Trash to Treasure

In the interest of posting something besides a wine review so that no one truly believes that I’m an alcoholic, how about another topic of discussion? 😉 This past weekend was a productive one for The Husband and I. Actually most of our recent weekends have been. Since the start of the new year, we’ve redone our master bedroom, fixed some minor issues around the house, and started reorganizing lots of things! Next week is Spring Break and I’m hoping the weather will be decent so we can get started on some outdoor maintenance.

The whole reorganizing project (which currently involves building some shelves and cleaning up the office) is the reason for the title of the post. Not only did we ready an enormous pile of Goodwill donations, we also dropped off some extra building supplies to the Habitat store and took yet another trip to our county’s local recycling bins. This weekend was actually the first time that I’ve ever been in the Habitat store, and I was pretty impressed. It was much larger than I had thought it would be and I was amazed with the selection of items being offered for sale. We will definitely be checking it out again for the next big home improvement project. And if anyone is interested in getting some handy recycling bins for your kitchen, I love these from Crate & Barrel. They make it super easy to collect and sort your items. We’ve been recycling our papers for the last couple of years, but we’ve been behind on including bottles, aluminum, and plastics. With our new bins, it’s super easy for me to throw in all the kitchen trash as it accumulates and we can drop it off each weekend.

And for more of turning trash to treasure? How about all those coupons that so many people throw away every weekend? I’ve always been a big couponer— I mean come on, it’s free money! But over the last year, I’ve really worked to become better at it. Now I (almost) never leave the house without my coupon organizer, because you just never know when you’ll run into a good sale! In fact, today I went to make my end-of-the-month trip to Target and walked away spending only$33. 51 after saving $18.33. That’s a pretty impressive rate of savings if I do say so myself! It helps that Target lets you stack their coupons with manufacturer coupons and that you get 5% every time you shop with your Target Visa. Those savings really add up! And hey, that’s almost $20 that I can spend on something just for me, right??! 😉 Anyone else have any good recent sale stories to share?

Does anyone else ever seem to notice how the cost of living continues to increase, and yet salary? Not so much!

Well, in an effort to deal with that delightful phenomenon, many of us seem to be looking for more and more ways to stretch our hard-earned money. And with that in mind, I offer you a collection of my favorite money-saving/deal-finding websites.

Daily Deal Finders:

Groupon– The macdaddy of the daily deal websites/apps.  I’ve used it several times and have gotten a couple of great deals.  Lots of offers on salons, restaurants, and local activities.  Visit the page and simply pick out the city you’d like to get deals for.  They are updated each and every weekday and often have multiple offerings.  You can also download the app to your phone to check it and use one-touch purchasing.  Also great to use for other cities you may be visiting in the near future!

Roanoke Times Daily Deal– All local deals for the Roanoke Valley and surrounding areas.  Great offers on festivals, restaurants, spas, salons, and stores.  Again, I personally have used this one several times and have been happy with the results!  These deals are also updated every weekday, but are only offered for one day so you have to act fast.

Living Social–  Another great deal site that updates on weekdays and offers much the same type offers as the previous two.  Unfortunately, they haven’t created a Roanoke localized site yet, but I get the D.C. updates since we’re up there every couple of months anyway, plus some of the offers are national anyway. Again, have used a couple of times and not had any problems.  They also offer “nearby” deals, especially helpful if you’re looking for a good deal for lunch or dinner while you’re out and about, and also an “escapes” page with deals on hotels in various travel destinations.

A few others that I haven’t bought anything from yet, but that you may find useful: BuyWithMe (D.C. deals, similar to Living Social), One Kings Lane (daily deals on home decor and gourmet foods),  kgbdeals (D.C. and national deals), Tippr (D.C. deals), eversave (mostly deals for different internet stores), Plum District (deals for internet stores and D.C. area services– lots of kid related sales and a fair amount of green/organic product offers), Bloomspot (D.C. deals), VillageVines (D.C. restaurant deals)

**Note, in full disclosure:  The links to these sites are my personal referral links and yes, many of them offer you a small reward if you pass along the word about them to others.  If you’d rather bypass that whole schlock and just google the name and check it out and sign up for offers if desired, that’s totally cool with me. 🙂

Coupon Sites:

MoneySavingMom– Great site that is updated several times daily with lots of different coupon deals and freebie offers.  She also offers lots of posts about general ways to save money.

The Krazy Coupon Lady– Nice master list of coupons available to print, you just need to know what you are looking for.

Southern Savers – Really good store-by-store deal listings, especially for target! (P.S. Always remember that you can STACK coupons at Target.  If you have a manufacturer’s coupon for $1 off an item and a Target coupon for $1 of the same item, you can use them at the same time on just one item so for a $3 item- you can get it for $1.  For Target coupons visit Target coupons.)

Saving Naturally– Organic and natural products coupons and savings.

Organic Deals– More coupons and deals on organic products.

Travel Deals:

Kayak– For low-priced airfare.  It compares prices for a multitude of companies.  You can also use it for hotels and packages, but I really only use it for airfare.  Note though, to follow thru on the websites if you find a good deal, because occasionally they have other deals that may not come up in the original search.

Trip Alertz– Sort of like groupon for travel deals.

Apple Vacations– Looking for a budget vacay to Mexico or the Caribbean? This site has some of the best deals available.

Cheap Caribbean– Another great site to find budget deals on tropical vacations.

Fare Spotter– compare deals on airline tickets and hotel rooms

Travelzoo– sign up for their email alerts for good local travel deals

 

Play Around Online and Get Stuff Sites:

Swagbucks– Answers polls, do searches and surveys, and play games all while earning points that can be traded in for gift cards and merchandise.

MyPoints– Get points that you can use to purchase gift cards to all kinds of restaurants and stores.  Earn points thru shopping online, doing surveys, doing tasks, and just reading the emails the site sends out.  If you’d like to join my network, just drop me a line and I’ll send you my referral link.  If not, just check out the homepage.

 

There ya go! I know it was a lot of info and reading, but there are lots of deals to be had out there! So go on, start saving some money!