Friday, March 11, 2011

How I Save Money

Lately I've had a couple of friends ask how I save money, so I thought it would be a good idea to just write a post about the different ways I save and/or get good deals. Truth be told, there's no huge secret in the things I do. It does take a little time, but honestly, it feels so good knowing I am helping our family out by getting the BEST deals possible. Plus, I love spending money on my boys, and without some of these things, I probably wouldn't be able to do half the stuff I do for them (or myself). So, without further ado, I give you my money saving tips!

  • SWAGBUCKS! My newest craze. I'm seriously addicted. The reason? It's SO easy to earn credits, and after only 450 swagbucks, you can redeem them for a $5 amazon giftcode. I've been a member for a while, but would say that I've actively used it since January. Since that time I have earned over $20 in amazon credit. Basically, all it is is a search engine that randomly awards you swagbucks for using them. There are also other ways to earn swagbucks, like making purchases through their site (I've done this with some groupon deals), watching short video clips, and finding swag codes on their facebook page and blog. If you aren't a member of swagbucks yet, I definitely recommend it!
  • I mentioned groupon above, but it's a GREAT way to save money on local businesses. Sometimes they even offer groupon deals for online businesses! Basically, they have a new groupon every day, that offers a significant discount on food or services from a business (most of the time the discount is 50% off the retail price!). I've gotten amazon gift codes for 50% off, purchased credit to Backyard Burgers, gotten a giftcard for 50% off at a yogurt place when we went to Dallas last year before C was born. Great deals! 
  • Something similar to groupon is livingsocial. Basically, livingsocial is the same exact concept as groupon. Discounts on food and services at local businesses, generally around 50% off. Again, it's a great way to stock up on deals for a fun night out for your family!
  • If you are in the Northwest Arkansas area, there's a great site that for local deals only, called NWA Deal Piggy. They are fairly new, but the deals they have had have been incredible! I just recently stocked up on NWA Deal Piggy credit, where they offered credit for 50% off. Basically, this means that the next time I purchase a deal from NWA Deal Piggy, I'll be getting roughly 75% off retail! Some of the deals I've gotten from them include credit to Flying Burrito, credit to Backyard Burgers and credit to Boingo Bounce.
  • One of the best things I do is follow other savings blogs. There are TONS of them out there, but my favorite is Passion for Savings. She local to my area, so that's probably why I am partial, but she gives some great heads up on deals. Just yesterday she posted about a Build a Bear coupon that is online right now, so this morning B and I had a fun little outing to pick out a bear (he actually got a puppy dog) and then went to the park. B's currently sleeping with his new dog, who we named Banjo. Following blogs like Passion for Savings is a great way to get heads up on deals you may not know about...
  • Another thing I do is online surveys through Opinion Outpost. I've been a member of their survey community for several years. I've heard mixed reviews about Opinion Outpost, but honestly have never had any problems with them. Basically, if you qualify and complete a survey, you are rewarded opinion points; you can redeem your points for amazon gift codes, a check for cash, and even a citi gift card! Most of the surveys don't take longer than 30 minutes, and you can cash out with as little as 50 points (so $5). 
  • A lot of people have asked where I get coupons. I print off of, I collect coupons from our Sunday paper, and I also find coupons through facebook on product's facebook pages, a lot of times scoring free, or nearly free products! 
So, there's my tips! I am sure there are tons of other ways to save money and earn online, but this is what I have come across so far that (a) I have time to do and (b) I know actually works! What are some ways that you save or earn money???

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