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Tag Archive: Reader Tip

Why I Buy Big Ticket Items from Costco


Becki emailed in the following tip:

I thought I’d share why I always buy big ticket items at Costco. My husband really wanted to buy a treadmill many years ago. We used it for 3 1/2 years, and then the display panel broke.

First he looked into repairing it, but the part cost almost as much as the treadmill. I knew Costco has a good return policy, but by the time I was considering returning it to Costco, we were at 4 1/2 years from the purchase date.

I had no receipt… so I was shocked when I called to ask if I could return it, and they said, “Sure. Bring it in!”

Since I knew the approximate purchase date, they looked it up on their computer by our membership card and gave us a FULL REFUND on a Costco gift card. I don’t think I’ll ever buy something Costco sells from another store again. That is an amazing return policy.

Reader Tip: Earn Free Gift Cards with the Shopkick App

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Ramona emailed in the following tip:

I use the Shopkick App to earn free gift cards to my favorite stores, and thought many of your readers might be interested in using it as well.

It’s kind of like Swagbucks where you earn points and then redeem those points for gift cards — however, you earn the points simply by walking into various stores and scanning product bar codes.

I recently earned a $50 gift card to Lowes’ (for 12,500 points) which I used with a $20 Lowes’ coupon and a price reduction of $20 to save myself a total of $90 for a miter saw.

It takes some time to earn point, but I am willing to work at it for a good gift card!

Reader Tip: Similac Formula Guarantee


Amy emailed in the following tip:

I recently found out that Similac offers a “Tummy Care Guarantee”.  If you need to switch formula types (within the Similac family) you can purchase the new formula, fill out the form on the website or on paper and they will refund the cost of your new formula up to $32 dollars!

There is a limit of 2 rebates per address, but this could definitely help if you’re struggling to find the right formula for your baby.

Reader Tip: How A Simple Call Saved me Hundreds!


Jennifer emailed in the following tip:

Recently, our one-year old KitchenAid mixer stopped working in the middle of making bread. My husband suggested I call the company… I began listing the reasons this probably wouldn’t help.

1) The mixer was over a year old and, therefore, not under the manufacturer’s warranty.
2) the store where we bought it has since gone out of business.
3) I paid much less than normal (about $100 less) for the mixer since the store was liquidating.
4) I didn’t have the receipt.

In his usual way, my husband (the more optimistic of the two of us) said it wouldn’t hurt just to call. So I did, and I could not believe what happened.

The KitchenAid representative was so friendly and efficient. When I told her the story, she just suggested I send a bank statement showing the purchase. She said I would hear something in about 2 business days.

I gave it a shot, doubting much more than a coupon, would come from this. Much to my surprise, I received an email from KitchenAid stating that I would receive a brand-new mixer to replace mine in 7-10 days!

What? Who does that? I could not believe the awesome service I received. What a blessing this was!

Our family is currently paying down our debt and no matter how much we love homemade bread, we would not be buying another $300 mixer anytime soon.

I guess I learned two lessons from this…

1) Never hesitate to call or email a company. You have nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain.
2) Stay positive or at least marry someone who is!

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Reader Tip: A Frugal Way to Bless Others


Serenity emailed in the following tip:

Last summer, I wanted to do something that would help my family AND help someone else, in an effort to teach my kids (ages 5 and 6) about helping others.

I knew both kids liked to garden, so we did some research at the library and started a garden. We also talked about who we could pless with some of the veggies we were planning to grow.

One of our friends who lived a couple blocks away was basically homebound as she had cancer. And because of her treatments, she could only eat certain foods — tomatoes and eggplant were 2 of those foods. We made sure to plant extra tomatoes and eggplant in our garden!

I am not a talented gardener, but somehow the garden ended up producing far more than we expected! We took pictures of the garden as the kids loved showing our neighbor “their project” and how it t was growing. Of course, our neighbor really enjoyed our company, and was thrilled when the kids shared what they had grown with her later in the summer.

The kids enjoyed having a summer project and always looked forward to delivering the tomatoes and eggplant to neighbor. They also got to learn more about gardening and are excited to have another garden this year!

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Reader Tip: How We Literally “Cut” Our Spending


The following is a reader tip from Leah of Life Around the Coffee Cup:

When we look at our budgets so often we think it’s about cutting coupons or cutting line items, like cable or eating out. However, my family and I have saved over $1200 over the past 3 years — and we didn’t have to cut coupons, cut back, or even cut a line item out of our budget.

Instead, we made literal “cuts” in order to reduce our spending!

I cut my family’s hair!

I’m not a professional, but after some guidance from my husband on what he wanted, I was able to cut his hair without any trouble. This last year I even confidently helped him navigate changing to a new style. I also cut my son and daughter’s hair.

I usually get mine cut with a coupon, gift certificate, or by a friend.

We also cut t-shirts into reusable disinfecting wipes, cut flour sack bags into reusable “paper” towels, cut surplus veggies and fruit into small chunks for the freezer, and cut raggedy jeans into upcycled shorts.

When it comes to our budgets, we can get pretty creative with cutting. And all of it is a really good way to accomplish a goal (like becoming debt-free) or to take on a money-saving lifestyle.

Do you literally cut anything to help with your budget? If so, I’d like to know what! 

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