I’ve been meaning to write this post for forever but I’m glad I didn’t because I’ve learned so much more. By no means am I an expert, but let’s just say in my life the struggle has been real, so I’ve learned to pinch pennies, use coupons, find sales, or DIY things. Here’s what I’ve learned, hopefully they help ya.
1. Goodwill is not a taboo.
I have learned to love Goodwill, and although I don’t go buying everything there, you can find some great treasures there. The best things to get are household accessories like a napkin holder or paper towel holder. Sounds crazy but paper towel holders at Bed, Bath and Beyond are $20-$30. That’s just wrong. But you can get the same thing at Goodwill most times for like $2-$3. My nice wooden napkin holder was $0.99. We have a mirror that used to be a medicine cabinet that my husband took off, sanded, and stained and now it’s awesome. I’ve gotten dishes, a jewelry holder, but the best thing has been a six piece wooden dining room table with extension for $50. My handy man hubby sanded, stained, and painted it and now we could easily sell it for $300 (but we won’t because it’s awesome). You won’t always walk out with something, but most times I find gems.
2. Shop around (for dog stuff)
My puppy is awesome, but has a super sensitive stomach. When looking for grain free gluten free wheat free meatless dog treats, TJ Maxx is surprisingly the place to go! I just got a ton of CHEAP organic and healthy dog treats without fillers and things that harm my puppy. Unfortunately his food has to be a specific brand name diet so those 33 lbs of food costs me $45 so it’s important to save money on treats. Whereas PetSmart will overprice treats and collars and bowls, places like TJ Maxx and Ross have cheap bed pets and non-name brand treats! If you want the name brand treats, Shoppers will be where you want to go. They have name brand for cheaper than PetSmart prices.
3. DIY it (for dog stuff)
So although the KONG ball for dogs is pretty cool, my puppy has ADD and constantly needs new toys. Toys are pricey and it adds up! So there are a lot of “toys” your dogs can play with. Empty plastic water bottles, boxes (but supervise), cut up t shirts in other toys to stall the treat release, water bottles covered in old tshirts and tied up all work.
4. Target is awesome. Part 1.
Despite a tidbit on the news of Target recently selling something I don’t agree with, they do have pretty great prices and they allow you to navigate your own savings, but you have to do your homework! First you can get the RedCard. They have a credit if that’s your jam, but I have the Target Redcard debit. It’s tied to your regular checking/debit account so when you use it the money comes out of there. That’s the account I use to shop so it was a no-brainer getting a card that didn’t hurt my credit and gave me a 5% discount on EVERYTHING and FREE shipping from stuff online. It adds up!
5. Target Part 2.
Get the Cartwheel app on your smartphone. This allows your to choose up to 12 coupons per-se to use on a transaction. They have discounts for EVERYTHING you might ever need at Target from clothes to taco seasoning to furniture and then they just scan the barcode off your phone and that’s it. I’ve saved $40 already off of regular shopping that I would do already.
6. Target Part 3. Really.
So if you have a smartphone you’re in luck. Download the Target app (not to be confused with the Cartwheel app) and that app gives you additional, bigger coupons that are not found on the Cartwheel and you can scan that at the register as well. Now if you use all three (redcard, cartwheel, and the app) then you really are saving some serious moolah at Target, but remember you have to do your homework.
7. If you’re military, shop at the commissary and the exchange.
It’s convenient to shop at the local mart sometimes but make the trip up to the base to get these deals. They are there for us and they are awesome. For example, a razor I’ve bought for years from CVS for $12, I found at the commissary for $6! Some meatless frozen food I have found to be usually $1 off each bag and canned items are basically a steal. If you sign up to get emails from the exchange, you can get coupons emailed to you exclusively. There is an app on smartphones that you can earn rewards on at the commissary too.
8. Also if you’re military, go to the national parks FREE.
I just got a free pass to most of the national parks around the US for my husband being active-duty. Ask inside of the visitor lodge. If you can, still donate. Our national park do need our donations and we must take care of them.
9. Costco, and Sam’s club are great.
Although you have to pay a fee upfront, you more than make that money back especially if you have a big family. But who doesn’t need 28947 rolls of toilet paper and paper towels. (Costco has an app with deals too).
10. Sign up for CVS emails.
You can get a couple bucks off or percentages off sent to your member card and immediately get that discounted at the register.
* Public Service Announcement.
Not that I’m the face of debt freedom and rolls of cash stick out of my pockets, but whenever possible; Don’t use credit. Bottom line, if you can’t afford it you shouldn’t buy it. There are always circumstances where you need to use your credit card and don’t I know it, but don’t get those Gucci loafers on credit if your struggling to put gas in your car.
Boom boom boom.