Join Fuel Rewards & Save Big at the Pump!


Join the Fuel Rewards Network™ for FREE — and start saving money on gas! Earn rewards when you shop and dine. Redeem rewards to save on fuel. Never pay full price for fuel again.

Only Available In: Louisiana, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Maine, Ohio, Rhode Island, Wash DC, Nebraska, Utah, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas

 

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Ways To Save: Repurpose An Old Wipes Container

When you have little ones, you always have a large collection of these wipes containers! Here is a great way to reuse them, thanks to Mission To Save!

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Ways To Save: Repurpose Old Paper For Printing Coupons

Looking for a way to save on paper cost while printing those hot printable coupons? Check out how Mission to Save does just that!

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Ways to Save: Back To School & Sport Photos

School has been in full swing for a few weeks now, meaning big time money spent! You bought/paid for school supplies, new clothes, new bookbags, new shoes, new haircuts, hair accessories and the list goes on and on! If you are not careful you could spend up to $500-$600 per child just in the first month of school! This doesn’t include school fees and our favorite cost, school pictures!

With 3 kiddos in school now and all of them playing some sport that requires pictures, we get new pictures taken at least every other month! We also have Christmas pictures taken and every few years birthday pictures (they all have summer birthdays, so we group them together). This can get pretty pricey! School pictures this year are $42 each child per package, sports pictures range anywhere from $10-$40 per child, Christmas pictures are usually $40-$80 for a family package and birthday packages can cost in the range of $70-$80! So all said and done we could spend $500 a year just on pictures! YIKES!!!

With this, I have started to realize that we do not need to buy all of these pictures or at least find ways to save while purchasing them! Here are a few tips we use to save big on pictures each year:

  • Help Out at School on Picture Day: This is probably my biggest way to save on school pictures. The photography company that comes to our school, offers parents a certain $ amount off per hour they work in a form of a coupon voucher. This is a very easy job! Helping the students comb their hair, wipe off the milk mustache from morning breakfast, button shirts, etc. Our school packages usually run $42 per child, I was able to get all 3 of our girls school pictures last fall for just $30 out of pocket. I worked a few hours at each of their picture days and got enough picture vouchers to save $96!
  • Skip Individual Pictures: With our girls playing 2 and 3 sports a year, we tend to pile up on team pictures, individual pictures, action pictures, etc. So last year we skipped the individual pictures and just purchased the team photo, which in most cases was around $5-$7. Instead we took our own individual pictures! We love to get those pictures of each of them in front of the same tree each year at the beginning and end of each season or school year- uniforms, soccer balls, etc!
  • Take Your Own Individual Pictures: With so many new cameras out there offering amazing tools to create photos that look as if they came straight from a professional, you can take some great photos all on your own!
  • Ask for a Discount: The economy stinks right now and the photography companies are looking to make every sale they can. So if you tell them no, then they get nothing and you get nothing. But if you talk to them and ask for either a discount or a smaller package that may not be available on the order form, they may be willing to work with you to get you the pictures you want and make the sale!
  • Just Order The Disc: Some companies offer you a disc of all the photos they take for a decent price. Most of these companies will also include the copyright to print your own photos as you want. You can then check Walmart or Shutterfly to grab a hot deal on FREE prints or .10 prints! Only print the ones you want now and save the rest on a compact disc!

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Saving Money on Utility Bills

Saving Money on Utility Bills

 Who wouldn’t love to pay less when the utility bills come due? Your home needs to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter and there is no chance that you can do without electricity in general. But there are ways to cut back the cost. Some are just common sense ideas and others may require an initial investment. There are times when you need to spend money now to save in the long run.

Spend to Save

Are you considering opening up a new savings account with the help of Money Super Market? Before you tuck any more money away, consider making a few investments in your home.

The latest in compact florescent bulbs will cost more than the traditional bulbs, but over the course of your lifetime, the savings on your electric bills could be considerable. Replace as many bulbs in your home as possible to cut costs.

Does your water heater need a jacket? In the winter, your water heater may be working harder than it needs to maintain heat. A local home improvement store may offer a special blanket that can be wrapped around it in order to insulate it from the outdoor temperatures.

Maintenance is another important aspect of saving money on your utilities. Your heater and air conditioning should be serviced at least every year or two. A technician will be able to tell you if the equipment is running efficiently.

If not, even a small repair may be well worth the cost when your next utility bill arrives. The same is true for an appointment with a plumber. One appointment can point out your leaks and help you to lower your water bill.

Cutting Back

Turn off your electronic devices and appliances. Even though you are not using the blender or the coffee maker, they are both still drawing out electricity if they are plugged in. Most people don’t realize just how much money is wasted on plugged in electronics.

How often do you use cold water in your washing machine? There are many instances when cold water will get the job done just as well as warm water without the added cost. Consider making this change for a month or two and see if you can tell the difference in your gas bill.

One of the most obvious ways to cut your cost is by turning off the lights when you aren’t using them. Make sure that every member in the family understands the importance of this. When you leave a room, turn out the lights. When you walk out the door, do a double check to make sure that all the lights are out. If you have concerns about having the lights off when you arrive home at night, consider investing in a timer.

Thanks MoneySupermarket- a price comparison site that helps you save big!

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Financial Tips for Surviving the Upcoming School Year

Financial Tips for Surviving the Upcoming School Year

It’s expensive enough being a parent. It only gets worse when your kids become school-age. So save yourself a headache or two and plan ahead for the costs of school-year fees, supplies, and (heaven help me) high school dances.

Between schools passing costs of extracurricular activities to parents, and the rising expectations for events like prom and quinceaneras, you will want to create a realistic budget. And doing so before the school year will help you and your kids save up and make wise spending decisions.

Costs to Consider

Here, briefly, are the primary pain points that come with the school year.

  • Clothes:  Yes, you’ll want to stock up on new outfits for your growing kids, with consideration for winter gear.
  • Supplies:  Those binders, colored pencils, and graphic calculators aren’t going to buy themselves. Consider age-appropriate needs and what your school does and doesn’t provide.
  • In-School Activities: Is your kid a budding artist or the next Yo-Yo Ma? That’ll set you back quite a bit. A decent, student-grade trumpet, for instance, will cost about $300 new. Find out if you’ll be paying for uniform rentals, trips, and registration fees.
  • Extracurricular Activities: This is very similar to school activities but also includes church groups, sports teams, and any kind of private lessons or classes.
  • Special Events: Oy vey. I’d rather not think about this one, which mostly applies to older kids. Parents these days are spending ridiculous gobs of money on prom, for instance (and let’s not blame it all on the kids; it can be a vehicle for parents to show status).  

Create a Plan of Action

  • Determine a Budget: If you’re already budgeting, then good for you. If not, this is as good a time as any to learn how to make a family budget.
  • Let Them Contribute: If your kids are high school age, encourage them to raise funds beyond what you can or want to provide.  It may seem early to think about dresses for prom in 2013 or paying for their scout troop’s Spring break white water rafting trip.  But thinking ahead gives both of you time to save up.

With a realistic budget, and perhaps even a savings plan in place, you can better prepare not only for paying for stuff, but helping your kids enjoy the things they love. Plus, they’ll learn a whole lot about finances quickly if they need to be careful in their spending.

 

Ashlee McCullen is a staff writer for Apron Addicts, a website about kitchen fashion and home style. She also writes about mobile technology, travel, food, and whatever else strikes her fancy at the moment. When she’s not writing, she takes care of her two small children, finds new ways to organize and decorate her home, and takes immense pride in her killer cheesecake brownies.-

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Summer Saving Tips: Keeping Summer Under Budget

Summer is busy and keeping costs down can slip away as the fun and busyness begins. Here are some quick tips to make it easier from Savings Angel!

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Try Manilla For FREE- Keep Track Of Bills Online


What is Manilla? Manilla (manilla.com) is a FREE web based service that helps consumers better manage all of their household accounts, including financial, utilities, subscriptions and travel rewards programs, in one secure place online. Under a single password, Manilla provides customers with an automated, organized view of all of their account information, text and/or email reminders to pay bills and unlimited storage of account documents that Manilla has seamlessly retrieved for the consumer.

Why is Manilla necessary? Most people have more than 20 different household accounts, including three to four credit cards, several travel and hotel rewards accounts, multiple magazine and newspaper subscriptions, plus cable, phone, and other assorted utility bills. In order to stay on top of all this, people have to manage daily incoming paper mail, an array of online usernames and passwords, and websites in order to access important account information and take action. Manilla seamlessly retrieves all your account information – current balances, previous payments, upcoming bills due – and stores it for you in one secure place. Most importantly, you need only one password to view, manage and organize it all.

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How To Use Online Coupons To Save Big!

As you may know, I am a huge coupon user; coupons from the Sunday paper, online printable coupons, peelies, tear pads, and so on! Big shock huh!?!?! Shopping is my favorite hobby, especially when there is a sale matched with a coupon, ahhh, love it!  I have never been a huge online shopper since I am one of those that like to touch before I buy, kinda person. But in the last year, I have really picked up on my online shopping. With coupon codes, FREE shipping and hot deals that aren’t always offered in store, I am now in love with online shopping.

While shopping for Back To School Deals and planning our family vacation for October, I have been all over online looking for the best sales on travel equipment, hottest clothes, places to stay, backpacks and sites to see. We are even looking to possibly stay in Canada- which I have never been, but was able to find the top 50 deals in Canada to help make our visit a little more frugal!

How To Use Coupon Codes To Save While Shopping Online- There are many sites out there that offer the latest % off or $$ off promo codes to make the most of your money. I tend to stick to sites I use and trust, Coupon Codes.ca is one, making sure they are legit before I shop! There is nothing worse then finding some great items on sale, get to check out and find out that the coupon code I found does not work.

Find FREE Shipping Codes To Make It An Even Better Deal- Along with using coupon codes, there are many places that offer FREE shipping codes with a certain $ amount purchased or buying a specific item. These codes are my favorite! Not only did I not have to get dressed and go shopping at the store, spending gas and dragging the kiddos out, I didn’t have to pay to have it delivered right to my door!

Before You Shop Online, Make a List- Before you head to your favorite online retailers, make a list of items you are looking to buy. This will help you search the hottest coupon and promo codes before you shop to snag the best deals. Our girls love clothes from Justice, so I know to grab their coupon codes before searching their site!

Shop Your Favorite Stores In Your Pj’s- Just because you decide to shop online, doesn’t mean you can’t shop your favorite stores or brands. Most online coupon & promo codes sites offer codes for places like Sears, Travelocity, Amazon, Toys R Us, Macy’s, Dell and much more! With all these Back To School Deals, I feel like my errand list gets longer and longer everyday. Trying to grab all of the hottest deals this time of year can get tiring and very time consuming, so shopping online at home, is quick and easy. Search the latest coupons and promo codes, shop your favorite stores and save big!

This post was sponsored by Coupon Codes. My opinion is 100% my own.

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Find Savings at A Full Cup

 

AFullCup forum offers sections for all the major stores including CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Walmart, Target, as well as tons of grocery stores. You can discuss deals, coupons, and even everyday life.

Search the Coupon Database to find Coupons from all sources and details can be found here.

Find others who are Coupon Trading: Need a coupon or have a coupon you won’t use. Trade the coupons you won’t use for the ones you need or want.

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Why Having an Emergency Fund is Necessary

Brought to you by secureloanconsolidation.com

After four years of deep recession with unemployment rates hovering just under 10 percent, far too many Americans have become accustomed to living paycheck to paycheck. The idea of setting something aside for an emergency, while attractive, seems all but impossible. The alternative, however, may be much worse. During the recession, consumers were concentrating on debt consolidation as much as possible, but without an emergency supply of money — usually six months’ worth — one crisis could wipe out years of financial progress.

How big should an emergency fund be?

Experts recommend enough money to maintain normal living expenses for three to six months. Factors to consider in planning just how much to set aside include:

- size of the family

- existing debt

- amount of insurance coverage present

- work situation of other household members

Obviously a single person will need to set aside less money than a family, and a single mother of three would need more than a family of four where one parent continues to work. There is no set answer on amount, but all financial advisors agree that an emergency fund is a must.

How can hard-pressed consumers set anything aside?

The initial goal is simply to establish the fund and to get in the habit of adding to it regularly. After that:

- One of the best ways to build an emergency fund is to bank the annual tax refund rather than spend it. Approximately three-quarters of all tax payers get, on average, $2913 back each year. Put that money in a savings account where it can sit and earn interest, and leave it alone.

- Let spare change accumulate by tossing it in a jar. Even the smallest deposits in an interest-earning savings account build up over the year. Saving spare change really involves rounding up the regular expenses and putting that little extra back for a rainy day.

- Track expenses and competitively work to lower what is spent each month, with the difference going into the emergency savings account. Many people find this method to become a game, especially if other members of the family are drawn in to “work the numbers.” This is also a great way to make children more cost conscious.

It’s important to remember that all aspects of expense tracking and saving are exercises in discipline. The more that “muscle” is exercised, the stronger it gets.

What’s the best vehicle for an emergency fund?

In the beginning a simple savings account is the best place to park an emergency fund. Normally there are no fees attached to such accounts and they are easily maintained. As the fund grows, however, it’s important to consider where the most interest will be earned. At the point, it’s time to investigate options like certificates of deposit. Avoid volatility at all costs, which means no investing in stocks.

Remember, too, that the whole point of having an emergency fund is liquidity. Don’t tie the money up so it cannot be accessed when it’s needed. In time, as the amount gets bigger, it will be possible to leave a percentage liquid while investing the rest in higher interest earning accounts. At that point, the money isn’t just an emergency fund, but can be earmarked for retirement or future projects.

Ms. Bekiroglu is a published author, freelance writer and editorial consultant for secureloanconsolidation.com. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida, she faced the mounting obstacle of paying over $24,000 back in student loan debt. Determined to eliminate the debt, she became knowledgeable about money management. She seeks to educate others with tips on managing student loans and other kinds of debt, as well as in general personal finance and money saving tips.

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Why Having Product Samples Saves Our Family Money!

Years ago I would have never signed up for FREE samples or waste my coupons on the trial size – I thought it was a waste of time and money. Who really ever uses just the trial size, anyways! Well I do!

Last summer when the tide coupons did not state that they could not be used for trial size, I was able to pick up several at Target for FREE. I thought I would hold onto them just in case or for vacation. A few weeks ago I suddenly realized that I had completely ran out of laundry detergent, no really, me- the crazy coupon, stockpiling mom!!  I thought I had some in the garage but sure enough it was all gone.

But when I checked my trusty stockpile I had 11 tide trial or sample packs to get me through at least a week. So no need to run out and grab it today, spending gas, time and money on something I got for FREE! I could then still get my laundry done and look for a sale over the next few days or a week! YEAH- my favorite- saving time and money!

So even though you may not want to use those coupons for the trial size or sign up for those FREEbies, it is good to have them on hand- just in case!

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Why Playing The Drugstore Game Can Help Your Budget!

Over the past few months we as a family have been so busy with soccer practice, games, field days, award ceremonies, PTC events, etc. So I felt that cutting out the extra shopping at the local drugstores for a little while would help save some extra time each week not having to chase the deals!

At first it was easy and actually I did feel as if I was shopping less. But the this week came along and I realized I was very low and even out of some stockpile items that are normally FREE or really cheap at the drugstore and they weren’t on sale this week.

Meaning I may have to pay full price for items I would normally get for FREE. Meaning money from our grocery budget that could be spent on other items is now going to be spent on basics I  would normally have in my stockpile. I know that the drugstore game is not for everyone but for our family getting shampoo, soap, razors, medicine, etc for FREE each week really helps us stretch our grocery budget tremendously.

So next week I will be back to CVS and Walgreens to grab some great deals.

If you are looking to get started at the drugstores check out how to get started.

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Ways To Save Space: Storing Leftover Paint

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I just finished painting our oldest daughter’s room (again) her lovely shade of pink and only had a small amount left over in the paint can. I hate leaving the leftover paint in the big can, first it takes up a lot of space but it rarely seems to be the same once it’s been opened and used. There is always dried paint or lumps in the can or the lid is hard to remove or replace.

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So I started saving leftover paint in old spaghetti jars (love our tote of recycled items)! I pour the rest of the un-used paint into the jar, replace the lid and label the jar. I make sure I label what room it is for and the date. This is great for when we need to touch up spots on the wall, you know, when the girls bang things into the wall!! Plus these jars are a lot smaller than a large can of paint, saving me space in the garage and making touch-ups quick and easy!

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I also add the paint chip to the jar as well. This works great for when you may need a whole can of paint again, you have the paint chip & code making it easy to get the same color of paint if needed. I once took a small sample of left over paint to a local hardware store in hopes of matching the color and getting a whole can of paint. Needless to say, the dark tan color I wanted, was a golden yellow when we got home. So I now keep all paint chips for future use! In the past we have used baby food jars as well, but since we no longer have babies, we use the spaghetti jars!

So how do you store your leftover paint?

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Collect Coke Rewards: Earn Rewards or Donate To Your Local School

My cousin a few months ago was telling me how quickly he was earning FREE stuff with Coke Points from the Coke products he was purchasing. After investigating I found out how I could earn FREE stuff as well!

First you will need to Sign up, find Coke codes and enter them to cash in for great prizes- Easy! You can use your Coke Reward points for things like FREE movie rentals, magazine subscriptions, Coke products and more!

Even though we do drink a little bit of Coke products, I didn’t think I would gain enough points to cash them in for something great, so I looked into the school option. Coke Rewards allows you to donate your points to your local school to help them purchase school supplies, playground equipment, bulletin boards and much more. As a active member of our girls school PTC, I was super excited to see there was another way I could help my kids school with out having to write out a check.

After looking through the schools that were registered in our area, our girls school was not registered. So at out next PTC meeting I suggested we become a part of this program, they agreed that we should and I signed us up! That was just one month ago and we already have 53 points! With cuts made by our district, our individual schools can use any additional funding or programs that allow them to purchase new equipment and supplies for the school.

Coke also will run specials for just schools! I got an email Friday that stated Coke is matching all points donated on March 6 and March 7 for all school accounts! So if you have 10 points to donate to your local school, then Coke will match 10, making your donation 20 points! These points will add up quickly and will benefit your school greatly! So get started and help a local school earn FREE supplies! You can read the full details here for the Coke Matching Event!

Where to find Coke codes:

  • Under the caps
  • Inside tear-off on 12-pks
  • On multi-pack wraps

Codes can be found on 14 brands:

  • Coca-Cola
  • Coke Zero
  • Diet Coke
  • Sprite
  • DASANI
  • POWERADE
  • Minute Maid
  • Fanta
  • Barq’s
  • Fresca
  • Pibb
  • Mello Yello
  • NESTEA
  • Seagram’s

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