May 16

Is that what they are calling whatever happened?
This week we start with a Guest post at Out of Your Rut, A better way to budget. I like the idea of first tracking your spending to have a baseline from which to progress. Read the rest if you can use an idea on how to get started. The Author Paul Williams blogs at Provident Planning.

Miranda Marquit asks Using Your Coupons: Is it Really a Good Deal? It might not always be, but when then are used right, there’s some savings to be had. A nice post to shed some light on this topic.

Kristin Harad, posting at fat wallet, asks, Are You Saving Too Much for Your Children’s Education? She helps you to understand why your own finances, emergency fund, and retirement savings should take priority.

Neal Frankle over at The Wealth Pilgrim (and a fellow Money Maven Network member) shares his thoughts on How To Select The Right Roth Beneficiary. This issue is too important to be overlooked, the wrong choices can cost your family quite a bit of money over time. Read Neal’s post, and choose wisely.

Shawn Watson at Watson Inc asks Do The Rich Pay Their Fair Share Of Taxes? This is really a question with no answer in sight. With the bottom 47% or so of taxpayers paying no Federal tax at all, it would seem that the middle and upper class are all paying more than their fair share. I’d bet that you can get twelve honest people in a room and they will never reach a consensus on what a fair tax structure is. I sure don’t know.

And last this week, Jason at Redeeming Riches, tell us The #1 Thing You Should Do With Your Money (And Probably Don’t). I don’t want to ruin the punchline, you’ll just have to visit to find out.

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Feb 05

For many, when you think of savings the first thing that comes to mind is “cutting coupons.” That’s one way, but there are many more. Today, I’d like to share my favorite on line sites to find a bargain.

Coupons.com is a great source of coupons you can print from your printer. Yes, I suppose they have to be cut, but it’s worth a look to see what coupons are available for thing you buy anyway.

For electronics, I found Ben’s Bargains to be a money saver. Woot also offers electronics but in a strange “one day one deal” method. Odd business model but a fun site to visit.

FatWallet is a forum and site to help find great deals. Friendly bunch over there.

RetailMeNot is a site providing online discount codes. I recently was looking for a computer related eBook, and RMN gave me a 40% off code to use for the download, not bad for a minute’s work.

Last today, I’ll present I heart CVS, I heart Rite Aid, and I heart Wags (Walgreens). These sites help you strategize for the best deals at these three stores.

What sites are your favorites?

Joe

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Jan 29

This year, I said that I’d use the last Friday of each month to track savings from coupons or great deals. A bit of a slow month, as I didn’t make as many stock-up purchases as I might in a normal month. The biggest deal was the CVS Pepsi brand deal. Buy $20 worth of Pepsico items, including their soda, Starbucks drinks and Tostidos chips or salsa and get $10 in ExtraCare Bucks (ECBs) back.

From the I Heart CVS site I had gotten printable $5 off $20 coupons before my visit. So, $40 in total purchases over two trips, using two $5 coupons, and getting $20 back, and I’d be out of pocket $10 plus bottle deposits. Turns out the computer missed my ECB printing on the first visit, so the cashier forced a print. But on the second visit I got 2 $10 ECBs. In the end, I scored $40 worth of stuff for free. The soda all went to a school function where soda was our assigned item, the chips, salsa, and Starbucks drinks are in the pantry.

The other score – Jane 2.0’s school was having a food drive. Store had a buy $20 in Progresso soup (among other stuff I didn’t need) and get $10 toward next purchase. Soup was on sale for $1 (usually about $2.49). I also had 6 coupons for $1.10 off 3 cans. So even though it was for charity, I sent in soup shelf tagged for nearly $50 for $3,40 out of pocket.That was it for this month.

Last call for free book!

Two weeks back I read Your Money Ratios, an excellent book, and offered to give away a copy to one lucky reader. To enter, just subscribe to my emailed RSS feed before this Sunday when I will choose a winner. Good luck.

Joe

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Jan 08

I’ve spoken here about shopping for sales and the use of coupons to stretch your shopping budget. I thought it would be an interesting experiment to track my own savings here reporting on the last Friday of each month. I’ll count sales that I use to stock up on items as well as coupons/rebates. I won’t count things bought with a coupon that weren’t really needed in the first place (like the extra hard drive I just bought with a $25 coupon to Staples.) Let’s see how much these efforts actually return over a year’s time.

Cool Coffee Coupon!

photo credit: HA! Designs – Artbyheather

Please leave a comment and let me know what you’re doing to save on your every day expenses.

Joe

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Dec 04

I’ve been thinking of a year-long project for 2010.

Planning to track my savings from coupons, rebates (I don’t do too many of these), and CVS. Any cash back on credit cards will also count.
Shortly after I got married, I did this to prove to my wife that it wasn’t just a few dollars. Over the course of a year the savings exceeded $2000.

So, I’m going to start tracking after the New Year, and report on the first Friday of each month how I did the month prior. Let’s see what I can learn from this exercise and what ideas I can share with you.

Joe

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