From Broke College Student to Crazy Coupon Lady

Do you like saving money?

Well buckle up because I’m going to share with you all the ways I’ve learned to save money over the years. I didn’t grow up struggling with money, but my mom liked to save money. She taught me a lot about being frugal with my money. I’d like to thank her for making me into a compulsive tightwad. My skills came in handy recently, because school isn’t cheap and it’s hard to get a decent job that pays well when you have to work around a college schedule.

But without further ado, let me give you a full rundown of things you can be doing to save yourself a little (or a lot) of extra money.

1. Ibotta and other couponing apps

This is by far my favorite way to save money when shopping. It’s simple and easy to use, no coupon clipping required, plus you get an extra $10 sign on bonus when you redeem your first $10 in rebates.

Ibotta is an app you can download on your phone, there are tons of rebates you can use for products you are already planning to buy. All you have to do is find the rebates you would like to use, add it to your offers, and then when you are finished shopping, scan your receipt to earn your rebates. Once you have reached $20 you can redeem the money you have gotten back for gift cards to your favorite stores.

Use this link to earn $10 for signing up.

A few similar apps that I use are, and Checkout 51. These apps are a bit similar and have less rebates but you are able to double up on rebates it there is a rebate on 2 or more of the apps, which will help you earn a lot more money back. There are tons more couponing apps out there that I haven’t tried yet. So if you are interested in trying out some of those I would love to hear how they work out for you.

2. Thrift Shopping

Saving money isn’t all about cutting coupon or getting money back. One of my favorite pass times is going down to my local thrift store and seeing what great deals I can find. I never pay full price for clothing, and I often find more interesting pieces from the thrift store rather than buying things from a big box store.

Most thrift stores also have special deals on certain days, for example my local thrift store has $2 bag sales every Saturday, where you can fill a bag with up to 6 pieces of clothing.

Not only does thrifting save your wallet, but it can also help save the planet. It’s the small things that add up, but I will go into more detail on this in a later post.

3. Clipping coupons

This is a classic, when most people think about saving money when shopping this is usually what comes to mind. However, there are many ways to obtain coupons.

  • The Sunday paper. You can find coupon books each week in your Sunday paper, whether you subscribe or just pick one up from dollar tree, Walmart, a newspaper box, etc. Check out the coupon insert schedule here to see what inserts will be in the upcoming news, before you buy it.
  • Check your store to see if they offer coupon loyalty programs. Stores like Meijer or Kroger offer online coupons that you can load onto your loyalty cards. Once they are added you can automatically added to your total when you use your loyalty card in store. Check out Mperks for Meijer’s deals or Kroger coupons to start saving today.
  • You can also find coupons online that you can print and bring with you to the store. P&G and are some of the top used printable coupon sites.

4. Get Free Samples

If you are anything like me, you hate spending your money on something before you know if it worth buying. If so then this site is for you. PinchMe is a site where you are able to get free samples for random products that they feel you might like based on a questionnaire you fill out. About every month you can get up to 3 free samples, it’s a bit random though and there may be more or less. In exchange for the free product, all you have to do if give feedback on what you thought of it (but if you forget to fill it out it’s not the end of the world).

If this sounds like too much work, you can go directly to a company and email them asking for free samples and coupons. There are several lists online of company’s that people have successfully been able to get free products from. Such as this site.

That’s all Folks

There’s my top ways of saving money when shopping. If you are interested in learning more, I would be happy to make more articles on saving money. Whether it’s budgeting, traveling, minimalism, more couponing tips, or anything you would want to read about I would love to hear about it. I hope these tips and tricks will help you save money on your future shopping trips.


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