Do you shop online? I used to think that I couldn’t get deals online that would be better than in the traditional store. How wrong I was! There are some excellent deals to be found and it’s a lot easier to take advantage of when the kids are not hanging off you and you are frazzled. But, just like everything else we will cover there is a better way to do it and that way is by using a “Shop-Through” site. The two I use are Ebates and Shop at Home. I try to only use those two so that the rewards will add up faster and it’s easier to keep track of. Both sites will send you a check, a “Big Fat Check” in the case of Ebates. When you find an online deal on this site you will usually see one of the two shop though sites listed. You do not have to click on those links but I encourage you to do so that you can earn money on what you are buying. For example, I post that Target has pillows for $5. Then I will suggest to shop though Ebates to get 10% cash back and list and coupon codes or additional offers I find. You would pay $5 to Target for the pillow and if you use the Ebates link you will get a check in the mail for $.50. Simple! Both sites have a minimum payout which is why I only use two. If I used a dozen of these sites it would take forever to earn enough to get a check. To take it a step further, when my Big Fat Check comes I put it in a separate account that I use for shopping so I can “roll” it into another deal that will earn me money back.
Ebates has a double cash back store featured each day which means if you normally earn 10% cash back at say, Old Navy, on that particular day it goes up to 20%. Shop at Home has what they call “Wild” deals. It is one or two greatly reduced items that you have a limited amount of time to buy. My suggestion is to sign up for Shop At Home now so that when I post a Wild deal you can get to it faster. Seriously, they are awesome deals and go very, very quickly.
Some “Wild” deals lately have been a FREE Proactiv skincare set. I paid about $20 and tax and received a $30 kit and will get the $20 back in my next check. JCP Polo shirts, beach towels for about $1 and free sandals. Walmart is featured a few times a week and it is usually a free product. Last week for example I grabbed a free after check bottle of hand sanitizer with free shipping. It was probably about a $3 value that took me about 5 minutes to complete the transaction and it arrived yesterday. Was it worth my time to do? Yes, we needed hand sanitizer and the way I see it, I made $3 in value for five minutes (or less) of my time.
That reminds me, check back next week because I ‘d like to show you the “value challenge” I started at home. When I was wrestling with being a SAHM I issued myself a challenge to “create value” in the amount of what my salary had been. Not necessarily in cash but value for our family. It was a good exercise I would recommend to anyone considering becoming a one wage earner family or anyone struggling with finances. I had planned to do the exercise for one month and two weeks in I sat down and did my calculations and saw that I had already passed my goal. It was a major self confidence boost and made me feel so much better about my decision. Look for it next week.
Also, next week we will spend some time on strategies to save money that do not involve grocery coupons- those of you coupon haters will love it!
Right now over at Shop at Home you can get a pair of kids Disney flip-flops for FREE- Pay $3.99 with free shipping today then get the $3.99 back with your Shop at Home rebate check. Use promo code FREEHIP at checkout and shop through Shop at Home to make this work. I just tried it and it worked perfectly- and the size and style I wanted was in stock.