How To Save - Part 4


How to Save

Save Money on Stuff your Kids Need

Posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Raising a family, especially one with several children, can be expensive. Fortunately, there are some ways parents can save money on stuff for their kids. It will take a little extra planning, but it can be done!

Hand-Me-Downs

Kids grow quickly. The result is some very gently-used clothing that can be passed down to younger (or smaller) siblings. Keep the jeans that don’t have holes in them, and the t-shirts that are still in good shape. Winter coats tend to be expensive, so find out if your child can wear theirs again this winter. If not, perhaps it will fit a younger sibling.

Thrift Stores

Back-to-School shopping and seasonal shopping does not have to be done at a retail store. Thrift stores have very inexpensive clothing, for both children and adults. Keep in mind that the size on the clothes may no longer reflect the actual size that it is now.

Always check over each piece of clothing very carefully. Look for stains and holes. Does the item look new, or is it very worn out? If possible, have your kids try on the clothing before you leave the thrift store. Or, ask a worker what their return policy is.

Retail Clearance Sales

Pay attention to the sales papers and the websites or social media of your favorite stores. Doing so is the easiest way to find out when their clearance sale on kids clothing starts. The clearance sale is a great opportunity to buy brand new clothing for a discount off the original price. Retail stores often have changing rooms where your kids can try on the clothing to make sure it fits.

In addition, retail stores will have clearance sales on toys. There are certain times of the year when that happens, and it is usually advertised. It might be possible to combine clearance sale items with membership discounts or coupons.

Garage Sales

It is possible to find a lot of children’s clothing at garage sales. There are two things to keep in mind before you shop. One, garage sales require people to pay in cash. Two, garage sales don’t have return policies. Take your best guess about whether or not a piece of clothing will fit your child.

Garage sales are also a good place to get children’s books and toys. Check the toys carefully to make sure they work, have all the pieces, and whether or not they require batteries.

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McDonald’s Introduces the MacCoin

Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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McDonalds has introduced the limited edition MacCoin to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac. Each MacCoin can be exchanged for one Big Mac at McDonald’s stores in 50 countries.

McDonald’s customers in the United States will receive a MacCoin with the purchase of a Big Mac at 14,000 participating restaurants across the United States, while supplies last. A MacCoin can be redeemed for a free Big Mac at participating McDonald’s restaurants in the United States and more than 50 participating countries.

In other words, the MacCoin functions like a coupon. Buy a Big Mac – get a free MacCoin. Take that MacCoin to a participating McDonald’s, and get a Big Mac for free.

McDonald’s says the MacCoin is the first fully food-backed global currency. More than 6.2 million MacCoins will be distributed globally in more than 50 countries while supplies last.

In addition to being a fun way to get a free Big Mac, MacCoins are collectible items. These commemorative coins feature five unique designs, each representing a decade of the Big Mac. Each MacCoin design pulls in elements from that time in history, nodding to art, music and pop culture, while the front-side of the MacCoin celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac.

The MacCoin highlights:

* The ’70s, showcasing the decade’s flower power
* The ’80s, alluding to pop art
* The ’90s, defined with bold, abstract shapes
* The early ’00s, specifically focusing on the technology that was at the forefront of the turn of the century
* The ’10s MacCoin calling attention to the evolution of communication

The MacCoin has no cash value. You can’t trade them in at a bank for other currency, or use them to buy anything other than a Big Mac. The MacCoins will be redeemable at participating McDonald’s restaurants through 2018.

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Save Big on National Garage Sale Day

Posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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National Garage Sale Day takes place on the second Saturday in August. The exact date may vary. That weekend is the best time to shop local garage sales (and yard sales).

There are some things you should do if you want to save big on National Garage Sale Day. The first one is to take the time to find out where the garage sales will be located. In some places, neighbors organize so that most of the homes in entire blocks will hold garage sales on that Saturday. You can also discover where local garage sales are at by looking in the newspaper.

Next, you need to make a plan. Where do you want to start shopping garage sales? In some cases, it makes sense to plan your route rather than randomly explore them. You might need to get up earlier than typical if you will be driving to the garage sales in other towns.

Bring a friend or family member to shop with, for more fun. Don’t forget to bring reusable bags with you! Not every garage sale will give away plastic bags. It would be a good idea to have a plan about where to park your car. All of this can save you some time and trouble.

Go in with a list. What do you need? Garage sales can be a great place to buy used, but still in good condition, Back to School clothes for your kids. Sometimes, parents can find baby items like highchairs, bouncers, and baby gates. Or, maybe your home could really use a better coffee table. Make a list of what you need so you won’t forget.

Of course, you will likely find some additional items that you want. That’s ok. Just make sure that you budget for them. People who hold garage sales will only take cash. It would be a good idea to stop by an ATM before hitting the garage sales. If you have time, it would be nice if you could find a way to break a $20 into smaller bills.

Got a lot of stuff that is in good condition that you no longer need? You might consider holding your own garage sale on National Garage Sale Day. Organize with your neighbors for best results.

Take the time to organize your items before the day of the garage sale. There’s a chance you could make some money!

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The Best Things to Buy in August

Posted on Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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One simple way to save money on the things you need to buy is to purchase them when they go on sale. You can get what you need without having to pay full price. Here are some of the best things to buy in August.

Summer Clothing
Stores that sell clothing tend to have summer clearance sales in August. They need to move out the shorts, sundresses, and tank tops and use that space for the incoming Back to School clothing. If you live in a state that is likely to have warm weather through September, now is the best time to take advantage of the summer clearance sales.

Swimwear
If you live in a state that says warm enough for you to hit the beach or splash around in your swimming pool all year round, you may need some extra swimsuits. Buy them now and stock up while they are at the lowest price of the year.

Does your state experience very cold winter weather? You might need some extra swimwear if you plan on traveling to places where the weather is warm during the upcoming holiday season. Do your relatives live where the weather stays warm? Are you going on a holiday cruise? Plan ahead and buy extra swimwear.

Back to School Supplies
Your kids are going to need some new school supplies for the upcoming school year. Before you shop, take the time to compare the back to school supplies sales at several stores. Figure out which one has the best deals, and do your shopping there.

Some parents like to stock up on extra school supplies while the Back to School sales are happening. Doing so can save you money later, when your kids need more paper, pencils, or other supplies. Buy now – and avoid paying full price for the same stuff later.

Early Labor Day Sales
Labor Day is often the last weekend of August, but sometimes happens on the first week of September. There will be plenty of Labor Day Sales happening not only on that weekend, but also during the week before. Nearly every store will have their own Labor Day Sale. Have you been planning to make a somewhat expensive purchase? Consider waiting until the thing you want goes on sale at the end of August.

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Lyft Asks Chicagoans to Ditch Their Cars

Posted on Thursday, August 2nd, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Lyft is an on-demand ride sharing service that functions similarly to Uber. Put their app on your phone, and use it to contact a Lyft driver when you need a lift. Short trips can be very inexpensive. Lyft is currently offering Chicagoans $550 if they get rid of their cars. This unique program could spread to other cities.

It is called the #DitchWithLyft Challenge. To do it, you must break up with your car for a month. Lyft is giving 100 people who live in Chicago credits for Lyft, CTA Monthly Passes, Divvy Monthly Passes, and ZipCar. The main purpose of the challenge is to reduce congestion on Chicago’s streets.

The Verge has more details about how this works. The first thing to know is that Lyft is not handing people money. Instead, they are making it possible for people to use alternative forms of transportation for free.

A total of 100 Chicagoans who sign up will receive $300 in Lyft shared ride credit (for use in carpool trips only), $45 for a monthly Divvy bike-share pass, $100 in ZipCar credit, and $105 for “L” train and bus service.

Those who are interested in participating will need to prove to Lyft that they own a vehicle in order to qualify. Those who qualify will be on an “honor system” to make sure they keep up their end of the bargain (and do not drive their car for 30 days). Participants are encouraged to post on social media about their experience. Lyft will conduct before and after challenge interviews to gauge reactions.

Lyft is considering launching a #DitchYourCar Challenge in Portland later in 2018. That program will ask people who live in Portland, and who own cars, to give up their car for an entire year, rather than just for one month.

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Don’t Miss Your State’s Sales Tax Holiday

Posted on Wednesday, July 25th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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In many states, the brand new school year begins in August or September. Parents must spend money on school supplies, new clothing, and gym shoes for each of their school-aged children. You can save money if you shop during your state’s Sales Tax Holiday.

Arkansas
* August 4 and 5, 2018
* clothing and footwear up to $100 per item
* clothing accessories and equipment up to $50 per item
* school supplies, school art supplies, and school instructional materials

Connecticut
* August 16-22, 2018
* up to $300 of clothing and footwear

Florida
* August 3-5, 2018
* certain school supplies up to $15 per item
* clothing, footwear and accessories up to $60 per item

Iowa
* August 4 and 5, 2018
* clothing and footwear up to $100 per item

Maryland
* August 12-18, 2018
* qualifying apparel and footwear up to $100 per item
* the first $40 of a backpack or bookbag purchase is also tax free

Missouri
* August 3-5, 2018
* clothing with a taxable value of up to $100
* school supplies up to $50 per purchase
* computer software with a taxable value of up $350
* personal computers up to $1,500
* computer peripheral devices up to $1,500
* graphing calculators up to $150

New Mexico
* August 3-5, 2018
* clothing or shoes up to $100 per unit
* desktop, laptop or notebook computers up to $1,000
* related computer hardware up to $500
* school supplies for use in standard, general-education classrooms up to $30 per unit

Ohio
* August 3-5, 2018
* an item of clothing priced at $75 or less
* an item of school supplies priced at $20 or less
* an item of school instructional material priced at $20 or less

Oklahoma
* August 3-5, 2018
* certain clothing and footwear is exempt from sales tax

South Carolina
* August 3-5, 2018
* Tax free items range from clothing, accessories, and shoes, to school supplies, book bags and computers. Shoppers will also find tax free items for the home and dorm room.

Texas
* August 10-12, 2018
* most clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks priced less than $100

Virginia
* August 3-5, 2018
* qualified school supplies up to $20 per item
* qualified clothing and footwear up to $100 per item

Wisconsin
* August 1-5, 2018
* clothing up to $75 per item
* a computer purchased by a consumer for the consumer’s personal use with a sales price of $750 or less
* school computer supplies purchased by the consumer for the consumer’s personal use with a sales price of $250 or less
* school supplies with a sales price of any single item up to $75

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How to Use Ibotta

Posted on Wednesday, July 18th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. Clicking on an affiliate link can generate revenue for the website owner. The FTC requires blogs that contain affiliate links to clearly and conspicuously disclose that there are affiliate links in the article.

Everyone wants to save time and money when they shop. This can be accomplished by collecting coupons, which can be tedious. Some stores have apps that give users special deals and offers. The biggest limitation of these apps is they can only be used at one store.

Ibotta is a cash back rewards app that gives consumers a better way to save time and money when they shop. No matter what you are buying, or where you are buying it, if you start with Ibotta, you’ll receive cash back. Ibotta partners with hundreds of CPG brands and has over 75 partners like Uber, Postmates, Drizly, Overstock.com, Walmart.com, and some categories of Amazon.

To get started, you need to download the Ibotta app and set up an account. The app is free to download and use on iOS and Android devices. Some of the offers might be for in-store shopping, while others may be for online shopping. New users can receive up to $20 in Welcome Bonuses.

Next, start searching for offers for things you were already planning on buying. You might also find offers for products that are new to you and are tempting enough to give them a try. Add the offers you like and plan on using to your Ibotta app before you shop.

Now, you are ready to start shopping! You can earn cash back on groceries, things you buy from retail stores, bars, restaurants, and more. Make sure you hang on to your receipt when you are done shopping. The last step is to snap a photo of your receipt with your smartphone and upload it to the Ibotta app so it can be processed.

Later on, check your Ibotta account. That is where you can find your cash reward for the specific items you purchased. You can earn extra cash with special bonuses and offers. Ibotta launches new offers each week, plus ongoing partnerships with top brands.

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Save Money on Snacks While Traveling

Posted on Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Going on vacation can be a nice break. It can also quickly become very expensive. One way to cut down on the cost is to plan ahead. The way to save money on snacks while traveling is to bring your own. Doing so prevents you from having to buy overpriced snacks at the airport.

Unrefrigerated
For best results, choose foods that do not require refrigeration. You don’t want to accidentally eat a food that has gone bad and then spend your vacation being sick. You may not have the budget to pay for a night spent in a hospital.

Some healthy options that will travel well include: dried fruit, jerky, crackers, rice cakes, granola bars, protein bars, dry cereal, nuts, popcorn, pretzels, and trail mix. All of these are “finger foods” that do not require refrigeration.

Easy to Eat
When deciding what kind of snacks to bring, keep in mind the environment you will be in. Avoid things that require the use of sauce, or spreads, that could get really messy. Traveling by train or car isn’t always smooth, and air travel sometimes involves turbulence. Food that requires in-travel preparation may be too difficult to eat.

Another way to make travel snacks easy to eat is to put them in reusable containers. Small plastic containers, with secure lids, can be very helpful. You can quickly open them and close them as needed.

Just in Case
Unexpected things happen when people travel. You might only have a short span of time to catch your flight or train. Weather can delay your departure time. There is a risk that you could be stuck somewhere while hungry.

The overpriced (and not always healthy) foods that are nearby can seem tempting if you are getting hungry and feeling desperate and frustrated. Save your money and eat the snacks that you brought with. Families that are traveling with small children will definitely need plenty of kid friendly snacks.

Bring a Water Bottle
It is important to stay hydrated. People who are on vacation tend to forget how long they’ve been out in the sun. You might underestimate the amount of exercise you are getting as you explore new places. Bringing a water bottle with you can help keep you well hydrated.

Fill the water bottle at your hotel before you set out for the day. If you run out of water, you may be able to find a cafe or restaurant that offers water for free. You won’t feel the need to spend money on sodas from vendors while you are out if you have water with you.

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How to Save Money with Ibotta

Posted on Wednesday, July 4th, 2018 at 9:09 pm
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Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. Clicking on an affiliate link can generate revenue for the website owner. The FTC requires blogs that contain affiliate links to to clearly and conspicuously disclose that there are affiliate links in the article.

One thing is true for just about everyone. We all have to go shopping from time to time! Many people truly enjoy shopping and see it as their favorite hobby. Others only shop when they absolutely need to. No matter how you feel about shopping, you can make your shopping experience more rewarding with Ibotta.

Ibotta is a cash back and rewards app that gives consumers a better way to save time and money when they shop. No matter what you buy or where you are buying it, start with Ibotta, and live Life Rewarded.

The first thing you need to do is download the Ibotta app. It is 100% free to download and use on iOS and Android devices.

Users receive cash back on products and services from online and in-store retailers, including:

* Beer, Wine & Spirits
* Pharmacy
* Grocery
* Travel
* Clothing
* Beauty & Wellness
* Restaurants & Bars
* Convenience
* Crafts & Gifts
* Home & Electronics

Ibotta launches new offers each week, plus ongoing partnerships with top brands.

Do you enjoy in-store shopping at your favorite retailers? Ibotta began with a simple goal: to help consumers save on everyday products at the grocery store. Five years later, users can use the app to do so much more. They haven’t forgotten their roots and still offer cash back on thousands of household products and grocery items.

Start earning cash back at stores like:

* Walmart
* Target
* Whole Foods
* Costco
* Safeway
* Kroeger

Do you prefer mobile shopping to in-store shopping? With its huge number of partner apps, Ibotta is the place the start for all mobile purchases. Not only will you get cash back, you’ll also safe time.

Start earning cash back at apps like:

* Amazon
* Drizly
* Groupon
* Overstock
* HotelTonight
* Postmates

New users who register with Ibotta can receive up to $20 in Welcome Bonuses. Ibotta users have earned over $250 million dollars in cash back. The average active user makes $20 every month.

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Ways to Save Money on Prescription Medications

Posted on Wednesday, May 9th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Piggy Bank with PillsAmericans spend more money on prescription medications than people in any other country. Sometimes, a person’s health insurance will cover the prescription medications that they require. Other times, the insurance company refuses to cover it, leaving people to struggle to pay for the expensive medications that they need. Here are a few ways to save money on prescription medications.

Ask your Doctor for Generics
It is a good idea to ask questions when your doctor prescribes a medication. The doctor usually won’t know whether or not your health insurance covers what they are prescribing. Ask your doctor if it would be ok if you took the generic version of the medication instead of the name brand.

One vivid example of why this is important was in the news a while ago. The EpiPen (made by Mylan) is expensive. This pen is used by people who have severe allergic reactions to things that can cause them to go into anaphylaxis. The double-pack of Mylan EpiPens can cost as much as $400.00

CVS has created their own version of Mylan’s EpiPen. The CVS version costs around $5.00. It is made from the same ingredients as the EpiPen. Ask your doctor if he or she can prescribe the generic version instead of the name brand.

Ask the Pharmacist for Generics
CVS is rolling out a new tool that alerts CVS pharmacists to cheaper drug options when they fill patient’s prescriptions. It is called the Savings Finder. This program flags a less expensive therapeutic equivalent, prompting the pharmacist to tell the patient and seek permission from the doctor to make the switch.

Savings Finder is also available to CVS consumers through an app.

No matter where you pick up your medications, it is a good idea to ask the pharmacist if a less expensive version is available. The generic versions are often much less expensive than the name brand.

Compare Prices
Call your preferred pharmacy and ask what your medication would cost. Next, call several other pharmacies, and ask the same question. Sometimes, the price of a medication can change depending on which company’s pharmacy you ask – and whether or not the pharmacist is aware of a generic version.

Ask the pharmacist if you can get a discount for having the store’s loyalty card. Ask for coupons. Find out if a prescription will cost less if you have the store’s credit card or membership card.

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