Saving Moola!

Many of you who know me, know I heart shopping. I also heart savings and deals. Who doesn’t? I have friends that don’t blink when they spend, others who won’t spend a dime unless there’s a double coupon sale. Where ever you and I fit in that range, it’s cool. It means you’ve got a plan (most of the time) when shopping. So do I. Sometimes.

Over the past years I’ve come across some fantastic ways to save money – especially online. If I’m buying (If? Who am I kidding?!) there are a few websites I ALWAYS check before making a purchase. These sites offer cashback right into my PayPal account anywhere from 30-90 days after my purchase. Does anyone remember Bing? It was the Microsoft website that paid you cashback for purchases. Bing started the Cash Back train, has derailed and others have picked up where Bing left off.

If you take the time – yes, this will require a few extra steps – to save the money it will be well worth it. I think I only paid full price for one thing for our wedding and my wedding! Everything I bought online resulted in cashback! Our invites were $46 for 250. Beat that!

Here are a few tips, tricks, idea to save you some moola! Who doesn’t like that!? I’m talking shoes, Sephora, Bath & Body Works, business card and invitation printing, even Ebay! You can buy running gear, vitamins, restaurant coupons – dang near anything and everything under the sun!

I highly advise you to establish a PayPal account before venturing any further if you are going to start shopping like a Pro! (www.paypal.com). I also suggest opening up a new email address for when you are shopping online. This will help keep your personal/work email uncluttered. There will be emails coming from companies you shop with deals and coupons often. My email is KinseyShops@hotmail.com. It’s here I can keep track of items that are shipping, paying cash back, or a new sale.

BigCrumbs – http://home.bigcrumbs.com/HarleyKins
This is one of a few sites I like to shop & compare at. Once you set up a profile/user id you’ll be ready to start shopping. This website works via what I call “click thru shopping”. Search for the store you want to shop at, click the link to Shop Now and it will take you to the store page you want to shop at. After your purchase, and generally 3-5 days later, you should receive an email that BigCrumbs saw you had a purchase. The cash back will build up and pay on the 15th of the month in arears. So if you made a purchase in January you will be paid March 15th – provided there is at least $1 to pay out. This time delay is to account for any returns you may have made on your purchases.

Ebates – http://tinyurl.com/kinseyebates

This site is similiar in many ways to BigCrumbs. It pays via PayPal or you can request a check. I find it easier to get paid instantly with PayPal! With over 1,200 retailers there’s a deal for everyone. This site pays 4 times a year. A payment made to you May 15 accounts for purchases credited to you Jan 1 – March 31. This site has “daily double deals” where some merchants may pay 2x what their normal cashback rate is.

FatWallet – http://www.fatwallet.com
This is a similiar site as the previous 2. There are deals, daily deals, sales, etc. The cash back work pretty similiar. It can take somewhat longer to receive the money as the merchant needs to credit FatWallet to pay you.

Q.How do I use any of these sites?
A. Shop & Compare!

For instance I’m a shoe girl. I love shoes. Especially shoes on sale! Here’s a list of what each of these websites pay for cashback for Endless.com – a shoe site and more!
Ebates: 7.5%
FatWallet: 8%
BigCrumbs: *up to 13.8%
– it’s important to look at the * by the percentages! This may be a determining factor in how much you get paid!

Each of these websites can change what they pay back at any time. I use all 3 of them regularly to get the best deal. I’ll pick the one which will pay me the most.

IN ADDITION to these amazing cashback websites, there’s the coupon codes and price comparing!

When I shop, for shoes for instance, I want the BEST deal. I will Google the name of the shoe and look at the websites it may be listed on. Maybe it’s best if I show it like this:

1) Find el perfecto shoe-o

2) Google it. Look at each website it shows up on: Amazon, Ebay, Endless, 6pm, Piperlime, Zappos, Shoes, Shoebuy, Macy’s, Dillards, etc (did you know there were this many shoe sites?)

3) Look at the shipping. Is it free? Do they have free returns? How long to return? 30 days? 90? 365? Are the returns free?

4) Google for a coupon code! Many sites likes shoes.com or endless.com will have coupon codes you can enter at the time of purchase. I’ve found codes from 20-30% off AND the shoes has been on sale WITH free shipping. Did I mention adding the cash back on top? Say What?! Heck yeah!

The trick is not to make rash and quick decisions. I know it helps me to really think about my purchase if I do comparission shopping. I will tend to stick an item in my shopping cart, think about it for a day and if I remember that I want the shoes, I’ll go back and buy, starting from the website where I found the best cashback.

Who wants FREE Amazon giftcards??? I do! I do!

Swagbucks http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/KinseyRae
This website pays you in “swagbucks”. You earn by utilizing different channels on their website: searching, daily polls, games, surveys, buying products like Groupons, watching videos, entering in codes, etc. Check out the “how it works” tab once you are all signed up. You get 50 sb’s for just having a birthday! Nice!

Once you get to 450 swagbucks (or SB’s) you can redeem for a $5 Amazon Gift Card. This is actually the best option in my opinion. There are other stores to redeem your SBs at but I like shopping at Amazon. Other redemption items include stickers, swagbucks logo items, contest entries, etc. The choice is up to you.

A nifty feature that has been added to their site recently is the Coupon feature. Select your coupons, redeem them when buying your groceries and for each one redeemed PRESTO 10 swagbucks in 8-10 weeks. Per coupon! (more on the art of couponing in a later blog).

When you put all these savings together, a purchase can look like this:

2 Swagbuck GC’s for Amazon = $10 (Amazon partners with Endless)
Endless cashback via BigCrumbs = 13.8%
Pair of shoes retailing at $99.00 on sale for $54.99
Free shipping, coupon code via google for 20% off, no tax

$54.99 – 20% = $43.99
– 13.8% cash back (due in march) = $37.91
– $10 from easy searching for Swagbucks = $27.91 for a $99 pair of boots.

And I didn’t have to battle with mall traffic!

Last but not least, I will leave you with two of my favorite clothing, shoes, vacation, handbag, jewelry, etc websites:

RueLaLahttp://www.ruelala.com/invite/kschweitzer
this is where I bought my Cole Haan loafers and my oh so fabulous faux fur chinchilla coat. The coat was originally $450, I am proud to have paid $79.99. And no, it’s not last year’s style.

HauteLook http://www.hautelook.com/invite/kschulz652
Another fantastic site, with steals on clothing, jewelry, vacations, kid stuff, etc – this one, if you want it, email me. It will be worth it! Not to mention, there is an App for that… 🙂

Interested in Wine Deals?

Invino –http://www.invino.com/signup/?invite=3756bab8a54f868e059cae78ae06df002bc5b8fe
This webiste gives great deals on SUPER wines! They also have a Happy Hour where wines are discounted even MORE! Who doesn’t want great wine at Boone’s Farm prices? Ok, it’s not that cheap but close (and better!)

What about tickets to the Big Game, Best Concerts?

SCOREBIG http://www.scorebig.com/referral/kinsey8586
This place has the tickets for events, baseball games, etc at discounted prices. And no fees! It makes it cheaper now to get into the hottest ticket! Areas are limited right now to the larger cities (you know, bigger than Madison) but if you are traveling – it just might be a place to look for deals. The invites are limited to this site and it may take a day or two to be approved. Hang tight – it’s worth the wait!

I know there is a ton of information in here and some might be a bit confusing. If you have any questions, feel free to email me or call. I’d be happy to walk you through a purchase or eight! Saving money is fun. I like it when I get 6.8% off my Groupon purchase which already save me tons of money dinner or a massage! Times are tight, buy what you can afford at better prices.

Please also be sure to read the FAQs for the sites mentioned above if you have any questions. They work for me and I hope they will work for you too! I’ll be writing more ways to save with coupons, gift certificates, dinning, etc. Stay Tuned!

Cleanse, Day 1

Today began anew. It’s the first day of my 10 day self-imposed cleanse (with the help of Advocare), the first day of a new direction in Christianity as my husband Keith and I were Baptized, the first day of my blog. It’s also been a day of reflecting, though that is not a first.

The hungrier I am today, the more I begin to think. Today, I’ve thought about what I cannot eat:
pizza, chips, cake, soda – all at our Baptism
sugar cookie dough, pudding snacks, french onion dip – all in our fridge
the chips, the beef jerkey, the mac n cheese -all in our cupboards

This is all brought on by myself, no one is forcing me to do it. It’s a choice. Think about those who don’t have a choice in going hungry. We all have money for food. If you are reading this you also have had money at one time for a computer and/or Internet, or you are in a house/someplace inside where you can read this so you have shelter, heat, electricity. There are so many others who go without food every single day. My hunger pains are new, recent. I have been complaining in my head (and to my husband) about how hungry I am, wondering how many hours until dinner. In reality, I should be thanking my lucky starts and God for the fact that we have food in our fridge, the means to go to the grocery store, the ability to go out to eat, and I’ve never HAD to go hungry. There’s always been food in the cupboard and fridge, my “we’ve got no food” is just untrue. Just because I didn’t want to eat what we had, didn’t mean we were starving or out of food by any means.

Think about this: .The United States has only 5 percent of the global population. It produces more than three times as much food as any other country in the world, and by and by some measures, 39 percent of the world’s wealth belongs to Americans. Nevertheless, America has a hunger problem of sobering proportions. (aarp oct 2010)

This is my food for thought today: Think about those who have none. Who really have NOTHING in the fridge. While you are sitting around, watching cable on your big screen tv eatting your take out, steak dinner, whatever you have Remember there are MILLIONS who truly are hungry and you really aren’t “starving”.

PS When you are thinking about donating food to your local food pantry, instead of throwing them the crap you don’t want to eat from your kitchen, think about what you would want on the shelves if you had to go there. No one wants your canned pears.

check out our other blog at keithandkinsey.wordpress.com