Remember to set those clocks back an hour tonight. This is a great time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors, and flip those mattresses. Another thing we do is check our emergency kit supplies (enough batteries, drinking water, etc).
I taught a class last week where someone asked what phone apps I recommended for couponers to maximize their savings, no matter what type of couponer they were (extreme, dedicated, casual, or the if I remember to bring the coupons with me to the store couponer). I have written about all of these apps before, but here are all of them in the same place.
1. Favado Favado is a mobile savings app that helps shoppers stop overspending by notifying them when their favorite items are on sale. Favado has money saving experts who hand select sales and coupons every week — in more than 65,000 grocery and drugstores nationwide — to enable discovery of the best deals for savings up to 70% on everyday items.
2. Ibotta: Ibotta is a fun and easy way to earn $20 or more each time you go shopping. The more you use it, the better and more personalized your offers become.
Here’s how Ibotta works:
- Get the Ibotta app HERE
- Pick out the coupons for products you want
- Buy your products
- Take a picture of your receipt and submit it.
- Ibotta will send you cash for your purchases, you can redeem for gift cards for Starbucks, Redbox, and more!
- Every time you redeem an offer Ibotta will send you another one!
- By using Ibotta it will learn what you like, and will personalize the product coupons it sends you.
3. CheckOut 51:
Here is yet another FREE tool that will help you save even more money while shopping! What if I told you they will pay you for buying the products you already buy!?!
Here is how Checkout 51 works:
- Sign up Here (it’s FREE!)
- See what offers are available on the offer page. New offers are added every Thursday at 12 am and expire the following Wednesday at 11:59 PM (see the offers that go live 1/16 below):
- After you go shopping, submit your receipt, and get cash back for any of the products that you bought that are on the offer page!!
- Get a check in the mail once your balance reaches $20!!
4. Walmart Savings Catcher
If you shop at Wal-mart you will like this program that works nationwide!
“If a local competitor has a lower advertised price, you get an eGift Card for the difference”
It is actually very simple and only has a few steps
- Enter your receipt number or scan the barcode here
- Walmart will match the price of any local competitor’s printed ad for an identical product.
- If Savings Catcher finds a lower advertised price, you get the difference, back on a Walmart Rewards eGift Card!
You can submit up to 7 receipts per week to Savings Catcher.
There are a few promotions that Savings Catcher do not include:
- Items that require a separate purchase to get the advertised price (example: “Buy oatmeal to get cereal for $1.”)
- Items with no actual price that require a purchase to get a free product (example: “Buy both oatmeal & cereal to get milk for free.”)
- Items that require a purchase to get a gift card (example: “Buy a 12 pack of paper towels to get a $5 gift card.”)
- Buy one get one free (BOGO) deals where no item price is listed (example: Peter Pan Peanut Butter, buy one, get one free. Save up to $2.50.”)
- Going out of business or closeout prices.
- Percentage off (example: “All mascara, 40% off.)
- Online purchases
MobiSave lets you save no matter where you shop. Just select from their wide variety of offers and use their App to send us a picture of your receipt and they will deposit your savings directly to your PayPal account (almost instantly).
There is a wide variety of apps to use in order to help you save more money at the register. These are just a few of the best ones that I personally use and know are legitimate.
Our family had to evacuate for Hurricane Matthew, as did many other families in the Coastal Empire. We returned to Savannah on Oct. 10. Being 150 miles from our beloved city and home was hard. I can only imagine what it was like for the officials and workers who stay behind ready to get to work as soon as it was safe.
I first want to say thank you to the officials who did their best in updating those who live in the Coastal Empire. I posted and shared updates (there were many) from a hotel room 150 miles away for readers of Savannah Savvy Shopper (owned by the Savannah Morning News), which I write for. I have seen a few very selfish and immature individuals who were complaining about lack of information. Officials and several agencies were working together to make sure Savannah and the rest of the Coastal Empire was safe before residents were allowed to return. I know you were worried about your house and property. So was the rest of the Coastal Empire, my family included. However, I also know officials were worried about residents’ safety, which they repeatedly said was top priority.
To the workers who are working around the clock to restore power and utilities to those affected by Hurricane Matthew, thank you! I have personally gone out, where it was safe and where I would not be in the way, to deliver bottled water to these men and women. I cannot say enough about the conditions these power workers are working in. If you see them out working, do not ask them when you will have power; they are working on it! What you may not realize is that many of these workers do not have power in their own homes. I personally know two of them who have wives and small children of their own. Trust me when I say, they are working on it. I have seen power trucks from several states in this city. We have opened our house for anyone still waiting on power, for showers, a hot meal, charge electronics, etc.
To our emergency workers, I cannot say thank you enough, instead of getting out, you all rushed in! You jumped in fire trucks, police vehicles, EMS vehicles, first responder vehicles. Many nurses, doctors and hospital personnel rushed to hospitals to take care of those who were injured and to prepare for the influx of people that would be taken to the hospital needing help. Once again, the majority of these people have their own homes and families that they are worried about.
To the many businesses who jumped into action to help those without power, by providing meals, showers, charging stations, and more: thank you! These may seem like small actions, to many providing the service, but they mean the world to those who have been without power and water for a few days.
We consider ourselves very fortunate. We only lost a huge tree in our front yard (lots of smaller limbs in the back yard). Thankfully the tree fell sideways and not backward. If it had, we would no longer have a roof, and it would have gone through my little boy’s room. After a long day and amazing neighbors helping us take care of the tree, we went around and made sure all of the wonderful power workers in our area had cold bottled water to drink.
The Coastal Empire is strong, but we are stronger when we work together! God Bless all of the Coastal Empire and all of her residents!
Purchasing meat to finish out those meals can be one of the biggest budget killers for frugal shoppers but it doesn’t have to be. There are multiple ways to be flexible and creative in order to save money on your meat purchases. When you plan your grocery budget keep these money saving tips in mind while making your lists and shopping. Remember that any savings you bring your family on the grocery shopping is SAVINGS and be proud that you are making the most of it.
Now this may not be available for everyone but if you live in a farming community or know someone who raises livestock, this may be a great idea for your family to be able to stock up on meat. Many people will go in half with another family on a cow or pig and then split the cuts of meat. It’s not uncommon to fill a deep freezer with your share.
Shop the Sales and Clearance Markdowns
Many grocery store chains will mark select meat cuts down every morning. If you have spare time in the mornings stop by your local grocery store and shop the meat department for markdowns. Talk to your butcher, and those that work in the meat departments. Simply ask them if they have a certain day or time that they mark items down.
In most cases, the meat markdowns are items that just aren’t selling and they need to make room or that are quickly approaching their “Sell By” date which works in your wallets advantage. You can buy these marked down meats and freeze them for later use.
Eat Cheaper Versions/Let the Store Do the Work
These days there are so many different cuts of meat let alone the sources for those meats. Have you tried ground turkey or ground chicken yet? These are both great ground beef substitutes and are often cheaper than the ground beef option.
Another easy way to save on your meat cuts is to buy your large pieces and have the store butcher cut them down (for example buy a chuck roast and have it ground down or do it yourself if your store won’t do it).
Stretch the Meat Further
Making the meat you do get for your meals stretch is another key way to save money on meat. You may never have thought about adding items to your hamburger/ground beef as you’re cooking that spaghetti or chili right? You can add a wide range of items as a filler that will take up that space and use less of your meat stretching your budget even further.
Here are some great filler items to add to your ground beef:
- Cooked Rice (white or brown)
- Ground/Grated Veggies (sneak those in for the picky kids)
If you are afraid your family won’t like “this weird looking stuff” try adding it in small amounts at first.
Avoid the Fancy Packaging
When shopping the meat department you may have noticed all the different kinds of packaging available. If you look further you may notice the same exact cuts may cost more if they are in a more appealing looking package. For example ground beef can usually be seen in “tubes” or in the more appealing Styrofoam plates. Another example is chicken, you may have seen those bulk bags of chicken thighs, legs, and breast pieces that often get skipped over. Those bags are often the best bang for your buck but it does require some work and getting dirty to clean it up and separate it out for meals.
Compare the packages and you will find you are paying more per pound for the fancy cleaner packages. Opt for the bulk packages of meat like the 5-10 pounds of ground beef you can find at Walmart and then break it down into smaller portions to save yourself money in the long run.
While they may be far and few between coupons for meat do actually exist. You can routinely find coupons for items like lunch meat and deli choices, but the elusive ground beef coupons are rare beyond means. If you have a certain name brand meat that you use exclusively like Oscar Mayer it never hurts to email them directly and just let them know how much of a loyal customer you are to their product. Companies have been known to send customers coupons just for writing them!
Stock up for holidays:
Around Thanksgiving and Christmas hams and turkeys are in abundance and on sale almost every week at local grocery and big box stores. We tend to also get coupons to help save for those as well and it becomes one of the best times to buy an extra ham or turkey and freeze it for after the holidays. Often times after Christmas you will see the same hams and turkeys being marked down which makes it an even better time to stock up!
Making a plan for your weekly or monthly meals helps your grocery budget in so many ways. If you make a plan of what meats you actually need for all of your meals you can buy those select meats/cuts in bulk and separate them out in your own storage methods. You can also plan your meals around what meats you can find marked down, so always be willing to be flexible in order to save money on your meat.
Fall is a great time to decorate around your home because your decorations can stay around for more than for a short holiday. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. Here are some great projects that you can put together easily to start your fall festivities:
- Grab a pumpkin and metal bucket and make this really beautiful pumpkin and unique flower arrangement
- Who doesn’t love candy corn this time of year? With a little paint you can make a creative tabletop decoration, that’s sure to strike up a conversation between your guests!
- Candles and cinnamon sticks can make a beautiful and scented piece which will make your home smell like fall.
- Here are some easy ideas when you have limited time but still want to make a statement!
- Wreaths are not just for the door, you can make this beautiful and unique decoration to get your dining room ready for fall. (I think this is one I will make for our household!)
- You can make your home smell like fall with some homemade potpourri for your simmer pot.
- Who doesn’t love an autumn inspired ribbon wreath on their front door?
- This is a fun craft to do if you have little ones that like to help decorate.
- You can make this fun and owl inspired craft with the kids.
- These scented pumpkins are good for décor and making your home feel warm.
- Make this BOO sign for some quick Halloween fun.