Tag Archives: savings

BOGO on FroYo!

Guys, this Friday is a BIG DAY–big! If you are a froyoholic like me, this Friday is like payday plus double-coupon day combined!

Why? Oh because IT’S BOGO at Menchies!!


I am so excited I can hardly contain myself! Now I gotta go check out these filters, too!

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.

 

Weddings on a Budget

A lot of people have asked me in the past how I managed to keep my wedding last year within budget.  At first I created a spreadsheet of the things I did but then that got too messy so I’ve decided to create a blog post.

  1. Michael’s- DIY wedding invitations. These invitations range from $30-$50 for a box of 30 or 40 and with the coupons Michael’s always has you can get a lot of cheap. We ended up getting 120 invitations for $72. That’s less than $1 per invite AND it includes the RSVP card and a nice card holder, tissue etc.  All you need is a regular printer, inkjet or laserjet. Here’s the one we used:invite
  2. Groupon-We used groupon for our photobooth and it was well worth it! Now a lot of groupons expire but don’t let that dissuade you. I emailed the business owners and asked for an extension on the expiration date and the owner agreed.
  3.  Publix-wedding cake-I know you want the fanciest bakery cake ever but the Publix cake tasted better than our fancy one (we did a Publix grooms cake).
  4. Venue-Choose a venue that lets your bring your own booze-This speaks for itself. If you can find a venue that lets your bring your own alcohol you can just go to Costco for your alcohol and save thousands of dollars. That’s what we did!
  5. Wedding Planner-GET A WEDDING PLANNER-We used Wedding Belles and we could not have been more pleased. I know that you think a wedding planner just costs you money but ours actually SAVED us money. They recommended someone for our centerpieces who was significantly cheaper than any other vendor we spoke with. They save you a lot of headache and money, I promise it’s worthwhile. Not only that but our planners had a day-of emergency kit incudling double sided tape, snacks and more. We could not have survived without them.
  6. Wedding dress-I did the Jenny Yoo dress from Nordstrom.com (using ebates for cashback, duh) which ended up costing me about $212.  I then went to a local tailor to get a custom made sequined ribbon to put around my waist for an additional $25. So total I spent $237 for my dream dress. But there are lots of affordable options including Jcrew Bridal, Macy’s Bridal and even some pre-owned options.  I know you cringe at pre-owned but really, with the prices people sell for you can get a designer dress for the fraction of the cost.
  7. THE RING-I will say it once and I will say it again: Diamonds do not have value. I tried selling a diamond ring and eventually successfully sold it for ONE HALF of the original purchase price. And I was lucky! Check out I do now I don’t.  I know, again you are cringing at the thought of a second hand ring but with the thousands of dollars you will save you can get the ring reset at a jeweler and lose the icky bad joojoo.
  8. Bridesmaid’s Dresses-To help your bridesmaids save money try going a non-traditional route and having them get non-bridesmaids dresses. What I mean is fun cocktail dresses. I chose my from ASOS. By choosing something that’s NOT a bridesmaid dress you are giving them a fighting chance of ever wearing the dress after the wedding. Not only that, but everything with the words “bridal” or “wedding” are automatically marked up 50000000%.  By choosing something non-bridal you are guaranteeing that money will be saved!

iBotta Cashback App

I love getting cashback for things I am already going to buy.  There are a lot of apps that let you do that but I have a new favorite.

My go-to-grocery cashback app used to be Snap by Groupon.  But as of March 1 they have changed where you can earn cashback and it’s not at the grocery store.  My world of savings shattered until I found ibotta.

ibotta

Now there are pros and cons to every app and this app is no different.  This app requires that you scan the item’s bar code and the receipt. Sounds easy enough, unless you’re me and have a pantry full of clear-plastic containers where you fill all your grains and such.  So I always have to remember when I buy pasta, rice, chips, etc to save the package so I can scan the bar code first.

I recommended this app to a friend recently who responded “Um, my time is more valuable than this, I don’t need to waste it scanning things to save $0.50”

I’m sorry (read, I’m not sorry at all), unless you’re rich, like your kids’ college-tuition-is-totes-covered-rich, your time is not so valuable that literally 10 seconds to save $0.50 (by the way some of their cashback items are much higher, several dollars) is beneath you.  I literally whipped out my calculator and did the math. At an 8 hour workday, 480 minutes per day.  That’s 28,800 seconds.  That’s 2880 10-second increments. at $0.50/10 seconds you’re looking at earning $1440/day.

So sure, if you earn that much money (aka $28,800/month aka $345,600) then theoretically your time is much more valuable, but that’s also assuming you’d scan things during your work hours.

All I can say is that I have earned about $20 in the past month using this app, and even if that just covers my frozen yogurt addiction, that’s fine with me!