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6 Ways to Save Big this Holiday!

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

Welcome to all of the viewers from ABC Action News! I am honored to have you here at My Sweet Savings!

A little bit about me……I have been married to my husband Keith for almost 24 years. We have two boys, Drew, who will be 18 next month, and Brady who will be 12 next week. I am a part-time teacher at my youngest son’s school, and in my spare time I love to share deals, recipes, and more. I post frequently on Instagram and Facebook, and would love for you to follow me there as well!

I don’t have to tell you that the cost of living these days is at an all-time record high. Many families are struggling, so when you add in the cost of the holidays, it can be very stressful. Here are a few tips and trips that I use to help our family save just a few extra dollars during the holidays, and really all year long.

  1. Use money saving apps that earn you cash back. One of my favorite apps is Fetch Rewards. This app allow you to scan or upload your receipts for both in-store and online purchases. You will earn points that can be used to cash out for PayPal or gift cards to your favorite stores. not only is this app super easy to use, but you can also have your kids help you! Have them scan the receipts and watch the money add up! (You can use promo code K3DEH when you sign up for an extra 2,000 points)

     2. Use Buy Now Pay Later options such as Affirm, Klarna, Afterpay or Sezzle. These options allow you to pay for purchases with 3-4 payments instead of one installment. If you are making larger purchases for products, this can be very helpful for your budget. There is no interest or fees, and no impact on  your credit score.

3. Shop at discount stores like Ollies and Big Lots. I feel like these stores are hidden gems and don’t get utilized enough. You can find name brand products for a fraction of the price. You can also sign up for their rewards programs and they will mail you coupons for extra savings throughout the year. We have gotten some amazing deals at both of these stores!

4. Sign up for rewards programs to your favorite stores. Many times when you sign up, the stores will send you a coupon. Then, throughout the year, they will send you coupons and money-saving offers that allow you to save even more. I have gotten so many items for inexpensive with coupons and stacking deals at my favorite stores. As an example, I had a $10 coupon for JCPenney. These riding boots were on sale for $19.99. With my coupon they were just $9.99! These gorgeous earrings from Talbots were only $0.75 with my $20 promotional coupon! In addition, did you know that many stores also offer birthday freebies? You can check out my list of birthday freebies HERE.

5. Consider purchasing refurbished or previous generations of a product. These items come with warranties, are just as good as the latest models, and will be much cheaper. You can also purchase off-brand products for a fraction of the price of the name brand ones. Many times the quality is just as good as the name brand. Did you know that many off brand products are made by the name brand companies?

6. Purchase products after the holidays to use for the next season. I can’t begin to tell you how much that this tip has saved me! Almost all of my Christmas decorations were purchased last year or during prior years for 75% -90% off! You can also use this tip throughout the year when you see seasonal items marked down. For example, my oldest son is graduating from high school next year. I found graduation cups, plates, and napkins from this year, but they did not have a date on them. They were on sale for 90% off! I scored all of the items that we will need for his party for around $20!

I hope that some of these tips will be helpful to you as you shop this holiday season, and beyond! If you have any questions feel free to email me at: mysweetsavings@gmail.com

Have a Merry Christmas season! xoxoxox

Savings and Sustainability

With inflation at an all-time high, and many of the everyday products that we use on the rise, many of us are searching for ways to save. You can save and live a sustainable lifestyle at the same time. Below are some tips and ideas that I recently shared with Allie Corey from Fox 13 News that I hope you will find helpful:

Meal Prep-

Plan your meals around items that you already have in the freezer or pantry. Only buy what you need and consider using online grocery services or grocery pickup. This alleviates impulse purchases. Take your lunch to work to avoid additional spending. Consider having a Meatless meal one night a week to save on food costs.

Plasticware/Glassware-

Don’t buy everyday disposable plastics. Consider economical plates from places like Walmart or Target for everyday use. I find plates and bowls for $0.50 each, and we use these daily. These can be easily washed and reused. Use Mason Jars for storage, drinking glasses, or vases.

Greeting Cards

Consider making your own greeting cards with things you have at home. Sites even offer e-cards that you can send to the recipient’s email address. With the cost of stamps at $0.63 each, this is a great option.

Apps and Subscription Services

Be aware of the apps and subscription services that you are signed up for. Many of these services will give you a free week, but after that you will be charged a monthly fee. I like to set an alarm to remind myself to cancel. The same is also true with meal subscription services. Make sure to cancel after the initial order or you will keep getting charged each week. (I found this out the hard way!)

In addition, there are several FREE apps that you WANT to have downloaded on your phone! These apps will pay you CASH back or the opportunity to earn gift cards for using them. Simply scan your receipts. It is that easy!

GO HERE to check out my THREE favorite money saving apps that will earn you money and gift cards!

Coffee-

This is my weakness! I love to buy coffee at my favorite coffeehouse! That $5 you spend each day can be used for your kid’s future education, your retirement, or even a family vacation! Consider investing in an espresso machine, flavored syrups, and buying cute paper cups to make you feel like you are at your favorite coffee shop!

Shop for Second-hand Clothing and Accessories

Consider shopping for second-hand clothing at thrift or consignment stores. You can also sell your gently used clothing, shoes, and accessories to these places for cash or store credit. I personally use local Consignment stores like Clothes Mentor and Plato’s Closet. I take my clothes in and walk out with cash or a few new-to-me clothing items! Online sites like ThredUp allow you to mail your items to them and they will pay you cash! You can also consider having a clothing swap with friends.

Cable TV/Internet

One of the biggest expenses that many people have is cable. Consider downsizing your current plan and limiting how many cable boxes that you have. For example, we only have one direct cable box in the living room. In the bedrooms, we have Roku. This alone can save you a substantial amount each month. You may also want to research on bundling your internet and cable into one package.

Make your Own Cleaners-

Many store-bought cleaners are loaded with harmful chemicals. Make your own with items that you already have on hand. Vinegar mixed with dish soap is a great and effective homemade cleaner that gets the job done better than cleaners found in the store!

At Home Manicures-

Do your own manicures at home. Invest in a Gel Nail Polish Kit System or Affordable Gel Colors from your favorite store, and you can save a bundle each month!

Furniture-

Look on Facebook Marketplace or the Free/Give groups to find deals or even free furniture. If you love DIY projects, this is a great way to add a “new” furniture item to your home without breaking the bank. Consider reupholstering or painting an existing piece of furniture that you already own.

Freecycle.org

This is a great resource made up of a movement of people giving away items. The idea is to give away items that you have, to those in need so we can keep the items out of landfills. You can even set up your own smaller circle of personal friends for gifting and lending items.

The Best Things to Buy in January

 (All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

Are you still trying to recover from holiday shopping? Don’t stop now as January is packed full of great deals to take advantage of. From linens to televisions and everything in-between, it is a great time to score some unexpected deals.

Gym Memberships- We all know that January is a time when many of us make fitness goals for the new year. During the year, joining a gym may be complicated as there can be fees which are added onto your membership. However, if you join in January, these fees will often be waived and you can usually take advantage of a free introductory period, or discounted rates. I know that Planet Fitness is offering a deal right now where you can join for $1 down and pay just $10 a month. Check to see what deals are out there as you may be surprised! 

Linens, Bedding and Towels– January is traditionally known as the month for White Sales at most department stores. You can expect to find some great deals on bedding, linens and towels. I have seen sales for as much as 75% off on these items so be sure to check out your favorite stores to see what deals that they are offering. Some of my favorite stores to shop for these items are Kohl’s and Macy’s as they will offer coupons and money-saving offers that you can combine with the sale price to score some really sweet deals!

Holiday Decor– I am sure that by now you have seen the holiday clearance going on at many stores. Places like Target, Walmart and Bed Bath and Beyond are offering items for as much as 90% off! I have found some amazing deals on items this week. One of my biggest tips when it comes to shopping for holiday decor is to look for those items that are not necessarily holiday-themed. I found the cutest Farmhouse decor at Hobby Lobby for 80% off that was labeled “Holiday” but it can be used year round. Of course, you will find super deals on wrapping paper, bows and ornaments so it is always wise to stock up for the next year. I also love to look for those “hidden” gems at store like Walmart and Target. Ziploc bags and holiday themed coffees are some of my favorites! I scored the 18-count boxes of Green Mountain Peppermint K-Cups at Best Buy yesterday for $3.50 a box! Think outside of the box.

Holiday Travel and Hotel Stays– If you are planning on traveling in 2018, January can be a great time to book your travel. I have noticed several airlines offering flights for as low as $29 one way. You can also save as much as 20% off hotel stays. Many places will also offer incentives for booking vacation packages and getaways!

Furniture– Did you know that January is one of the best months to buy furniture? New inventory for most stores arrives in February so they will be clearing out remaining inventory. I would even ask about deals on floor model samples as the stores will be clearing those items out too. You could end up with some amazing deals!

Organizational Items–  I think for many of us, January is a time when we resolve to get more organized. This is a great time to stock up on things like storage bins, calendars, planners and other items to get your life and home organized.

Winter Apparel– Clothing sales are probably one of the biggest sales that we will see during the month of January. Retailers are clearing racks of winter coats and accessories to make room for spring fashions. In many parts of the country we are experiencing very cold weather so this may be a great time to score a deal on that winter coat you have been needing! If nothing else, it is a great time to plan ahead for next winter. I always try to buy a few things for the boys in their next size for the winter months if I can find a great deal.

Televisions– If you have been wanting to upgrade your television, January is a great month to do so. Many stores will offer sales in preparation for the Super Bowl. You may also notice open box televisions or returns from the holiday that you can score for a really great deal. It never hurts to ask about those as well!

Gift Cards– Right after the holidays many people try to exchange gift cards for something that they can use or want. Did you know that sites like Raise.com and Cardpool  offer discounted gift cards? If you are looking to make a purchase at your favorite store why not save and buy a discounted gift card? If you need to sell an unwanted gift card, you can also do that on these sites. I love purchasing discounted gift cards as you can pair them with coupons and money saving offers to really get a great discount on items that you may need.