How to Save - Part 7
Free Coupons, Printable Coupons, Grocery Coupons Online

How to Save

Will Your Gift Cards Expire?

Posted on Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 at 7:00 am
Pin It

Gift cards make excellent gifts. You can buy one for a friend or family member who is difficult to buy for. Receiving a gift card means you get to pick out something nice for yourself. Will your gift cards expire before you can use them up?

In 2009, the United States Congress passed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act. It provides some protection for consumers who use gift cards.

Here is a summary of the CARD Act on the National Conference of State Legislatures website:

“The law provides that gifts cards cannot expire within five years from the date they were activated and generally limits inactivity fee on gift cards except in certain circumstances, such as if there has been no transaction for at least 12 months.”

The following states prohibit expiration dates on gift cards: California, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Rhode Island.

Maine says: “A period of limitation may not be imposed on the owner’s right to redeem the gift obligation or stored-value card.” Montana says: “A gift certificate is valid until redemption and does not terminate.” New Hampshire prohibits an expiration date for gift certificates valued at less than $100.

Oregon limits the situations in which a gift card can have an expiration date to some very specific rules. Washington does not allow expiration dates on gift cards unless no money was paid for the gift card.

All the other states do allow gift cards to expire. You might want to scroll through the CARD Act website to learn the full details about what your state does, and does not, allow.

Some states allow gift cards to expire after a certain amount of years. Others allow expiration dates on gift cards if the card makes the expiration date very obvious. When in doubt – use up the gift card as soon as possible.

Posted in: How to Save | Comments (0) | Join Discussion

Tips for Returning Gifts

Posted on Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 at 7:00 am
Pin It

The holidays are over and it is time to try and return gifts that are not suitable for you. The process of bringing in a return, and standing in a line, can be unpleasant. Here are some tips for returning gifts that will make things a little bit easier.

What are you allowed to return?
The first thing you need to do is figure out what a store will accept as a return. Some stores only accept items that are damaged or defective. This means you can return a gift that was defective or missing some parts.

Other stores are more open to what kinds of things they will accept as a return. Many stores will allow you to exchange a sweater that was the wrong size for one that fits you. Some stores don’t require people to give their reason for a return – they simply accept all items that they currently sell.

Do you need a receipt?
Some stores will not accept a return unless it comes with a receipt (either a gift receipt or a regular one). Hopefully, your friends and relatives have kindly included a gift receipt with your gift. If not, you may face some difficulty when trying to return that gift.

Where can you return the gift?
In general, if the gift was purchased in a brick-and-mortar store, it is possible that you can return it if you physically bring it to that store. If the gift was purchased online, you might have to send it back to the vendor through the mail. Find out if you have to pay for shipping.

Very few brick-and-mortar stores will accept returns that were purchased from the store’s website. The item might be something that the physical stores do not carry.

How is the money refunded?
The store accepts your return. Where does the refund go? The store might refund the money onto the credit card that the purchase was made with. Or, it could give you a gift card for that amount.

Posted in: How to Save | Comments (0) | Join Discussion

Coupon Tips for the New Year

Posted on Thursday, December 27th, 2018 at 7:00 am
Pin It

The end of the year is a great time to get your coupons ready for the days ahead. There are certain habits that people who use a lot of coupons utilize in order to get the most from their efforts. Here are some coupons tips for the new year.

Ditch the Expired Coupons
Start by going through all of your paper coupons and getting rid of the ones that have expired. Stores do not take expired coupons, so these are of absolutely no use to you. Toss them into the recycling bin.

Next, go through your coupon apps. Some coupon apps will automatically remove coupons that have expired. Check through the digital coupons that are currently available to you. Take a close look at the expiration date. Delete the ones that have expired.

Organize Your Coupons
The main reason to take the time to organize your paper coupons is so you won’t lose them before you have the opportunity to use them. Some people organize with a three-ring binder that is filled with plastic sheets that were originally designed to hold baseball cards. Extreme couponers tend to use this method of organization.

Other people will use a small, closable, coupon holder to put their coupons in. This works best for people who do not tend to use tons of paper coupons. Toss the coupons into the coupon holder (or a regular envelope). Bring it with you when you go grocery shopping.

Get the Store’s Loyalty Card
If you haven’t done it already, get the loyalty card for the grocery store that you shop at the most often. The loyalty card might connect with the store’s app – which usually will have coupons and special offers.

Check the Coupon Information Center
The Coupon Information Center is the first website you should visit if you saw a coupon online that doesn’t seem right. It keeps an updated list of counterfeit coupons that you should avoid using.

Posted in: How to Save | Comments (0) | Join Discussion

Gap is Closing Many of its Stores

Posted on Tuesday, December 25th, 2018 at 7:00 am
Pin It

Gap has revealed that it will be closing many of its stores. The reasons is because Gap stores are not as profitable for the company as they had been in the past. Gap’s online business, however, continues to be profitable.

Gap did not specifically say how many stores would close, where those stores are located, or what their timeline is. One way to find out if the Gap near you is closing is to check your local newspaper. A more efficient way is to go online type “Gap closing” and the name of where you live.

If your local Gap has closed, there is another way to continue buying Gap products. Visit the Gap’s website. It appears that the website is making enough money for the company to keep it going. In addition to Gap, the company is also closing Banana Republic stores.

In 2017, approximately 200 Gap and Banana Republic stores were shut down. This year, the company opened up 109 new stores, most of which were Old Navy and Athleta.

CEO Art Peck said “There are hundreds of other stores that likely don’t fit our vision for the future of Gap brand speciality store, whether in terms of profitability, customer experience, traffic trends. The range from the very best to the very worst stores is extremely broad.”

Is the Gap store near you still open? Now is a good time to use up your Gap coupons. This could be the last holiday season that your local Gap store is open, so make sure to pick up some things for family and friends who love Gap products. There is a chance that a closing store will have very good sales.

You might want to hold off on purchasing Gap gift cards this holiday season. Gift cards can sometimes be difficult to use online. The brick-and-mortar Gap store near you could potentially close before that gift card gets used up.

Posted in: How to Save | Comments (0) | Join Discussion

Instacart Ends Partnership with Whole Foods Markets

Posted on Thursday, December 20th, 2018 at 7:00 am
Pin It

Instacart announced that it is winding down its relationship with Whole Foods Market. This means that people who used Instacart at Whole Foods Markets are going to lose that service soon.

The first phase of Instacart’s transition away from Whole Foods Market has already begun. Instacart is scaling back their in-store shopper operations within Whole Foods locations.

Before this change, Instacart had 1,415 in-store shoppers across 76 Whole Foods locations. Out if this group, 243 Whole Foods locations will lose their Instacart in-store shoppers beginning on February 10, 2019. In the months that follow, Instacart will ramp down all remaining Whole Foods in-store shoppers.

Instacart can save you some time. The first thing you need to do is see if Instacart delivers in your area. Next, see if Instacart is partnered with your favorite grocery store. Those who currently use Instacart at Whole Foods Markets should see if they can find a different store that will continue to partner with Instacart.

Use the Instacart app to make your grocery list and schedule a delivery (or to schedule when you will pick up your groceries at the store). An Instacart personal shopper will do the shopping for you.

ALDI began teaming up with Instacart in November of 2018. There could be an ALDI near you! More than 90 percent of the brands ALDI carries are their own produces and exclusive brands.

ALDI tends to be less expensive than other grocery stores. They charge for grocery bags, so there is a chance that your Instacart order at ALDI will include a charge for the bags your groceries required.

Instacart has also partnered with Publix, Wegmans, HyVee, and ShopRite. Check the Instacart website to find out if there are any partner stores near you. Visit the Instacart Twitter account to see updates about additional grocery stores they have partnered with.

Posted in: How to Save | Comments (0) | Join Discussion

Plan Ahead for Next Year’s Holiday Budget

Posted on Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 at 7:00 am
Pin It

Are you struggling to stay within your holiday budget this year? That’s understandable. Many people end up spending more money during the holidays than they planned to. This problem can be prevented if you plan ahead for next year’s holiday budget.

According to State Farm, consumers spend $1,2226 on their end-of-the-year shopping. In addition, American consumers spend about $289 over the Thanksgiving weekend (which includes Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday).

Begin planning out your holiday budget for next year right now. Figure out how much you spent on gifts, food, and travel. Start putting away money now so you won’t have to go into debt next holiday season. Don’t forget to save a little extra for things like cards and wrapping paper.

Another strategy that can help cut costs next year is to use a prepaid debit card instead of credit cards. State Farm says that 23% of consumers take four to six months to pay of their credit cards after holiday spending.

You can control your spending by limiting yourself to the amount that you put on a prepaid debit card. Doing so forces you to make conscious choices about not only what you buy but also how much you are willing to spend on each item. You are going to have to comparison shop to see who has the best price.

That may sound frustrating, but it is worth it. Plan ahead, and you may be able to avoid using your credit cards. Your new year doesn’t have to start with a massive amount of credit card debt!

State Farm says you should wait 2 days between when you see something online that you want to buy and when you actually buy it. Doing so prevents impulse shopping – which can really get expensive over time. It also gives you time to see if the item is selling for less somewhere else and to really think about the potential purchase.

Posted in: How to Save | Comments (0) | Join Discussion

Don’t Eat Raw Dough

Posted on Thursday, December 13th, 2018 at 7:00 am
Pin It

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) want to remind you not to eat raw dough. This is especially important advice at this time of year, when people do a lot of baking. Avoiding raw dough can save you and your loved ones a trip to the emergency room.

Raw dough can contain bacteria that can cause disease. The CDC points out that flour is a raw agricultural product. It has not been treated to kill germs like E.coli. The bacteria that is in flour are killed when food that is made with flour is cooked.

You should never eat raw dough. Eating or tasting unbaked products that contain flour can make you sick. Dough can also contain raw eggs, that can contain a germ called Salmonella. People can become sick from that germ if they eat raw or lightly cooked eggs.

There has been more than one flour-containing product that has been recalled by the CDC. Do not bake, use, or eat those products. This is the one time when it is best to just throw it away before anyone gets sick from it. Another option is to return those products to the store for a refund.

Some types of Duncan Hines cake mixes have been recalled because they contained Salmonella. Many General Mills products, including bread mixes, brownie and cake mixes, flours, muffin mixes, pancake and biscuit mixes, and meat and poultry products have been recalled because they contained E. coli.

Don’t allow children to play with raw dough. The uncooked flour in it can make them sick, especially if they eat some of it or put their fingers in their mouths after playing with the dough.

Need to replace the cake mixes and flour that is in your home? You can make it less expensive by using paper coupons and combining that with the digital coupons on your favorite grocery store’s app.

Posted in: How to Save | Comments (0) | Join Discussion

How to Save Money at Starbucks

Posted on Tuesday, December 11th, 2018 at 7:00 am
Pin It

December typically involves a lot of shopping, plenty of driving, and more get-togethers and parties than you would expect to experience at other times of the year. Cold weather can make you want a hot cup of coffee. Wherever you are, there is probably a Starbucks nearby. Here are some tips on how to save money at Starbucks.

Wait for Happy Hour
Starbucks has a weekly happy hour. It usually appears on Thursdays at around 3:00 in the afternoon. You can get email from Starbucks that will inform you about upcoming happy hours. (This may involve signing up for the emails online).

Starbucks offers special happy hour deals. It could be a buy one, get one free deal. Or, it might be a big discount on a specific type of beverage.

Starbucks Rewards
Starbucks Rewards is a rewards program from Starbucks. All you need to get started is a Starbucks gift card. The purchases you make at Starbucks add up to free food and drinks. Starbucks Rewards members also get a birthday reward, free in-store refills, and more.

It doesn’t cost anything at all to join Starbucks Rewards. It is a good deal for people who frequently go to Starbucks, several times a week, and buy drinks and food. Keep doing what you already do, and earn rewards at the same time.

Bring Your Own Cup
Starbucks allows customers to bring in their own reusable cup. The baristas will fill it with whatever drink you order. It doesn’t matter what kind of cup it is – so long as it is reusable. Customers who bring in a reusable cup get 10 cents off their beverage order.

Hold the Ice
Starbucks tends to put a lot of ice in their cold drinks. If that bothers you, ask the barista to hold the ice. That way, your cup will have more room for the drink that you purchased. If the weather is cold – then you probably don’t actually need the ice.

Posted in: How to Save | Comments (0) | Join Discussion

Clicking Fake Coupons Could Harm Your Computer

Posted on Friday, December 7th, 2018 at 7:00 am
Pin It

There are many reasons to be wary of coupons that you find online. This is especially true for the coupons that seem too good to be true. You could end up with an unusable, fake, coupon. In addition, clicking on questionable coupons could cause harm to your computer!

ABC 13 On Your Side reported about a Little Caesar’s coupon that was obviously too good to be true. It offered people 3 free large pizzas. The coupon claimed that the offer was to celebrate Little Caesar’s anniversary.

It was a fake coupon. According to ABC 13 On Your Side, clicking on the fake coupon would direct you to click on a list of links. Those links would give the website (which was not the Little Caesar’s website) permission to share your information with “site sponsors”. Those who clicked those links would end up with unwanted phone calls, text messages, and emails.

Whoever created that coupon was engaging in coupon fraud. That person may, or may not, have placed malware on the website where people tried to get the fake coupon from. Be careful what you click. Some websites can put malware on your computer.

Here are a few easy ways to avoid fake online coupons:

Don’t click on coupon links that you see on social media. It might look as though the coupon is from the real company, but that’s not always true. Scammers put in effort to trick people into thinking they are legitimate. You never know where those links will take you!

If you see a coupon going around that looks too good to be true, assume it is fake. Don’t click on the coupon. Instead, visit the real website of the company the coupon appears to have come from. Sometimes, the company will have a message that warns people about the fake coupon.

Visit the Coupon Information Corporation website. It has a frequently updated list of coupons that are fraudulent. This makes it easy for you to throw out the fake paper coupons you got stuck with. It can also help you avoid fake coupons online.

Posted in: How to Save | Comments (0) | Join Discussion

Burger King Introduces the Whopper Detour

Posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018 at 7:00 am
Pin It

Burger King has created a confusing, yet fascinating, way for you to get a Burger King Whopper for one cent. It is called the Whopper Detour.

The Whopper Detour deal will only last for a limited time. (It is valid through December 12, 2018). The first thing you need to do in order to participate in the Whopper Detour is to download Burger King’s relaunched BK app. The relaunched app gives customers the ability to place their Burger King orders in advance (for participating locations).

Next, you need to go to a McDonald’s. No, that’s not a typo. Burger King wants you go into a McDonald’s – for a short period of time. Customers who have the BK app on their device, and who go into a McDonald’s, will unlock the Whopper sandwich for a penny promotion.

Part of the purpose of this deal is for Burger King to encourage people to start using their relaunched app. The promotion works by geofencing McDonald’s locations across the country. In short, geofencing is what enables software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a certain area.

It is not necessary to make a purchase at McDonald’s in order to participate in the Whopper Detour deal. Wait until the BK app on your device unlocks the penny Whopper deal. The app will navigate you to the nearest Burger King where you can pick up your Whopper.

Posted in: How to Save | Comments (0) | Join Discussion