or size of clothes that’s worn for a few months.  And if you’ve shopped for brand new maternity clothes, you know that they’re priced ridiculously high.  That’s what makes Swap.com a great source for maternity clothes.  When I’m ready to plan for baby #2, I will definitely be shopping there first!

Most importantly, it’s a great site to share with your friends.  Every time you refer a friend that makes a purchase, you get a $20 credit!

Yard Sales

Last but not least are yard sales.  I don’t get out to many of these anymore simply because of time constraints, and truthfully, there aren’t too many things better in this life than sleeping in on a Saturday morning.  But if you’re an early riser and love a bargain, then you can score some incredible deals on clothes at yard sales.  In my opinion, clothes are always in abundance.  To find the nicer brand-name options, you really need to go to the nicer areas of your town/city.

Before you head out, have a game plan in place.  A lot of people now post their yard sales on Craigslist and Facebook (specifically the buy/sell groups).  Map out an area with the addresses you want to visit, and be on the road at least before 7am.  The early bird really does get the worm when it comes to yard sales!

So, there you have it – 5 amazing places where you find brand name clothes for less!  By visiting some of these places occasionally, you can have a fresh, stylish closet for next to nothing!

Where do you typically do your bargain clothes shopping?  I’d love to know your tips, too!

Please follow and like us:
Posted on

15 Cheap Healthy Foods to Eat on a Budget

You can eat well and healthy and still stay within a budget - it's so easy! Check out this list of 15 cheap healthy foods that will help you get started.

Sometimes, it’s really hard to eat healthy if you’re on a budget.  Trust me, I feel your pain.  I’ve already set a goal of losing weight for 2018, and that comes with getting healthier foods in the house.  However, that doesn’t mean it has to cost an arm and a leg!  

I’ve put together a list of cheap healthy foods to help you on your next grocery shopping trip.  By incorporating these staple foods into your diet, you can use them to stretch more of your expensive ingredients a little bit further.

***

This post contains affiliate links, and I may receive a small compensation for any direct links that you visit.  Visiting the links shown here in no way obligates you to purchase or sign up for any program, and does not result in any increased cost.  Please view my disclosure policy for complete information.

***

Rice

Rice has long been a staple in our household, and my husband practically grew up eating it at every meal.  I really started to enjoy it after I became a part of his family, and while it took her awhile, my toddler has finally learned to love it, too.  However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve traded the white rice for brown rice whenever possible.  Brown rice is an easy whole grain to add to your diet and it has a nice amount of fiber.  

Cost for rice is generally quite low (less than a $1 for 1 lb.), and as a result, one bag can stretch for multiple servings.  

Oatmeal

I’ve become a huge fan of oatmeal recently, and I hate that I avoided it for so long!  It used to be a food that really looked quite awful on the surface, but now that I’ve tried it, I really, really love it!

Oats are incredibly healthy and very versatile to add to a number of different recipes.  They’re packed with fiber, iron, and vitamin A to name a few, and have no cholesterol.

You can get a large 16 oz. container for under $2.

Eggs

Eggs are another versatile food that are full of nutrients and flavor.  You can make them just about any way you want to for breakfast, or toss them in your favorite baked good recipe.

Egg prices tend to change with the seasons (or around the holidays), so keep that in mind when shopping.  1 dozen large eggs can run anywhere from .60 cents to $2 depending on your location and time of year.

You can eat well and healthy and still stay within a budget - it's so easy! Check out this list of 15 cheap healthy foods that will help you get started.

Milk

Milk may not be considered a cheap healthy “food” per se to some, but for the cost, it deserves a place on the list.  Most people just know that it’s packed with calcium and vitamin D, but did you know it also has high amounts of vitamin B-12, potassium, and protein?  Go milk! 

In my experience, the fat content tends to determine the price.  I have seen a gallon of skim milk as low as $2.35 at Aldi, while whole milk stays around $2.69.  

Yogurt

Yogurt is actually one of my favorite cheap healthy foods to buy on a budget because you have so many options!  It’s seems like there’s a new flavor or version coming out every few months.  My personal favorite is the Yoplait Whipped version in the chocolate flavor – omg, so yummy!!

Yogurt tends to run anywhere from $.33 up to $1 depending on the store and type of yogurt.  Your cost can be even lower with coupons.  🙂

 

Related Reading – 10 Apps that will Significantly Trim Your Grocery Budget

Pasta

I’ve yet to meet a single person that did not like pasta.  It’s just impossible not to like.  Pasta usually gets a bad rap because it is high in carbs, but they are complex carbs which help sustain energy.  It is high in iron, folic acid, and several vitamins.  Make it even healthier by purchasing a whole wheat version.

One package of pasta typically averages $1.  Whole wheat versions are usually around $2.

Potatoes

Potatoes, like pasta, seem to get a bad rap, but they really do have a lot of healthy benefits.  They are low in calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium, yet packed with fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, and protein.

Where people go overboard is loading them with butter, cheese, bacon, and all sorts of other unhealthy toppings (don’t get me wrong – I know this is what makes them taste good).  Just keep those extras in moderation.  😉

A 5 lb. bag has an approximate cost of $3.

You can eat well and healthy and still stay within a budget - it's so easy! Check out this list of 15 cheap healthy foods that will help you get started.

Lettuce

Make salad to your heart’s content with lettuce!  At only 5 calories per 1 cup serving and packed with water, it’s also great as an ingredient for a sandwich.  Lettuce is a good source of Vitamin A, fiber, and other minerals.

One head of lettuce tends to run about $1 (maybe less), and can stretch for several servings. 

Carrots

There aren’t many other veggies that I know of that can double as a snack food, but carrots are certainly one of my favorites!  They have a good flavor (whether you eat them raw or cooked), and like everything else on this list, they’re really low cost.  They’re also a great source of beta-carotene, potassium and fiber.

I typically buy the petite carrots in a bag for around $1.  However, you can stretch your dollars further if you buy whole carrots, then peel/cut them yourself.

Tomatoes

In truth, I can’t make myself eat a tomato, but my toddler loves them!  It’s one of the few veggies she will eat (even though it’s technically considered a fruit).  Considering that she’s becoming a little more particular with her foods, I’m thankful she’s getting all kinds of potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and lots of other minerals.

The price of tomatoes can vary a lot by store, so I usually purchase them at Aldi.  A container of grape tomatoes is approximately $1.50-$1.75, and tomatoes on the vine (which usually has 4-5 medium tomatoes) runs about $2.50.

Chicken

Not all chicken is created equal when it comes to price, but you can still stretch what you spend here.  Boneless skinless chicken breasts tend to be the most expensive, and I rarely see them go lower than $1.79/lb. on sale.  When they do, I make sure to stock up with a couple of packages because who knows when they will be that cheap again.  If you want to stretch your dollars a little more, opt for a package of drumsticks, thighs, or leg quarters.  For instance, I recently bought a whole package of 12 fresh chicken drumsticks for less than $4.50.  If you get a bargain that good, take out what you need for your next meal when you get home, and then put the rest into freezer bags to use later.  

While most recipes ask for one specific part of the chicken, you can also stretch your dollars by buying a whole chicken instead.  One whole chicken will give you multiple servings, and they run about $4-5 regularly.  

What I love about chicken is its versatility because it seems that there are unlimited ways to prepare it. Unless you’re battering and frying it, you’re likely getting all the good nutritional benefits.  Chicken is low in calories and fat (assuming you’re eating it without the skin), high in B vitamins and protein.

Bananas

Bananas are quite possibly my favorite fruit for a snack – they’re just sooooo good!  And at approx. $.55 per lb, you can grab a whole bunch for not much money.  Prices vary greatly from store to store, so make sure you shop around.

Bananas are great for potassium, Vitamin B & C, and they’re also high in fiber.

You can eat well and healthy and still stay within a budget - it's so easy! Check out this list of 15 cheap healthy foods that will help you get started.

Green Beans

Green beans were a late addition to the list simply because I’ve never really paid attention to them until recently.  I have never enjoyed the taste of canned or frozen green beans, so I’ve just stayed away altogether.  However, I started roasting fresh green beans in the oven – (WOW! They’re so good!) – and now they’re a staple on my produce list.  Simply wash them, clean/trim the ends, toss in a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes at 425 degrees.  Delish!

They are extremely low in calories, fat, and cholesterol, but high in fiber and Vitamin C.  A couple of small handfuls at the store has been running around $1, and unless you have a large family, one (maybe 2) handfuls is all you’ll need.

Garlic

While garlic is not something I’m recommending that you eat on its own, I wanted to include it in this cheap healthy foods list because it’s great for adding flavor to tons of dishes.  Garlic has almost no calories, which of course, equals no guilt.  😉  

You can buy it already minced in a jar (runs about $2-$3 for a small jar) or you can buy it whole (I get a package of 3 for around $1).  If you don’t use garlic that often and you don’t want to waste it, you can always buy the powdered version instead.  The overall taste will probably be a little different, though.

Frozen Vegetables

Last but not least, I want to include frozen vegetables.  Obviously, the nutritional aspects will vary depending on the veggie, but they’re really inexpensive.  If I cannot buy fresh vegetables, then my second choice is frozen.  Almost always, you will get a larger portion of vegetables frozen vs. canned for the same price.  Best of all, they will last in your freezer for months, and they’re available whenever you’re ready to eat them.

The average stock-up price for frozen veggies is $1, so I usually grab 4 or 5 when they’re that price or less.  I also come across coupons for frozen vegetables regularly, usually for the Birdseye brand, so I watch for the sales to really get a bargain.

You can eat well and healthy and still stay within a budget - it's so easy! Check out this list of 15 cheap healthy foods that will help you get started.

 

So, there you have it – 15 cheap healthy foods you can eat on a budget (and maybe, with no guilt)!  Nearly all of these are included in my weekly meal plans and grocery trips, and when possible, I try to maximize my savings further with coupons and grocery apps.  In case you didn’t know, a lot of smartphone apps now include rebates for fresh, non-processed foods.  

I can’t wait to hear what some of your cheap healthy foods are, so leave a comment below to let me know.  🙂

Please follow and like us:
Posted on

50 Ways to Save Money and Live Frugally in 2018

Live frugally in 2018! This post will give you 50 ways to save money and live frugally on a budget.

This post contains affiliate links, and I may receive a small compensation for any direct links that you visit.  Visiting the links shown here in no way obligates you to purchase or sign up for any program, and does not result in any increased cost.  Please view my disclosure policy for complete information.

***

It’s almost time for a new year, and if you’re like me, you’ve already started making a few New Year’s resolutions.  My personal ones pretty much revolve around eating healthier, losing a few pounds, and paying off debt (specifically a car note).  

To me, it’s normal to reevaluate ordinary habits to see if improvements can be made.  It’s even more normal to do that at the beginning of a new year.  You get a fresh start!  

I especially like to reevaluate my spending at the beginning of the year.  One thing I’m excited to do better is meal plan.  I’ve always kept a “loose” meal plan, but I want to be more intentional this year with planning meals and watching what I spend.  

I’m also planning to pay closer attention to what we spend on extras.  We have become way too dependent on eating out (it’s truly our biggest weakness), and since having our first child 2 years ago, we get googly-eyed over all the toys and cutesy things for her.

I really don’t like to spend money, but when I do, I try to stick within our budget.  And sometimes, that’s easier said than done.  It’s hard to not spend money!  I’ve seen so many tips lately on how to live frugally, and that has become my 4th resolution for 2018.

Do you want to hop on board with me so we can live frugally together?

Good!

Between the two of us, I know we can find all kinds of ways to make our money work better and stretch those dollars to the max.  You with me?  If so, check out the list below for 50 ways to save money and live frugally.  Some of these I do already, and I bet you’re doing some, too.  Why not add a few more?  😉

Live frugally in 2018! This post will give you 50 ways to save money and live frugally on a budget.

  • Use a pea-size amount of toothpaste when you brush your teeth (in fact, this is what’s usually suggested on the tube).  More toothpaste does not equal more clean.  In reality, you just get more suds in your mouth.  
  • Cut your hair short(er).  It requires less products to use and usually takes less time to fix.
  • Wait until you’ve worn your jeans at least twice (three if you can get away with it) before washing.  They take longer than any other article of clothing to dry in your dryer.
  • Hang up your clothing to dry when possible.  Some articles of clothing will preserve their shape and texture longer without the added heat from your dryer.
  • Wash your hair every other day or every two days if you can.    
  • Keep a price list of the common things you buy at the grocery store.  This will help you spot a higher price and determine if you need to wait before buying.  On the flip side, this will help you spot a lower price and know that you should stock up while you have the chance (and extra money, I assume).
  • Sell your gently used clothes at eBay, Swap, consignment shops, yard sale, etc.  Donate what you can’t sell for a tax deduction.

  • Buy clothes second-hand and avoid the huge markup that retail stores add to the price.
  • Visit the library for new books rather than buying them.  Most libraries now have convenient e-book options (keeps you from racking up library fines, too).  You can also scan Amazon for all kinds of free book downloads for your Kindle or Kindle phone app.
  • Keep your thermostat higher in the summer and lower in the winter.  In the winter months, add an extra layer of clothing or a blanket before turning on the heat.
  • Use vinegar, baking soda, and other natural items for cleaning.  They’re almost always cheaper (and they do a better job) than fancy cleaners.
  • Color your hair at home rather than a salon.  An at-home kit will cost you around $10 (maybe less) compared to a salon color which can be upwards of $60.  My personal favorite brand is Loreal Feria.  I like that it give my hair just a little bit of highlight without looking overdone.
  • Grow your own food and share when you have an abundance.  If you’re brand new to gardening, start with something small (like tomatoes) that you can plant in a container.
  • Skip the sodas and opt for water, coffee or tea brewed at home.
  • Buy produce when it’s in season.  Freeze extras when possible (blueberries and strawberries are very easy).
  • Stock up on meat when it’s on sale or marked down and freeze what you won’t use right away.  Kroger frequently has meat markdowns available in their Manager’s Special section.
  • Plan your meals on a weekly basis and stick to it.  This will help prevent impulse decisions to eat out.
  • Plan a free date night with your significant other.  You don’t need to spend a lot to still enjoy a good time!
  • Use coupons strategically and combine them with sale prices for maximum savings.  There’s more than one type of coupon so find which ones work best for you.  🙂
  • Use cloth diapers rather than disposable.  Not for everyone, but I can personally state that I’ve saved a LOT by doing this one!  My personal favorites are the Best Bottom covers and inserts.
  • Offer to review products in exchange for your opinion.  Influenster is one of my favorite programs!
  • Always evaluate need vs. want before making purchases.
  • Consider paying a little extra for staple clothing pieces that you want to last a long time, but save your money on super trendy items that may not last more than one season.
  • Check your pantry and refrigerator for things you already have on hand before grocery shopping.  Make a list of only the things you need.
  • Always buy generic brands whenever possible.  Occasionally, name brand items after sales and coupons are cheaper, so shop smart!
  • Purchase term life insurance when you’re young and healthy.  The cost is lower and you’ll likely have the option to convert it to a permanent life insurance option later on.
  • Find free events available in your area and take a picnic lunch or basket with you when appropriate.  Most events can be found by doing some quick Facebook searches.
  • Create your own wall decor.  Find some cute (and free!) printables online and pair them with a thrifted picture frame for a unique one-of-a-kind look.
  • Don’t let your leftovers go to waste.  Eat them for lunch the next day.
  • Unplug the cable box, and opt for Netflix or Hulu instead.
  • When filling prescriptions, ask your pharmacist for the “cash pay” price.  You may find that your cost is less than if you use your insurance card.
  • Set your printer to default to black/white printing instead of color.  You’ll save a fortune on printer cartridges.
  • Ditch the gym membership.  Instead, go walking or running outdoors at a local park or do your workouts to free videos on YouTube.
  • Carpool to work with family or coworkers when possible.
  • Set aside money each month for bills that require an annual payment.  For example, we pay for a termite inspection once per year, but save a little each month so we’re prepared to pay the bill when it’s due.
  • Use apps like Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Ebates to save money or get cash back on in-store and online purchases.  There are even more apps that can help you earn money back, but these are the top 3 in my opinion.

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

  • Check Facebook Marketplaces or Craigslist for furniture and home decor steals.  You’d be amazed at what you can find!
  • Do a clothes swap with your friends.
  • Do your own mani/pedis at home instead of at a nail salon.
  • Always evaluate your home and auto insurance when it renews to see if you can find lower rates with another company, and keep them with the same company so you maximize your discounts.
  • Shop the clearance racks at the end of each season.  Often you can find items for 75% off or more, which is especially helpful if you have growing children.  Buy the next size up!
  • Download the Krazy Coupon Lady app for the best deals at all your favorite stores.  I use it weekly when planning my grocery trips.
  • Don’t go to the grocery store when you’re hungry.  This will tempt you to buy more than you actually need because everything suddenly looks extra tasty!
  • Do not go into debt to buy something you want.  Evaluate how much you really need that item, and save the money necessary to buy it.  By the time you’ve saved up enough, you may have decided you really didn’t need it after all.
  • Embrace your inner craftiness!  Instead of rushing to buy the newest tech or trendy gift item, spend a few minutes on Pinterest and see if there’s something you can make for less.  That handmade gift will be well received (maybe even more than something trendy) because you put your thought, time, and effort into making it.

  • Forgo bottled water.  Pour it from the tap into a reusable bottle instead.
  • If you haven’t reviewed the interest you’re paying on home or student loans, take some time to see if you can refinance for a lower rate.  This can save you thousands in the long run, and will likely encourage you to pay them off sooner!
  • Save your plastic bags from your shopping trips and reuse them as garbage bags.  
  • Maintain what you already have to extend its life.  This includes regular maintenance on your car, your house, and of course, yourself.  By doing preventive maintenance on the things you use every day, you can likely prevent a costly bill down the road.
  • And what might be the hardest tip of all…  make a budget and stick to it.  If you find yourself with a little extra cash at the end of the month, put it in your rainy day fund.  When that rainy day comes around, you’ll be extra thankful.

***

So, there you have it – 50 ways to save money and live frugally!  Not everything on that list is for everyone, but take a couple of things and see if you can implement them into your daily life.  Don’t feel that you need to embrace frugal living all at once.  That will cause nothing but frustration and burnout.  Instead, focus on a couple of easy changes first, then gradually add more as you get more comfortable with it.

Tell me, are there any frugal habits that you have now?  Are you planning to incorporate a few more in 2018?  Leave a comment below and let me know!

Please follow and like us:
Posted on

8 Types of Coupons and How They Can Help You Save

There are 8 types of coupons available. How and when you use them can help you keep your own money in your pocket.

If you’re like me, you grew up seeing members of your family clip a few coupons.  Both my grandmas did it, my aunt did it, and my mom did it occasionally, too.  It’s something that I distinctly remember from my childhood.  Back in those days, it was simply clipping the coupons that came in the Sunday paper.  Maybe you’d get a bonus coupon inside a box of cereal, but generally, the Sunday paper was where all the good ones would be.

Nowadays, coupons are obtainable in many more places.  In fact, it’s a little overwhelming – especially if you’re a beginner.  I used to think the best ones were either in the Sunday paper or printable online.  Not so anymore.  Yes, those two places are still excellent sources, but now, we also have all of these, too:

  • eCoupons
  • Catalinas
  • Peelies
  • Blinkies & tear offs
  • Store coupons
  • Rebate apps

For today, I’ll explain the 8 types of coupons that are available and also how you can use multiple coupons to save even more!

Sunday paper coupons

These are the most common coupons, and in my opinion, what everyone associates with “couponing.”  Each Sunday, your newspaper will have a selection of coupon inserts from SmartSource, RedPlum, or Proctor & Gamble (1 per month).  The types of coupons that are included are different by region, so what someone gets in Oregon may be different than what’s provided in Tennessee.  

The coupon inserts in the Sunday paper are generally going to be traditional manufacturer’s coupons.  Some stores will allow you to double the coupon value up to a certain amount, but this is becoming less common.  You cannot use more than one manufacturer’s coupon on a single item.  However, you can use them with other store coupons/programs and rebate apps…more on that later.

Internet printable coupons

For the most part, internet coupons are also going to be manufacturer’s coupons.  You can find them in a variety of places – Coupons.com has the largest database (see below), but Smartsource.com and Redplum.com have a different, but smaller, selection.  Generally, you’re allowed to print a coupon up to two times.  There are caps in place on most websites, meaning that once the allotted amount has been printed, they’re no longer available for new prints.

eCoupons (aka digital coupons)

For people that hate to clip or print coupons, eCoupons make couponing easy!  Multiple stores now have shopper’s cards that you can load eCoupons to – Kroger, Target, Walgreens, and CVS are the ones I use on a regular basis.  In order to clip the coupons you want, you’ll need to log in to your store account, and view the available coupons.  “Clip” the ones you’d like to use onto your shopper’s card and when you check out at the store, they’ll instantly be applied to your purchase.  No paper, no fuss!

Target’s program is the only one that I know of that’s a little different from the other ones I mentioned.  Their app, Cartwheel by Target, has 2 types of coupons – eCoupons as well as general % discount savings (anywhere from 5% to 50% off).  Simply log in to the app on your smartphone, and load the offers you want to use.  When you’re ready to check out, have the cashier scan your Cartwheel barcode after they’ve scanned your paper coupons.  

To give you a great example of how you can make Cartwheel work for you, this week they had a 20% discount on Cottonelle toilet paper.  I was able to load that discount onto my Cartwheel app and also pair it with a manufacturer’s coupon…bonus savings!!  Cartwheel discounts are not posted by the items in the store, so it’s also helpful to use the barcode scanner within the app to see if any discount offers are available.  Target’s Up & Up brand frequently gives 5% off on numerous products.  Never pay full price again – even when you’re buying generics!

Catalinas

These are the coupons that you occasionally receive with your receipt after you’ve checked out at the store, and the ones you receive depend on the items you just bought.  For example, I’ve gotten Gerber coupons on a regular basis because I’ve bought the Gerber meals and pouches for my toddler.  I’ll frequently get a coupon that gives me $1 off a future purchase.  When you redeem Catalinas, you will need to return to the store that they were printed at.  Using a Kroger Catalina at Walmart will not work.

Peelies

These are just like they sound.  They’re the coupons that you “peel” off an item at the store.  I don’t rely on these too much because usually, they either ask you to buy 2 items or I’ve got some other coupon on hand that’s better.  Don’t count them out, though – they can be helpful.

Blinkies and tear offs

Ever notice those boxes that are attached to the store shelf, and they’re blinking to get your attention?  It’s because there’s a coupon there!  🙂  Tear offs are the coupons on pads that are attached to the shelf.  Much like peelies, the blinkies/tear offs are bonus savings that you can use instantly.  

Store coupons

This is where it starts to get fun.  🙂  Remember when I said earlier that you could use multiple types of coupons to save big?  Store coupons are just one of the ways you can do it!  For this section, I’ll use Target because they frequently have store coupons available.  You can find them either in their weekly ad, in a newspaper coupon insert, or through the Cartwheel app.  When you look at the top of the coupon, it will say “Target coupon” instead of “manufacturer’s coupon.”  All stores that have store coupons allow you to “stack” their coupons with manufacturer’s coupons which will multiply your savings!  

You remember the Cottonelle example I used earlier?  Well, in that same transaction, not only did I have the 20% Cartwheel discount and a .50 manufacturer’s coupon, I also had a Target coupon that was $5 off my $25 transaction of select paper products.  To make it even BETTER, I also had an Ibotta rebate (more on that next).  That’s 4 different types of coupons, and they can all be used together!  

Rebate apps

I covered all of the good ones in a post here (along with some other apps that are great to have if you want to save serious $$).  To give you an overview, the #1 app that is a must download is Ibotta (they give you a $10 bonus when you redeem your first branded rebate!) followed by Checkout 51, MobiSave, and SavingStar.  To me, rebates are the cherry on top of an already delicious sundae.  If you’ve been fortunate enough to get an already great deal with coupons, take advantage of these rebate apps and put money back in your pocket.  It’s a total win-win.  🙂

There are 8 types of coupons available. How and when you use them can help you keep your own money in your pocket.

Is your head spinning now?  Did you have any idea that there were so many types of coupons?!  It’s actually pretty exciting because they work just like cash.  If you’re like me, I’d rather hand someone a coupon than cash out of my own pocket whenever possible.  

Now, just because there are so many different types of coupons doesn’t mean that you should use them the first chance you get.  Once you start to use them with regularity, you’ll start to notice when and where you can get the most bang for your buck.  It just takes a little strategy and planning, but it can be done.  You’ll love the rewards.

Tell me about you – are you already a couponing mastermind?  How have you been able to use coupons to save on your grocery/household budget?

Please follow and like us:
Posted on

10 Apps That Will Significantly Trim Your Grocery Budget

**This post contains affiliate links that help support this blog.  See my disclosure policy for more information.

What's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.

If you’re like me, you’re frequently looking for ways to cut down on expenses.  This may be for groceries, household supplies, clothing…anything and everything that sucks that bank account dry.  While I can’t help you grow a money tree, I can help you find some easy ways to earn extra money and even get some of your own money back, especially on your grocery budget.  🙂

***

Some people (like me) love to coupon, but it can be hard work!  You have to keep up with a meal plan, then compare it to what’s on sale, then check to see what you already have on hand….  it’s exhausting!  While I’m currently trying to get a better plan in place for myself on all that, I have still managed to coupon for the things that I regularly use.  

I’m no extreme couponer (well, maybe a little), but I do believe it’s silly to not take advantage of the “free money” that you receive in your weekly Sunday paper or from printable coupons online.

But did you know, you can maximize your coupons even more?!  Yes, you can!  

There are apps that you can download on your phone where you can earn even more money back.  They are ah-ma-zing!!!  Even better, if there are rebates available for the same item across multiple apps, you can use all of them.  Say what?!

Most of the recommendations on this list are related to grocery shopping, and with good reason.  Grocery shopping is the one thing we all have to do, and if you’re not careful, the costs can spiral out of control.  It’s difficult to believe that the USDA estimates the monthly grocery cost for my family of 3 is over $600!  I’m at a monthly grocery budget now of $450, but have been gradually chipping away at it.  With the tips I’ve provided in this post, I’m earning back at least $100/mo, and looking for more ways to save every day.

Let’s dive in, shall we?  😉

Ibotta

This is hands down the king of all rebate apps.  Just with this app What's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.alone, I earn back almost a 1/4th of my grocery budget every month!  They have a WIDE selection of coupons in every category imaginable, and a LOT of stores are compatible with their app. They regularly have multiple rebates for any store, any item.  An example of that would be “save .25 cents on any brand of shredded cheese, gallon of milk, bananas, etc.”  So, while .25 is not a lot by itself, if you’re already planning to buy milk, eggs, bread, OJ, etc., those .25 cent savings will add up fast! 

Usually after 3-4 days, rebates that you’ve recently redeemed are reset so if you need to restock on a common item, you can use the same rebate again.  They also have monthly bonuses where you can earn bonuses – eeeeekkkk!!  To download their app, just go through this link here.  You’ll get an easy $1.00 off any item rebate when you sign up, plus a $10 bonus rebate when you redeem your first rebate within one week.  $11 easy dollars just. like. that!!  Once you’re ready to cash out your earnings, you can send them to Paypal or onto a wide selection of gift cards.

Once you’ve downloaded Ibotta onto your phone, I promise you’ll want to tell all your friends.  This is the one club that it’s cool for everyone to be a part of, and the more the merrier.  Every time you refer a friend to Ibotta, you’ll earn a $5 bonus!  (After downloading the app, they’ll have to redeem at least one regular branded rebate within 1 week for the bonus to apply….so not hard to do.)

P.S.  Just in case you need MORE convincing to download Ibotta to your phone, they offer rebates on more than just groceries.  You can earn extra moolah from stores like Best Buy, Joann’s, Hallmark, Toys ‘r Us, and Home Depot to name a few.  Are you finally convinced now?!  If so, just sign up here.  😉

Checkout51

What's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.This is my second favorite rebate app, and they also have a wide selection of offers.  Checkout51 uploads new offers every week on Thursday, and they expire the following Wednesday.  In my experience, some offers are available for more than one week, but don’t dillydally if you want to use a particular one.  Checkout51 has a quantity limit on rebates for all items.  For instance, I wanted to redeem a rebate that I had saved, but by the time I got back to the app to redeem it, it said all offers had been claimed.  Moral of that story – get ’em while you can!  Once you have reached $20 or more in earnings, they will send you a check in the mail.  Click here to sign up for this one.

MobiSaveWhat's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.

This rebate app is not quite as beefed up as the previous two, but it still has some nice offerings.  My favorite thing about it is that you get your money back the second your receipt has been approved.  All earnings are instantly downloaded to your Paypal account.  They have offers similar to Ibotta such as any brand of baking soda, any type of bandage, any type of sliced bread, etc.  You won’t get rich off this app, but it still has some great features that I really like.  Visit this link to learn more and complete the sign up process.

SavingStar

What's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.In my opinion, this app is the smallest of the four in terms of offers, but it’s still been an asset to my grocery budget.  What I like most about it is that it’s perfect to use when you’re stocking up on an item.  For example, they always have offers that say, “Save $5 off a $20 purchase of XYZ laundry detergent.”  So, if your preferred detergent brand is also on sale, you might as well stock up to reach that $20 threshold.  (Even better if you can combine with coupons!)  Here’s the link to sign up for SavingStar.

Shopkick

This is a fairly new app for me, but it has an interesting spin on earning What's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.cash back.  Basically, you earn “kicks” for walking into stores, scanning items, or purchasing items.  Usually, just for walking into a store, you earn a minimum of 25 kicks.  The range of kick points for scanning items is usually between 10-25.  Your real points come when you purchase specific items or refer your friends to sign up.  Once you’ve reached 500 kick points, you can start cashing out rewards onto gift cards.  Sign up today and earn double points when you walk into stores!

Walmart Savings Catcher

What's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.I think this particular app has been around forever, but it is super-duper convenient if you only like to shop at Walmart!  Basically, all you need to do with this app is scan the QR code at the bottom of your receipt.  The app will then scan all the local ads in your area to see if there are lower prices for the items you’ve purchased.  If the app locates any sales that are cheaper than Walmart’s price, you will receive the difference back within 3 days.  Whenever you’re ready, you can request all your savings to be downloaded to a Walmart gift card.  Cha-ching!

Cartwheel from Target

If you’re anything like me, Target is the one store I can get lost in for days!!  I literally love everything they have there!  The baby clothes are super cute (and affordable), the toy section is great, and the grocery options are a step above Walmart/Kroger in some cases.  What makes shopping there even better?  The Cartwheel app.  Simply download this app to your phone, then start adding offers.  The lowest discounts start at 5%, but I’ve seen (and used) discounts up to 50%!  Holy jamoly!  And just like I mentioned in the beginning, if you have an identical offer on multiple apps, you can take advantage of every. single. one.  

What's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.

Recently, I took advantage of a 20% beauty products Cartwheel offer on loofah sponges and mascara.  By the time I used the coupons I had on hand, then combined it with the 20% off AND the $5 gift card I got back after spending $20 on beauty, I got all those items for FREE!  

What are you waiting for?  Click the image above and download this app stat!

LozoWhat's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.

Lozo is the first recommendation I have if you are looking for grocery coupons online.  It’s another new discovery for me, but I’m already a huge fan!  First, you’ll need to set up an account and let it know what items you buy frequently.  It will do a search for coupons, and provide you with a list of everything available that matches those items.  

There’s also a great search feature to help streamline multiple pages of coupons so you can get right to the coupons you need quickly.  Once you’ve set up your account and your list, you’ll get occasional emails letting you know when new coupons are available that match your list.  Talk about a time saver, ya know?!

Coupons.comWhat's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.

When I first started printing coupons online, coupons.com was the first website I visited.  Just about any coupon I wanted/needed to print was there, plus a whole bunch of other ones that I knew I’d need later.  They’ve significantly beefed up their offers since I first heard about it, and I guarantee you’ll find something there that’s helpful for you.  For instance, if you visit their “cash back offers” section, you’ll find local restaurants that will give you cash back when you dine.  Awesome sauce!  To see everything they have to offer, visit coupons.com!

Swagbucks Coupons

I’m planning to cover Swagbucks more extensively in a future post, but for now, they deserve a place on this list, too.

What's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps. Swagbucks offers a ton of ways that you can earn points which will get you cash back.  One of them happens to be with coupons!  Simply visit the Shop tab then go to “grocery coupons.”  Every coupon that you print and redeem will earn you an 10 points back.  Quick tip – it can take awhile for your points to credit, but from personal experience, I’ve seen the points appear in my account about 3 weeks after redeeming.  Don’t have a Swagbucks account?  It’s easy to get one!  Just follow this link to sign up.

What's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.

So, there they are – TEN awesome apps that you can start earning with today!  I’ve personally tried every single one so you can rest assured they’re all legit.  😉  

What about you?  What apps/websites/resources do you use to tackle your grocery budget?

Please follow and like us: