Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Money Saving Tips

I was professing my love for Amazon Prime to our media buyer the other day and it got me thinking about how much money you can save if you just open your eyes and look around. I have found some great tricks over the years, so I thought I would share some of them here!

Amazon Prime
My first and foremost is the previously mentioned Amazon Prime. For those of you that don't know, you pay $79/year and get free three day shipping on almost anything. I signed up for a free trial two Christmases ago and forgot to cancel it, so I was DETERMINED to get my use of it. Y'all. I'm so glad I forgot. Amazon and I have since developed a pretty serious love affair.

I've found that 90% of the time things are cheaper on Amazon. It doesn't matter what I'm buying from gifts to paper towels, I typically check Amazon first. I recently saved $23 on a baby shower gift (for the EXACT thing she registered for elsewhere). And after Christmas I returned a Simple Human trashcan because it was too short (and Moose would have had a hayday with it), and got one twice the size for $10 cheaper on Amazon.

I started using the site so much that I just recently opened up a credit card that gets triple points on Amazon purchases. In addition to getting bonus points on what I buy on Amazon, I literally charge everything but my rent on the card and pay it off once a week. I was shocked at how fast they add up- I've been using it for three months and already have over $50 in points! Free money to spend on restaurants or traveling? No brainer.

I just started using Ebates after seeing their television commercials. I had heard about it in the blogosphere awhile back, but never looked into it. I signed up for an account and quickly realized that I should have done it years ago. You just sign up and then when you get ready to buy something online, go to Ebates and then click through to the company's website through Ebates. It opens up a tracking ticket and logs your cash back amount in your account. Different businesses have different cash back percentages and they will also do specials with higher percentages from time to time. I shop at Sephora a lot (more on that below) and last week they were doing 8% cashback for Valentine's Day. Then four times a year, Ebates cuts you a check for what you've racked up. My first check from all the online Christmas shopping was $19. Again... Free. Money.

Sephora Value Sets
I buy pretty much all my beauty products from Sephora for a few reasons:
  1. I love getting samples to try out and they send three with every order.
  2. I love their rewards program. 
  3. I love their value sets.
The value sets are my money saving tip. A few months ago I was buying my Origins moisturizer online and when I searched for it, I noticed that there was a value set for the exact same price as the moisturizer. I looked at it and it included the same size jar of moisturizer that I had planned on buying but it included a small thing of serum and face wash. I go through a LOT of moisturizer, so this was a great find for me. I haven't bought face wash since. 

I am a BIG fan of Groupon and it's counterparts. I buy them for everything- movie tickets, brazilian blowouts, restaurants, car detailing. You name it.

I added up the money I saved through Groupon since I started using it years ago and it was over $1,300. Most of this was money I would have spent anyways. The sushi place right by my apartment has one every few months, so if you're going to go anyways- you may as well go for 1/2 off! However, I have bought a few randoms that I wouldn't have normally bought just because they looked fun. I bought one for a wine tasting class at Wine Therapist and a few weeks ago D and I went on a horseback riding adventure that I found through Gilt City. Totally random and not something I would have thought of on my own, but we had a blast!

My last little trick is to use Open Table ANY time you want to make a restaurant reservation. They have a point system and give you 100 points for every reservation you use. For every 2,000 points, they will mail you a $20 gift certificate that you can use at any restaurant that takes Open Table reservations. It obviously takes a little while to build up, but they also have 1,000 point reservations if you are willing to go at off-peak times. You could essentially book two 1,000 point reservations and get $20 off your next reservation. Not a bad deal! 

I know a lot of these things might be common knowledge, but I thought I would put them out there just in case it might help one of you. As someone who has spent the majority of her adult life with champagne tastes on a beer budget, sometimes you have to get scrappy! 

1 comment:

melissa said...

I had no idea you could rack up points on Open Table - great tip! I love Ebates. I just got a $70 check in the mail. Let's not pay attention to what this means about my online shopping habits.

I loved my free Amazon Prime membership I had for about a year but I think I've saved money by not renewing it. Unlike you, I was buying stuff I probably wouldn't have purchased otherwise because 2 day shipping was just so convenient. Bad, bad! Now I comparison shop at Amazon but the regular shipping keeps me from impulse purchases. :)