Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Save that Money, Honey!: $1,378 Savings Challenge

How does an extra $1, 378 at the end of the year sound to you?  You know what I hear? HA! LLELUJAH!

 It's actually such an easy task in terms of the planning, that I'm sorry I hadn't thought of it.  BUT, I'm glad someone did because now I get to jump on that bandwagon and share it with you!

Here's how it works: There are 52 weeks in the year, so for each week of the year you save that corresponding amount.  For instance, for week 1 you would put one dollar aside, for week 2, $2, etc.  OR you could work backwards by saving $52 on week 1, $51 on week 2 etc.  I prefer this approach since generally when we are gung-ho about something we are usually motivated enough to start with the harder aspects and we generally STAY motivated if each week gets "easier."

Here's a chart
Here's another savings challenge as an alternate to the one above- 
Instead of saving the amount of dollars= to the week #, you save the date.  Let me explain with a visual: 

 So depending on the date you get paid, that's how much you save.  If you get paid bi-weekly, I might multiply that number by two.  If you get paid monthly, I would multiply that number by four.  

So how about you?  Will you be trying any of these challenges?  Do you have any other savvy ways of saving money?  Please share!

Save that Money, Honey!: 10 Ways to Save at Target

As you know from my last "Save that Money, Honey!" post, Amazon is one of my #1 go-to sites.  But locally, I have to give it up to Target.  For me, Target's deals surpass those of Wal-mart because they offer so many additional savings opportunities in addition to their great prices for great products.   Below are the ways I maximize my savings at Target:

1. Printable Coupons- Yay for coupons!  After compiling your grocery/household list, always check the Target coupon section of the Target website for coupons to print prior to visiting the store.  They have a "search" icon too to make your search that much easier.

2. Manufacturer Matchup- Always check for matchable newspaper coupons to stack with your Target printable store coupons.  Now, I am a busy mom so I need help figuring out what the best deals are.  To help me with this, I've downloaded an app called "Bloglovin" for which I can then follow all the amazing moms out there who make it there job to find the ultimate best deals.  See more about that HERE.

3. Mobile Coupons- These are coupons that you sign up for through text.  Once signed up, you will receive links approximately every two weeks for Target deals.  These can be used in addition to both your Target printable coupons and manufacturer coupons!  Maximizing savings, baby!  If you haven't yet signed up for these, you can do so by sending the message OFFERS to 827438.

4. Cartwheel App- Target has a new app that can be used on top of all the other savings already listed!  Search for the deals you want in virtually every area of the store.  Often, what I will do, is look at my grocery/household list, and search specifically for deals on the items already on my list to continue to maximize my savings!  Nice!

5. Target RED Card- I love this card.  Not only do I save 5% on my total (after all the other savings listed above), I also get free shipping on should I choose to make my purchases online!

6. Shopkick- If you have kids, this is a great project for your kids to get involved in while helping you save!  Shopkick allows you earn "kicks" for walking into major retailers, scanning products, and making purchases.  Target always has many "kicks" to be earned, so when I shop with my kids, I send them around the store scanning barcodes off of products.  It keeps them busy and its fun to see how many "kicks" they can earn.  Generally in one visit to Target, we earn between 500-800 "kicks".  Once at 500, you can immediately redeem your "kicks" for a $2 Target GC which shows up as a barcode the cashier can scan at the register.  Free money!

7.  Check the bottom of your receipt- Get into the habit of checking the bottom of your receipt after your purchase has been made.  Target has begun printing high value coupons to be used on your next visit.  You will also want to be on the lookout for survey invites (which only take about two minutes).  Complete these as soon as you get home for a chance to win an instant $25 Target gift card or be entered to win a $1000 gift card!

8. Always walk the end caps!- I cannot emphasize how many great deals I have found here!  I once found 1 liter containers of olive oil for 75% off.  Olive oil.  That stuff is expensive!  Should I even tell you that I bought nearly all of them?

9. Check holiday clearance items!- While you may think you should only visit this section if you are looking to stock up on holiday items for the next time the holiday rolls around, this is also a great time to stock up on household items that have holiday packaging on them!  In general, the discount schedule is generally as follows:

  • 50% day after
  • 70% three days after
  • 90% a week after

10. Guest Services- I may actually visit Guest Services as often as I visit the main registers!  That's because I keep an eye on items I've bought, and if the item has been further discounted, Guest Services will offer you the difference within 7 days.  (This is not true of clearance items, unfortunately.) Also, if you forget to redeem coupons at the register, Guest Services can apply them to your total after.

How about you?  Do you have any additional suggestions for saving at Target?  Please share!