I'm back! I took an unannounced hiatus over the last week to spend time getting things back on track. Sometimes I just take on too much!
I've tried to dedicate Mondays to offering you a way to save money or a way to make money. In honor of the holiday shopping season which officially kicked off this weekend, here are a few ways to save and even earn when shopping:
- Couponing is the number one way I have found to save while shopping. You can often get so many products incredibly cheap or even free by using coupons. Sites like Money Saving Mom and Mommy Snacks offer some of the best advice for saving money on groceries.
- Check out CVS' ExtraCare Rewards Program. Here are some details on the basics. CVS offers "Extra Bucks" on certain products every week in the form of a printed coupon on the bottom of your reciept. It's basically like cash back (to be spent at their store only) with a few stipulations. With the right combination of coupons and using Extra Bucks you can easily take a home a cart full of household items and dig for change in your purse to pay the tab. I haven't paid for toothpaste, shampoo, razors or makeup since I discovered this program!
- For those of you hitting up the Cyber Monday deals, sign up with a company like Ebates or Big Crumbs to save even more. Shopping through these sites can help you earn discounts or rewards. When you find a deal online, log into your account and find the store through the site to purchase and get more bang for your buck.
- MyPoints is another site where you can earn points by doing your online buying through their site. When you sign up with them you'll get regular emails alerting you to different sites and companies that match your interests and ways to earn points. Sometimes it's as simple as registering on their site, which you can use a separate email account for. Even if you never sign up for anything, often just clicking on the website will earn you 5 points. Those can really add up. You redeem the points for gift cards from more than 70 merchants. If you start now, you have plenty of time to score a few gift cards by next Christmas!
- Take advantage of pharmacy gift card offers. Stores like Target, CVS, Walgreens, Kmart and others often have coupons to get a gift card when you fill a new prescription at their pharmacy. If you have one to fill anyway, you might as well get a free gift card for it! Pay attention to ads or look on websites. Most CVS stores will even honor competitors' coupons.
- Finally, as I discuss in this post, reviewers are still being accepted for the Webby Awards. This is not necessarily shopping-related, but it is timely and it's a great opportunity, so I really want everyone to know about it! The first session just ended and there are two more. This is a great way to earn actual cash by reviewing websites in your spare time. Although it is temporary, it offers a nice payday when checks go out early next spring!