Category Archives: SHOPPING

Are You Being Rewarded?

Standard

Refresh and Refuel Yourself with these Discounts

Are you a Starbucks fan? Personally I think their coffee gives me the most BOOST! Get rewarded for your loyalty by purchasing a gift card in the store for at least $5.00. Once you register the card at Starbucks.com you are eligible for all sorts of discounts. My favorite function is paying for my coffee with my iphone app.  Once you have an account and registered your gift card you can start earning free stuff with each coffee purchase.

Level one is Green Level which includes free refills on coffee or tea. Level two is a free drink of your choice after 12 drink purchases. Plus a free drink on your birthday. I set up my gift card to auto reload every time it dips below $10.00.

Screen Shot 2013-08-18 at 4.24.42 PM Screen Shot 2013-08-18 at 4.25.00 PM

Beauty Rewards

Have a drawer and shower full of beauty products? You should probably be a Sephora Beauty Insider. I have my rewards card right on my iPhone with the Sephora App in the itunes store. Or  you can sign up in the store.  Every time you make a purchase at Sephora you earn Beauty Insider points. Later you can use the points for premium samples, get invited to special store events and receive a coupon for a free birthday gift. If you shop at Sephora.com using Ebates.com you can also get 8% cash back.

Screen Shot 2013-08-18 at 4.39.42 PM Screen Shot 2013-08-18 at 4.40.00 PM

Reserve Your Way to Free Meals

Are you using OpenTable? OpenTable.com is a free online reservation service that ensures you get a table at the time and restaurant you want. Of course not every restaurant is on the website or iPhone or iPad app but it’s a quickly growing business so new places are being added all the time. Before you book a reservation you can view the menu, food and service ratings and reviews from other diners.  When you check in for your reservation you will get 100 points added to your account. For every 2500 points you can request a $25.00 OpenTable check redeemable at any OpenTable restaurant. Not a bad deal if you are already going to these restaurants and a good excuse to try out some new places.

Screen Shot 2013-08-18 at 5.04.05 PM Screen Shot 2013-08-18 at 5.04.14 PM

In general I encourage people to sign up for the free rewards programs. I’ve gotten to the point where I started a spreadsheet with my rewards numbers, usernames and passwords.  Here are some general benefits of come common rewards programs:

Hotels: Earn points and free stays

Airlines: Earn miles for free flights, baggage and inflight upgrades.

Car Rentals: Skip to the front of the line and speed up the renting process by having your preferences saved in your online profile. I waited an hour at the LAX Budget car rental once because I did not put in my rewards number. Thankfully that just needed to happen once!

Drug Stores:  CVS sends me coupons for 30% off my purchase pretty regularly. I have a Walgreens app on my iphone so I don’t even have to carry a card.

Grocery Stores: Most stores can look up your rewards number by a phone number so no need to carry a bunch of cards. Only benefit I’ve experienced is getting the sale price on their advertised items.

 

 

My Online Shopping Arsenal

Standard

Image

Wendy’s Random fact : Online shopping transactions are expected to rise by 13% this year. (Which probably means more discounts for us!)

I’m a self-proclaimed professional shopper. To pay full price for anything seems like a bit of a failure. I’m always on the watch for good deals and new sites to increase my savings. Here are some links and tricks to supercharge your online shopping savings.

Shopping for clothes, shoes, cosmetics and household stuff

My first stop is Ebates.com. Once you sign up for an account you can start earning money on each online purchase you make. It’s super easy and all you have to do is search for the store you want to purchase from and click “Shop Now”. Ebates.com also lists coupon codes to help you save more money on your purchase. The website keeps track of the money you have earned by clicking through Ebates.com before you make your purchase and send you a quarterly “Big Fat Check” (Yup. That’s what it’s really called!) I’ve been shopping through Ebates.com for 2.5 years and so far I’ve received over $900.00 for just going to Ebates.com before I make my purchase. After checking out a washer and dryer in the store, I got online and saved even more money with Ebates.com and discount codes. By not making the purchase on the spot with the salesperson, I saved at least $400 dollars by comparison shopping online. It’s hard to walk away from what seems like a great deal at the time, but I figured I could always drive back to the store the next day if I didn’t find what I was looking for online.

My second stop is Retailmenot.com. This site doesn’t require an account, just search for the store you want to purchase from and check out the online discount codes. Sometimes there are different discounts than Ebates.com so I usually check both sites.

If I’m heading out to the mall I usually check printable-coupons.blogspot.com before I leave the house. This website lists loads of printable coupons, everything from Micheal’s coupons, Lord & Taylor, Kohl’s and Macy’s are just a couple of the printable coupons I use on a regular basis. Also check out their restaurant section, there are frequently coupons for fast food and chain restaurants.

Travel discounts

Most people know about the travel discounts offered by orbitz.com, hotwire.com or travelocity.com. However, sometimes it’s time-consuming to check each and every site.  At some point you actually need to leave for that vacation! So here is your new favorite travel buddy kayak.com! This site checks nearly all the other discount travel websites in addition to the airline webpages. Kayak makes it super easy to shop for flights, hotels and car rentals. Don’t forget to click-through Ebates.com before you book to save even more.

My parents have been AAA members since I was a kid. I  remember them going to the AAA office before a vacation to get trip directions and maps. Until a couple of months ago I didn’t even look to AAA.com for travel discounts, in the age of digital directions I didn’t think they could do much for me. Let me say I have left money on the table by not being a member! Marriott is my hotel of choice when travelling and I’ve been missing out on at least a 5% discount off the published rates. Live and learn. Needless to say I’m a member now! I also used AAA to save more money on my home insurance, prescriptions and 10% off my Sprint phone bill. I’ve gotten so into it I even installed an app on my iPhone that will notify me when a AAA discount is available nearby.  More about my favorite apps in another post!

If you are travelling to a major city be sure to stop in at the customer service desk of any Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s. They offer out-of-state visitors an additional discount shopping pass. The discounts ranges from 10-15%. They also will store your luggage or any packages for free. This is a life saver if you are trying to squeeze in some last-minute fun before your flight home.

Hope this posting will help you save on your future purchases and travels! Leave a comment on the page if you are looking for a specific item and I’ll try to suggest a couple options that could save you money.