Shopping Smartly: Using the Cycle of Sales to Save Even More!

Manufacturers and stores use holidays or events to entice people to spend more in their stores by offering sales, coupons, cashback offers. I have listed below, by month which types of items are on sale. Not only food, but home goods, furniture, and electronics.

I recommend checking out sale flyers (most can be found online) and cashback apps (A list of my favorites can be found here) before each shopping trip.

JANUARY

  • Diet Food and Weight Loss Equipment (New Year’s Resolutions)
  • Gyms have sales and free trials
  • Healthy Food including Veggies
  • Television and other Electronics (Super Bowl Sunday)
  • OTC Medications (FSA’s expire in Jan./Feb.- Use it or Lose it!)
  • Winter Clothing and Shoes (Formal clothes are usually 75%+ off)
  • Organizers (totes, Christmas ornament storage containers)
  • White Sales (Sheets/Towels)
  • Snack-y food for Super Bowl parties: chips, dip. Velveeta, salsa, taquitos. There are often times really great rebates for snack food and beer or soda around the Super Bowl.

FEBRUARY

  • Diet Food and Weight Loss Equipment (New Year’s Resolutions)
  • Healthy Food including Veggies
  • Furniture and Housewares
  • Candy and Chocolates

 

MARCH

  • March is National frozen food month. Many Stores like Albertson’s have a “fill a bag” sale where you are given a paper or plastic bag and you receive a discount (typically 15-25%) on each frozen item in that bag.
  • Spring Apparel (Easter Dresses and Suits)
  • Depending on when Easter falls, look for sales on Easter Dinner food: Ham, Prime Rib, stuffing, veggies, eggs, and Easter Basket Supplies.
  • Luggage and Travel (Spring Break)
  • Spring-cleaning sales will start and there will be rebates for cleaning supplies- especially with SC Johnson Products.
  • Between March 13-17th (St. Patrick’s Day) Corned Beef, Potatoes and Cabbage are all Dirt Cheap. Stock up!
  • During Lent, seafood is inexpensive.

 

APRIL

  • More Spring cleaning sales and rebates
  • Paper products (plates, napkins) start to have really good sales.
  • Paint & Wallpaper (In the same vain as spring cleaning, a lot of people start to spruce up their homes in the spring)
  • Jewish Foods and Eggs (Passover)

 

MAY

May is the start of picnic season. Barbeque food, Hotdogs, hamburgers, ribs, condiments will all be on sale throughout the summer and will be until September.

  • Auto Maintenance (tires, oil changes, tune ups)
  • Beverages, Hot dogs, Ground Beef, BBQ sauce, Ketchup, Mustard, Ribs (Often times there are some really great rebates WYB beer or soda)
  • Bug repellents – Sprays and Candles
  • Home Maintenance (carpet cleaning, duct cleaning)
  • SPF and After Sun products (like Aloe)

 

JUNE

  • Summer Clothes
  • June is National Dairy Month- Dairy Products
  • Summer Activities (local attractions sometimes have “locals only” days or rates)
  • Beverages, Hot dogs, Ground Beef, BBQ sauce, Ketchup, Mustard, Ribs (Often times there are some really great rebates WYB beer or soda)

 

JULY

  • Air Conditioning units
  • Summer Sports Equipment & Craft Supplies (things for families to do together)
  • Beverages, Hot dogs, Ground Beef, BBQ sauce, Ketchup, Mustard, Ribs (Often times there are some really great rebates WYB beer or soda)

 

AUGUST

  • BBQ and Patio Equipment (Just in time for Labor Day!)
  • White Sale – Linens and Towels
  • Back to School Supplies – Sales may Start in Late July, Depending on when school starts in your part of the world)
  • Bathing Suits and the last remnants of summer clothes
  • Back to school clothes
  • Jackets and light coats for fall
  • Beverages, Hot dogs, Ground Beef, BBQ sauce, Ketchup, Mustard, Ribs (Often times there are some really great rebates WYB beer or soda)
  • Breakfast foods (cereal, oatmeal, juice, bars) Cereal sales will start this month and continue into September as school starts up.
  • Lunch box food- juice boxes, lunchables, snacks, chips, yogurt

 

SEPTEMBER

The traditional Back to School Sales will start. For most schools, classes begin the Tuesday after Labor Day. This is a great time to stock up on snacks that are healthy and shelf-stable. 100 calorie snack packs, fruit leathers, 100% juice boxes, bottled water, peanut butter. Watch the inserts for Lunchables coupons too- they will start going on sale!

  • Back to School Supplies (Office Depot, Staples, and Walgreen’s often have Freebies)
  • Canned Goods. Canned soup and spaghetti sauce also starts to go on sale in September.
  • Frozen Pizza

There are LOADS of rebates and special cashback offers through apps like Ibotta and Checkout51 in the last quarter of the year. Why?

The last three months of the year are packed full of holidays and entertaining possibilities. Sales, rebates, and cashback offers will most likely be for the types of food and beverages that are associated with entertaining: crackers, cheese, wine, beer, candy, nuts, etc. Many of these food items are shelf-stable and it can be a good opportunity to buy a few extra to stock up, especially if it’s something that your family consumes regularly.

OCTOBER

  • Home goods such as serving dishes, and glassware (to prepare you for the onslaught of entertaining you will be doing for the holidays)
  • Candy, nuts
  • Baking/candy-making items (choc chips, sprinkles, vanilla, corn syrup, nuts, etc)
  • Fall/Winter clothing
  • Fabric, Patterns, sewing machines (Halloween)
  • Coats/Jackets

NOVEMBER

  • Winter Clothing
  • Blankets and flannel sheets
  • Heating Devices
  • Turkey, ham
  • Canned goods (soup, chicken broth, condensed milk, veggies, etc)
  • Baking goods (flour, sugar)
  • Baking wear

DECEMBER

  • Toys- there are usually deals through Target’s app, and online as well
  • Gift Items-Stock up and fill your stockings and keep your wallet full.
  • Post-Holiday Sales- I like to stock up on plain colored paper goods after each holiday and stockpile them to use throughout the year for parties and events. No one will know the red napkins are from Valentine’s Day, not from Christmas. Light Blue gift paper from Chanukah will wrap a present for a baby shower gift just the same.
  • Party Foods, Baking Goods, and Various Meat There will be a lot of rebates, keep your eyes open!
  • Canned goods (broth, soups, etc)
  • Prime Rib, Turkey, Ham

 

Year-round after a holiday, you can always pick up cheap cookie dough. Cookie dough freezes really well for about two months.   You can also find plain colored paper goods, including plain-colored wrapping paper and tissue paper after each holiday in the clearance section.

 

 

Free Backpacks and School Supplies for 2020!

10997200_1551314338450648_5653174165881717305_nThis article contains location specific giveaways- for nationwide info, scroll to the bottom of the article.

For the past few years the great folks over at SMOAC have been doing an incredible service to the Eastern San Diego County school kids by offering free backpacks and school supplies.

And this year is no different! This year, they are hosting a drive-thru style event at two locations:

  • Rio Seco School 9545 Cuyamaca Street or Pride Academy 9303 Prospect Ave (Both in Santee)
  • August 16, 2020
  • 10AM until supplies run out
  • Kids must be present in the car
  • 1 backpack per child
  • This will be a contactless delivery event- Please Print the form here and complete it per the directions.

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And for those of you not in the immediate area, there are all sorts of other free school supply and backpack giveaways going on.

Boost Mobile is giving away backpacks and school supplies. More info is here. In San Diego County, there is 1 Boost Mobile in Oceanside that is participating.

Operation Homefront is having giveaways for military families on bases all over the US. Here is a list for 2020.

Rentacalc does free giveaways for backpacks, graphing calculators and protractors! You can learn more and enter to win here.

7/24/2020 Friday Freebies and Deals!

bright boxesThis Friday’s freebies and deals are a scootch late today because we were busy busy busy today! Appointments, phone calls, and errands to run!

But it’s never too late for freebies!

Freebies:

Free Priddy Books Early Learning Collection

Free Alex’s Awesome Sourdough Pizza

Free #POSITIVITY Moshe Popack Sticker

Free Bowhunting World, Predator Xtreme & Whitetail Journal Mags

Free Medela Breastfeeding Product Sample Box

Mack’s Free Ear Plug’s Giveaway – Every Weekday at 11am EST

Free Sample of Breathe Right Extra Clear Nasal Strips

Free Coffee Wednesdays at Dunkin

Free Nike Products

Free Samples of SmartyPants Vitamins

Free American Express Open for Business Kit

Free Jockey Products for Bloggers

Free Carton of a2 Whole Milk

Free Antibiotic Ointment

Free Iced Tea at McAlister’s Deli – Today

Free Sample of Astroglide Lubricant

Free Drink at Blaze Pizza

Free Beverage with Peet’s Peetnik Rewards

Free Kingsford Flavored Charcoal

Free Peanuts Prize Pack

Free Sample of Enfagrow Neuropro

Free $20 If You Have a Fishing or Hunting License

Free Discover the World Classroom Posters

Free Subscription to Women’s Health Magazine

Free Smart ID Pet Tags

Free Disney Bedtime Character Calls

 

Deals:

Expo Dry Erase Fine Tip Markers 8-Count ONLY $6.49 (Reg. $14)

Mott’s Fruit Snacks 40-Count ONLY $5.25 shipped

Munchkin Ocean Squirts Bath Toy 8 Pack ONLY $5 (Reg $12)

The Big One Solid Bath Towels ONLY $2.44 Each (Reg. $10)

Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens 12-Count ONLY $8.88 (Reg. $21)

Cra-Z-Art Washable Glue Sticks 2-Count ONLY $0.25 at Walmart

 

Glasses and Contacts Freebies & Deals!

When you or a loved one wear glasses or contacts, you are always on the prowl for a good deal or freebies.

Since I’ve got two bespeckled family members, I’m on the lookout constantly!

Here are a few deals and freebies that I’ve come across lately.

Warby Parker has a great offer- for some of us, it’s hard to know what kinds of frames look and feel good on our faces. It’s as easy as 1, 2,3.

  1. Pick 5 frames – Warby Parker will mail them to you for free.
  2. Spend 5 full days with’em – Then send them back with our free shipping label.
  3. Find your favorite – Buy now from $95 or pay over time with Affirm.

Having used Warby Parker before, their glasses are great, and their service is amazing! We bought glasses online, and later when they needed to be adjusted (helpful tip: Don’t roughhouse with kids when you are wearing glasses), we took them to our local Warby Parker store and they “tuned up” the glasses FOR FREE!

If you prefer contacts, Waldo has a great trial offer. I wrote about it here.

If you wear glasses, you have to have a eyeglass repair kit. You can usually score a free one when you get new glasses (Warby Parker sends a little one when you purchase glasses from them, along with a cleaning cloth), but sometimes you need a little more.

Enter this comprehensive eyeglasses repair kit from Amazon. I bought it for my mom for Christmas last year. She told me she needed one, but was having a hard time finding one in stores. It has everything you might possibly need to repair glasses! the screwdrivers have comfort grips too!

And of course, you gotta keep your glasses clean, so here is a great freebie offer: Free Lens Cloth & Cleaner at Walmart Vision Centers 

If you need help getting glasses or vision exams for your kids, check out Vision to Learn. They operate in 13 states and partner with the Boys and Girs Club, offering free eye exams and eyeglasses for kids.

If you are 65+, you can obtain a free eye exam from Eye Care America. Kids 6 months-1 year can obtain a free eye exam from InfantSEE.

And if you are wondering what to do with all of the old eyeglasses in your house that are no longer your current prescription…. The Lions Club helps recycle eyeglasses and get them into the hands of the needy. You can find out more about how and where to recycle your unwanted eyeglasses here.  I also recommend checking with your local optometrist’s office. They frequently partner with local Lion’s Clubs to collect old glasses. You could help a person in need get the glasses they can’t afford!

What are your tips for saving on glasses and contacts?

**This post may contain affiliate links, for more information about how we use affiliate links, please visit our Disclosure page.**

 

What I’ve Been Up To…

_DSC2099As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting a lot lately, either here or on Social Media. I’ve been busy. Distance learning is coming to a close for the year, so we’ve been doing a lot of meetings and paperwork (I’ll be glad when the mountains of homework packets stop).

In addition to supervising all of the learning (for both kiddos), I’ve also been taking a more active role in helping my big kiddo find behavioral therapies that will work well on his journey through life. My big kid is on the Autism spectrum (ASD) and that means that we do behavioral therapy a few times a week in addition talk therapy. So lots of time helping process feelings and emotions, and that leaves this mama bear feeling tired.

I (try to) get up early about 6:30 each morning, make coffee, do emails, and work on getting stuff set up for the day before the kiddos wake up. Sometimes I’m super successful and get it done. Sometimes I’m lucky if I get a shower.

Successes for the days are measured so much differently now. Did we make it through a day without tears? Missing friends, regular routines, going to the gym, extracurricular activities- all of these weigh heavy on the kids, and grown-ups.

We’ve also been trying to get our home more organized, and we’ve been getting some help from a family friend who is a Konmari guru. We’re about halfway through the process, and it’s been super liberating to get rid of stuff that no longer serves us. We sold all of the DVD’s/video games that we no longer wanted, and raised over $200, that we’ll put towards family fun (maybe sock it away for a 2021 vacation?). Thankfully our local thrift shops are accepting donations at this time. We’ve been loading up the back of my car weekly to donate goods.

In an attempt to wear the kids out physically, I’ve been taking them out for a walk a few times a week with my parents at a local park. Social distancing and masking occur- Also a liberal application of mosquito repellant is applied- The kids and I are very tasty according to the local ‘squito population. We also picked up a small pool for the patio- We are on our second. The first was not heavy-duty enough. This is the one I recommend. We also put tarps under it to protect it from the textured decking. I also use this solar fountain to keep the water moving all day, and we cover it with a tarp at night. I usually dump the water and refill it 2-3 times per week.

downloadSaving money has been a challenge as of late- There aren’t as many deals as supplies aren’t being delivered to stores regularly, less staff to stock shelves, etc. And really, who has been shopping lately for fun? Not many of us. I’ve been using coupons when I can find them, but what I have really found useful is Honey. Honey is a browser extension that helps you find coupon codes and sale prices on items that you are shopping for online. I used it to save over $145 when we bought the big kids new bed a few weeks back.

And I’ve been making masks for family and friends- I made some especially for the kids this week too.

kalecutI’m here y’all! I’m up to my eyeballs, but I’m here. And of course, I’m doing the Always Eat After 7pm program, so I’ll be posting about that. There are so many good recipes I am excited to try (dark chocolate dipped PB cookies, uh, yeah). and I’ll be posting some recipes this weekend- I’ve got a killer Kale Salad recipe that is so tasty and easy (and it keeps in the fridge for a few days too).

I’ll be hosting an Amazon Gift Card Giveaway soon! I want to spread the love with you!

 

Talk Back: What have you been doing lately? 

Special Cash Back Offers from Checkout51!

89281_separate_list_image_1584553711.jpgCheckout 51 is hooking us up right now with some great savings on staples that most of us are buying right now. 51.jpg

Bread, Eggs, and fresh bananas or apples! .25 per offer isn’t a ton of money, but these days with coupons drying up, and most stores not running really great sales, you have to take savings where you can!

If you are new to  Checkout 51, it’s a great app that’s been around for 5 years or so.

Checkout51 is NOT store specific! Checkout 51 is a savings program that’s so easy to use, and no Smartphone is needed! It’s an app on your iPhone or Android phone, or you use your computer.

Checkout 51 is so easy: Purchase specific products (and these products change each Thursday, so make sure you check out the app/website before heading out to shop), scan and upload your receipts weekly.

In addition to saving on groceries, there is also a cashback on GASOLINE component to Checkout 51. You can learn more here.

Oh, and if you are new and sign up for Checkout 51, you will score a $5 bonus after you redeem your first offer! It keeps getting better!

3/13/2020 Friday Freebies and Deals!

bright boxesI won’t be posting any in-store events or freebies this week, or for the foreseeable future. It will all be online deals (like Amazon), or freebies that you can request to be mailed to you. Better safe than sorry.

I will probably be posting more ways to make money at home (surveys, online research studies, etc) too.

Legit Online Research Studies/Money Making opportunities:

 

Samples and Goodies:

 

Deals:

 

Have a good weekend friends! Be Safe and Wash your hands!

1/23/2020 New Savingtar Rebates!

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SavingStar has some awesome new rebates available.

If you are new to SavingStar, it’s different from traditional couponing!

What makes SavingStar different is that you don’t receive money off at the register.  The savings in held in your SavingStar account, and once you reach at least $20.00 in savings you can transfer it to your Paypal Account or donate your savings to charity!

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SavingStar is the first national, fully digital, grocery eCoupon service, available for free at www.savingstar.com and on iPhone and Android mobile apps. There’s nothing to clip, nothing to print. Chose offers, shop, and save! SavingStar is currently available at over 70,000 locations!

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And it gets better: SavingStar members who redeem 2 offers per month (not counting any Healthy Offers) will unlock a full month of Healthy Offers for the next month! That’s money savings on fruits, veggies, and more!

Here are the latest offers:

Save $1.25 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Green Giant Harvest Protein Bowls™. Any Variety..Expires 2/26/2020.Save $1.25.

Save $2.00 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Atkins® Sweet & Salty Crunch Bites. Any Variety..Expires 1/29/2020.Save $2.00.

Save $1.50 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Atkins® Meal or Snack Protein Bars. Valid on any 5 pack..Expires 1/29/2020.Save $1.50.

Save $1.50 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Select Atkins Endulge® Treats. Valid on 5 pack. Excludes Atkins Endulge® Peppermint Patties..Expires 1/29/2020.Save $1.50.

Save $2.00 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Atkins® Chocolate Banana Shakes. Valid on 4 pack..Expires 1/29/2020.Save $2.00.

Save $2.00 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Atkins Endulge® Peppermint Patties. Valid on 5 pack..Expires 1/29/2020.Save $2.00.

Save $1.50 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Select Atkins® Shakes. Valid on 4 pack. Excludes Atkins® Chocolate Banana Shakes..Expires 1/30/2020.Save $1.50.

Save $0.75 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Select NABISCO Cookies or Crackers. Valid on 7 oz or larger. Excludes Belvita, OREO, Triscuit..Expires 2/5/2020.Save $0.75.

Save $0.50 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Campbell’s® Slow Kettle® Style Soups. Valid on 15.5 oz..Expires 2/26/2020.Save $0.50.

Save $1.00 when you purchase ANY TWO (2) belVita Breakfast Biscuits. Valid on 8.8 oz or larger, any variety. Items must appear on the same receipt..Expires 2/29/2020.Save $1.00.

SAVE $1.00 on any ONE (1) Emergen-C® Dietary Supplement (8ct or larger).Expires 1/19/2020.Save $1.00.

SAVE $4.00 on any ONE (1) Emergen-C® Protein Fuel or Superfoods Product, any variety or size..Expires 1/19/2020.Save $4.00.

SAVE $1.00 on any ONE (1) Barilla® Protein+™ or Chickpea or Red Lentil or Gluten Free Pasta Product (8.8-14.5 oz).Expires 2/29/2020.Save $1.00.

SAVE $5.00 when you spend $25 on any flavor General Mills cereal listed: Cheerios™ • Cinnamon Toast Crunch™ • Lucky Charms™ • Reese’s Puffs • Chex™ • Cocoa Puffs™ • Trix™ • Cookie Crisp™ • Golden Grahams™ • Kix™ • Fiber One™ • Wheaties™ • Raisin Nut Bran

Save $0.50 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Russell Stover Sugar Free. Valid on 2.4oz Bag or Larger. .Expires 3/25/2020.Save $0.50.(Only at Walmart)

New Year, New Opportunities to Save!

file0001219719004.jpgFor years, I’ve been posting about printable coupons, highlighting some of my favorites at the beginning of each month. As the years go by, sometimes it’s harder to find printable coupons or any coupons that excite me.

Couponing rules have become restrictive in-store, combined with the terms and conditions on each coupon, making the tried and true couponing advice of old (gather a lot of the same coupon, wait for a sale and stockpile items that you eat or use frequently), no longer a solid way to save money.

So this year I’ve decided at the beginning of each month, I’ll be highlighting some of the money-saving apps I use and their new offers. Their offers change monthly, just like coupons. Most of the money-saving apps also offer bonuses or deals from time to time as well.

 Ibotta has a new year referral bonus going on right now. You’ll earn 100% of what your newly referred friends earn through the end of January. Ibotta also has online offers too. You can shop through the app to earn more cashback. I love that they have offers at stores like Joann’s. I can earn cashback for my craft addiction!

refer.pngFetch Rewards has a pretty sweet deal right now- Refer friends with your referral code (mine is ND2TB), You’ll get 4,000 points for each referral, and your friends get 2,000 when they snap their first receipt! (In order for you to qualify for the increased referral bonus, they must enter your referral code and complete a valid receipt now through 11:59 PM PT on 1/7/2020. After 11:59 PM PT on 1/7/2020, the referral bonus will expire)

Checkout 51 is sweetening the deal too- When you sign up here and scan in your first receipt, you’ll get a $5 bonus! If you are already a Checkout 51 user, refer your friends and you’ll earn $10 when a new user scans in their first receipt (and they still earn $5).  Everyone wins!

And I’m not completely discarding the notion that printable coupons aren’t useful. In fact, while working on this post I discovered a couple printable coupons that I would 100% use and printed them out:

Save $2.00 when you buy FIVE (5) Smart Ones Frozen Meals

I try to keep some of these on hand for lunches or nights when I’m too tired to whip up what I’ve meal planned for that night. They have vegetarian entrees too!

Save 35¢ On Any California Dairy Product That Carries The Real California Milk Seal

For us CA peeps, this coupon is super useful!

Save $1.00 on any ONE (1) package of Green Giant® Veggie Tots, Riced Veggies, Mashed Cauliflower, Roasted Veggies, Harvest Protein Bowls, or Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Those Veggie Tots- So tasty!

Talk Back: How do you plan on saving money this year?