Deal or No Deal $$$ (Part 1)

Aloha!      

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So one thing I wanted to share with y’all this time is how we budget and save $$$!!! Not only with buying a fixer upper home and furnishing or decorating it, but everyday things too. I wouldn’t call my self a “couponer” per-say, but I definitely like to find a deal or get a bargain where I can! Shopping is definitely my favorite sport, and when I can get a deal it makes it a home run 😉 So I thought I would share my $ saving tips with all of you! This is going to be a two-part post, as I found it was too long for one post, so stay tuned and feel free to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss any posts.      

Well lets start with the basics…FOOD! We all eat food, love food, need food, FOOD!! Now I’m hungry! Anyway to get discounts on it is awesome, but honestly this is probably where I need the most work and to research more into coupons and deals. When I see shows where their $500 food trip costs $10, I want to learn how to that, but haven’t gotten that deep into it yet. One day I want to though! At the grocery store we just keep an eye out on those buy one get one deals, or the 5 for $10 deals (which you don’t have to buy 5 of them, just 1 will still be $2 at the discounted price, lots of people get confused by that). But one thing we also like to use any is gas discounts grocery stores offer, where you get points towards discounts for buying groceries from them, but do your due diligence to make sure its worth it. For example we had been getting awesome discounts like $.90 off every gas trip with our Bi-Lo grocery gas points which is used at Shell stations. However, we use premium gas with our Mini Coopers which is an even higher grade premium at shell stations, therefore we were paying more even with our discount 😦 But it is great for regular gas! So just make sure the station you use for the discount doesn’t have higher prices to compensate for the discount. Another way we save is by filling up at our Sam’s Club gas station or Costco which is usually cheaper on gas to its members. So this is all very basic, as I said one day I will get more into food savings and share what I learn with y’all!      

Where I really like to save on food though is eating out! Chris and I enjoy using apps like “groupon” and “open table” when we want to eat out, so let me share with you why. Phone apps can be easy and fun to use once you know what apps to look for and how to use them, so first off lets talk quickly about “Open Table”. Open Table is an app used for mainly reserving a table at a restaurant in advance, which lets you avoid waiting on hold on the phone with them, having to wait until they open, and trying to fiddle with dates and times available, great right? Well not only can you make your reservation on the app, but you create a login, quick email and password, nothing extensive, and then you get points for making reservations on the app. Later on when you have enough points they will redeem them for you towards a gift card for your next restaurant outing. Different restaurants have different amounts of points, but hey its free money if you eat out a lot, and all you had to do was make a reservation first! PRETTY EASY PEASY!  

IMG_6109This is what the Open Table App looks like, tells you whats nearby and rating, and times available to reserve. 

   

Another app we LOVE, is “Groupon”! What would I do without groupon? (Lets be real, probably have more $ in our savings account, but that’s besides the point!) Were talking about saving money when we spend, not saving $ in the bank, right? Okay so Groupon, by far my favorite app, it is addicting, they have everything all the time, and great deals on everything all the time. Groupon offers several things, it offers “things to do”, “places to eat”, and “everyday goods”. As for the food part, they offer discounts at restaurants, usually half off, and you are basically buying a gift card half off, that you can use at anytime before an expiration date, and your probably trying somewhere new in the process! How do they do this you ask? By offering a limited amount of them, to a group of people. For example, they have a rare Starbucks groupon, they offer to 10,000 people to get $10 worth of starbucks and only pay $5. That group of people are then basically getting a “group coupon” therefore the name “groupon”. It sells out in minutes, starbucks gets a guaranteed $50,000 by doing the deal, groupon gets their percentage, the people get a discount, everyone wins! AWESOME! So that works with everything, and we have done so much on groupon I don’t know where to start. We have visited plantations here in Charleston, gone to countless restaurants, stayed at fancy hotels, gone to the shooting range, did a ghost walking tour, gotten my hair done, you get the point, they just have everything!      

We also have bought some travel “groupon getaways” which were amazing trips for a steal. The first trip we took was to Cabo San Lucas about 2 years ago. We used groupon to buy our hotel stay at an all inclusive resort (alcohol too) with a swim up pool balcony, yes it was as good as it sounds! The next one we have our eye on is 8 days in Ireland, which includes the airfare, hotel stay, and the car rental with meals included for like $700 per person! Now to give you a little insight, my father should be a travel agent, in his spare time he books many trips, researches excessively, and knows the ins and outs of all travel sites and rates. He does this for our family and everyone we know, so he is the go to guy for traveling. So from him, I know how to do research for traveling and how to get a good deal, and groupon rates check out very well every time so far! So if your going to stay somewhere, check groupon first for your hotel stay, you’ll save about half price. (Another travel app we love is “travelzoo”, which is virtually the same as groupon but specifically for traveling).  These are pictures from our trip to Cabo San Lucas booked with groupon 🙂 10200258144188515 10200258145428546 10200258903967509 10200260908217614 10200260882256965 10200260882816979    

 So on top of that they have “groupon goods”, which is items you can buy for half off the normal prices, and this is my favorite part! They sell basic stuff from clothes and coconut oil, to the luxury like apple, kate spade and l’occitane! YYeeessss!!!! Lets look in my history at the last thing I bought…hold on…OH YEAH! OK so I bought that Starbucks one I mentioned earlier for $5, and then I bought this yoga workout shirt that says “Namast’ay in Bed” for $9.99. Hahaha I love that shirt! It is sold out, but I will put the link below just in case you need it in your life when it restocks…Chris bought a 5lb bag of protein powder for $29. And I am about to buy a 13 month subscription to Southern living magazine for $5. I will put that link below in case you want that as well, they have about 10 other magazines to choose from also. Anyway we buy all kinds of stuff and they ship it right to your house, convenient and we save $, it can’t get any better in my opinion! But wait it can!???    

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See I wasn’t making it up…my Groupon App Shopping Cart 😉 

That brings me to my next app! “Ebates”! I recently came upon ebates, and it is a pretty cool cash back app. If you ever order things online, which we do ALOT, then I suggest you get an ebates account. It is very simple, lets say you’re going to place an order, on our favorite app, groupon. You want to spend the night at a fancy Charsleton hotel to come visit Chris and I 😉 You want to stay where we stayed using groupon before, at the stunning 5 star Francis Marion Hotel, the room cost is $200, and groupon will give you a 5% cash back on most travel deals so you will save $10 on top of your discounted groupon rate. Well then you login to your ebates and activate your cash back button for groupon. I added the button to the top of my computer address bar as well as my phone app. So all you have to do is activate ebates before you submit your order. Each company that ebates works with has a different % of cash back, and it fluctuates with specials and etc. Right now groupon is 9% cash back with ebates, so you click ebates to activate, and then go check out on groupon as normal. You paid $200 for your room, got 5% back with groupon for traveling with them, and now a 9% back with using ebates. That is $10+$18=$28 cash back just for one extra click of the mouse. Now ebates will add up your $ monthly and can send you a check or put it in your paypal account and thats it, you got cash back. Even if you’re buying something regularly like me, I order my foundation almost monthly from sephora, which is $32, so now I get $30.72 back a year for ordering as I always do, sweet! They also inform you of any sales or coupon codes going on at the time, so if macy’s has a coupon for 10% off your purchase, ebates will provide you with the coupon code as well, a nice touch. A little bit here and a little bit there adds up, its free $, and its also kinda fun! They have virtually almost any company you can think of, Bed Bath & Beyond, Lowes, Target, Ebay, Walmart, Sears, Macys, Best Buy, etc. So you get free $ for shopping as normal, you just have to remember to click on it before you check out which is their “catch”.       

This is what the Ebates Cash Back App looks like, my earnings so far…Ive only been using it for about a month and a half…IMG_6107

So that is what I wanted to share with you today! I will post Part 2 of my money saving tips in the next couple days! Stay tuned and please comment below if you have an awesome tip you use, and especially if you have some grocery coupons tips because I need to get on that asap! I also provided the links below to the sites I mentioned. Mahalo! 

Open Table

Groupon

Travel Zoo

Groupon Yoga Tank Top (sold out for now)

Groupon Magazine Deal

Ebates

P.S- I was also thinking of adding a “Deal or Tip of the Week” I come across each time a post a new blog post, what do y’all think about that? let me know in the comments 🙂 

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