Everyone can save money. I am not sure at what financial point in your life you don’t need to. I personally get asked where else I work, do I own my own home, and other questions relating to my income status. I tell people that I truly believe that no matter how much money I have I would always look for a deal. To me it is always better to save then pass along your savings to someone in need.
TEN WAYS TO CUT YOUR EVERYDAY COSTS
1. Coupons and e-coupons:
A coupon is twice as beneficial when the item is on sale. Start cutting out your Sunday paper coupons but be organized. This is the first step in couponing. I know of people that just put all their coupons in an envelope then when they get to the store they get frustrated because they can’t find the coupon. Do buy yourself a small accordion file. Look at the stores weekly flyer then match your coupons with the sale items. Always take a couple minutes a week to load electronic coupons on your Kroger card. These coupons will automatically be deducted at checkout.
2. Buying online or in retail stores.
The internet has giving us so many valuable resources to find the best deal on any product. First, use a shopping robot at mysimon.com or fatwallet.com to find the lowest price for the item you want. Then go to a code site like mycoupons.com or retailmenot.com for free shipping offers or other discounts. If you shop often at certain retail stores go to their website. Many stores will send you deals via email or mail when you sign up for their newsletter or special club. Old Navy and Victoria Secret are two examples of stores that offer deals. Get free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime when you join Amazon Mom. This offer is not a free trial and you won’t have to cancel it when Amazon Prime ends after three months. You also do not have to be a Mom to join. http://www.amazon.com/gp/mom/signup/info
3. Restaurant deals.
Treat yourself to a nice dinner out. Restaurant.com has many wonderful area restaurants that you can get a $25 gift certificate for $2.00. Right now enter promotional code SHARE for discount. Sign up on their website to get promotional codes sent right to your inbox. TGI Fridays, Ruby Tuesdays, Dunkin Donuts plus other restaurants give out coupons when you sign up for their special clubs. So once again if you frequent a restaurant or want to try a new chain restaurant out go to their website.
4. DVD’s, books and games
You now see kiosks at stores that offer DVD’s for a dollar. Sign up on Redbox.com or BlockbusterExpress.com to receive a code for a free rental. Redbox sends a free code to you via text message every first Monday of the month. Blockbuster will also send you via email codes for free movies. Your local library also offers DVD’s for $1.00 rental or 7 day free rentals. I can’t remember the last time I actually bought a book. The library makes it so easy to go online and look for a book then put it on hold at your closest library. All I have to do is go and look for my name and there is my book. If you do want to purchase a book go to the lower level of the Central Library downtown on Main Street to Friends of the Library. They have an unbelievable selection of books that are greatly discounted and the money you spend goes to help programs offered at the libraries. This month Hasbro is celebrating family game night. What a great way to bond as a family by playing a board game together. Go to Hasbro.com to receive some high value coupons for great classic games like Sorry, Monopoly and Clue. To make this deal even better Toys R Us is having a buy two get one free deal this week.
5. Photo prints, Personalized photo gifts, and more
New users of Snapfish.com will receive 25 free 4 x 6 prints. Use coupon code ISTOCK75 to receive free 75 4 x 6 prints this can be used by existing members also. You do need to pay for shipping. Picaboo.com is now offering buy a personalized hard cover photo book get a copy free until September 28th just enter promotional code BGFSEPT. Kodak Gallery is giving you 50 free Mommy cards and 2 sets of 10 free Birth Announcements cards. Just go their website and click on special offers. Receive free greeting cards for college students from Tiny prints. Just enter coupon code COLLEGE10 to receive offer. If you are a teacher Tiny Prints is also offering free welcome cards, thank you cards for parents or award cards for stellar students. Just enter coupon code APPLE2010 to receive offer. http://www.tinyprints.com/greeting/student-greeting-cards.htm http://www.tinyprints.com/greeting/teachers-cards.htm
6. Home Improvement
Now during the warmer months prepare your home for next winter. If you use Columbia Gas of Kentucky they just introduced a new program called WarmWise. They will come to your house and determine where your home is losing energy and provide solutions. To request a WarmWise home energy audit, call 1-800-300-8709 or visit ColumbiaGasKY.com. Water leaks can account for, on average, more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted in the home every year. For conservation ideas and a free leak detection kit, visit www.kentuckyamwater.com and, under the “Customer Service” menu, click “Detecting Leaks.” Register your Kentucky Utilities account on their Customer Self-Service site at www.eon-us.com to take advantage of the Self-Serve Audit and benefit from their expertise in energy savings. If you prefer you may schedule an on-site audit. There is a $25 fee but you receive a number of energy-saving products, including compact fluorescent light bulbs and water restrictors.
It always amazes me when people say it is so expensive to take my family out to do something fun. Look at your Friday Weekender in the Herald Leader for free or low cost events. Kentucky.com also has a calendar to see what is happening around town. If you are traveling outside the area visit local chamber of commerce website they always have local happenings listed. Don’t forget that Lexingtonians have the best of that world with Spotlight Lexington, the FREE festival giving you “front row seats” for some great free musical entertainment, live video from the Kentucky Horse Park on a jumbo screen and wonderful shopping, arts and crafts booths plus more downtown from September 24 to October 10. To view the latest entertainment schedule go to www.commercelexington.com . Volunteer with the Rotary Club during the World Equestrian Games and receive credentials for an additional day of general admission entry to the Games to enjoy them as a spectator. Sign up at ww.rotary-weg.org. During the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, buy one round of golf at Griffin Gate Golf Club and get one free. Valid September 25 through October 10, 2010. Call (859) 288-6193 today to book your next tee time.
Visit the just opened Legacy Trail a 12 mile walking, biking, interpretive trail and public art venue. The Trail begins in the East End of downtown Lexington, at the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden and runs to the Kentucky Horse Park. Lexington also has over 50 public parks that offer many variety of healthy entertainment. You can play an 18 hole disc golf game at Shillito Park and Veterans Park or use the 12,000 square foot skate park at Woodland Park. Go to www.lexingtonky.gov/parks to see what is offered. If you want to sign up for an indoor gym look at your local YMCA they offer many different options along with some interesting programs. Older adults should see if their healthplan offers the Silver Sneaker Program. This is a free wellness program that is offered at local fitness clubs. Go to www.silversneakers.com to see if you qualify. Remember when joining a fitness club it is not financially beneficial if you do not use it. One of my tricks is that I don’t take showers at home I have to take them at the gym. Not only saving water but making me go to the gym.
9. Health care
Nine out of ten health care bills contain errors. Always request an itemized statement from your provider to scan for redundant charges. If there are any unidentified or miscellaneous amounts, ask for the complete details. Make sure all of the procedures listed were actually done. If a price seems particularly high research the average cost. Go to The Center for Medicare and Medicaid site, cms.gov to check prices. To see if your medical and dental expenditures qualify you for a tax deduction, track your expenses at changehealthcare.com. When you reach 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, the site automatically sends you a report to help you fill out your taxes.
10. Never pay for shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste and more.
Look at your CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens flyers to find deals using the CVS extracare bucks program, RiteAids single check rebate program and Walgreens register rewards program. If you match up manufacturer coupons with these deals you are likely to get many items free. Sign up on my website fru-gal-friends.com to have email updates emails sent to you showing you match ups for coupon savings.
· September 19-25 is share out strength’s great American Dine Out Week – to help end childhood hunger
P.F. Chang’s- Order one of their Lettuce Wraps and they will donate 50 cents
Buffallo Wild Wings- Order one item from their new table gating menu and they will donate 50 cents
· If your child already has a LeapFrog toy create a LeapFrog account online to receive a free LeapFrog book. http://www.leapfrog.com/en/freetagbook/book.html#utm_source=distribution&utm_medium=ToysFreeBook&utm_campaign=parenting
· Smuckers Uncrustable is giving away 400 coupons for free box of Uncrustables everyday until October 13. If you go on the website they will tell you what time they are giving them away. http://www.smuckersuncrustables.com/promotions/Default.aspx
9th Annual World’s Largest Ice Cream Social at Cold Stream Ice Cream, 2337 Sir Barton Way on September 30 from 5pm to 8pm receive a 3oz. portion of Caramel Apple Ice Cream mixed with Chocolate Shavings and Graham Cracker pie crust for FREE
Smithsonian Museum Day is September 25. Print out a ticket to visit a participating museum for FREE.