Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Second Job

I recently have acquired a second job. And that second job is couponing, doing research, crunching numbers, and ultimately saving money. I have written before about how I started couponing less than two weeks ago. And I even started another blog to track all of my savings and share ideas. Even though I'm blogging over there, I'm so excited about this "second job," that I thought I'd share some tips over on this blog as well :-) In the long run, I hope to save enough money that it will actually be like the earnings from a second job! Did I say "second job" enough times in that paragraph for you? :-P

So here is what I have learned in the past almost-two-weeks:

1. You gotta learn how to work Walgreens sales/coupons/Register Rewards! I have gotten a significant amount of my stockpile (see #2) for pennies or for free. It is seriously my new favorite store. I used to think that Walgreens was incredibly overpriced, and I didn't understand why anyone would shop there. I understand, now! I can get name brand, top-of-the-line stuff for cheaper than the off brands! And when my Register Rewards print out, I feel a little rush every time (Register Rewards are coupons that are as good as cash...for anything at Walgreens, that is. They print off for certain items which are posted in the weekly newspaper ad).
2. Stockpile! I have bought a lot of toothpaste in the past week because it is cheap and I got Register Rewards for buying it. I basically paid $.99 for each tube this week. And now, for the next few months, I won't have to buy any. When our current tube of toothpaste is running low, and toothpaste is selling for over $3 at Giant Eagle or even my beloved Walgreens, I can laugh because I have a ton of it stocked up in my bathroom that I paid much less for! That is the beauty of a stockpile. Buy when it's cheap/free and save it for later. Here is the measly little stockpile I have started. Remember, I began less than two weeks ago:3. Do your research! I've had so much fun the past two Saturday mornings searching through the coupons and ads (Ummm, that makes me a really huge nerd, doesn't it? :-P). I cut out all the coupons I think I'll use for the week, then circle any sale items in the ads that match with the coupons, or any that are just too good to pass up. Then EVERY DAY, and I mean multiple times a day, I check the blogs. There are a few that I check pretty much every time I sit down at my computer: Money Saving Mom, Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring (which is a local one, if you know me in "real life" and live around me), The Krazy Coupon Lady, and Meg's money-saving blog, Saving on the Essentials. Those blogs have been such valuable resources, and have helped me find deals and freebies that I wouldn't have found on my own.

4. Sign up for free samples. 'Nuff said. (The blogs above will often post about these).

5. Swagbucks is like free money. If you're not familiar with the site, it's basically a search engine, online shopping center, and so much more rolled into one. You earn "Swagbucks" for searching, shopping, and doing other random things on their website, and you can redeem them in the "Swag Store" for all kinds of cool stuff. I am saving up my Swagbucks for Amazon gift cards to use at Christmastime! In less than ten days, I have already racked up 182 Swagbucks, just for using their search engine. I think I will make an average of 100 Swagbucks a week, just from searching. There are 36 weeks until Christmas, so that's about 3,600 Swagbucks. Plus I get them everytime I buy anything to any of the stores linked to their site. So I'm guessing it will be a lot more than that, even. A $5 Amazon gift card is about 450 points. If I did my math write, that's $40 in gift cards just for using their search engine by Christmastime. I'm thinking the total will be at least doubled. so I'm predicting having $80 in gift cards by Christmastime. That's enough to buy two or three people their gifts. Not too shabby....free money, like I said :-) I have rambled on about this way more than I meant to!

Okay, so that's all for today. And just to give you an idea of the power of coupons and deals, I have saved $197.47 since April 7! Again, that's less than two weeks, people!! (admittedly, a large chunk of that was from the free stuff I got from hosting a Mary Kay party. It is, however, not including the freebies I have scored - a free movie ticket and a plethora of free hair products :-))

Happy Saving!!


  1. When we move to Charleston and I'll solely working from home, I'm hoping to get more into this! I think it's awesome and a great way for me to contribute by finding savings!

  2. Great job, Jessica! This is awesome!
    Yeah, I'm a big fan of Swagbucks...I have $10 of Amazon giftcards stashed at the moment. :)

  3. Wow you're on a roll. I wish I could get more into this, but I just don't seem to have time to research anything right now. I've heard a lot about "swagbucks" but didn't really get the concept until your explanation. I'm glad you broke it down for me.


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