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Tuesday
Mar172015

8+ Starbucks Money-Saving Hacks

Here are some Starbucks money-saving secrets!
  1. Sign up for a Starbucks card and all your customizations (flavor shots, soy substitutions) are free. Register it online, and then pay with your card each time (you can even link it to your bank account so it automatically refills), and you'll get a free drink of any kind for every 10 transactions. If you like to grind your own coffee, you also get a free tall coffee for purchasing a pound of coffee and a free tall drink of your choice for purchasing a two pound bag. And did we mention the free drink on your birthday? 
  2. Plus get free refills on hot or iced brew coffee and tea during the same store visit with a Starbucks reward card!
  3. Instead of pouring out coffee to make room for cream, order a small size but in a bigger cup.
  4. Bring in a coffee sleeve to be reused and get a $0.10 discount. You also get a $0.10 discount for bringing in a mug.
  5. Shop online. They regularly offer sales and deals.
  6. You can get 50 cent refills on coffee as long as you are still in the store.
  7. Check out the secret Starbucks menu.
  8. Make your own Starbucks favorites @ home!

Starbucks Lemon Loaf

Starbucks Vanilla Scone

Starbucks Oat Fudge Bars

 

 


Sunday
Mar152015

Ikea Printable Coupons

Go here to print a coupon for $15 off $150! Or get a coupon for $25 off $250 when you register on IKEA site and opt-in for text messages – redeemable in-store only
Friday
Mar132015

10 Outlet Shopping Hacks

1. KNOW YOUR "OUTLET" STORE

"Outlet" stores come in three flavors: factory stores, actual outlet stores, and conventional retail stores. Always ask an associate what type of store you are shopping in to quickly figure out the type of deals you might find.

Factory Stores

Factory stores are locations that sell merchandise made specifically for the factory store. While the deals to be had can be quite good, be aware that often the merchandise is of lesser quality. I actually had a manager at an Eddie Bauer factory outlet tell me that the stitching is not as good compared to their regular stores and items typically won't last as long. In addition to Eddie Bauer, examples include Gap, Banana Republic, and Gymboree.

Actual Outlet Stores

Actual outlet stores are locations that sell merchandise originally stocked in regular retail stores. Often products are last season's overstocks or have a small blemish on them. You can typically score a much better deal at outlet stores compared to factory stores. It is important to always examine products carefully to ensure quality. Popular examples of real outlet stores include REI, Coldwater Creek, and Lands' End.

Conventional Retail

Conventional retail locations dressed up as outlet stores are also prevalent. In an attempt to take advantage of popular locations and high foot-traffic, some retailers willingly buy space at outlet malls. The deals at these stores often match the deals found in their conventional retail counterparts. Examples include Old Navy, Merrell, Famous Footwear, Sunglass Hut, and American Eagle Outfitters.

2. FIND HIDDEN CLEARANCE DEALS

Just because you're shopping at an outlet mall doesn't mean stores are without a clearance department. Typically, you'll have to walk past all of the full-priced merchandise to find the clearance section hidden in the rear of the store. If you can't find your size or color, ask an associate for assistance — they often have clearance items in the back that haven't been put out on the sales floor yet or were recently returned.

3. PRACTICE INFORMED COUPONING

When it comes to outlet shopping, not all coupons are created equal. Typically, coupons are created specifically for outlet or factory stores and regular in-store coupons won't be accepted. Check the coupon fine print to avoid the disappointment of a printable coupon being turned away at the register. Always do a Google search for "Store Name OUTLET coupon" before you head out to the store to make sure you find an applicable coupon.

4. SHOP HOLIDAY WEEKENDS

Outlet stores are notorious for offering amazing sales on holiday weekends like Memorial Day, Labor Day, Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving. You'll often find entire outlet stores marked down 40%-50% off original prices. The parking lot can be quite full on holiday weekends, so it's advantageous to get there when the stores open to avoid the crowd.

5. DON'T BUY JUST BECAUSE YOU MADE THE TRIP

All too often, shoppers get caught up in the mystique of outlet malls and feel they need to buy just because they made the drive. Don't fall prey to this mindset. Instead, shop with a list and a budget and stick to it. If the deals simply aren't there, then leave the store knowing that they eventually will be, especially on big holiday weekends.

6. GO SOCIAL AND SAVE

Did you know that the majority of outlet centers have their own Facebook pages? Do a quick search for the Facebook page of the outlet mall you plan visit and get exclusive sale and coupon information.

7. SCOPE THE NIKE OUTLET HASH WALL

The Nike Outlet is a big favorite with many outlet regulars, and many contain a far back wall referred to as the "hash wall," where they typically stock shoes that are marked down for a quick sale. What you see is what you get, so if you are not particular on style or color, it's a great place to score a deal.

8. HAGGLE THE PRICE (WHEN APPROPRIATE)

You can absolutely haggle the price at a traditional outlet location, where items are likely to have a blemish or be reconditioned. Politely point out the imperfection, ask for an extra 15% off, and be prepared to settle for a 10% discount. The bigger the imperfection the better chance of success, especially if you are making a substantial purchase. The same goes for damaged packaging as stores realize they will have a tough time selling items at the advertised price. Give it a try it and you may be pleasantly surprised with the result.

9. SHOP FOR NEXT SEASON

A great way to use save on outlet shopping is to stock up on apparel, shoes, and outerwear for the following year, especially when shopping for growing kids. When you stumble across an amazing deal, simply buy a size or two up and store for next year.

10. BE AWARE OF THE RETURN POLICY

The return policies at outlet shopping locations can often be kind of screwy, so always ask before they slide your credit card. Sometimes items are final sale with no refund available. Sometimes you can only return items to an outlet location, which, depending on how far you drove, can be a real pain. Always be aware of the store's return policy and shop accordingly.

Source: Wisebread.com

Wednesday
Mar112015

11 Ways to Save at Kohl's

1. Save 15% When you Sign Up for Email & Text Alerts

If you’re not already on the list make sure you Sign Up for Kohls Email & Text Alerts. You’ll receive a 15% off coupon each time you sign up so spread these out to get 2 separate coupons!

You can sign up for Email Alerts here to get your 15% off Kohls Coupon

And Text SAVE07 to 56457 to get a 15% Off Coupon sent to your phone and sign up for Mobile Sale Alerts.

2. Earn $5 for every $100 you Spend!

Have you heard of the Yes 2 You Rewards Program? You have to sign up for this program online, then you’ll earn $5 for every $100 you spend regardless of how you pay! Plus you can earn the $5 on every $100 in plus Kohl’s Cash so it’s Bonus Savings you don’t want to miss out on. Make sure you sign up here.

3. Find In Store Coupons Quickly

All Kohl’s coupons are valid both in stores and online. If it’s an online coupon it should be listed under the Today’s Deals section where you can print an in store shopping past. Or you can use Retail Me Not App to find In Store Coupons. Just pull up the app on your phone to see current and valid Kohl’s Coupons then show your phone at checkout to receive your discount.

4. Stack Your Kohls Coupons for Extreme Savings!

Most people don’t know Kohls allows you to stack a dollar off coupon (Like a $10 off any purchase or $10/$30 Purchase) coupon with a Percent off Coupon (Like 15% or 20% Off Everything!)

$ coupons, Kohls Cash and Discount Coupons all can be applied to the same order. Or you can stack a Category Coupon (Mens, Juniors, Womens) + A Total Purchase Coupon for Big Savings!

Online you can Stack up to 4 Coupon Codes on the same transaction!

5. Use Price Matching with Kohls Coupons

Did you know Kohls will match Competitors Ads with a current date. This applies to in store items, but it can be an easy way to save. Stack those Price Matches with Kohls In Store Coupons for Big Savings!

6. Earn 10% Back in Rewards on Gifts Purchased off your Registry

If you or someone you know is getting married make sure they know about Kohls Ever After Rewards! You can earn 10% of the amount purchased from your registry! That means if friends and family members buy $1,000 worth of items off your registry you’ll earn $100 in Rewards to spend on other items!

In addition you’ll get a 15% Discount on all the items remaining on your registry! Sign up for the Kohls Wedding Registry Here and be eligible to earn Kohls Ever After Rewards!

7. Earn Kohl’s Cash on $48 or more

One of the best ways to save at Kohl’s is by taking advantage of Kohl’s Cash. Kohl’s frequently runs promotions where You can earn $10 in Kohls Cash for every $50 you spend.These promotions typically overlap with coupons so for the biggest savings wait for a Kohl’s Cash Promotion and stack it with coupons!

Did you know, you actually only have to spend $48 to earn Kohl’s Cash? If you are within $2 you’ll earn Kohl’s Cash as if you spend $50! It’s just one way Kohl’s makes our lives a little easier! No more adding in filler items to get over $50. Details Here. 

Remember Kohl’s Cash is only valid during specific dates, so check the dates on your Kohl’s Cash and set a reminder in your phone so you don’t forget to spend it!

8. FREE Shipping from the Kohl’s Kiosk In Stores

If you can’t find a Coupon Code for Free Shipping you can head in stores to use the In Store Kiosk. Any order made from an In Store Kiosk will get Free Shipping with No Minimum! This is perfect for ordering those items only available online and a great way to avoid shipping costs!

9. Wait for Gold Star Clearance

Kohls runs something called Gold Star clearance which is up to 80% off original prices. Typically this happens around 4 times a year at the end of each season. Watch for the Gold Star Clearance sections in your stores to find amazing deals!

10. Senior Citizens Discount

If you’re over the age of 60 the best day to shop is Wednesdays! All Senior Citizens age 60 and older will save save 15% Every Week on Wednesdays! Details Here.

11. Save Your Receipt for Easy Price Adjustments

You have 2 weeks to take your receipt back for a price adjustment. If the price goes down then you’ll be able to get the difference back!

 

Monday
Mar022015

7 Money-Saving Restaurant Tips

1. GO FOR LUNCH

Many fine dining establishments are also open for lunch, and while some just serve a smaller menu of the dishes they serve for dinner at the same price, others offer some real deals.

Bouley, a well-known and well-loved restaurant in New York City is known for their tasting menus. Their dinner version is six courses and costs a cool $185, while their five course lunch version is $55. It may not have all of the same flourishes, but you are still eating a fancy pants tasting menu at Bouley without having to take out a second mortgage.

Blackbird, a celebrated spot in Chicago offers a lunch prix fixe that is $25 for three courses, which is cheaper than most of their single dinner entrees. They also offer a complete lunch menu that runs half the price of their dinner menu. Check out your restaurant of choice's menus and compare lunch and dinner to see if they offer midday bargains.

2. GO ON A WEEKNIGHT

Not surprisingly, Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest times at all restaurants, let alone the really nice ones. Some establishments offer discounts or special (cheaper) menus on weekdays, especially Monday through Wednesday — Tuesday is statistically the least busy day for restaurants. Call or check a restaurant's website to find out if they offer weekday deals. City publications also like to do articles about such deals, like this round-up of Weekday Dinner Deals in LA.

Little Dom's, a popular Italian spot in Los Angeles that frequently serves celebrities, offers a $15 three-course family-style dinner on Monday nights along with drink specials. Just an entree can run up to $30 on a normal night, making a Monday night reservation a no-brainer.

3. EAT AT THE BAR

Restaurants don't just put a bar in their upscale dining rooms so that the liquor and bartender have someplace to hang out — it also adds seating without taking up as much room as tables. To reward you for sitting elbow to elbow with your stranger neighbors, many places offer bar specials, happy hours, or even an entire menu only available at the bar.

Spago is Wolfgang Puck's restaurant in Beverly Hills and is highly regarded by eaters and critics alike. The bill can easily surpass $100-200 per person even at lunch, but luckily they have a bar with it's own "bar bites" menu. Go during happy hour from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. and order a drink and some "bites" and relish in the fact that you're sitting in Spago without maxing out your credit card. Call your local fine dining spots and see if they havesimilar deals. Be sure to mention that you want to eat at the bar when making your reservation.

4. BYOB

While some fine dining spots are pushing their 15-page wine lists, others are becoming more open-minded. A surprising number of restaurants are offering BYOB now, even if they offer wine.

Goosefoot, largely hailed as one of the best restaurants in Chicago, permits BYOB with just a $10 corkage fee. The food will still cost you a pretty penny, but you'll save big bucks on your drinks while eating top-notch food. Look for articles about BYOB spots in your city, or call and ask about a restaurant's policy. Then do a little math and compare their drink prices with bringing your own plus the corkage fee. The numbers are often in your favor!

5. DON'T BUY $50 LEFTOVERS

Finally time to order? Take a look around. What are people ordering? How big are the portions for appetizers and entrees? How much food are they ordering? Pay attention to the details and it will help prevent over-ordering and a $50 leftover situation. Make a plan with your fellow diners and share dishes so that everyone can try more things without over-ordering.

6. HOLD THAT DRINK ORDER

All wait staff is trained to ask for your drink order immediately, or even offer you a drink while you wait for a table. While there is nothing wrong with this policy, since you might be thirsty or might actually want a drink, they also do it in hopes that you'll order more drinks as the night goes on. Start early and you can easily be a drink in before you even order your food. Alcohol charges can add up quickly, so hold that drink order until you order food and enjoy your wine with the meal. Or, if you're a digestif fan, wait for dessert. If you don't want to give up that pre-dinner drink, pregame at home or at a lower-priced bar. It can also help to make a drink limit for yourself at the beginning of the night and stick to it.

7. SKIP THE EXTRAS

Or, to really save money, don't order drinks at all. Drink orders can easily double your bill since alcohol typically has the highest mark-up at restaurants. You came for the food anyway, right? Plus, more alcohol equals more spending in more ways than one: a tipsy diner is more likely to order whatever they please and be surprised at their credit card bill later. If the restaurant isn't known for their desserts, then skip that, too, and grab some of your favorite ice cream on the way home instead. It will extend your fun night and save you an extra $10-$20.

Source: Wisebread.com

Saturday
Feb282015

Ebates: Free $10 Gift Card- Target, Walmart, Kohl's, More!

Here’s how Ebates.com works:

* Head over here and sign up for a FREE Ebates.com account and you'll receive a FREE $10 gift card to: Target, Walmart, Kohl’s or more!

Just head over here and sign up!

Friday
Feb202015

18 Frugal Foods You Should Always Have in Your Freezer

Here are 17 items that should always be chilling in a frugalista's freezer.

1. READY-TO-EAT MEALS

These could be dinners you batch cookedpancakes stacked between sheets of parchment paper, or heck, even TV dinners and frozen pizzas purchased on sale. It's up to you whether your emergency rations are homemade or store bought; the point is that when you are running late and haven't packed yourself a work lunch, or when kids' activities keep you out of the house until 15 minutes before dinner, you need something to fall back on to prevent you from wasting your money on unintended restaurant meals.

2. CUBES OF… EVERYTHING

Don't waste left-over coffee, tomato paste, or even champagne — just empty it into an ice cube tray, then later pop out the cubes and store in a labeled freezer bag. Go past the obvious uses for ice cube trays — try preserving fresh herbs or making ready-to-bake cookies.

3. RAW MEAT

If you're a carnivore, there is no more versatile meal base than a one-pound package of ground meat. Defrost it in the microwave, and you're ready to make a casserole, chili con carne, or so many other recipes.

My grocery store marks down meat by 30%-50% close to its expiration date, so I generally have three or four packages of discounted meat in my freezer. Some Costco shoppers repackage the warehouse store's mammoth meat portions into meal-sized freezer bags. Some clever folks even pour marinade into their frozen meat bags. On the rare occasion that I find a BOGO sale on whole chickens, I'll chuck a whole bird in the freezer — just keep in mind that these take a lot longer to defrost than small portions of cut-up meat.

4. COOKED, CHOPPED MEAT

Even if you don't go all-in for "freezer cooking" or "once a month cooking," having a pound of cooked, chopped up beef, pork, or chicken ready to defrost can cut 20 minutes or more off meal prep time.

5. FISH

Although fish can be on the expensive side, a lot of wild fish is really good for you. And itcooks quickly from a frozen state, making for a great weeknight dinner with no pre-planning needed.

6. A WHOLE TURKEY

When turkey prices dip below a dollar a pound at Thanksgiving, why buy just one? I always buy at least one spare, depending on freezer space, for a future family feast with lots of leftovers.

7. A WHOLE COW

Okay, you're not going to fit a steer into the freezer over your refrigerator. However, if you are feeding a family of carnivores, and especially if you prefer grass-fed or organic meat, consider purchasing a whole animal directly from a ranch, or splitting one with another household. You may have to buy a chest freezer, but you can save a lot this way.

8. COOKED BEANS

You can save money over canned beans by soaking and boiling your own. But who wants to do that every time they make chili? I soak a whole pound of beans at once, cook it all up in the slow cooker overnight, then use a cup or two for dinner while freezing the rest in meal-sized portions.

9. COOKED RICE

We like brown rice, for which restaurants often charge more. So when we order Asian takeout, we'll skip ordering rice and make our own. To be honest, I don't see defrosting frozen rice as much less work than cooking a fresh pot — but if you forget to start rice before the doorbell rings with your food, having a bag or two in the freezer that you can quickly microwave is a savoir.

10. OLD BREAD

A lot of recipes, like meatloaf, call for breadcrumbs, others, like strata or stuffing, call for cubed bread. I never have to buy bread crumbs, because every time I have a slice or two that has been sitting around too long, I add it to the large bread bag in the freezer. When I need crumbs, I throw some in the food processor.

11. BAGS OF FROZEN VEGETABLES

When the grocery store has a deal on frozen veg, stock up. Even if you prefer fresh produce, this way you'll never be stuck eating a meal with no greens. My favorite veggie to keep in the freezer is peas, because I can reach in for just a handful every time I make a salad, and they'll defrost on their own while I chop the fresh veggies. Other Wise Bread writers have lots of recipe ideas for frozen spinach and frozen broccoli.

12. BAGS OF FROZEN FRUIT

Frozen berries or mango pieces are great to have on hand — they're so much less work than washing and cutting up fresh, and when making smoothies, they can substitute for ice. If you have an orchard or garden, of course, freezing your own fruit is even more frugal than buying it.

13. MILK

If you are going out of town, you don't want to leave an opened container of milk in the fridge to go bad. But you don't have pour it down the drain, either. Pop the whole carton into the freezer if you have room, or decant it into a smaller container, or even save a leftover ounce in an ice cube tray. Perfect is you take your coffee with milk.

14. BUTTER

Running out of butter can be a real recipe killer, so even if it didn't save me any money I would keep a pound or two on ice. This stuff tends to go on sale around the holidays; buy multiple pounds then and you'll be set for a few months.

15. BACON GREASE

Now that cooking with lard, chicken schmaltz, and other animal fats is coming back into vogue, I've started saving my bacon grease and other drippings for cooking, just like my mom did. If you're not going to use them up quickly, you can always stash them in the freezer.

16. HOMEMADE STOCK

When you're a guest at Thanksgiving dinner, others might think it's weird if you ask to take home the turkey carcass. Do it anyway. You can boil those bones to make cups and cups of delicious stock, the base of future soups, stews, and recipes you never even thought of. Once you've made your stock, pour it into containers or bags, label and freeze.

17. STOCK INGREDIENTS

Not every day is Thanksgiving (thank goodness for our waistlines). You might not feel like making stock out of the carcass of a small chicken or even from leftover rotisserie bones, but you still shouldn't throw them away. I keep two large bags in my freezer: one labeled "carcasses," and one labeled "veggie scraps." All unused chicken parts go in the first bag, broccoli stalks, carrot scrapings, and other unused bits of plants go in the second. When they start to bulge, I pour everything into a stockpot, add a bay leaf and some spices, cover with water, and, voila! Stock. (By the way, my stock never seems to suffer from having been made from frozen ingredients, then refrozen when complete. Stock is forgiving.)

18. FREEZER POPS

They may not keep your kids from wanting the ice cream truck's treats (for my kids, nothing does that), but homemade pops are an affordable summer treat that can even be healthy, depending on the ingredients.

 

Source: Wisebread.com

Monday
Feb162015

Consumer News: Walmart Savings Catcher Program

Starting February 14th, Savings Catcher will not apply to produce and bakery items. Additionally, Walmart is limiting comparisons to offers of other mass market retailers, grocery and dollar stores and removing comparisons with drug stores. 

As a reminder, Savings Catcher compares your receipt to advertised prices from top stores in your area, and if it finds a lower advertised price, you get the difference on a Walmart eGift Card – all you have to do is enter your receipt and then Walmart does the rest of the work for you. Or click “Redeem to Bluebird” on your Savings Dashboard and Walmart will double your Reward Dollars and turn them into Walmart Bucks – separate funds on your Bluebird Account that can only be spent at Walmart.