10 Ways Thrifty People Prepare For The Christmas Shopping Season

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Tomorrow is the beginning of November and for some that will seem very early to start Christmas shopping, for others it will seem too late (yep, I know at least one person who wraps up Christmas shopping before Christmas in July!).

10 ways thrifty people prepare for the Christmas Shopping Season

For me  though, starting to shop November for the bulk of my gifts is just about right. I do a few things much earlier to prepare but most of my shopping will be done in the last 2 months leading up to Christmas day. I find it leaves me enough wiggle room to snag some great bargains.

Our Christmas budget has always been tighter than I would like, but I have always been able to keep within it using a few thrifty tricks.

10 Ways Thrifty People Prepare For The Christmas Shopping Season

The christmas wallet (small)

1. Make a budget

This is one of the things I usually do way early, as in December 26th. Every December when Christmas is done, I  total up what we spent and decide if some areas were just too tight or if others seemed like they had too much wiggle room and then I decide what we will spend on next years Christmas and divide the number by 12. I either pay it like I would a set payment (such as a phone bill) each and every month, or pay it down like I would a large bill (such as a medical bill) with any overtime my husband gets until it is paid in full. It simple depends how much wiggle room our current day to day budget has. I set up what I call an account “envelope” to gather the money in. Really it is just a sheet of paper with the word Christmas account written on it where I keep track of deposits.

When I am ready to do my Christmas shopping I take out the cash I need and put it in my Christmas wallet, so that I don’t go over budget.

If you haven’t made your Christmas budget yet don’t panic. Here is a great article I found recently that will help : Interactive Christmas Budget Calculator

2. Order discount gift cards

If you tend to shop at certain stores each and every year for Christmas gifts, you might want to see if there are discounted gift cards available for them at Cardpool. Don’t forget to look for discounted cards for restaurants and movie theaters too.

Each year our family enjoys a 3D movie together as a family, a rare treat for our thrifty family, since I know it is going to happen I purchasing a discounted gift card for the theater in our town is one thing I do to keep the cost of a family movie night out more reasonable.

3. Sign up for daily deal sites

Every year for the past few years daily deals have been a great source of thrifty Christmas gifts for our family. Either we have bought gifts with them, or given them as gifts. We have also used them to save money on Christmas entertainment.

4 Thrifty Reasons to use Brad's Deals An online hub for great deals (medium)

4. Sign up for Brad’s Deals

It looks like a daily deal site, but Brad’s Deals is so much more than that. Brad’s deals is a hub of the best deals out their on the web day after day on all sorts of items you might give as gifts such as electronics, clothing, sporting goods and more. I love their daily emails during the Christmas season as they always save me money on at least one gift on my list if not more.

12 Ways To Save Money On Christmas (small)

5. Review after Christmas sales bin to see what gifts they already have

I keep a bin full of deeply clearance after Christmas sales items that I can use to give as gifts to our friends and  my husband co-workers. Usually these are just part of a gift, like a mug that I might fill with chocolate and coffee, or a Christmas tin to fill with my chocolate treats to give as gifts.

6. Search Pinterest for ideas to repurpose what they already have on hand into gifts

One way to avoid having to go out in the bustle of Christmas shoppers and save money is to get creative and use what you already have to make Christmas gifts.  I love using Pinterest to search for ideas to repurpose items. I keep two boards for things I always have in surplus. One board is my Rescue Your Jeans board for ideas of what to do with those too small or holey jeans and the other board called T-shirt Remake, Reuse because being a runner I collect several 5K run t-shirts a year that I don’t wear, but could make into something I could give as a gift.

Your household surplus is probably different than mine, but whatever it is enter it into the Pinterest search bar and I bet dozens of ideas will come up as to what you can make out of it to give as gifts.

no bake christmas (medium)

7. Make a list of all the ingredients needed for baking, cooking as well as supplies for crafts they want to make and then watch for sales

Sometimes I will do a Pinterest search and find I have all but one item needed to make a craft. I put this on my “to buy” list. I also make a list of items I need for all my holiday baking and items for the big meal Christmas day.

By making up this list in November I have several weeks to try and grab the items on sale, or better yet on sale and with a coupon.

8. Follow sites that share great deals

Money Saving Mom is my favorite site to follow for great Christmas gift deals. There are many more great deal sites out there though. I suggest at Christmas time that you hop over to your favorite deal sites Facebook page and click the “get notifications” tab so that you see all their posts in your notification area and can see deals as the come up. You can also subscribe to them and get their deals in your email inbox too.

How to make sure you get the best cash back rate when shopping online (medium)

9. Bookmark their favorite cash back websites

  • Top Cashback  (no limit for cash out and an extra 2.5% back if you take an Amazon gift card code for payment makes Top Cashback my favorite cash back site)
  • Ebates
  • Swagbucks (shop & earn area)
  • MyPoints  (shop & earn area)

Cash back sites won’t save you money on Christmas presents but instead earn you money on your online Christmas present purchases. Cash back sites offer you a certain percentage back on purchases made by clicking through from their site to the site you shopped at.  Point companies like Swagbucks and Mypoints offer you points for purchases, and this can be a great way to rack up points for a payout.  Here is a tip, make sure to compare cash back rates before you shop to maximize your earnings.

18+ point programs to help you earn $50 or more in gift cards each month (medium)

10.Up gift card earning activities

I have used point programs for years to help pay for Christmas gifts.  My friends have received gift cards earned through  My Points in their Christmas cards from us. Our children have found gift card codes for Itunes written on cards in their Christmas stockings that came from Recycle Bank. One year I gave my husband a promissory note that stated he would receive the bulk of the Swagbucks I earned for 1 year in Amazon gift cards to load his kindle up with new book titles.

Bonus tip: Don’t forget to start checking printable coupons sites, and coupon apps such as ibotta, Checkout51 and BerryCart: The coupons on these sites will not only save you money on food used in the baking you give as gifts but also gifts like children’s art supplies,  family board games, and even clothes .

Looking for money saving tips? Follow my Saving Money Tips board on Pinterest.

Linked to Frugal Friday Link Up,

Thrifty Christmas Tips (small)You can find all of my Thrifty Christmas articles on one spot.

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Step By Step Guide To BerryCart: A Coupon App For Organic, Gluten Free & Non GMO Foods

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I just recently discovered a coupon app that I am very excited about. BerryCart is a coupon app for all those who love natural and organic foods. It works in a similar way to the ibotta app I love so much.

Step by Step Guide to BerryCart A coupon app for organic, non-gmo, gluten free foodsIf you have read 10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Organics you know that my family doesn’t buy 100% organic foods but there are some products that we do prefer organic and we like saving as much money on those products as possible.

The BerryCart app will now be added to one of our ways to save on our favorite organic products.

How To Use The BerryCart App

1.  Sign up for a BerryCart account online. (go here now  to sign up)

2. Download the BerryCart app to your Smartphone or tablet with rear facing camera

sign in to BerryCart app

3. Once the app is is downloaded go ahead and enter your email and password you chose.

BerryCart App Picking your deal4. Press the filter tab to see what stores are available in your area and what products they have to offer.

BerryCart Unlock the savings

5. Pick the product you want to earn cash back on and perform the short tasks to unlock the savings

This is when the BerryCart app begins to remind me of ibotta in that it asks you to preform short tasks to unlock rebates.

For this particular item, Beanitos chips, you had to answer why you wanted to buy Beanitos  to unlock .25 cents (they gave you a range of answers to choose from) and then you had to read one fact about why Beanitos were good for you for another .25 cents.

Please note that the products may have to be a certain size and flavor. For example to receive your rebate on this bag of Beanitos you had to pick the 6 0z bag.

6. Click Redeem

Once you buy the product click the green redeem button and you will be prompted by BerryCart to scan the bar code of the product you bought followed by the receipt.

BerryCart redeem your rebates through paypal7. Redeem your rebates through Paypal

BerryCart lets you have your rebates deposited into your PayPal account when your account  reaches  a minimum balance of $5 .

 

BerryCart Gift card options8. Or if you prefer cash out for a gift card code

I love the gift card area of the BerryCart app. It is full of a great variety of stores currently it includes, Starbucks, Amazon, Target, Gap, The Home Depot, Staples, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Barnes & Nobles. The size of the gift cards range from $5 to $35. The BerryCart App gift card area also lets you decide if you want the gift card emailed to you or a friend. So if the budget is tight and you want to send your friend a gift card for her birthday, you could cash in your rebates and send her own with the BerryCart app, or send her one just because you know she/he could use a pick me up.

Sign up here for a BerryCart account today, and start earning rebates on your Organic, Gluten Free, and GMO free purchases.

If you love coupon apps make sure to check out my step by step guide to ibotta as well as my how to use Checkout51 posts.

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If you love earning gift cards and more with your smartphone, tablet, or computer, check out my list of 18+ point programs to help you earn gift cards and cash from home.

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20 Websites Thrifty People Use To Save Money On Clothes

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More and more lately I am shopping online for clothes and I have discovered quite a few sites that help me be thrifty when shopping for clothes online.

 

20 websites thrifty people use to save money on clothes

 20 Websites Thrifty People Use To Save Money On Clothes

Please note: Some of these sites I have personally shopped at and some of these sites I have researched reviews for before sharing with you. Those I haven’t tried are on this list simply because I feel confident that I would be willing to try them myself when the right deal came up, and therefore feel okay about sharing  them with my readers.

Free Sources

1. Free Cycle

My town is a bit too small for a good stream of Free Cycle sources of free clothes, but I took the time to search larger centers and found that Free Cycle has a lot of free clothes, especially infant and maternity clothes.

Online Consignment Stores

Why this thrifty gal likes Twice for saving money on clothing (medium)

2. Twice

I have personally used Twice to purchase some dress pants fairly recently and I was very happy with how their site worked. Twice consigns women’s clothing only and only certain brands.

a thrifty women's first thredUp order and why she will order again (medium)

3. ThredUp

I have used ThredUp several times for both my daughter and I. Thredup has clothes for infants , kids, teenagers and women, as well as purses, shoes and accessories.

4. Swap.com

Swap.com consigns infant, kids and maternity clothing as well as toys and other child related items.

5. Threadflip

Threadfllip differs from the other consignement stores listed as you are dealing with individual sellers  as well as the company selling for individuals. Items listed included women’s clothing, shoes, handbags , jewelery and accessories.

Daily Deal Sites

why this thrifty woman love zulily (medium)

6. Zulily

I have personally used Zulily several times now and am very happy with my purchases. One draw back is there are no returns so make sure you are very familiar with what you are getting .For instance I stick to brands I already own items of and love on Zulily .

7. Rue La La

If you like designer brands, Rue La La is the daily deal site clothing site for  you.

4 Thrifty Reasons to use Brad's Deals An online hub for great deals (medium)

8.  Brad’s Deals

More of  a deal hub than a daily deal site Brad’s Deals, keeps you up to date on the best sales around the web for your favorite name brand clothing.

Discount Sites

9. Overstock.com

With shipping of just $2.95 for orders under $50 and free shipping for orders over $50, Overstock.com receives a thrifty green light. How great the deals are really depends on what you are looking for and when. I would suggest hopping around at a few sites to compare prices before ordering.

10. 6pm.com

One friend of mine is so in love with 6pm that whenever I go to her house lately she points to at least one or two items she bought at 6pm since my last visit and tells me how I just have to share it with my readers. I did a bit of surfing around 6pm.com  and I agree some of the prices really cannot be beat.  Best of all 6pm.com offers free standard shipping on all orders regardless of size.

Places To Find Free Shipping Codes and Discounts

11. Retailmenot

There are other coupon/free shipping code companies out there but Retailmenot is my favorite. I find the site simple to use and I rarely come across a code that no longer works.

Sites That Offer You Cash Back On Purchases

12. Top Cash Back

Top Cash Back offers cash back at stores that I couldn’t find in other cash back programs. I also like that you get more cash back money when you choose a Amazon card over a paypal payout.  That additional 2.5% makes Top Cash Back cash back deals often higher than any other online cash back company.

13. Mr Rebate

Offering rebates at 2000 different online stores Mr Rebate is worth checking out.

14. Ebates

Ebates run great promotions that can result in high cash back values for stores like Walmart, Old Navy and more.

a step by step guide on how to use ibotta (medium)

15. Ibotta

Ibotta is so much more than a grocery rebate app. It offers rebates for online clothing stores as well.

Sites That Offer You Points For Purchases That You Can Cash In For Gift Cards

How to earn 30 dollars a month with Swagbucks (medium)

16. Swagbucks

Using the Shop & Earn section of Swagbucks is a great way to boost your Swagbucks earnings and earn more gift cards that you can use to buy more clothes.

7 ways to earn gift cards with my points (medium)

17. Mypoints

Often Mypoints has higher point values in their shop and earn area than other point programs or cash back programs. A benefit I like about using Mypoints is often the shop and earn section will share discount codes you can use towards your purchase as well or instead of points.

Additional Ways To Save On Online Clothing Purchases

18. Discount Gift Cards

Cardpool is my favorite place to buy gift cards at a discount. I buy them for those stores we shop at over and over again online and off line. It is a great way to stack up savings

19. Facebook Buy & Sell Groups

I often see stacks of clothing in a certain size available for sale as a lot in my local buy and sell facebook group.

20. Store Email Clubs

Sign up for emails from all you favorite stores and you are sure to get special discount codes from time to time as well as heads up on the best sales of the season.

Bonus Tip: Don’t Forget To Be A Thrifty Ninja And Stack The Savings

Here is an example of how you can use the various 20 sites above to stack savings.

  • You sign up to receive email updates from Brad’s Deals and see that a dress you wanted is deeply discounted today at Kohls
  • You have a discounted gift card from Card Pool you can use to purchase the dress
  • You are on Kohl’s email list and have a discount code you can enter
  • (If you don’t have a discount code from an email you can search for one at RetailMeNot.com to see if there is one out there)
  • You make sure to shop through a cash back site such as Ebates to receive money back one your purchase (don’t forget to compare to see which site is offering the best cash back)

In the end not only did you get the dress at good discount but you saved even  more with the help of discounted gift cards, discount codes, and by purchasing through a cash back site, making a great deal a steal of a deal.

What sites do you use to save money on clothing?

Looking for money saving tips? Follow my Saving Money Tips Board on Pinterest.

Linked to Frugal Friday Link Up Party, Mom2Mom, Saver Tips Tuesday, Thrifty Thursday,

20 ways thrifty people save money on clothing (button)Interested in saving money on clothing off line as well as online? Check out my 20 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Clothing.

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10 Ways To Earn Cash With InboxDollars

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InboxDollars is a point program that pays you in either a check or a deposit on a special Inbox dollar Visa cash card once your account reaches the balance of $30.

10 Ways To Earn Cash With InboxDollars

InboxDollars doesn’t have the high income earning potential of Swagbucks but when you stick to the simple point earning activities on Inbox and add its earnings with other simple earning point earning activity programs it is a way of making a small amount each month from home in that down time at the end of the day when all you feel like doing is putting your feet up and watching TV.

10 Ways to Earn Cash With InboxDollars

These 10 ways to earning actions are listed in order  from what I consider  simplest and least time consuming to actions that you might not do daily or are more time consuming.

1. Sign up

Sign up for an account through this link in blue, and start off your account with $5.

2. Paid Emails

Each day click through the paid emails either on the site directly or through your email box or through the InboxDollars App.  and earn .02 cents per email. On average I get 1 to 3 emails paid emails a day. Doing this point action takes just seconds per email and is such a no brain cells required action.

3.  Use The InboxDollars Toolbar

You earn .01 cent for every 2 qualified search through the InboxDollars toolbar to the maximum of .15 cents per day.  You can download the toolbar for easy access  and earn but  you can also access the tool bar at the top of the InboxDollar’s home page or use the search feature in the app. When you use the toolbar 4 days in a row during  one calendar  week  you get a .05 cent bonus.

4. Radio Loyalty

This is another easy section to earn points. Simply click through to radio loyalty using the “more” tab found on the InboxDollars home page. Scroll down to radio and click on it, then click through to Radio Loyalty, pick a station you like and listen to it in one tab while you work on your computer in another. Set a timer to 10 minutes and whenever it goes off click on over to Radio Loyalty and enter the code you are given. For every 10 minutes you listen and enter the code for you get .01 cents. I couldn’t find a limit on this so this could add up depending on how many hours you spend on your computer daily.

5. Deals

Under the “deals” tab on the homepage for InboxDollars you will find the words “Groupon” and “Coupon”. InboxDollars gives you 8% cash back on any Groupon purchased through their website, and .10 cents for any coupon that you print from their website and redeem.

6. Shopping

If you shop online you might as well earn cash back. Click the “more” tab on the Inbox Dollars home page and scroll down to the word “shopping” click on it and see if where you want to make your purchase is one of the 34 online shops available. What you receive in cash back varies from store to store. For instance when I checked the Shopping area during writing this you got 2% back for Walmart and 3% back for Kohls.

7. Refer Friends

Once you have used InboxDollars for a while and decide you like it, why not share it with your friends through a referral link provided by InboxDollars under the “refer friends ” tab. If they sign up you get 10% of their qualified earnings for as long as they remain in the program.

8. Videos

The video section of InboxDollars requires you to pay attention somewhat as you often have to answer questions. Which is why it is low on my list of simple ways to earn with InboxDollars. However not all videos require this, you just have to check out what is available at the time. Look for the word “social vibe” those are the ones you have to interact with.

9. Offers

When I looked at the offers area to write this post there were currently 134 offers.  I found most of the offers to be mostly valid, with only a few spamy ones mixed in. They varied in value from .25 cents to $10. Some of the offers I saw included points for first time purchase at Vista print, or for signing up for various survey companies, and sign ups for email newsletters from various companies.

10. Surveys

I am not a huge fan of Surveys as they often are time consuming and usually  low paying. However, they can often be multi-tasked. I have met several women who love doing them while cuddling up next to their hubby who is watching sports. It is a way to cuddle and earn at the same time.

If you have tried Inbox Dollars what is your favorite way to earn points using their program?

Not an InboxDollars member? Sign Up and start earning.

A list of 17+ point progmas that will help your increase your income.

 Sure using InboxDollars is not going to make you rich. But when you work a few point programs together each month it is possible to earn enough to pay bill or two each and every month by just doing the simple point earning actions in several programs either daily or a few days a week.

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10 Apps Thrifty People Use To Save & Earn Money

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Those of you who are long time readers here at Snail Pace Transformations are looking at the picture below and going “That’s a smartphone” I thought Victoria didn’t have one of those.

10 Apps Thrifty People Use To Save & Earn MoneyTruth, yes I do have a Smartphone now through Tracfone, but I still find myself using my iPod a lot. I just like how the iPod functions better plus I like making sure that apps are tablet friendly for all of you out there who are using them like smartphones in free wi-fi areas.

Honestly I don’t think I would have switched if my old cell phone, had not died, and Tracfone started offering android based smartphones for right around the same price we were paying for our old cells (providing we don’t become data hogs :) )

Now that the cat is out of the bag lets get back on topic.

10 Apps That Thrifty People Use To Save & Earn Money

5 Apps That Save Thrifty People Money

a step by step guide on how to use ibotta (medium)

1. ibotta

Ibotta is a rebate style App. It isn’t just for groceries but also for movies, clothing, and more. You can cash in your rebates for either Paypal deposits when you reach $5 or gift cards to Starbucks, Regal Entertainment Group, and iTunes when you reach $10. You can read my full tutorial that contains step by step instructions on how to use ibotta for all the details.

Checkout 51 A simple way to save money on groceries (medium2)
2. Checkout 51
Checkout 51 is a grocery rebate program with different offerings each and every week. What I like most about Checkout 51 is that it offers rebates on whole foods like bread, milk, egg, vegetables and fruit. For all the details on how to use Checkout 51, read my tutorial .

3. Gas Buddy

Gas Buddy is one App I don’t mind using some of my precious data for as what I learn from it will pay me back and then some. The app uses your devices locator system to show you the cheapest gas prices in the area you are driving through. Very helpful on road trips where you don’t know what station has the best prices in town.

4. Text Free

Those of you with unlimited texting plans won’t benefit from this app but those of use with pay as you go plans will. I use the text free app to text my hubby at work where he uses his text free app to text me back. This saves us several texts per day. My daughter also uses it on her iPod to text to my cell phone while I am out and she is at home with her older brothers.
4 Thrifty Reasons to use Brad's Deals An online hub for great deals (medium)
5. Brad’s Deals

I love receiving Brad’s Deals emails especially now that Christmas season is almost upon us and I will be buying gifts for the children. Brad’s Deal’s emails contain the day top deals but the app lets you look at much more.

5 Apps That Earn Thrifty People Money

step by step guide to shopkick the app that pays you to browse (medium)

1. Shopkick

Shopkick is a fun way to earn points while you shop by checking in and also scanning certain items. I wrote a tutorial of how shopkick works that you might want to read to learn all the ins and outs of how Shopkick works.

3 Apps That Will Help Your Earn More Swag Bucks (medium)

2. Swagbucks

Swagbucks  has 3 different apps  that help make it possible to earn at least $30 a month from Swagbucks if not considerably more.

3. Inbox Dollars

Inbox dollars has an app that allows you to check your earnings on the go as well as do you daily earn mail.

7 ways to earn gift cards with my points (medium)

4. My Points

My Points has an app that allows you to do your monthly earning searches right from your device as well as make purchases around the web for Mypoints, redeem points for gift cards and more. If you are unfamiliar with Mypoints check out my post on 7 ways to earn gift cards using MyPoints

5. My Survey

My Survey has an app that allows you to take many of their surveys right on your device (certain ones can only be done on your computer) . This means if you are stuck in line you can be earning gift cards as you wait.

What are your favorite apps for saving and earning money?

Looking for more ways to save money? Follow my Saving Money Tips board on Pinterest

Linked to Saver Tips Tuesdays, Thrifty Thursdays,

A list of 17+ point progmas that will help your increase your income.

 Check out my list of 17+ point programs that can help increase your income for reviews of my favorite point programs.

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How To Use Superpoints To Earn Gift Cards

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I recently joined Superpoints and am trying to figure it all out for my readers who love point programs.

How To Use Superpoints To Earn Gift Cards

However I am needing a bit of help myself.  First though let me share what I do know about earning gift cards with  superpoints  and then I will end with my question about one point earning section that perhaps one of you can answer.

What I know about Superpoints.

4 things to do at the start to earn Superpoints

1. Sign up

When you sign up for an account you get 50 points right away.

2. Verify  your email

When you verify your email you get another 25 points.

3. Complete your profile

Complete your profile and get 10 points.

4. Connect your Superpoints account to your Facebook

You do not have to do this but if you connect your Superpoints account to your Facebook you get 150 points. Again this is optional, you can just use your email and an password to sign in if you prefer.

5 ways to earn Superpoints

1. Sign in daily

Sign in daily and get 1 point

2. Do the Super Lucky Button Daily

This is a very quick way to possibly earn some superpoints. You will find the super luck button as an earning option when you click on the symbol that looks like this.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 5.02.24 PM

At the basic membership level you get 30 spins a day and what you earn will vary. The first day I earned zero. The second day I earned one point.  The third day zero and by the fourth day I made bronze account and got 100 spins and earned 3 points. Every day since then I have won between 3 and 7 superpoints with my daily spins, until yesterday when I won 250 points with one spin.

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 7.41.06 AM

Spinning the wheel doesn’t take long and is such a simple activity that it can be multi-tasked. I did it while erasing emails from my phone.

3.  Amazing offers

The Amazing offers area is found by clicking on the “get more superpoints” area found by clicking the blue menu tab seen above. Click the red go box and you will be brought to a pages full of offers that when you complete you will receive points for. The amount of points you earn varies per offer.  I took the time to look through all current 423 offers and found that yes there were some spamy offers but there were also a lot of great ones.

Here is a few offers for superpoints that I liked

  • Points for online orders made through links from Superpoints at stores like ,Gap, Walgreens, 6pm.com and more at various point values from 1250 points to 3,749 points
  • Points for downloading apps through links from Superpoints such as Hotels.com, and Travelocity
  • Points for free trials to various companies including Hulu.com

4. Answer Surveys

In the same area you find Amazing offers right underneath you will find the “answer surveys” section click on the red “answer” button to be taken to surveys you can choose to complete.  There are not just surveys in this area but also videos you can watch. There were also some free trial and free sample offers but I will be honest most of the trials and samples looked spamy to me, so I would stick to the surveys and videos.

5. Invite New Members

When you invite your friends either through Facebook or Twitter or your blog using  a referral link and they sign up and make bronze level, you get 2500 superpoints. You also earn superpoints from their daily spins right along with them. So when I earned 7 superpoints from the Super Lucky Button the person who I signed up under won 7 superpoints too!  Your referral link is found in the either the “get more superpoints area” or by pressing on the blue menu bar and scrolling down to “invite new members”.

Now for what I don’t understand yet about superpoints that I hope readers might be able to help me with.

In the menu you will find a section called “stumble rewards” it looks like it is somehow attached to stumble upon, but I couldn’t get it to work, so I don’t know how to earn points through this. If one of you understand how it works please leave a comment below to help us all out.

A few other things about Superpoints

1. XP Level

If you scroll down to the bottom of the website and click help you will find a series of sections explaining various aspects of superpoints including XP level. Your XP level helps determine what type of member you are, whether that be basic, bronze, gold or diamond.

Your XP level  also determine how many different prizes you get to choose from the higher your level the more variety of gift cards and prizes you can cash in your points for.

It took me just 3 short days to earn a XP level of 3 making me a bronze level and opening up a second tier of prizes and gift cards I can now save up points for.

2. Rewards Available

Superpoints offer a mixture of prizes and gift cards. There are gift cards for Amazon, Starbucks and Target. Prizes include such items as  iPod shuffles, iPads and TV’s.

Overall I think that Superpoints isn’t a huge earner for most members but it is yet another snowflake, that when combined with doing activities from other point programs could help you earn enough each month to help your finances out in a small way. I have added signing in and doing the super points button to my daily list of point earning program actions.

Not A Member of Superpoints yet? Sign up through this link.

Looking for more ways to earn money from home? Follow my Selling & Earning tips board on Pinterest.

A list of 17+ point progmas that will help your increase your income.Make sure you check out my list of 17+ point programs that can help increase your income from home.

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3 Simple Don’ts & Do’s of Grocery Shopping on A Budget

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There are 100’s perhaps even 1000’s of ways to save money on groceries, but if you are truly time crunched, or  grocery shopping on a budget for the first time  and feeling overwhelmed as to where to start trimming your grocery budget today’s list is for you.

3 simpe don'ts and 3 simple does of grocery shopping on a budgetToday I am concentrating on just 3 things I think you shouldn’t do if you want to save money at the grocery store and 3 things you should do if you want to save money at the grocery store. No long step by step list this week, just simple advice that works.

3 Don’ts of Grocery Shopping

1. Don’t shop without a list

Shopping without a list guarantees you are going to forget something and that means another trip to the store, wasting time and gas and probably money on groceries you buy when you are there that you didn’t  need.

Even if you don’t make up a menu, at least take the time to make a list of 7 meals you can eat next week for dinner and then make sure you have the ingredients for them, if not add those items to your list. Then think of 2 to 3 things you can eat over and over for breakfast, and 2 to 3 items you can eat over and over for lunches.  Make sure you have all  the items you need to make them on your list. Then take a few minutes to go through your pantry and see if you have enough day to day basics like milk, eggs, fruit, toilet paper, etc. . Also add a few basic snack items. There you have it a simple grocery list made.

When you get to the store stick to your list and avoid adding extras.

2. Don’t shop hungry

This seems like such an unimportant thing but trust me it is super important. When you are hungry, you will stray from your list,  and you will rush through the store so that you can get something to eat, and in doing so you will forget items. Extra items lead to more money spent. Forgotten items lead to extra trips to the store, and again that leads to more money spent.

Make sure to eat first, and then shop.Your wallet will thank you for it.

3. Don’t grab and toss

Even though you have a list, don’t just plop the items in your cart. Take a second to compare prices on different sizes of the item and different brands. This tip alone could save you $100’s of dollars each year.

3 Do’s of Grocery Shopping

1. Do use simple coupon apps.

I love ibotta and Checkout 51 because choosing the coupons I want is so simple. With Checkout 51  all I have to do is upload the receipt to the app when I get home.  Ibotta is a few extra steps but still simple, see my Ibotta tutorial for step by step instructions. I generally save at least $1 to $2 dollars a week with these apps and that is without buying a lot of processed food. These apps save me money on bread, milk, eggs and vegetables. Over the course of a year  that weekly savings add up to around $50 to $100 saved.

2. Do take a moment to look at the sales flyer

Even if you just take 2 minutes to flip through the sales flyer when you arrive at the grocery store of your choosing you can save money with this step. You might discover for instance that chicken breasts are on sale and then you can change your menu plan around a bit to include chicken this week, and leave out something that isn’t on sale. You might discover your children’s favorite brand of mac and cheese is on sale for an incredible price and if it is grab a few weeks worth. Stocking up on a few sale items each week will start to put wiggle room in your grocery budget fairly quickly.

3. Do take 5 seconds to evaluate what is in  your cart

Before you go up to the checkout take a few seconds to evaluate the purchases in your cart and challenge yourself to put back at least one item each and every time. Chances are you didn’t stick to your list 100%. What item that wasn’t on your list can you live without? Put it back. Even if you did stick to your list 100% see if there is one item on it that perhaps you could wait one more week to buy and therefore have one more chance for it to be on sale.

Looking money saving tips? Follow my Saving Money Tips board on Pinterest.

Linked to Saver Tips Tuesdays, Thrifty Thursday, Frugal Friday Link Up,

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How To Earn Gift Cards With MyPoints

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7 ways to earn gift cards with my points

I have been a member of MyPoints for at least 10 years. It was the first online point program that I ever joined and my experience with it was (and continues to be) so positive that it caused me to go on and join many more similar programs.

My favorite way to earn with MyPoints are through the click through emails that they send to your inbox on an almost daily basis, each one is worth 5 points and it takes just a few seconds to click on the box, look at the site listed and then click out again. I opened a separate email box just for my point programs so I don’t have to worry about MyPoints emails and emails from all my other point programs burying my time sensitive emails from work, friends or other sources.

There are however a lot more ways to earn MyPoints  and I plan to cover them in just a moment but first here are a few more facts about MyPoints.

 My Points Pays in 3 different ways

1. Gift cards

Starting at 1600 points for $10 gift certificates to clothing stores, restaurants and more.

2. Pay Pal Deposit

There is a $25 PayPal gift card for 4550 points and a $50 PayPal gift card for 8950 points, making the larger card a slightly better per point value. Money is automatically put in your PayPal account when you pick these cards.

3. Visa Prepaid Cards

Spend your money anywhere you wish on whatever you want by cashing in your points for a visa prepaid card. MyPoints offers a $25 for 4600 points and a $50 card for 9000 points making the larger card a slightly better deal.

A few other things to know about MyPoints. Points do sometimes take a while to register, so even though it might say you have say 1650 points your account might only have say 1400 available to cash out. This is a bit frustrating but not uncommon with point programs.

Something that MyPoints currently offers that other point programs don’t , real physical gift cards. MyPoints has yet to switch over to gift card codes, which I like because then I can give the gift card  as a gift if I want.

How To Earn Points With MyPoints

1. Click through emails

MyPoints sends you emails to your inbox each week that can earn you 5 points for each one you click through. This is my favorite way to earn MyPoints because it is so simple and quick, but if you don’t like getting emails you can switch this option off, simply go to your account and scroll down the side to email subscriptions and remove the check mark from those types of emails you don’t want from MyPoints.

2. Website Search

This is another simple way to earn points with MyPoints. Go the the Mypoints home page and click on easy points and then click on Search and Earn and you will find 5 different ways to earn your monthly 100 point maximum  for web searches through MyPoints.  You get your 100 maximum by doing 41 or more searches through any of these 5 avenues. That is 10 searches per week.

3. Shop & Earn

I have earned a lot of MyPoints through their shop and earn area because after comparing cash back offers around the web MyPoints often has the highest ones for the stores I want to shop at. MyPoints also have 1,339 different places to shop currently in their cash back area.  To use the shop & earn function you can either head over to MyPoints and enter the store you want to shop at into the search bar at the top of their site and click “search MyPoints” or you can download the MyPoints tool bar found in the “search and earn” tab and MyPoints will instruct you how to shop through it.

This feature also includes many of my favorite daily deal sites like Groupon and Zulily, making  it a great way to double dip savings by getting a great daily deal and points for purchasing it through MyPoints.

4.  Grocery Coupons

MyPoints has a printable coupon area. When you print and use a coupon from it you get 10 points. If you use more 10 or more coupons per month you get a 25 point bonus.

5.  Registrations

You will find registrations under the Easy Points tab. From time to time MyPoints offers points when you register for certain programs.

6.  Surveys

Surveys are of course time consuming but they are another way of making more points. I generally don’t do them on a regular basis currently unless I notice I am really close to having enough points to redeem a card, then on an evening when I am too tired to do much else than watch TV, I will grab my laptop and snuggle up beside my hubby and do a few surveys while watching TV together.

7. Refer A Friend

MyPoints referral system is not as user friendly as other point programs. MyPoints doesn’t give you a referral link that you can share, instead it only offers you the ability to share only through email or through your personal Facebook page. However, if you do spread the word and a friend signs up you get 10% of their earnings for as long as they hold their account. You also get 1750 points if they use the shop and earn function to place a $20 order (not including shipping taxes or video games bought on Amazon)  in the first 30 days and they get a 750 point bonus too.

Using these 7 ways to earn points it is possible to earn a few gift cards from MyPoints per year. No MyPoints won’t make you rich but when you do point earning chores at several point programs you will start to see a nice combined monthly return.

Not a member of MyPoints? Click here to join today.

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Use It Up To The Last Drop: Butter Wrappers

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I had so much fun writing 10 Ways Thrifty People Use Things Up To The Last Drop I thought that whenever I catch myself squeezing the last bit of usefulness out of an item I would share it as a a Use it Up To The Last Drop post.

using it up to the last drop butter wrappersToday’s use it up to the last drop edition contains a thrifty classic. One that I am sure pretty much everyone thrifty person does, but still I think it deserves a mention.

using a butter wrapper to grease a pan for bakingWhenever I use butter in baking I always use the wrapper it came in to grease the pan I will be using  that day. I don’t go as far as saving my butter wrappers from those sticks of butter used in other ways for this purpose but if I am making cookie bars and the recipe calls for butter then I will use the wrappers from that batter to grease the pan I am using.

Not only does this practice save a tiny bit of money for the wax paper and the olive oil I would have used to grease the pan, but it does reduce trash some  by reducing my use of wax paper for greasing pans and I like being green when ever I can.

How about you? Do you use this tip?

And now for the fun part. Share what you do to use things to the last drop in the comment section below so I might pick up on a new tip I didn’t know about yet!

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10 Fall Dates That Cost Zero

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My  10 Summer Dates That Cost Zero was pretty popular but the leaves are changing and so it is time to start thinking about ways my husband and I can continue our free dates now that it is fall.

10 fall dates that cost zero

10 Fall Dates That Cost Zero

1.Get out there and enjoy the fall colors

Take a walk down a wooded path together and enjoy the changing colors of the leaves.

2. Dream and plan for the upcoming Christmas season together

Curl up on the couch after the children are in bed and write out Christmas wishlists and bucket lists together, because you know that Christmas will be here soon enough and it is never to early to prepare well. Make sure your bucket list includes plenty of activities for just the two of you.

3.Do Some Pumpkin Baking

Cruise Pinterest together for a new pumpkin recipe and then try it out together while the little ones nap, or the teenagers are out with friends. (yes this will cost ingredients but I am guessing you could fit those into your grocery budget) .

Check out my Pumpkin Baking Pinterest board for ideas. It currently has over 70 pumpkin recipes and that number is sure to grow as fall progresses.

4.Watch the Sunset or Sunrise

Bundle up and watch the sunrise or sunset together with a cup of hot apple cider or homemade pumpkin latte’s in your hand.

5. Enjoy the fun fall provides

Rake the leaves together, and then start a leaf throwing fight. Yes you will have to rake them all over again but trust me it is fun.

6. Have movie night at home

Us a free DVD Redbox code to grab a movie ( the site Money Saving Mom lists them when available) or borrow one from the local library. Get the kids to bed early and then snuggle up on the couch together and enjoy the show.

7. Enjoy a backyard campfire

If your neighborhood regulations allow light a campfire in the backyard and sit side by side talking and enjoying the warmth and beauty of the fire.

8. Go on a ugly fall sweater hunt

Go to your favorite thrift store and see who can find the ugliest fall themed sweater. Snap pictures of you together  in them post it on Instagram and load it to Facebook and ask your friends to vote who found the ugliest one.

9. Attend a local free fall festival together.

Our town has  a covered bridge festival, and at least 2 other festivals I can think of in the fall that would make great free date nights.

10. Cash in your point program rewards and enjoy a night out.

Sometimes it is nice to enjoy a meal out or a couple of fancy coffees and a dessert together. If you are on a tight budget point programs are a great way to earn gift cards for just those types of nights. Swagbucks is my favorite and it is possible to earn enough Swagbucks each month to pay for a dinner for two. There are a lot of other great point programs out there too,  here is a list of my 17 favorite.

Looking for ways to save money? Follow my Saving Money Tips board on Pinterest

Linked to Frugal Friday Link Up Party, Saver Tips Tuesdays, Thrifty Thursday, Mom2Mom Mondays,

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