Karen Hellier

Freelance Writer, Coupon Lady, eBay Entrepreneur: Helping You Save Money and Work From Home

Tag Archive: saving money

Black Friday Sales at Rite Aid and CVS Offer Free Items!!!

Black Friday Sales Fliers at CVS and Rite Aid Offer Free Stuff

As promised, here is the list of free items you can get at the Black Friday sales at CVS and Rite Aid. Walgreens used to always participate in this, but are not doing it the same way this year. While you can get half off deals on some items at Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS were the only ones offering free items.

If you aren’t familiar with these Black Friday sales, let me explain how they work. First, you need to either already have a store card for Rite Aid and CVS, or get one before you go shopping for Black Friday.

The CVS Extra Bucks Rewards Program

CVS has a program called Extra Bucks Rewards Program. When you buy certain items, that are advertised in their flyer with an Extra Bucks explanation near it, you will get some or all of the money you spend back in the form of a paper coupon. This coupon comes out of the register at the end of your order. The Extra Bucks coupons do have an expiration date of one month, and they have to be used by that time.

The Rite Aid Plenti Points Program

Rite Aid has a similar program but it is called the Plenti Points Program. You buy certain items that are advertised in the flyer as an item that will earn you Plenti Points, and the points go onto your store card. Each 100 points equals $1.00. You have a certain amount of time to use them as well, but I don’t know the exact length of time you have to use your points at Rite Aid.

These deals are amazing and if you play your cards right and get there before the stores run out of the items, you can do very well for Christmas gifts/stocking stuffers and get a lot bought in one day. They do not give rainchecks on these items. You do have to shell out the money in advance when you purchase the items, but once you do it, and use your Extra Bucks or Plenti Points in a future visit, it means you go all the stuff you purchased for free!

There are lots of sales going on at both CVS and Rite Aid that will save you money, and some of the sales go through the weekend but for this post, I am only going to focus on the free items you can get from these two stores. Take a look at the flyers if you can before you go and make your list so you don’t miss any deals that will save you money.

Both stores are open tomorrow, on Thanksgiving Day. These sales both run through Saturday. Personally, I think employees should be home with their families on Thanksgiving so I don’t shop until Black Friday, but that choice is yours.

Here we go:

CVS Black Friday Deals: (The sale is from Thursday through Saturday)

Colgate Max or Total Toothpaste is $3.50 – scan your store card at the coupon machine inside the store and you will get a $3.00 off coupon, making the toothpaste 50 cents. BUT there is also a manufacturer’s coupon that recently came out, and an online coupon available so if you use one of those, the toothpaste is FREE!

Physician’s Formula Make Up is $9.00 ( certain ones only) but you get a $9.00 Extra Buck back so it makes the makeup FREE!

Altoids Smalls, Skittles, Necco Wafers, Starburst or any Wrigley’s Gum singles are 99 cents and you get 99 cents back which make the candy FREE!

GUM Brand Deep Clean or Sensitive Care toothbrushes are $2.50 for a 2-pack, but you get $2.50 back which makes it FREE! There is a limit of 1 on most items but you can do this twice and end up with 4 toothbrushes.

CVS Alkaline batteries, AA or AAA, a 4 pack is $4.39 but you get $4.39 back in Extra Bucks so it’s FREE!

CVS Health Soft Cleansing or Baby Wipes are 99 cents but you get a 99 cent Extra Buck so it’s FREE!

Beauty 360 or Blade 2 disposable razors, a 3 ct. package is $1.99 but you get $1.99 back in Extra Bucks making them FREE!

Select Organic Doctor Skin Care is $8.00 but you get $8.00 in Extra Bucks, making them FREE!

CVS Health Pantiliners are 99 cents but you get a 99 cent Extra Buck back, making them FREE!

Green Giant Vegetables are 99 cents but you get a 99 cent Extra Buck making them FREE!

Glade Solid Air Freshener costs 99 cents but you get a 99 cent Extra Buck, making it FREE!

Some of the other deals at CVS include cereal for 99 cents after the Extra Buck, Lady Speed Stick deodorant for 49 cents, Hershey’s bars for 77 cents, with a 77 cent Extra Buck back, and Wet & Wild makeup sets for 99 cents.

Rite Aid Black Friday Deals (This sale is also Thursday through Saturday)

Kleenex costs  $1.00 but you get $1.00 in Plenti Points making it FREE!

Rite Aid Brand Tape is 2 for $2.00 but you get $2.00 in Plenti Points back making the 2 rolls of tape FREE!

Magnavox Digital Ear Buds are $6.00 but you get $6.00 back in Plenti Points, making them FREE!

Nestle Candy Bars (they only have Butterfinger and Nestle Crunch listed but there may be more) 2 for $1.00 and you get $1.00 Plenti Points back when you buy 2, making them FREE!

Scungi Hair Elastics or ColorVibes brushes are $3.00 and you get $3.00 back in Plenti Points making them FREE! ( You have to pick 1 of those)

Colgate Toothpaste, only certain kinds, are 2 for $8.00 and when you buy 2, you get $8.00 back in Plenti Points, making the 2 toothpastes FREE!

Zim’s Max-Freeze Pain Relievers or Foot Cream is $5.00 and you get $5.00 back in Plenti Points, making it FREE!

I would suggest you get the paper tomorrow on Thanksgiving Day so you can get the Black Friday fliers and see for yourself what is on sale, and make a list before you go to the stores. If you don’t want to do that, get a flyer at the store and take a minute to circle what you want, or write a list so you can stay organized. Sometimes the stores will have the sale items near each other so ask if you can’t find something.

I LOVE these Black Friday sales at Rite Aid and CVS and it is the highlight of my Black Friday every year! I will post pictures of what I got after I go shopping on Friday.

Good luck if you go, and please come back and share your experience in the comment section below.

If you aren’t a subscriber to my blog yet, put your email address in the space at the top right, then confirm your wish to subscribe in the subsequent email so you don’t miss out on saving money.

And stay tuned, the monthly contest is coming soon!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and I hope your holiday is blessed with family, food, and fun!

UPDATE:

All of this was free at Rite Aid in the Black Friday sale!

All of this was free at Rite Aid in the Black Friday sale!

 

All of this was free on Friday at the CVS Black Friday sale!

All of this was free on Friday at the CVS Black Friday sale!

 

If You Are Buying Gift Cards For Christmas Gifts, Don’t Miss These Deals

Store fliers with gift card deals

Giving gift cards for Christmas gifts is an easy option for that hard-to-please friend or relative, or for that person on your list that already has everything. In reading through the Sunday paper yesterday, I noticed a lot of deals on gift cards that will help you save money and I was so excited I just had to share these savings with you. After all, saving money is what this blog is all about!

Maybe you don’t give gift cards for Christmas, BUT you can use some gift cards personally or with your family. You can also take advantage of these gift card deals and keep some extra money in your pocket!

I also noticed some ways to earn extra gas points from gift cards that were not in the paper but I am including.

Please watch the dates below so you can take full advantage of these offers without missing them:

Dollar General: Good  11/19 – 11/22

Save $5 when you purchase any of the following gift cards: Burger King, Chili’s, Taco Bell, Domino’s and Logan’s Roadhouse

You must buy 2 of these gift cards to get the discount. It doesn’t specify the amount the gift cards need to be.

Limit 2 gift cards per transaction. Technically this means you could go every day from now until Wednesday, and purchase 2 each time. OR if you have a lot of Dollar General stores near you, you could go to 2 different ones and do this deal two or three times.

Kroger: Good until 12/12/17

You can get four times the fuel points when you buy a $25.00, $50.00, or $100.00 MASTERCARD or VISA gift card. I found this on my Kroger app on my phone under the “coupons” tab.  It does also say “restrictions apply” in small print, so be aware of that. The restrictions are below the offer and include things like “not good on variable gift cards that allow you to choose your own amount to be loaded onto the card”, but the ones that already say $25, $50 or $100. It also states that you can only buy 1 gift card per transaction per day, so if you have a LOT of gift cards to buy, it means a lot of trips to Kroger in the next few weeks. This offer is good if you click on it online and add it to your Kroger card.

Shop Rite: Good 11/24 and 11/25/17

During these two days, you will be able to earn a coupon for $20.00 off your next order when you purchase $100 worth of gift cards at Shop Rite with your Price Plus card. The coupon for your next order comes out of the cash register on the day of your purchase of the gift cards.

There is a catch though and that is you must present your coupon during your visit to the store during the dates of 11/26 through 12/2/17, so it’s basically the next week. If you shop every week and will spend at least $20.00 that next week, then it’s a good deal. Again there is fine print so make sure to read that before you do this deal.

Stop & Shop: Good 11/17 – 11/23/17

Stop and Shop is offering 5 times the gas points with the purchase of all gift cards. That means if you spend $25.00 on a gift card you will get 125 gas points, a $50 card = 250 in gas points, etc. I don’t live in an area where there’s a Stop and Shop anymore so I had to look at this flyer online and the fine print is too small for me to read. If you have a Stop and Shop flyer, you will be able to read the fine print and take advantage of this deal.

Target: Good 11/19 – 1123/17

Target is offering a free $10.00 Target gift card if you spend $50.00 on food and/or beverage purchases. Purchase of baby food, pet food, Target Cafe and Starbuck’s Cafe do not count toward the $50.00 amount. Basically, this will work if you do your grocery shopping for the week at Target.

The coupon is in the flyer, or available on the Target App or you can text GROCERY to TARGET (827438).

Walgreens: Good 11/19 – 11/25/17

Earn a free $5 Walgreens Gift Card with every purchase of any 2 Google Play or Vanilla Visa Gift Cards. Great deal if you are buying either one of those anyway.

Coming Soon…

These were the stores I have found offering deals on gift cards this week. If you know of any others, please leave them in the comment section below.

I will be posting about the Black Friday sales at CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens on Wednesday or Thursday. If you are not familiar with them, they involve using your store card for those three stores to purchase items, and on certain ones, you can get back what you paid for in points on your store card, or in the case of CVS, paper coupons worth the same amount you paid, basically making those items free. I have only seen the Rite Aid Black Friday Flyer so far and it looks great.

Please feel free to share this post by using the sharing buttons below, and subscribe to this blog for more deals in the future.

Have fun saving money on gift cards this week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Contest for My Blog Subscribers

As a blog subscriber you could win one of these gift cards. Sign up by 9/10/2017!

As a blog subscriber you could win one of these gift cards. Sign up by 9/10/2017!

Subscribe to my Blog for Your Chance to Win a $25.00 Gift Card

 

Welcome to my blog about saving money and working from home! I have decided to hold a monthly contest on this blog because it’s full of information about how to save money and how I get things for free, which I do all the time! I am offering my subscribers the chance to win something, for free, each month!

September, 2017 Contest

 

All you have to do to enter this contest is subscribe to my blog by adding your email in the blank on the top right of this page. You will get an email at the address you sign up with, and you must confirm that you want to be a subscriber in order to enter the contest.

I will pick two winners on September 11th; one for the $25.00 Walmart gift card, and another one for the Starbuck’s gift card, so just by subscribing you will have two chances to win, and also get tips on saving money and working from home.

Each time I post on this blog, you will get a notification in your email that a new post is up. 

Contest Details:

What: Subscribe to my blog for your chance to win a

$25.00 to Walmart or a $25.00 gift card to Starbuck’s.

When: From September 1st 2017 through September 10th, 2017.

The two winners will be announced on September 11th.

 

 

Feel free to leave a comment below on what type of prizes you would like to see for future contests, and thanks for dropping by!

 

15 Tips to Save Money Eating Out at Restaurants

 

Dunkin Donuts offers a free beverage for birthdays

 

I’m a big fan of eating out at restaurants. I don’t enjoy cooking all that much, so anytime I can go out and eat delicious food that I didn’t have to prepare makes me one happy camper! But eating out at restaurants can get expensive. Here are 15 ways you can save money eating out at restaurants:

1) Go to Breakfast or Lunch Instead of Dinner

The price of breakfast or lunch is less expensive than going out to eat for dinner. If you want to save money eating out at restaurants, you will save more money during these meals. Restaurants often have breakfast and lunch specials that can save you even more money. Friendly’s has a deal currently that gives customers 50% off all of their breakfasts Mondays through Fridays.

2) Drink Water

This is a sure-fire way to save money at a restaurant. Not only is water free, which saves you money, but it is healthier for you than soda, iced tea, and lemonade. If you aren’t a fan of the plain taste of water, ask for a lemon or lime wedge. Those are also free and will add taste to your water. I know people who take this idea one step further and make their own lemonade at restaurants by adding the juice of a lemon wedge plus one packet of sugar or sweetener.

3) Share a Drink

Another way of saving money at restaurants is to order one large drink and have two people share it. This works especially well with couples. If you are embarrassed to just order one drink at a more expensive restaurant, one of you, or both, can order water and then it won’t be as obvious that you are sharing.

My husband and I just went to Panera Bread yesterday and ordered one large drink to share. There was plenty of liquid for both of us, and if you want as much liquid as possible, order your beverage without ice. This leaves more room for liquid in the cup and beverages coming out of a machine are already cold.

When doing this at a fast food restaurant, not only will you be saving money, but helping the environment because you will only be using one paper or plastic cup instead of two!

4) Use Coupons

What? Coupons for restaurants you might be asking? Yes, there are a variety of places that coupons for restaurants can be found, the top three being:

Coupon fliers that come in your Sunday newspaper

Chain restaurants often have an insert with two coupons in it: One for a certain amount off of a lunch entree and one for a dinner entree. Check these out and keep them in your wallet for the next time you go out to lunch or dinner.

Here’s a coupon from the Sunday paper to save money at the Outback Steakhouse

Coupons mailed to you in a special discount circular in your mailbox

Lots of people ignore these coupons, but if you pay attention to what is in those fliers, you can save money. For instance, I recently had a coupon flyer from Dunkin Donuts (my favorite coffee place) that offered me an extra large cup of coffee for $1.49 instead of $2.59. That’s a $1.10 savings, and there were two of these coupons on each flyer.

If you have neighbors like I do who don’t use those fliers and throw them in the trash, you can ask them for theirs.

Coupons on the backs of cash register receipts in many local stores

Not sure what I am talking about? Next time you go to a grocery store, turn your cash register receipt over and look for coupons. While some of what is printed there are just ads, there are usually coupons as well. Mine recently offered a free appetizer at a local Mexican restaurant, and a “buy one get one-half off an ice cream cone” at a local ice cream shop.

5) Join Groupon

Groupon is a free recommendation program that allows consumers to save up to 50% on the deals they purchase off of the Groupon website. The key to Groupon is that it posts offers for a limited time only: usually only one to three days. And when that time is up, the offer disappears and us no longer available. So consumers need to grab an offer when they see it.

The way Groupon works is that first a consumer must go to the Groupon website and fill in the blank with their email address so that they will be able to receive daily email offers from Groupon. If there is an offer that someone is interested in, they can click on it and pay with their credit card or Paypal. Then they print out the offer and bring the printed coupon to the business or restaurant to redeem it. There is always an expiration date printed on the coupon, and it must be used before the expiration date.

If you don’t mind getting the daily emails from the Groupon website, you can save a lot of money eating out at restaurants with Groupon. You can also take advantage of deals in other areas as well such as special events, entertainment, outdoor activities, and stores.

To sign up for Groupon, click on the link below:

https://www.groupon.com/

6) Dollar Menu

Don’t laugh but you can actually save money at a fast food restaurant by only ordering off the $1.00 menu. If you want to take your two children out for a special meal but don’t have a lot of money, by allowing yourself and each child a choice of 3 items each on the dollar menu, you can have a nice treat for everyone for under $10.00. That would be $3.00 each plus tax. And for even more fun, go to a McDinalds with a play place and let the kids have fun climbing around after dinner. Bring a good book for yourself, and everyone can have an enjoyable and inexpensive experience.

Okay, I do understand that some of the McDonald’s food on the dollar menu may not be all that healthy, but once in awhile as a treat, ordering off the dollar menu can be fun.

7) Eat Half/Save Half

Yes, that’s right…there are some restaurants that give you so much food that eating half of your meal, combined with the free bread offered by the restaurant, and maybe a salad that comes with your meal will fill you up! There’s no need to gorge yourself because your mom may have taught you to eat everything on your plate. She only said that so you wouldn’t waste good food. So eat half at the restaurant and bring half home to eat as another meal. While that may not save you money at the restaurant, it will save you money on that week’s grocery bill. And any savings is a good savings.

If you add a salad to that meal at home, it will be a full meal again, and you will have gotten two meals for the price of one!

Here’s a meal of beef teriyaki that came with a salad and could be easily shared with someone else, or taken home for a second meal.

8) Early Bird Specials

Yes, there are some restaurants that still offer “Early Bird Specials.” Traditionally these meals were offered from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm when the restaurants traditionally are not too busy. Seniors over the age of 65 were the ones who most often took advantage of Early Bird Specials, but now younger people and those with large families are taking advantage of this deal as well.

In doing research for this article, I Googled “Early Bird Specials, ” and the first thing to pop up was Olive Garden. Their current Early Bird Special runs from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday and consists of your choice of soup or salad with your favorite entree for $8.99. This is not only a great deal, but since not many people eat at the Olive Garden during those times, you won’t have to wait in the long lines usually associated with the Olive Garden at peak dinner times.

9) Skip the Appetizer or Dessert, or Both!

Think about it…if your meal comes with bread and a salad already, do you really need to order an appetizer or dessert? Some restaurants are a la Carte and do make you order each item separately, but for those that are already providing their patrons extras that come with the meal, the appetizers and dessert are just an extra cost, plus extra calories.

If you really want an appetizer or dessert, consider sharing with your dining companion(s) and you will save money and calories!

10) Share a Meal

My parents typically go to chain restaurants and share the main meal. If the meal comes with a salad, they will order an extra side salad, and share the entree. Sometimes they go hog wild and share a large dessert and both of them have plenty of food and have saved money. Their favorite places to do this are Longhorn and Outback Steakhouse.

Some fancy restaurants charge an extra plate charge, but typically chain restaurants do not.

11) At Christmas Take Advantage of Gift Certificate Specials

Restaurants often offer a deal at Christmas where they will give a free $5 or $10 extra gift card when you buy a larger gift card (usually around $50). If you decide you want to give gift cards as a gift for Christmas, consider taking advantage of that deal. You could buy two gift cards, at $50 each for family members, and earn a free meal for yourself worth $10. If they only let you take advantage of it one time per transaction, make a few different purchases a few days apart, and you can earn $5.00 a few times. This helps you find a nice gift for someone for Christmas, and also saves you money the next time you take your family out to eat at a restaurant.

If you don’t have anyone you want to give a restaurant gift card to, just buy it for yourself and you will still get the extra gift cards as a bonus. If you are going to go out to eat at that restaurant anyway, you might as well take advantage of saving money by purchasing gift cards.

12) Supermarkets Offer Double Gas Points  & They Often Include Gift Card Purchases

There is a Kroger store near my home and every summer for a limited period of time, they offer double gas points on store purchases and this includes gift card purchases. Treat yourself or your husband to a lunch or dinner by buying a restaurant gift card, and get double gas points during this summer special. Check out local stores that offer gas points and see if they have something similar. You won’t exactly save money on your restaurant purchase, but this will help you save money on the gas to get there!

13) AARP Specials

Once you hit the ripe old age of 50, you are eligible to join AARP. The current rate to join is only $16.00 per year and let me tell you, if you use your AARP card, it is definitely worth the money. And if you decide to join for three years or five years, the membership amount per year decreases so you can save money that way also.

Along with savings on travel, insurance, and entertainment, there are twenty-two restaurants that give discounts or a freebie when you show your AARP card. The discounts range from a percentage off your bill to a free donut with a large or extra-large coffee. If you take your family out for a nice dinner at a restaurant that offers a 15% discount with the AARP card, and the bill comes to $100, you will save $15.00 at some restaurants which almost pays for your membership with one dinner! And AARP also offers savings in many other categories besides restaurants.

Here’s the current list of participating restaurants as of June 2017:

  • Bonefish Grill
  • Bubba Gump Shrimp Co
  • Carrabba’s Italian Grill
  • Charlie’s Crab Palm Beach
  • Chart House
  • Claim Jumper Restaurant & Saloon
  • Denny’s
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Gandy Dancer
  • Grand Concourse
  • Landry’s, Inc. Restaurants
  • Landry’s Seafood
  • McCormick & Schmick’s
  • Meriweather’s
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • Rainforest Cafe
  • Red Sushi Hibachi & Grill
  • Saltgrass Steakhouse
  • sweetFrog Premium Frozen Yogurt
  • The Oceanaire Seafood Room
  • Willie G’s Seafood & Steaks

To find out more about AARP membership, or to join AARP, click on the link below:

https://advantages.aarp.org/en/home.html

 

14) Download Restaurant Apps

I’m not as technically savvy as my kids, but I do know that downloading apps on your phone can save you money. Lots of restaurants now have apps you can download for free onto your phone, and then when you check the app before going to a restaurant, you can see the deals they are offering customers that day. Even some gas stations that offer food have apps now. Below is a list of restaurants and gas stations that offer savings through coupons or by keeping track of your purchases to give you free food after a certain number of items have been purchased:

Even some gas stations that offer food have apps now. Below is a list of restaurants and gas stations that offer savings through coupons or by keeping track of your purchases to give you free food after a certain number of items have been purchased:

Restaurants

  • Burger King
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Dominos
  • Firehouse Subs
  • McDonalds
  • Papa Johns
  • Sonic
  • Starbucks
  • Taco Bell

Gas Stations:

  • 7-Eleven
  • Quik-Trip
  • Sheetz
  • Wawa

 

15) Free Birthday Treats

Many restaurants will give customers free items on their birthday. They do this in exchange for the birthday person’s email address to send them emails in the future to entice you to come to their restaurant. They encourage people to come to their restaurant on their birthday and hopefully purchase more food and to bring friends and family members. If a single person arrives at these restaurants and offers the birthday coupon they received for signing up to receive email, in most cases, they will get free food on their birthday. A few restaurants have a “Buy one get one free” birthday offer, which means you would have to bring someone else along in order to get the free meal on your birthday

Free birthday treats range from specific free breakfast items at Denny’s and Ihop to free coffee at Dunkin Donuts, Caribou Coffee, and Starbucks. You can get free snacks like a free pretzel at Auntie Annies, or free ice cream at Baskin Robbins.

For lunch you could have a free meal at Captain D’s, a free sandwich at Honey Baked Ham, a free hamburger or salad bar entree at Ruby Tuesday’s, or a free pizza at Buono’s Pizza.

For dinner, if you didn’t go to Ruby Tuesday’s for your free lunch, you could head there for dinner, or to Benihana’s  Restaurant,  the Black Bear Diner, or the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co, all of which will give you a free dinner up to a certain dollar amount. To save money on dessert, save room for ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s or Coldstone Creamery both of which will give you a free scoop of ice cream to top off your birthday celebration!

In researching this article I found a great list prepared by Anthony Nguyen on the Hustler Money Blog. I have included a link below to his list find some free food on your birthday including restaurants nationwide. To see if there is a local restaurant near you, click on the locator link to your left and put in your address and it will tell you the closest ones to you. If you want to know more about how to sign up for each restaurant’s birthday offer, click the review link on the right.

http://www.hustlermoneyblog.com/eat-free-on-your-birthday/

I did this in as many restaurants as I could find in my area in July. And the perks just keep coming because even though it’s now September, and my birthday is over, I just got a coupon for a “free sandwich meal” in the mail the other day.

My birthday is at the end of July and I spent it eating for free all day long. To read about my wonferful free food day, click on this link: https://delishably.com/misc/How-I-Ate-for-Free-All-Day-on-My-Birthday-and-You-Can-Too

 

If you know of any other restaurants that offer free food for birthdays, please include it in the comments below.

If you liked this article and would like to share the information with your friends, feel free to share it with the media buttons provided.

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So, are you ready to start saving money eating out at restaurants?

 

7 Places to Get Great Deals on Cards and Stationery Products

I know for some people, sending cards and letters through the mail is a thing of the past. Well, call me old-fashioned, but I love receiving mail in my mailbox, especially when it’s not bills! There’s just something about opening my mailbox and seeing a card, letter or package from a friend or family member that makes me feel loved. It’s not the same with a text or email, although I do appreciate any positive messages in any form.

This post is for those of you who feel like I do and enjoy getting and sending “snail mail” delivered by the good old U.S. Postal Service. I am always on the lookout for inexpensive cards and stationery to send to people. Yes, I know, writing letters is also a thing of the past for many, but I enjoy it.

So here are the top 7 places I have found to buy inexpensive cards and stationery products:

Dollar General:

The name of Dollar General stores confuses many people because they think they are going to get everything in there for $1.00. Well, that’s not the case but they do have great prices and sales on many items and I love shopping here. They have a variety of items including food, toiletries, health and hygiene products, toys, and household products. They have a flyer that comes out each week with sales just like grocery stores and pharmacies. They also give customers digital coupons, have an online website and have fantastic markdown sales after each holiday and at the end of each of the four seasons.

I write a lot of thank-you notes because I am an eBay seller and I like to include a thank you note in every package I send out. That is why I am thrilled to get thank you cards here ( and at Dollar Tree) for $1.00 per package even though the price stamped on the package from the company is often $3.95 or more! This is the same price for invitations and blank note cards.

Dollar General also has individual cards at great prices including a section labeled 2 for $1.00 and $1.00 each. That beats the $2.97 to $3.97 price stamped on the back!

Dollar General offers a weekly flyer, and a coupon on their register receipts to save $5.00 on your purchase of $25.00 or more on certain Saturdays. And you can sign up to get digital coupons to save even more money at Dollar General.

According to the Dollar General website, there are Dollar General Stores in all but 7 of the 50 U.S. states. To find out if there us a Dollar General near you, you can use this store location link:

http://www2.dollargeneral.com/About-Us/pages/storelocator.aspx

 

Note cards for $1.00 at Dollar General and Dollar Tree!

Dollar Tree:

Dollar Tree is not misleading in its title at all. Everything in a Dollar Tree store is $1.00, and sometimes candy is available at 2 for $1.00. They carry anything from food to kitchen goods to health and beauty, to paper goods and school supplies.

This store again offers deals on cards and stationery. Cards are $1.00 each but there us also a smaller section with cards that are 2 for $1.00. Can’t beat that very easily in this day and age of high prices. Are these cards as good as those Hallmark cards with the $6.99 price card on the back? Um, no, but then again, why would anyone want to spend that much on a greeting card when the recipient may soon throw it away?

Dollar Tree stores also have great prices on pens, pencils, and shipping items like envelopes and padded envelopes to ship those letters in.

According to the Dollar Tree website, there are Dollar Tree stores in 48 U.S. states, and you can also order online. There is a Dollar Tree customer loyalty program called the Dollar Tree Value Club and if you join the Value Club you will get notified of in-store specials, contests and can also write reviews for a chance to win gift cards.

To find the nearest Dollar Tree store near you, or to sign up for the Dollar Tree Value Club, click on the link below:

https://www.dollartree.com/custserv/custserv.jsp?pageName=StoreLocations

Christmas Tree Shops:

I must say that my favorite store in the whole world is the Christmas Tree Shops. When people haven’t heard of this chain store before, they think it only has Christmas items but that’s the wrong assumption. Christmas Tree Shops do carry Christmas items in the Fall and up until Christmas, but they also carry many other items that you won’t find anywhere else. And you never know what you might find there. They have seasonal decorative items for the home and garden throughout the year and are stocked to the gills as Christmas nears, but they also have furniture, home decor, food, games, books, stationery supplies, paper goods, craft supplies, trial sized items, etc. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. You just never know what you might find at a Christmas Tree Shops store and that’s why I love them so much.

Christmas Tree Shops originally started on Cape Cod in Massachusetts in the 1950s, and every year when my family went there for a vacation, my mom and I loved stopping by at least one or two of their stores. At the time, there were 6 Christmas Tree Shops but they have now branched out to other states in New England, and even farther out in the U.S. I have heard that there is one in Georgia now, but since it is about five hours from me I will have to be in the area to go.

As far as stationery, they have cards that are $1.00 each and sometimes 2 for $1.00. They also have boxed stationery that is really nice to give as gifts. These can run anywhere from $1.99 for small note cards to $6.99 for a box of 5″ by 7″ cards. They even have stationery with female names on them which is fun for kids.

According to the website, there are currently over 70 Christmas Tree Shops in the U.S. If you are the type of person that loves to browse for good deals, you should definitely check out a Christmas Tree Shops store if there’s one near you, or near where you are going in vacation. In fact, their motto is, “Don’t you just love a bargain?” Hey, that’s sort of my motto too. No wonder I love them so much!

To find a Christmas Tree Shops store near you, click the store locator link below:

http://www.christmastreeshops.com/store-locator/landing.do

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet:

This store is a new one for me and one recently opened near me in Georgia so I just had to check it out. Ollie’s Bargain Outlet offers great deals on closeout merchandise and they buy excess inventory from retailers and offer it to customers at bargain prices.

In this store, you can find anything from food to clothing, pet supplies, tools and household goods. They have a fantastic selection of books for children and adults. I love to buy gift books there because the prices are so good. And of course they have stationery and cards. You can get cards for $1.00 each there and nice note cards at a good price.

They have a customer loyalty program. To join, you can get a card and information sheet at the store. Fill out the card with your email address and other standard information. Then when you get home, log onto to website on the card, enter your card number, and you will then receive emails about upcoming events and special discounts throughout the year.

Also, each time you shop at Ollie’s and scan your card, you will earn 1 point for every dollar you spend. When you hit $250 in the amount spent, they will send you a coupon for 10% off your next purchase.

According to their website, the first Ollie’s opened in 1982 in Pennsylvania and there are now 243 Ollie’s Bargain Outlets in 20 states.

To find an Ollie’s Bargain Outlet near you, click the store locator link below:

http://www.ollies.us/locations/

Ocean State Job Lot

Ocean State Job Lot is another one of my favorite stores. Like Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, it is also a closeout store and you never know what you might find there. It again offers closeout deals and carries items from food to cleaners, clothing, health and beauty, books, stationery products and so much more!

Ocean State Job Lot has a customer loyalty program called the Insider Club. Sign up for the club for free at the store with your name, phone number, and email address. You will get over fifty coupons downloaded to your account each week and will be notified of special events and discounts coming up.

Since moving to Georgia from Connecticut three years ago, I haven’t been in an Ocean State Job Lot recently enough to give you a quote on the price of their cards and stationery products, but they are along the lines of some of the other stores mentioned in this post.

There are 127 Ocean State Job Lot stores in the following states: Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and New Jersey.

To find an Ocean State Job Lot store near you, click on the store locator link below:

http://oceanstatejoblot.com/locate/

Thrift Stores/Goodwill:

Thrift stores and Goodwill stores are an amazing source of all types of items including stationery products such as invitations, Christmas cards, note cards, computer paper with a design on it, etc. Of course, you won’t find these items every time you shop, but each time you go to a thrift store or Goodwill, it is certainly worth checking out the shelves in this area.

You don’t find individual cards here but I often find thank you notes and invitations in unopened packs of 6 to 8 for less than $1.00. And I like to write letters so I find packages of decorated computer paper that I buy and use for handwritten letters to friends and family. I have also found boxes of envelopes and stickers for great prices.

To get the best deals at Goodwill or thrift stores, check to see if they have any bargain days and shop then. Goodwill has a markdown color every day of the week, so whatever is marked with that color tag is 50% off that week, and they also have a Senior Day, Student Day, and Military Members day with a discount. Check with your local store on which days they offer those special discounts because they vary state to state.

There are Goodwill stores all over the United States. To find the nearest Goodwill to you, you can click on this link:

Locator

Walmart

I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t mention Walmart for cards. They are worthy of a mention because they have a 99 cent group of greeting cards and that is a really nice deal. The regular prices on cards and stationery aren’t that great but Walmart has some wonderful discounts on all kinds of items on their clearance shelves, especially after a holiday. The after Christmas sales are 50% to 75% off and I have gotten some very pretty Christmas cards there for great prices then and just save them till the next year.

According to Statista.com there are 4,672 Walmart stores in the U.S. in 2017! You probably already know the closest Walmart to you, but here’s a Walmart “store finder” link for you just in case you are headed somewhere and need to know the closest Walmart in that area:

 

https://www.walmart.com/store/finder

 

So there you have it: the seven best stores I know of to find cards and stationery at great prices. Since some of these stores are closeout stores, if you see something you like there, you had better grab it because it won’t be there when you return.

If you have any other suggestions that I have missed for great deals on cards and stationery products, please leave a comment and share the savings with other readers.

 

 

 

 

8 Ways to Save Money on Groceries Without Using Coupons

I am a huge fan of using coupons to save money on groceries. In fact, when I lived in Connecticut, I used to teach classes on saving money with coupons. If you are someone who loves using coupons and would like some extra tips, I added a link to an article I wrote about saving money with coupons at the bottom of this article.

But I also know there are many people who find the whole coupon thing too time-consuming and don’t use them. This article is for you so please keep reading!

Below are my top eight tips for saving money without using coupons.

  1. Check out the Sales at all of the Stores you Plan to Shop at Before you Leave your House

Who wants to pay full price for an item when you can get it at a discount? Certainly not me, and hopefully not you. If you purchase the Sunday paper, go over all of the sales fliers and make a list of what you want to buy before you go to the store. Being organized helps you save money at the grocery store because you are not aimlessly wandering around looking for things you might need.

If you don’t buy the Sunday paper, go online and check out the weekly store flyer (s) and make your list from that so you will be prepared.

And to save money: stick to your list!

2) Buy Items Only When They Are on Sale

If you make a habit of purchasing items at the grocery store only when they are on sale, you will find that you never have to pay full price for most of what goes in your grocery cart! Now, this is not always true for perishable items that you can’t freeze well, such as produce. But for the most part, if you buy items only when they are on sale, you will save money.

3) Stock Up

This is true for coupon users as well, but it you can purchase enough products when they are on sale to tide you over to the next sale, then you will have cupboards full of items that you never paid full price for.

Example: The IGA near my home had Coke on sale for 4 for $4.44 this week. My husband drinks Coke and sometimes it is hard to find it on sale. Without a sale, Coke is usually $1.59 to $1.69. So, knowing that there should be another sale on Coke SOMEWHERE near me in the next 8 weeks, we purchase enough to get us through 8

IMPORTANT: Did you know if there is a sale on something where you get 4 for $4.44, or 2 for $5.00, etc. you usually don’t have to buy the number they suggest??? Many people get caught by this. Unless the specific sale signage says,”Must buy 4 or 2″ to get that price, you can buy 1 single item and still get the sale price. Or in the case of 4 in a sale, you can buy 2 or 3 if you want.

The store advertises it that way to trick consumers into thinking they HAVE to buy that many in order to get that price. They are sneaky that way because it brings in more money for them. Make sure you check with the cashier or store manager if you have any doubts, but grocery stores rake in a lot of extra money by suggesting a certain number of items that consumers think they have to buy.

4) Plan Your Menus Around What’s on Sale

I once read a statistic that said you could save 30% off of your grocery bill each week just by planning your weekly meals based on what’s on sale at the grocery stores.

For instance, if you were planning a beef roast for your family one week, but can’t find it on sale, buy another form of beef instead that you can find on sale. Thinking of serving lamb chops but find a sale on pork chops that week? You will save money if you buy what’s on sale and serve that instead.

The same holds true for other products that would go with your main dish…if you want a salad, see which is less expensive: romaine lettuce or head lettuce. How about tomatoes: is there a sale on a certain kind? Planning for mashed potatoes? Check sales on Idaho, Red or Yukon Gold. Every penny you can save really adds up when you get to the checkout lane.

5) Be Willing to Shop at A Few Stores Instead of Just One

I know this is hard for many people, but each week the different stores in your town have different sales. By being willing to check out the sales at more than one store and shop in two or more each week for their sale items, you will save money.

You don’t want to spend a lot of extra money on gas though because that would defeat the purpose of saving money on your groceries. So this will only work in areas where there is more than one grocery store to choose from.

If you do live in a town where shopping us limited, but there is a certain store with something you use on your way to work, or on the way to drop your child off at a dance class or swimming lessons, use that trip to stop and grab the sale item(s) so that you aren’t going out of your way.

6) Shop at the Stores That have the Least Expensive Prices on Items You Buy if you Run Out

The easiest way to do this is to make a price notebook of things you usually buy and write down the price the item usually sells for at each store when it is not on sale. Your price notebook page could look like this:

Item                                                   Stop & Shop           Walmart          Shop Rite    Big Y

Maxwell House Coffee 24 oz.                 $6.77                     $5.98              $6.24         $6.99

Knorr Noodles and Sauce                       $1.25                      $1.00               $1.00         $1.39

Secret Deodorant   1.7 oz.                     $2.09                     $1.74               $1.79         $2.19

Soft Soap Liquid Soap  7.5 oz.              $1.49                         $.99              $1.29         $1.59

The list should continue like this for every item you buy on a regular basis. Then, on the weeks you run out of a certain item, you know the store that carries that item for the least amount of money and you can go there to purchase it or add it to your list when you shop there for sales if that item isn’t on sale that week anywhere else. This list should be updated every six months.

7) Check the Markdown Shelves

Most supermarkets and Walmart Superstores have a markdown shelf or bin. You can get amazing deals by getting in the habit of checking them every time you shop. Stopping by the markdown area every time you shop will save you money, especially on items like bread, pastries and grocery items that will store well or can be frozen.

8) Don’t Shop with Your Credit Card

Carrying cash and using only cash to shop for your groceries will keep you within your budget better than if you pay with a credit card. Paying with credit, especially if you have a lot of credit available on your credit card, means you won’t be all that concerned about how much money you will spend at the store. So, that beautiful looking chocolate cake with chocolate chips on it may find its way into your cart.

But paying with a limited amount of cash, and preferably just enough to cover your groceries will keep you goal focused. You won’t be as tempted to purchase that cake, or any one of a number of extra goodies if you pay only with cash and don’t want to be embarrassed by not having enough when you get to the checkout lane.

Tips on how to Save Money with Coupons…

Hopefully, these tips will help you rethink your grocery shopping strategy and save money at the grocery store. If you use coupons or would like to start, here’s an article that will help you with that:

https://hubpages.com/money/Save-Money-With-Coupons-15-Tips-From-The-Coupon-Lady

Do you have any other ideas on how to save at the grocery store without using coupons? Please leave a comment below.

Want to get free tips on saving money and earning money from home? Put your email address in the space at the top left and you will never miss a post!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello World!

Photo by Karen Hellier

My name is Karen Hellier and I am a freelance writer, eBay entrepreneur and coupon lady! Welcome to my website where I will be sharing money saving tips and ways that you can live a more fulfilling life by working from home.

If you can’t stand your regular 9 to 5 job and want to take control of your life and time, this website is for you. If you yearn to be the mom that stays home with her kids but also contributes to the family income, this website is for you. If you have a disability that prevents you from working outside of your home, this website is for you. My goal is to help you find ways to save money and earn money from home and live the life you want, not the life you are forced into because you need the money a 9 to 5 job provides.

Raised in New England, my mom taught me to be a thrifty shopper and I have a passion for sharing that skill with others. I also am passionate about working from home and helping others find entrepreneurial pursuits to allow them to earn money working from home so that they can live a life they create and that they enjoy, rather than squeezing their life around their 9 to 5 or later JOB.

I hope you come back to visit and learn from the information I will be sharing so that you can live the life of your dreams.