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My Top 10 Favorite Techie Ways to Save Money

My Top 10 Favorite Techie Ways to Save Money

The advent of technology has opened up so many new ways to save! I was doing an interview for a magazine recently and the writer started asking me about some of these. As I began sharing ideas, I realized that I’d never done a post specifically focused on my favorite ways to save using technology.

I figured it was high time that I put that post together! So I had fun coming up with my top 10 ways to save money using modern technology:

1. Email and Ask For Coupons

Have a product your family loves and uses often? Take a few moments to shoot an email to the manufacturer through their contact form, tell them how much you enjoy their products, and ask if they can send you any coupons they have available.

Be polite, be concise, and be sure to include your mailing address. It only takes a minute or two, it costs you nothing, and the worst thing that can happen is that the company doesn’t respond or writes back to say that they don’t offer coupons.

But more often than not, companies will send high-value coupons or even coupons for free products — all because you took the time to ask!

Kelsi says this:

Last week I emailed the manufacturer’s of Luna bars asking for coupons and telling them about my Luna-A-Day habit while rocking my newborn with my foot and pumping breastmilk at the kitchen counter. Today, I received six coupons for a FREE Luna Bar or Luna Protein Bar and a 100% organic cotton baby blanket! -Kelsi

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2. Follow a Few Money-Saving Blogs

One simple way to save at least $5 to $10 each week without spending a lot of time and effort is to follow a local deal blogger. This is someone who lives in your area who covers the deals at your local store, as well as who alerts you to special sales, clearances, and even free events and other tips on bargains in your city.

When I talk about finding a local coupon blogger, the first question people always ask is, “Yes, but how do I find one in my local area?” I suggest starting by searching for your local city/town + “coupon matchups” or “deal blogger”.

If that doesn’t pull anything up, try searching for the towns around you. If you live in a very small town, you might not find anything, but if you live in a decent-sized town, there’s a good chance you’ll find someone — maybe even multiple bloggers!

If you still can’t find anything, then search your store’s name and “coupon match-ups” or “deal blogger”. You should definitely find something with that search. You can also check out our Store Deals section to find a blogger who is covering the deals at the stores you shop at regularly.

Once you find some bloggers who you think might be a good possibility, go ahead and sign up for their email newsletter or subscribe to their blog. Follow them for a few weeks and you’ll get a good idea if they are a good fit or not for the types of deals you are looking for.

E-coupons

3. Clip E-Coupons

Many stores are now offering e-coupons — coupons that are tied to your store loyalty card and that come off at checkout when you purchase a particular.

Kroger and Meijer are two grocery store chains that offer a number of e-coupons and also regularly offer e-coupons for completely free items. Check your local grocery store’s site to see if they offer e-coupons, as well.

While these e-coupons usually cannot be combined with paper coupons, they are sometimes high in value and you don’t have to mess with any printing or clipping to use them!

The Target Cartwheel App is fast becoming one of the most popular e-coupon options. Best of all, you can combine the Cartwheel coupons with paper coupons and Target Text offers (text OFFERS to 827-438 to get text coupons each week) to save even more!

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I watched a tutorial on how to do a Dutch Braid and loved it so much that I wore it for Easter!

4. Watch YouTube Tutorials

We have learned so many great tricks and ways to fix things and save money from YouTube tutorials. In all honesty, I feel like YouTube has become the new Google — at least for visual people like me.

You can learn how to cut your family’s hair, learn sewing skills, learn basic music skills, find out how to fix things, learn how to make Artisan Bread, watch product reviews to help you make wise purchases, watch free workout videos, listen to/watch music videos, listen to sermons and inspirational messages, and so much more.

My new favorite YouTube videos to watch are for hair tutorials. Just be careful, because some of the hair tutorials haven’t been as successful for me. Ahem, like the time I tried the foil and hair straightener curling trick.

Also, be sure to download the new Family-Friendly YouTube app if you’re going to let your kids use YouTube to watch tutorials.

Watch YouTube Tutorials

Kaitlynn found a tutorial on YouTube for making homemade lip gloss with crayons and coconut oil and just had to try it. She made it almost entirely by herself — and it turned out really well!

5. Search for Coupon Codes

We try to never purchase anything without first looking for a coupon code to use. I’ve tried a lot of different coupon code websites and I’ve also tried Googling for coupon codes, but in my opinion, RetailMeNot.com is one of the best sites out there to consistently find legit coupon codes.

I love their rating system and the ability to see how many people have been able to use the coupon code and how recently it has successfully worked. All you have to do is go to their homepage, search for the store you’re planning to shop from, and ta-da! you have a long list of coupon codes that have been rated by their large community of users.

More often than not, I’m able to find at least one coupon code from the long list that works for me. And, for possibly one to two minutes of effort, that coupon code will usually save me at least 10% off my order—sometimes even as much as 25%!

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6. Print Coupons

If your store accepts printable coupons, this can be a great source of coupons which cost little more than your printer ink and paper. And oftentimes, the coupons available to print online are much higher than what you’ll find in the newspaper inserts.

I usually highlight the best printable coupons on my blog as they become available, but I also highly recommend using a coupon database. This is a database of all printable and other coupons currently available.

You can search for any brand name or item name. For instance, you can search for bread and it will pull up all bread coupons available. Or, you can search for a specific brand name, such as “Nature’s Own bread” and will only pull up the coupons available for Nature’s Own bread (if there are any available).

Tip: Read more here about how to use a Coupon Database to save time and money.

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7. Earn Free Gift Cards from Swagbucks

If you’ve read my blog at all, you know I’m a big fan of Swagbucks. And you probably signed up a long time ago and have been earning gift cards ever since.

For the handful of you who have yet to sign up for Swagbucks or for the many others who have signed up but feel like you’re not earning much from it, I encourage you to read this post and read through my 15 Ways to Earn More Swagbucks series and pick a few different options of ways to earn. Experiment with different ones until you determine the ones that works best for you.

Set an earnings goal each day and try to login and hit that, if possible. If you can even just put in 5 to 15 minutes each day, it can really start to add up!

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8. Shop Through Cashback Sites

Cash-back sites like Ebates and Mr. Rebates work with online stores to offer you a percentage—usually somewhere between 3–6% of your total purchase—back as a rebate. While 3–6% might not seem like much, it can really add up over time.

My theory: If you’re already going to be making the online purchase, you might as well get a little money back too, right? After all, it’s essentially “free” money!

When you are ready to make an online purchase, check both of these sites to see which one is currently giving the highest percentage of cash back and then shop through that one. To ensure your cash back is credited to your account, search for the store on the cash-back site you’re using and then click through the store link. This should guarantee that you are credited for your purchases.

If you shop at Walmart regularly, you’ll want to check out their Savings Catcher Program. Here’s how it works:

  1. Enter or scan your Walmart receipt. You can either enter your receipt number on the Walmart Savings Catcher website, or scan the receipt’s barcode with the Walmart App. Your purchase must have been made within the last 7 days.
  2. Walmart compares prices for you. Walmart will match the price of any local competitor’s printed ad for an identical product.
  3. You get refunded the difference. If the Savings Catcher finds a lower advertised price, you get the difference.

In addition, I recommend downloading the iBotta app and the Checkout 51 app. Scan your grocery receipts every time you shop and then request cashback for any items you bought that qualify. They often have offers for milk, bread, eggs, fruit, and so on. Even if you only earn $0.50 each week for taking a minute to scan your receipt, that adds up over time!

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9. Sign Up for Freebies

I used to think signing up for freebies was a waste of time. I knew this one girl who was all into freebies and she spent what seemed like enormous amounts of time finding and signing up for freebies online. She’d post pictures on her blog of what she got in the mail and it pretty much looked like junk to me.

It seemed like signing up for freebies meant spending lots of time searching online and filling out forms all just to get tiny little samples of stuff I didn’t need and wouldn’t use in the first place. Needless to say, I was unimpressed.

However, this friend kept raving about her free samples and I finally decided, “Okay, what’s it going to hurt me just to try it for a few months?”

So I did… and now I’m hooked. And I’ve quickly realized that signing up for freebies doesn’t have to be a waste of time. In fact, it is fun — and it can save you a nice little amount on your grocery bill.

After all, when you get a coupon for free Tropicana Orange Juice, a free Gillette razor and coupons for 2 free packages of yogurt in just one day’s mail, it’s hard to conclude that it’s a waste of time to sign up for freebies!

Not only can you get full-sized products and free product coupons, but the sample sized products can help decrease how often you have to buy shampoo, deodorant, laundry detergent and body wash, and they also often have high-value coupons in them which can net you a full-sized product for a great deal!

Do NOT sign up for freebies with your main email account. I promise you’ll be inundated with advertisement emails. Instead, set up a separate account through Gmail or some other free service and only give out that email address when signing up.

I do my best to keep you updated on the best freebies which are available — from samples to free coupons to full-sized products. Often, the really hot freebies only last for a few hours, so if you’re able to, I’d recommend checking in at least one to three times per day in order not to miss out. You can also follow me on Facebook or Twitter to be notified when something new has been posted.

Note: It usually takes around 4-6 weeks for freebies to start arriving. It’s easy to be discouraged if you sign up for freebies faithfully for a few weeks and see nothing in return. Don’t be disheartened. Just keep plugging away at signing up for those you’re interested and by week four or six, you should start to see a real return on your effort.

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10. Download Free Books, Printables, and More

I love, love, love all the free resources available on the internet, including free printables, free ebooks, free audiobooks, free podcasts, and much more.

I have read and listened to so many inspirational messages, downloaded so many helpful printable pages and organizational helps, and read so many books that I downloaded for free.

Looking for free audiobooks? BooksShouldBeFree.com has over 3,000 free audiobooks and ebooks — many that are classics!

If you’re looking for educational freebies, Free Homeschool Deals is the queen of all free homeschool resources, in my opinion. It’s a site that curates the best freebies and deals every day — including printables, resources, free ebooks, and more! You can see more of my favorite free educational sites here.

What are YOUR favorite techie ways to save?

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13 Comments

  • Thanks for sharing this! I admit, I almost skipped over this post. I am very non-“techie.” I don’t have a SMART phone and have never downloaded an ebook. But, by looking more closely at your list, I realized that I do many of these already. I love Ebates and Swagbucks and always use my store’s loyalty card coupons. Maybe I’m more tech savvy than I thought 🙂

  • I like to use the iBotta app and the Checkout 51 app and have just added a local grocery store app for the local HEB grocery store (in Texas) that I’ll try out this week for store coupons.

  • The Tidy Mom says:

    This is so basic that many of us don’t even think about it anymore but one way I use technology to save money is by texting, calling, or emailing family members. It’s not the same as being there in person but it’s a great – and frugal – way to stay in touch in-between visits.

  • Victoria says:

    I LOVE all your ways and use pretty much all of them. One more great way to save online is Facebook buy and sell groups and of course Craigslist, or just send out a status update on your Facebook saying “we are in need of a ….any one have one we can borrow, or buy? ” .My friends once put out the call right around this time of year on Facebook a few years ago when she needed plants for her new garden bed. She simply asked “if you are a gardener and are thinning out your flower beds I would love to swing by and pick up your cast offs” She filled her entire new flower bed for just the cost of time and gas to pick up the cast offs and it looks amazing every year.

  • denise says:

    I love the Receipt Hog app to earn points just by scanning receipts to go toward cash or Amazon gift cards! It is free and easy to use!

  • Leanne says:

    http://www.retailmenot.com
    I NEVER order anything online without checking for coupon/promo code first… a lot of stores accept the codes if you have this app on your phone!
    I’ve made over 1000.00 in rebates through ebates.com since 2008 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    I earn gift cards with the ShopKick app, which I really love. You get points for walking into stores and more points for scanning certain items in the store with your phone. Since I’ve never worked retail, it’s kind of fun for me to scan things.

    I also use my phone’s camera and a free scanner app to help me save money. If I’m in a waiting room with a magazine that has a fun nail art idea I want to try or an interesting recipe, I scan it with my phone or snap a photo for later so I don’t forget #mombrain.

    I was really opposed to getting a smart phone for the longest time because we’re on such a tight budget and it seemed so frivolous. But, it’s made such a difference in my ability to get work done and handle things for my day job and for my website. I can’t believe I went for so long without one.

  • Amie says:

    I do several of the ones mentioned… Swagbucks, digital and printable coupons, cash back apps, coupon codes, ebates, and following a few good coupon blogs. I used to just go shopping or go out to eat, but now every trip is planned and I almost always have a coupon.

  • Kim says:

    So, if you live in a more rural area and there are no local sales bloggers, how do you determine if it’s worthwhile to start your own local savings blog? I know you have lots of great articles about starting and growing your blog, but I would love to know your suggestions for starting this kind of blog – it seems so different than the average content driven blog? For example, my first thought is that this blog would take a lot of leg work – getting out to the stores to find the sales. Thank you for your thought provoking article!

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