Wednesday, August 3, 2011
A year and a half ago, I stood in a store, reeling from sticker shock. Although I'd used coupons for years, the challenge of making ends meet during unemployment was daunting.
Not long after that fateful day, my friend, Miriam, introduced me to Swagbucks. It's a Free Internet search engine that rewards you with points that can be exchanged for many items. My favorite is the $5.00 Amazon gift certificate.
Miriam then told me about blogs that take much of the work out of putting deals together with coupons. Did you know that you can use a manufacturer's coupon with a Target coupon? I didn't. Below are some ways I stretch my budget:
1) The 2 cent and 3 cent coupons of yesteryear have given way to more generous savings. I had a $5.00 coupon not long ago for a hair care product. Coupled with a dynamite sale and a store savings program (in this case Rite Aid's +Up Rewards), I paid pennies for the product. Sign up for their Wellness card and also CVS' Extra Bucks Card, and see your savings grow. Walgreen's offers Register Rewards without any special cards.
2) I hang out at blogs like Hip2Save, The Krazy Coupon Lady, Moneysavingmom.com, Forthemommas, and Chachingonashoestring. They tell me about potential deals at my favorite stores and where to find the best coupons.
3) Swagbucks feeds my book-buying habit. Other folks purchase their kids college textbooks, save for Christmas, or even purchase groceries with the Amazon gift cards they earn. Check the link in this post to sign up for an excellent program. You can even get Swagbucks for printing out and redeeming grocery coupons - a double blessing.
4) Freebies - the above-mentioned blogs will also alert you to freebies out there. This week I got a coupon for a free, full-size bottle of Pantene shampoo, as well as a sample of Honey Nut Cheerios.
With all those great savings, you can put aside some cash for that writers conference you've been longing to attend for umpteen years or purchase a new printer. When your church or local food pantry has a collection, you'll be able to donate items you have on hand or purchase at a sharp discount.
Thanks, Miriam, for helping me be a better steward of my resources. Now, I'm telling others, so they can benefit as well.
Jump into the couponing waters! It's fun. Do you have any money-saving tips or unique ways you raised funds for charity or a writers conference? Any testimonials from fellow Swaggernauts?
Note: The link to Swagbucks is my referral link. Swagbucks is FREE!