Category Archives: promotion

Free Baby Samples

Starting anything new is scary, just in general, right? A new job, a new relationship, breaking in new shoes (my least favorite!).

Parenting is no exception. One thing I found to make the first few weeks easier–having tons of prepared stuff at hand. This means snacks for you, advil portioned out for the postpartum pain, and baby stuff galore (diapers and wipes, oh my!).  There is no such  thing as too many newborn baby product samples!

In my third trimester I decided to start registering for free samples in part due to anxiety. I had a million thoughts and questions.

Will I be able to breastfeed? Which brand is best? How much do I make? Is pampers really better than huggies?”

I decided the best way to figure this all out was to try it all for free. I googled “similac samples” and other similar terminology to find the list below! Each box is unique and comes with coupons, so I definitely suggest you try the different products when your baby is born to figure out which works best for you!

The Enfamil and Similac sample boxes are very similar. Both ready-to-feed bottles and a variety of powder versions that you can try out. They also include coupons in the form of checks. The store you buy from simply scans the “check” as a form of payment so you can use them in conjunction with manufacturers coupons!

Enfamil Samples

Similac Samples

Sam’s Club Baby Box

The Sam’s Club sample box is the least useful of the different samples. It has a size 3 diaper, wipes, and toddler food.

Amazon Prime members can take advantage of the Welcome Box for free!  Just complete a Baby Registry using Checklist and have over $10 of purchases from their registry (from yourself or gifters).

If you open a registry at Babies ‘R’ Us, in store you will get a welcome bag. Mine included a NoseFrida which was a lifesaver for our little guy who was born during cold and flu season.

NoseFrida-product

Most pediatricians have free samples in the office, too, you just have to ask to get them.

Let me know what freebies you scored!

When (and Why) to buy a NEW Car

If you remember I previously posted about when to buy a car. This week I am posting (finally) about when it’s good to buy new versus used.

  1. Duke it Out–Call different dealerships and ask for their best quotes. Tell them about yourself so that they know you’re a real person (real phone number, email address, where you live and what you do). Tell them what you want as your walk out price. Not the final sale price but what the final walk out price you want. Get them to send you quotes in writing and send those quotes to other dealers asking them to beat it. Many dealerships will not engage and you can’t blame them, to them you’re not a real person yet. But talk to the ones who do bite and use those quotes to get as close to your best price.
  2. Maintenance on used car-No matter who you are and how well you take care of your car, after a certain number of miles it will require upkeep. Depending on the car make, model and year, however, these costs can vary but after 30,000 miles they will all start to cost money. Furthermore, after the factory warranties (typically 5 year, 50,000 miles), the car’s value takes a big dip making resale harder and costing more in repairs.
  3. Financing Options-If you can get a car loan at 0% (which many Toyotas and Kias offer), you should definitely take advantage.  Instead of taking the money you get from the sale of your car or putting a lot down, you can put that money into either a high-yield savings or the money market, as long as it earns more than 0% it’s a better investment.                                   I recently looked at 2 cars and broke down the financing options.
    1. 2015 Toyota Rav4 XLE with 29,000 miles-used price 22,400
      1. Financing available on this model was (lowest rate through USAA) 2.49%. Car’s cost over 72 months becomes $24,138
    2. 2017 Toyota Rav4 XLE new with 0 miles-new price 26,500
      1. Financing through Toyota at 0% car’s cost over 72 months remains the same, 26,500

Between these two options I balanced the little more than $2,000 difference. On one hand the new car comes with 2 years of free maintenance and oil changes.  They also include 5 year, 50,000 bumper to bumper warranty. These perks and the fact that I am buying a car that I can later sell as “first owner” and newer, with fewer miles made the decision clear for me and my family, new car wins.

If you decide to go with the new car route you should wait until the end of the year. During this time dealers are trying to get rid of that year’s stock so you can get great deals on new cars. If you can get in on a weekday they will give you further discounts. Also, try to garner loyalty by going back to a dealer from whom you have purchased before because dealerships do value those relationships (my personal dealership gave us an extra $1000 off for that relationship).

And as always, don’t be afraid to walk away!

 

4 Top Coupon Code Websites

As a frequent online shopper (I hate the unforgiving glare of department store changing rooms), I find that often prices in store versus online are different.  I most often notice that price online are cheaper than in store.  Regardless, to maximize savings I always, always look for a good coupon code.

There are lots of click-bait sites that will taught huge savings but when you click there’s nothing, so make sure you’re using a reputable coupon site.

These are my favorite 4 sites for coupon codes:

  1. Retail Me Not-This website to me is the OG. My favorite part of this website is that users can offer feedback so that a single coupon will have a user-submitted % success rate and a place for users to leave comments. This way you don’t have to waste time going through dozens of fake or expired coupons.
  2. Coupon Cabin-I like Coupon Cabin for the rare time that a retailer is not on Retail Me Not. They also have the option to search locally by entering your zip code.
  3. Krazy Coupon Lady– I don’t love this website but I will definitely put up with it for a deal! My reason for disliking it is not actually the content but the way the website is set up. It’s very overwhelming, not a clean design, and there are way too many ads mixed in with the content. The pop-ups are also a pain to deal with. I do like that the website has a “tips” tab and it’s a good alternative to the above two.
  4. Coupons.com-I like the actual coupons that I can print and take in store, but I must say that from its inception this website requires that you download their “printing installer”.  This is insanely obnoxious especially when you want to just print something specific on the go. BUT when you plan ahead and have the installer, the coupons are great!

What’s your favorite couponing website?

2 Ways to Lose and 2 to Save at Target

I love shopping at Target. Who doesn’t?  The lights, the layout, the colors, they all come together to make the buyer feel at home.  And that’s the point, Target wants you to feel warm and fuzzies in their store because then your wallet magically pops open and boom, there goes a few hundred bucks!

To me the two biggest money pits at Target are the big red CLEARANCE end caps and the dollar spot.

  1. The dollar spot is not comprised of one dollar items. In fact, most of the stuff in this section is $3-$5. “Omg Minoo, loosen the purse strings” you’re groaning to yourself.  But if I grab a handful of these items every time I shop, I can look back and say I spent hundreds in the “dollar spot” on junk! Save yourself the money, nothing and I mean nothing in that section is worth it.
  2. The other money pit is the general use of CLEARANCE on the aisle end caps.  Target uses these orange and white clearance stickers marking how low these clearance items are and suddenly you feel like you need Essie nailpolish that was originally $14.99 but is now on sale for $10.00. You don’t. Just walk away. If you really need an item, maximize your savings by doubling up with coupons or check amazon.com to see if the price is really a limited-time steal.

target

Now, how can you SAVE money at target? Here’s how.

  1. The Target Red Card Debit Card– I love this card because really, the last thing I need is a credit card but a debit card lets me use the money I currently have but at target with an additional 5% off.  When you use your Target Debit Card (or the Target Credit Card  at Target stores or Target.com, you will receive 5% off your purchases. If you use a REDcard in the same purchase transaction with another form of payment like a gift card, the 5% discount will apply only to the purchase amount tendered to your REDcard.   LASTLY, the 5% discount does not apply to the following:
    • Prescriptions, clinic services at Target and Target Optical™ eye exams
    • Target gift cards and prepaid cards
    • Previous purchases
    • Target credit account payments, Target Debit Card cash back and cash advances on the Target MasterCard
    • Gift wrap and shipping and handling charges on Target.com purchases
    • Wireless protection program purchases and deposits required by a mobile carrier
  2. Cartwheel App by Target–This app is a must have if you frequent target or if you are planning a trip and want to look up coupons.  My phone is doing that awful thing where it tells me I’m out of storage even though I’ve deleted everything, so I delete and re-download the target app based on my trips to the store.  I will say that the app’s coupons often exclude clearance items so read the fine print. The best savings come when the app has a coupon for an additional savings off clearance items in a category (like apparel).  Also, the app today cannot be used for online purchases (but I bet that will change soon).

These are the ways I save and spend at Target, how do you save when you shop there? Tweet, Instagram or message me here!

7 Items to Buy at the Dollar Store

I love saving money. Duh.  But I also love quality items. So how do I meet the balance for these two? I shop around. I know it takes more time to get a few items from one store and a few at another but it saves you so much in the long run!  I didn’t want to overwhelm readers with a huge block of text so I will save my “What not to buy at the dollar store” post for later this week. For now, here are 7 items you should always try to buy at the dollar store:dollar

  1. Pregnancy Tests-YES THEY WORK. I have a friend who is a reproductive endocrinologist and she said their office ONLY uses dollar store tests (her favorite brand there is New Choice).  Apparently they are actually more sensitive that a lot of tests on the market, picking up a positive at 25mIU/ml while most drug store versions are sensitivity of 50 mIU/ml. So save your $10 and get the dollar tree version!
  2. Floss Picks-The Dollar Tree by me sells these for, obviously, $1 but the pack is a pack of 40 which is a great deal! Even publix brand is $2.29 for a pack of 45 so the dollar tree equivalent is a much better deal.
  3. Facewash/acne treatment-I buy certain face products at the dollar tree, especially since our dollar tree sells name brands. For example, our store sells Acne Free brand so I get my face washes there (saving over $3 from Amazon’s price). I also get my acne spot treatment stuff here and my apricot scub. I don’t get my face cream here because creams stay on your skin for 10ish hours so I want my cream to be really good.
  4. Wrapping Paper– At first I was hesitant to believe that the dollar store wrapping paper was a better deal. But then I did the math per square foot and it is in fact cheaper! Not only that, you don’t have to commit to as much paper per roll, you can get more variety which I prefer.
  5. Greeting Cards-Holy cow when did greeting cards get to be so freaking pricey?? I went to Target and the cards on average were $5.99! THAT’S BASICALLY $6!!!!! So if you have a $5 giftcard to someone you have to spend more than the gift at the store to put it in a card.  Nope, not at the dollar store! And they have cute and funny cards, it’s not the main store rejects.
  6. Balloons-When I was in high school I actually worked at a dollar store. Specifically, the Dollar Discount. Also when I was in high school, it was trendy to get a bunch of mylar balloons to put on your friends’ lockers when it was their birthdays. Working at the Dollar Discount I immediately found that I was saving 75-90% on balloons because each mylar was $1 versus Publix where they are $4.99 or more! So if you have an occasion that calls for balloons, definitely head over to the dollar store.
  7. Seasonal Decorations (Halloween Decor, Easter, etc)-Around the holidays I get headbands with reindeer antlers on them, halloween I get front door decals, and easter I get headbands with bunny ears! The same headbands with animal ears are sold at CVS for $4.99 so you save BIG getting these items at the dollar store.

 

Free Stuff at the Grocery Store

I was recently traveling for work and a coworker said to me “who checks their receipt when they leave the store, what a waste of time!

No, this is not a made up conversation for the sake of this blog, someone literally said that to me and I was appalled. I calmly replied “well if it saves you money then it was time well spent, right?”

He looked confused, “but what, to save $0.10 on something that was supposed to be on sale?” to which I responded “duh, the Publix Promise? Kroger Guarantee?”

He looked confused and that’s when I realized that many people do not know what these promises are. These promises are a big way to save money when you go grocery shopping!

Here’s how the promise works–say you’re grocery shopping and see that an item is marked $1.99 on sale. But then when you go to check out your item rings up at $3.99.  You get annoyed and check out. Next Step: Go to customer service and point out the discrepancy and mention the “Publix/Kroger Promise”.  Then the item is FREE.

From the Publix website:

Our Publix Promise guarantees that if during checkout, the scanned price of an item (excluding alcohol and tobacco products) exceeds the shelf price or advertised price, we will give the customer one of that item free. We will charge the lower price for the remaining items.

The Kroger Scan Right Guarantee:

Any item that scans at an incorrect price, whether it is higher or lower than advertised, will be given to you for free. Only one item will be given away for free per purchase, however — any subsequent items that scan incorrectly will be sold at the lower price.

This is why it’s more than just a few cents that you are saving when you pay attention to your receipt! If you save $3 one week, $5 the next, etc it adds up. Plus, it’s always satisfying to get your money back. You can take that savings and treat yourself to an overpriced venti-no-foam-extra-shot-latte at Starbucks!