One of my favorite things to do is save money, whether that's using coupons and match ups, earning free money (not the scam kind of free money, but real free money), selling items on eBay, finding a good deal, or winning an awesome giveaway.
I am definitely saving the most money right now by couponing and shopping according to what's on sale. This makes my meal planning a little more complex, but is definitely worth it in the end. I buy in bulk. I don't clear the grocer's shelves or anything like that, but I stockpile. And because I do that, I usually will prepare meats in marinades and freeze them so dinner is easy during the week. I am fortunate enough to have the shelving space in the basement, as well as the deep freeze. I HATE buying things at full price, but it's inevitable on items such as fresh produce and milk sometimes. I'd say, that for the most part, I am getting most of our things (food, toiletries, etc.) on sale and discounted. Yahoo! BUT I know I could still do better. I could buy more Sunday papers, order specific coupons either through eBay or a coupon clipping service, and shop in other grocery stores besides just Kroger. I'll get there. But right now, I think I'm doing OK.
Another way I am being thrifty is by earning free money online. If you have never heard of, or you are not using, SwagBucks, you really should sign up. Swagbucks is an online search engine that rewards you for searching the Internet.
Seriously, I just downloaded their toolbar, made them my homepage, and started using them as I would have google. Some searches earn Swagbucks, and some don't. And sometimes they giveaway free codes for bucks. At this moment, I have enough swagbucks to earn multiple gift cards to different places. Personally, I will continue to use Swagbucks to earn gift cards for Christmas shopping. It's a way for me to be frugal. If you'd like to sign up, you'll instantly get 30 free swagbucks to start you on your money saving journey.
I also earn FREE money through something called YouData. Through YouData, you fill out an extensive questionnaire about your likes. Then according to your preferences, you'll see ads. Click those ads to get paid. The advertisers are paying you to look at their products - the products you've said you're interested in. The money you earn gets sent directly to your paypal account every Friday. It's not a huge money maker, but in my book, every penny earned helps and every penny saved adds up. I use my paypal money to make purchases online, and since most of the money in my account was either earned through YouData or selling on eBay, in my book, it's FREE money.
And lastly, I help save my family money and remain frugal by entering giveaways hosted by other blogs. Sometimes I win. Sometimes I don't. For me, I enjoy reading the blogs I'm subscribed to, and if they're offering a giveaway on a product I'm interested in, bonus! So far, I have won a pair of Lee Jeans through their Facebook fan page, a box of goodies from Japan from Our Imperfect Life, an awesome cookbook from CouponingFor4 called Don't Panic - Dinner's In The Freezer, and a DVD called Splish! Splosh! Splash! Thomas and Friends from Frugal Mom Knows Best. I desperately needed a new pair of jeans, WC adores Thomas, and I love having made meals in the freezer.
Well, this is what I do to try to save our hard earned dollars and stretch them as far as they can be stretched. If you know of more ways I can save, please share! I'd love to hear how you are saving you and your family money.
March 28th: Recipe & DIY Linky
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