Have you ever bought Jif To-Go? They are little 1.5 ounce cups of peanut butter perfect for taking on the go, packing in school or work lunches, or traveling. Yes, you could spread them onto toast or a bagel. You could make a pb&J sandwich with them. But I think they are the bomb if you want a healthy snack like apples or celery sticks dipped in peanut butter.
The Cost of Convenience
Convenience is valuable. So is your money. So is your time. So is the environment. There are a lot of factors that go into play in decisions we make every day. I once bought these Jif To-Go cups at my local grocery store because they were on the gas deals for the week (Check out my "Free Gas, Free Flights Post"), but to be honest I would not normally spend the money on them.
Buying disposable, single serving cups like these does create more garbage/waste and it is more costly (though convenient!!). I generally opt for the option of making my own at home. You can buy small plastic containers that are perfect for portioning out snacks like nuts, peanut butter, dressings, etc. Or if you are on the glass-only containers train, there are great options for small containers there as well. Honestly, baby food jars are a great option! Fill the containers as needed or you can fill up a bunch of them and have them ready to go in your pantry for quick lunch and snack prep!
Now in some cases it is just not practical to have reusable containers. Maybe you need to provide a snack for a whole classroom or tour group and disposable is your only option. Again, you can buy the pre-made Jif To-Go cups, or whatever other brand. But you can also buy empty 2 ounceplastic cups with lids on Amazon and fill them with the peanut butter, nut butter, etc of your choice for a fraction of the cost and to be honest it doesn't have to take long.
What do you think?
Is it worth it to you to take the time to make your own on-the-go peanut butter cups whether in disposable plastic cups, reusable plastic, or glass jars? Would you rather just enjoy the convenience of the branded options?
For me, the savings is worth it. It all helps contribute to funding travel. Little by little.
Previously I wrote a post about how to become an Amazon Product Reviewer. It can help you save money on products you were already going to buy for simply giving feedback after using the product. This also can help small businesses and help your travel (or whatever) fund.
You may have seen the hub-ub on the internet about Amazon "banning" reviews in exchange for free items. So.. this has caused a huge amount of chaos and questions in the internet world since Amazon changed their terms for writing reviews. I believe that went into effect just two days ago, October 3, 2016.
I'm including below a relevant excerpt from the review guidelines as well as how some of the review companies I have worked with in the past are responding/handling this change. It remains to be seen the longterm impact. Still, I hope it will improve review quality. Filter out less helpful reviews. And allow people to leave a review when they truly have a solid opinion rather than within a certain length of time. Vamos a ver!
What do you think about the changes? Will it affect you at all? How are other Amazon Review companies you know of responding? Feel free to leave a comment; I'm curious!
Excerpt of Amazon Guidelines For Product Reviews
How Companies Are Handling This Change:
Here's how Tomoson, I Love To Review, Giveaway Service, Dollar Deal Reviews, Amazing Deal Group, Amazon Review Trader, Snagshout, and Elite Deal Club are handling the change in Amazon's review terms.
Did you know that you can also get cash back on groceries?
I'm not talking about paper coupons, coupons loaded onto your store card, mail in rebates, or credit card points.
I'm talking about Checkout51!!! When you create an account on Checkout51 or download the app, you will see grocery (etc) offers. When you purchase the items on there, you upload your receipt, and they deposit that cash back in to your Checkout 51 account. When you get $20 you can request a check!
If you have a few minutes to spare here or there, even when waiting at an appointment or something, you can take advantage of this and the savings to add up!
Get $5 when you sign up - limited time!
Why would you want to be a reviewer?
There are a number of reasons you might want to be anAmazon Reviewer. They may include the following, which are in no particular order:
Why would someone not want to be a reviewer?
The interweb has changed the world in so many ways. It can be a powerful tool for good or bad. It can helps you accomplish things more efficiently and effectively or can leave you taken advantage of.
Between Amazon's unending selection of goods with it's famous 2-day Prime shipping, incredible online deals from retailers of all sorts that are often better than rummaging through racks in store or getting trampled on Black( & blue) Friday, and the flat out busy schedules we all lead, it's no wonder that soooo much shopping is being done online. You probably get emails from stores you like and they will cue you in on new sales and coupons and that is great. But would you like to kick it up a notch? Of course you would...
What Are Cash Back Websites?
I know it seems to be too good to be true, but cash websites are not a scam. (Okay, maybe some are - I don't know!?) But the concept is not an attack on the feeble-minded. It's legit. And it can change your online shopping game.
Rather than keeping all of the commission a retailer gives the Cash Back company, they offer you part of that commission. While each sale nets less $$ for the Cash Back company, the draw of getting cash back (in other words: an extra, stackable discount) is so appealing to the customer that they will shop through whichever Cash Back company they choose over and over again. That leaves the Cash Back company benefiting by more commissions purely by volume and the consumer benefiting by extra cash-money!
Which Ones Are Safe?
_This quarter (April - May - June 2016) I intend to bank gas points (can you say $0.00 per gallon people?!) and credit card points (can you say free flights?!) big time!
[insert heart-eyed emoji]
This is why I love my Chase Freedom Card.
The 5% bonus cash back category this quarter is grocery stores!!!
Note that Walmart and Target are not included, but it looks like Wholesale Clubs like Sams Club and BJs are included.
Now, I really don't shop at wholesale clubs, I generally avoid Walmart like the plague and sadly do not have a Target near me anyways. But since I am a human being, I do need food, and I do go to grocery stores!
(And hooray that Aldi's is finally accepting credit cards and I can get some points over there too!!)
Each quarter you can get the 5% bonus on up to $1,500 worth of purchases for all categories combined. In other words, its not $1,500 at grocery stores and $1,500 at wholesale stores, but $1,500 all together, in any configuration.
$1,500 x 5% = $75 cash back! Great deal. But an even better deal is taking the 7,500 points and transferring them to your Chase Sapphire card 1:1 to use them for travel and free airfare. Now your $75 could be more like a one-way ticket somewhere! YAY!
Free Toms?! How does that sound to you? Sounds great to me!!
My Passport Rewards
The well-known alpargata shoe brand has a program called "My Passport Rewards".
You can redeem your rewards for things like Toms discount codes, desktop backgrounds, donations, or Toms merch including varying limited edition and classic Toms shoes!
Start Earning Stamps
The great news is there are a ton of ways to earn stamps!
Some methods only give you points once, whereas others you can continue to earn on a consistent basis.
Connect your Facebook (25 stamps), Instagram (25 stamps), Twitter (25 stamps) and Foursquare (25 stamps) you will start your account off with 100 stamps. These are rewarded once per lifetime.
When you follow Toms on Instagram and Twitter, you will automatically get 1 stamp per every month that you follow them. (12 stamps/year each x 2 = 24 stamps) Now you're up to 124 stamps!
More Ways to Fill Your Passport
Responding to Tom's marketing in other ways gives you stamps.
How Many Stamps For Free Classics?!
Okay sounds great, but how many stamps do you need for a pair of new classics?
Only 520 for adult classics!
(420 for youth classics)
Easy Scenario For a Free Pair of Toms!!
That gives you easily 565 stamps a year! Way to go, you've earned a free pair of Toms!!!
Of course, if you want it to happen faster, you can vary your methods of stamp accrual. Still, I see this as a nice rewards program for customers that really takes minimal effort. I have folders that I have links saved to on my computer and when I open Safari I open all the tabs at once. This is an easy way to remember to log in every day. Open your browser, click your folder of sites you need to visit, then click "Open in New Tabs". Go through each tab like a "to-do" list. Log into your Toms account and you can cross that off your "to-do" list. If you have a minute, click an article or video for extra stamps. If you see a great new style you love, post it to social media with the hashtag #TOMSPassportRewards for bonus stamps. And if you planned on making a Toms purchase anyways, then just make sure you're logged in when you do it so you can get those extra stamps too!
$20 off Toms Purchase
If there are some things in your Toms shopping cart and you'd like to save $20 bucks and get a boost on your passport stamps, then more great news!!
$20 off your first Toms purchase awaits you: $20 off Toms
Check For Coupons Online
swagFun Fact: Here in Pennsylvania, the Fine Wine & Good Spirits store has sales and new coupons every month!!! If you want to pop some champagne, or try a new mixed drink, check their website to see what is on sale this month and what coupons are available. More often than not you will see that the coupons match up to items already on sale so you will get double savings! Hooray!
Check the Coupon Inserts in the Mail or Newspaper
I know at different times the coupon inserts that arrive in your mail or newspaper will have rebates from liquor companies that you can mail in. Usually it seems to be around holidays or major sporting events like the Super Bowl.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled at the Store
While you're at the store, you will notice the sale tags for items, but also look for a clearance section, and end cap, or an extra mark down in the usual spot. Some items were not popular with most people or are discontinued for some other reason, but you may have loved it. Some items are seasonal-type flavors so they need to get rid of them to make room for new flavors.
Keep your eyes peeled for adornment on the bottle necks equating to dollars off or mail in rebates for that bottle. Stack those deals with the sale and you're in good! Don't be afraid to get down on your haunches to see if the next bottle back has a tag that the first row doesn't!
Quick Review, Kids:
1. Check the websites for coupons
2. Check the coupon inserts for rebates
3. Check the store for clearance items and coupon or rebate hang tags on the bottles
You Can Save Money on Alcohol!
The best way to save money on alcohol? Don't consume it! haha!! Of course there is nothing wrong with balanced and responsible consumption (over 21 in this neck of the woods), so enjoy! Now you know how you can save some money and probably grab some new items you would have overlooked before! :o)
No, I don't have a special hand washing technique that you should try to master. But maybe you do, and if you do, I want to know. Tell me!!!
But I do wash my hands with foaming soap! And using foaming soap has resulted in simple savings.
To refill foaming hand soap, I take any regular soap (read: not the kind with little beads in it) and pour some in the bottom of my dispenser. I don't weigh out exact measurements, but look to fill about 1/5th of the dispenser. After that, add a slow stream of water until the bottle is roughly 3/4 full. Then shake gently for the soap and water to mix. Voila! You have foaming soap.
For whatever reason, I always felt that foaming hand soap is luxurious? I really like using it. And it is convenient that using it ends up being way more cost effective than regular hand soap. Score!
No, this won't instantly leave you with enough finds to stay at that private island in Fiji listed on Airbnb, but remember every little bit counts, right? ;-) You'll be sipping drinks out of a pineapple before you know it!
I don't just mean that in the sense that they help me to see which obviously helps me plan and enjoy travel. No.. I mean my choice in contact lenses helps me save money I put toward travel!
It's been almost 7 years since I made the switch. I had been using Acuvue Oasys with Hydraclear contact lenses. You were to replace them every 1-2 weeks. Still, my eyes experienced so much irritation and I keept getting eye infections. -_- Eye infections are lame.
Somehow I stumbled on Daysoft contact lenses. They are made by the inventor of daily disposable contacts. I use the Daysoft Silk lenses. I love them!!! Ever since I switched, I have had zero eye infections!
So my Acuvue contacts were costing between $200-300 per year.
These contacts cost me just over $9 per box including shipping from the UK. Each box has 32 lenses. I usually buy 2 boxes at a time for about $18 total. They are daily disposables, but I take them out each night and wear them for one week. Every Friday night I throw them away! My eyes have never felt better! Everyone's eyes and eye needs are different, and I am not recommending to use them for a week. I am just being frank by telling you that's what I do. And if one tears, or my eye is irritated, well I don't have any qualms about chucking it way sooner. I end up buying contacts twice a year. So for close to $35/year I get my contacts, have little to no eye issues and resulting doctor's appointments and prescriptions for eye ointments! Hoorah!
So between the cost of the Acuvue contacts I was using, the copays for the doctor visits and the prescriptions for eye infections, I was spending a lot before. I literally save a couple hundred dollars every year.
That money goes straight to the savings and when I have enough I can head out on my next adventure! ;-)
Just a little way I save. I hope it helps you to save also!
Check back next week for another small way I save for travel. :-D
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