When we move next fall, we are planning on me staying at home with baby. Money is going to be tight on just Mike's salary, so I have been scouring the web trying to find ways to save money. Here's what I have found so far:
Never buy anything online without checking Retailmenot.com first. It is a coupon and promotion code mecca, and it's free! Just click and search for the website you would like to shop from...easy!
Earn free gift cards! Swagbucks.com is an online portal dedicated to helping you earn digital dollars called "Swag Bucks", which can be redeemed for gift cards. Really, you earn points just for searching. When I am going anywhere online, I try to utilize the Swagbucks toolbar to go to that location – even if it is Facebook or my own blog.
With the concept Search, Earn, Redeem – it really doesn’t cost you anything extra to get free stuff while searching the web (you were doing that anyways). Other ways you can earn Swagbucks include answering their Daily Poll, using their Tool bar, filling out surveys, searching for codes, watching videos, redeeming coupons at the grocery store, and referring your friends.
If your friends join, Swagbucks will give you all of the bucks that they earn from searching the web (up to a 1,000 SB maximum). Some perspective: each Amazon.com gift card costs 450 SB, so this is like earning more than $10 per friend who participates!
Since I joined Swagbucks at the beginning of October, 2010 I have earned $100 in Amazon.com gift cards, and $80 in Target.com gift cards (as of 1/26). Not bad!
Get cash back on your online purchases through eBates!
After signing up, visit the eBates website before making an online purchase (instead of going straight to the retailer's website). From the eBates site, just click to go to the retailer you want to shop from, and voila, you'll get 2-5% (or more) back! Easy! You'll also get a $5 bonus when you make your first purchase through the website. I joined at the beginning of December and have gotten back $26 already (as of 1/26).
If you have friends who would be interested in eBates, send them an invitation. If they make an online purchase through eBates, you'll get a $5 bonus!
Another company with the same idea as eBates is Upromise.com. Except in this case, you are saving for college. The money you earn from your online, credit card, and/or grocery card purchases go directly into your Upromise account. You can choose to invest your earnings in a high-yield savings account or tax-deferred 529 plan; use it to pay down a student loan; or request a check that can be used for college or other expenses. I joined in 2004 and have about $195 saved up.
If you sign up for Amazon Mom, you'll get 3 months of Amazon Prime, absolutely free! This means you'll get free 2 day shipping on anything you order from Amazon.com that is Prime eligible (and most things are). Also, for each $25 you spend on products in the Baby Store, you'll get an additional month of Amazon Prime shipping benefits (up to 1 year total). I just found out that I earned a year free thanks to purchasing my City Mini at Amazon. Click on the above graphic to sign up!
Amazon Mom members also save 15% on select diapers and wipes. You can combine this 15% off with the 15% off you'll get with the Subscribe and Save program, for a total discount of 30% off!
First, you can get 15% off your first order at Diapers.com with coupon code DCOM15OFF. You'll also get free shipping if your order is $49 or more. This website has a whole lot more than just diapers...I've bought a lot of our baby gear and some toys here. Their prices are pretty comparable to Amazon.
You can get 10% off your order if you are a AAA member. Go to AAA.com, sign in, click on Savings and search for Target. If you shop through their link you get 10% off, and this never expires.
Flash Sale Sites
Flash sale websites have amazing sales that last for only 24 to 72 hours. The sales are usually for 40-60% off, but sometimes they even have sales for 70% off! The retailers that they feature sell a variety of products including clothes, toys, and gear for babies, as well as maternity and Mom fashions. I have gotten great deals on cloth diapers through these sites! My two favorites are Zulily and Totsy.
These websites also have a referral program. If you send an invitation to your friends and they purchase something, you'll get a store credit (~$10-$15)!
Printable Coupon Sites
Choose the coupons you want, print, and then use them at your grocery store! I can't tell you how much money I have saved with these. There are tons of sites, but these have the most coupons: Coupons.com, Redplum.com, Smartsource.com. Also, Hot Coupon World has a searchable database where you can search to see if there are any coupons out there for a certain product. I have saved tons by printing out coupons and matching them up with sales at my local grocery stores.
Ask your local grocery stores what their coupon policies are. One of the stores I frequent accepts coupons that expired up to 3 months ago! The other store I regularly visit doubles coupons ($1 or under) on Wednesdays. It's worth asking about!
If you have any saving strategies or ways to earn money that aren't listed here, please share!