Fried Green Savings, Part II

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Happy Friday, y’all! 😊 Even if you’re like me and you have to work tomorrow, it’s always to know that there’s a bit of a respite coming when it’s Friday afternoon.

Today I wanted to talk about a different kind of savings- saving on spending. I have to confess, y’all- I am not a couponer. I’ve tried and I’m terrible at it. I typically run into one of several problems:

  1. I can’t find coupons for the things I’m going to buy
  2. The store brand or “off brand” version of the thing is cheaper than the brand name even WITH the coupon or
  3. (this is most likely) I cut out a coupon for something I intend to buy, and I forget about it. It expires and then I get to throw it away.

Honestly, if you’re good at couponing, don’t let me stand in your way (especially at Walmart, because I will be fumbling with my expired coupons at the register). Because couponing isn’t very effective for me and quite frankly, because I don’t want to spend hours browsing ads and cutting out coupons, I prefer the cash back method.

Ibotta

Y’all. Ibotta may be the greatest revelation since sweet tea itself. You buy an item in store (they have some new online shopping rebates, too!) from one of the retailers listed in the Ibotta app, add the item to your selected rebates, hit the redeem button and take a picture of your receipt or QR code. Cash is typically added to your account within 24-48 hours. Once you hit $20 in cash back you can have it transferred directly to your PayPal account OR you can purchase gift cards for other retailers, like Target, Walmart or Amazon. I’ve seen rebates ranging from $.25 to $5.00. You can also earn bonuses for purchasing multiples of the same item or redeeming multiple rebates within a certain period of time. You can even become part of a team (mine is mostly Facebook friends) and earn cash even faster.

Ebates

The OG of cash back sites! Ebates offers a great number of retailers than Ibotta and their percentage of cash back can sometimes be higher as well. I use Ebates primarily for online shopping. One drawback with Ebates is that you get paid quarterly and you have to have earned at least $5.00 to get a ‘Big Fat Check’ (yes, that’s really what it’s called).

Store Rewards

This probably deserves its own post (and it may get one in the future), but because I use these rewards to save money to get cash back or save money up front I’m purchasing something, I felt it was appropriate to include it here as well. My financial advertises temporary cash back offers through their online banking site, so that even without a reward earning checking account or credit card, you can still get cash back. One that I most recently used was for a flower ordering site- I got almost $10.00 back in cash! Many store credit cards offer a certain percentage off of every purchase or free shipping on every purchase when you use your store card. Sometimes these are just gimmicks to get to you sign up for the card in the first place, but if you consistently shop somewhere it may be worth it. Just remember to be careful with what you’re spending- don’t dig yourself a hole.

RetailMeNot

BEFORE YOU SHOP ANYWHERE ONLINE- I mean, even ordering pizza- check RetailMeNot for coupons! I specify ordering pizza because I literally will NOT order pizza without a coupon and I typically save 20-30%. They have thousands of retailers and coupons to choose from and it’s always worth a quick check before you place your order.

What are your thoughts? Are you more of a couponer or cash back-er? Are there any apps or sites you use to save money? Let me know in the comments below! 😊

Much love,

Zoe’

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