Monday, 25 May 2015

Mommy Money Matters: Reaping the Rewards

When it comes to saving money, we all know what we need to do. Whether it is eat out less, buy used, stick to a budget, or something else, we know our weaknesses and the every day choices we need to make to get on track. It's not always about the big changes, however. Here are a few easy, no hassle services you can use to save small amounts of money that can add up to big yearly savings. Every little bit helps, right? 

You've probably seen commercials for this cash back website. The premise is simple - companies give Ebates a commission for sending customers to shop on their sites, and Ebates gives you a kick back of the commission. As long as you have a minimum of $5 in your account at the end of the quarter, they send you a "big fat cheque." If you do a lot of online shopping, as I have to do, it really is a simple way to save. Instead of going directly to Walmart or Carter's | Osh Kosh or whatever store you need, go to the Ebates website first and click through to your store. Then, they'll add from 1%-30% cash back to your account. In the first quarter I used Ebates, I earned a cheque of $18.62 cents. Or, as I like to think of it: ordering in a pizza!

This simple, free app let's you earn cash for purchases you were probably already going to make. Zweet is a reverse coupon app, adding money to your account when you buy the designated products (which change weekly). There is always a generic option (like bananas, milk, or oranges) and a whole host of name brand products to consider. If you make a purchase of a product with an offer, all you have to do is take a picture of your receipt, and if it's accepted, money is added to your account. Easy. I have been using the app for 2 months and I have $11.00 in my account. You must accrue $20 in order to get a cheque, but it's a relatively hassle-free way to save. You take your time, snap your receipt here and there, and eventually cash out. Why not?

Shopper's Optimum (and V.I.B.)
Shopper's Drug Mart carries many baby necessities and are generally pretty convenient places to shop. If you find yourself heading to your local Shopper's for diapers or baby shampoo - on top of your own make up, cleansers, and medicine needs - you might as well get yourself a free Optimum points card and join the bonus Very Important Baby club. With hefty bonus points coupons, double the points events, and a simple redemption structure, you'll probably find yourself cashing out pretty early on. I was able to cash out with $35 off of a $70 Medela breast pump within only a few months of using my Optimum card. You can't get two cards with the same number (for your partner's shopping convenience) but it is really easy to transfer points between cards, so you should both have one. Beware: Shopper's Drug Mart is HORRIBLE for accepting your points card through loyalty card apps (like Stocard), and can't type in the number, so you'll have to carry the physical card with you every visit.

Air Miles
For a really long time, we chose not to get an Air Miles card because we are not a family that travels. We thought it would be a waste of time to keep yet another plastic card in our wallets and collect points for a reward we'd never use. However, we have now discovered that you can use Air Miles to get money off of groceries at Metro! Well, hello, that's awesome. For the past 6 years we've shopped almost exclusively at Metro since it's our closest grocery store and we don't have a car. Imagine all the money we could have saved if we had started collecting points in 2009! When you sign up for Air Miles (for free), they send you special coupons to collect more points based on your preferred items as well as dollar amounts, so it's easy to rack up points quickly. I recently got a coupon that gave me 25 bonus points every time I spent $25 or more on groceries, so I split up my shopping over a few days instead of all in one shot and at the end of the month I got $30 off! You can collect points at places like Rexall, the Children's Place, LCBO, and Michael's.

I have saved over $150 dollars so far in 2015 by using these services. Small savings really do add up.

In what small ways do you save money? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

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