Most of my money saving efforts are fairly simple. I cook from scratch, minimize my driving, fix instead of replace, line dry the laundry, follow The Compact (mostly buy only used) and stay away from the mall. There isn’t much in the way of gimmicky trickery to share. I just keep it simple and staying away from consumer cravings. However, there are a couple of money savers that have wormed their way into my life, which are:
Groupon is a site that sells coupons for your specific geographical location. It’s mostly things like “$200 worth of bikini waxing for only $50,” or “$50 gift certificate to a restaurant you never go to for $20.” But occasionally, (and often enough to make it worth getting their daily e-mails) there’s something too good to pass up. So far, these are the Groupons that I’ve bought and then *gasp* actually used:
- Two tickets to a Trailblazers preseason game for $10 apiece.
- $20 gift certificate to Noho’s, a nearby Hawaiian restaurant that my kids salivate over for $10.
- $15 gift certificate to Sweetness bakery for $7.
- $10 Dave’s Killer Bread bakery coupon for $5.
There are a number of other sites popping up such as Mobba, from whom I bought an $8 bowling coupon that covered four games for four people and the shoe rentals! (Seriously, this was an awesome coupon, as a friend and I took our four combined kids to this bizarrely expensive bowling alley for an extended afternoon of crazy fun!)
It’s fun to have a restaurant gift certificate tucked into my purse, and we all enjoy getting out of our routine a bit without having to break our budget.
The other somewhat gimmick-like site that I recommend is Swagbucks, which is simply an online search engine that randomly awards “swagbucks” which can then be used to buy gift cards and other stuff in their “swag store.” This may sound like a pain in the tuchus, but I (and many others) have found that it’s actually a rather fantastic way to accumulate Amazon gift cards. (And in case you think I’m being hypocritical here, Amazon sells new and used goods.)
Since starting to use Swagbucks this year, I’ve earned enough Amazon gift cards to buy a large Pyrex storage set, a subscription to This Old House magazine and a couple of The Office theme T-shirts for my husband birthday. (Shrute Beet Farm anyone?) I’m currently hoarding $60 worth of Amazon gift cards to apply towards holiday gift giving and will earn a few more before December.
Swagbucks is not as great as Google or Bing, but most of the time a simple search is all that’s needed. (The address for a local business or a company website.)
Are you using Groupon or Swagbucks, if so what deals have you scored? Please share your stories in the comments section below.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in the above post, but please note that there is never paid content in The Non-Consumer Advocate, and I would never recommend a product that was counter to The Non-Consumer Advocate code of ethics.