This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias , Inc and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
‘Tis the season of seeing holiday items and mentions which means time to get creative in how you will afford yet another holiday season. Planning ahead is the single most effective way to save for any event or holiday. Make a plan, write it down and stick with it. You will watch the savings grow and the more it grows, the more addictive saving gets! I know this to be true as a decade ago when my husband and I started dating, we cumulatively had a lot of debt. We made a plan and knew any extra money-taxes, gifts, side jobs, etc would plug into a debt in the order we chose. We consolidated to lower interest rates on no-balance transfer accounts so we had no fees. As we watched balances shrink we were addicted to throwing our spare money into paying off debt.Today we are debt free. How did we do this while raising 3 boys? One trick was to use coupons to save! I’ll explain.
Do you make meal plans and shopping lists? If not, I promise you that this simple task will earn you income. Meal planning deters from overspending at the grocery store. When you scan your fridge and cupboards, create a meal plan with what you have, make a list for what you need, you only shop for food you will eat. Watch grocery ads so you know where the items you need are on sale. Store hop. Use apps, clip coupons and write down your savings. Take that money you saved and pay it towards a debt. Small but necessary!
Walgreens Paperless Coupons App
If you have a Walgreens Balance Rewards Card, coupon saving is so easy! The Balance Rewards card is free to sign up for in-store and you have 1 card with all of your coupons clipped to it. No more scissors and stacks of paper coupons! Yay!! Simply download the Walgreens Paperless Coupons app onto your phone, scan the weekly ad and ecoupons then ‘Add’ the ones you want right to your Balance Rewards card. At the end of your shopping trip, simply scan your rewards card and the coupons come off your total. Forgot your card? No problem, just enter your phone number or scan the app barcode. Once redeemed, it is deleted from your list. #WalgreensPaperless will help you save on top of ad prices.
I ran out of blush and noticed that Walgreen’s had a Cover Girl Buy 1 Get 1 50% off sale. On top of that, there was a $3 off 2 Cover Girl products ecoupon in the app that I added to my Balance Rewards card. Savings was about $6.25 after the 2 items-blush and nail polish. Essentially, I bought the nail polish and got the blush for free!
I was back to school shopping with my Mom and son this week and tasted the Starbucks Strawberry Lemonade Refresher for the first time and I was hooked! While browsing the Walgreens Paperless coupons app, I noticed an ecoupon that saved $1.50 off 1 Via home product. I felt that was a fair savings then when I arrived at Walgreens to grab a package they were already marked down to $6.99 which was a $1 savings to start. In the end, I save $2.50 of the package. That is 6 Via beverages for under $1 a cup. Much cheaper than $3 a cup at Starbucks. I can skip 6 runs to Starbucks and save over $12 on beverages buying them at the price I paid.
In one shopping trip to Walgreens, I saved $8.75. If I was in debt-mode, I would transfer that (as I would have spent that anyway without doing the work) and at the end of a month it adds up! Make more than that minimum payment on a debt and you’re feeling real good each month! If I were in a savings-mode, I would log into my bank and transfer that savings to a slush account (usually checking accounts are free and you can open up a second one) and let that be what grows for the holidays. Worried you’ll dip into it? Go buy a gift! Put it in a gift closet and come Christmas, you have shopping started. Browsing post-summer clearance end caps find you great deals. If you can calculate it in store, leave with a gift with that savings. I bet if you look well enough, you will find a $30 gift that is marked down substantially. Remember gift by product value, don’t keep spending until your account is debited the amount allotted for that person. No one knows how much you truly paid in the end. A $30 blender clearance to $10 is a $30 gift and $20 back into your budget.
These tips will help you tremendously as you roll into the Holidays. Last year my budget was $1,600 ( 3 boys, large family, work parties, food for events, etc.. all in that budget). I spent a total of $970. That left extra money to stay in that slush for future trips and events. We have had a fun summer on all the savings so far!
Try it-make September a trail month using coupons to save. Transfer all savings right away into a slush fund. At the end of the month use the total monthly savings to pay over minimum payment on a debt or start some holiday shopping early with it. You will save and you will be glad you now have a plan!
Disclosure: Parenting Healthy was compensated for this post.