Sunday, December 18, 2011

Painless Ways to Save

Before making a purchase, check Plastic Jungle.  This legit site sells gift cards at a reduced price.  Average savings is about 7%.  When you create a profile, you can set alerts for only the cards you want to follow and for the minimum discount you want to be notified of.  For example, you could ask to be notified anytime a Kohl's gift card comes available at 10% or more discount off the face value.

When you buy something online, NEVER go to the website directly.  Always go first to Ebates and see if the store is listed there.  Simple click the store link through the Ebates site.  You will get to the same store page with same identical prices, but ebates will send you a refund check.  The percentage varies by store.  Yesterday, we looked at a Lowes store here in town for a dryer.  I'd already determined online that Lowes had the lowest price on this model in comparison to Home Depot and Sears and Mr. Wonderful had cross-checked with Consumer Reports at the library to make sure it was a decent model.  We then went home to order this Maytag dryer because we knew Lowes online offered a 10% discount on appliances not offered in the stores.  We accessed the Lowes site through Ebates, which gave us an additional 5% off.

As always, we googled for a promo code to see if there were any other discounts floating around cyber space.  No luck this time.

Had I had time, I would have ordered Lowe's gift cards through Plastic Jungle to pay for our purchase and to save another 7%.  With five kids and an average of two loads of laundry generated daily, I don't have two weeks to wait for gift cards to arrive in the mail to pay for my dryer.  I need a dryer by Monday, so I skipped that discount.  If Lowes offered an ecode on Plastic Jungle rather than physical cards, I would have bought it and used it immediately.  If you're in the market for appliances, be advised that Lowes offers free next day delivery and free haul away of your old appliance through January 3.  

What are your favorite easy savings techniques?

Disclaimer:  Plastic Jungle, Lowes, Ebates, Kohls, Consumer Reports and any other stores or sites mentioned in this post have no idea of who I am and have not compensated me in any way to blog about them.  I wish they had!  I'm passing along these tips out of the goodness of my heart, not any affiliate marketing program.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Three Crazy Things I Believe

Everyone is nuts.  Of this, I am virtually certain.  This evening, thanks to a homeschool forum with moms freaking out about PSAT Merit Scholarship cut-off scores, I began ruminating about some things I firmly believe *even though* I know most of the world finds them ludicrous.

Three crazy things I completely believe:

1. Intensive ACT/SAT/PSAT test prep is crazy, not to mention expensive.  Skip it.  Acquaint your kid with the basics of the test, practice a few timed essays and let the chips fall where they may.

2.  Dinosaurs coexisted with people.  I put this in the biblical, not crazy category, but I realize much of the world might disagree with me.  So be it.

3.  Soda is low class.  I blame my mother for planting this one.  I don't even know how she managed to instill this thought and I don't remember her ever saying a word about it, but somehow I just know that my mom is responsible for me thinking this.

What are three insane things that you totally believe?