Monday, July 11, 2011

Saving Money (Part 1)

OK. So many friends have been asking me about saving money, using coupons, etc. Every time I run into someone they ask, "What are the coupon sites you use?" or "Where do you get your coupons?"

I have been dutifully sending long emails with tons of information about the sites I use and my saving methods. There are lots of sites out there that help you achieve what I've been doing, but the truth is that unless some people hear it directly from a friend they won't do it. So I've decided to take a few day and write about how I save money and what methods work for me. I will be writing a series of blogs where I will basically evaluate 1 to 2 methods or sites per blog. I will make reference to other bloggers that I follow because the truth is that these methods aren't mine, they are a blend of different ideas that are out there. I have done the research (and am still researching) and will give credit to everyone who has helped me in my money saving endeavor.

To start off, today I will be writing about a savings program which is fairly new called Saving Star. Saving star is an ecoupon site that offers certain ecoupons on a monthly basis. The ecoupons can be linked to your store loyalty cards. This program is great for everyone but especially for those that want some savings but don't like clipping or printing coupons.

The ecoupons do not give you a discount on the products at the store. The product will still cost the same and your bill at the end will still be the same. The way the program works is that you link the ecoupon to your loyalty cards and when you buy the product, the discount is placed in the your saving star account. Once you accumulate $5 you can have it transferred to paypal or your bank account. This process of accrediting the discount takes from 7-30 days, but up until now the most I've ever had to wait is 20 days. The paypal transfer, which is the only method I have used, takes about 24 hours.

If you are looking for immediate savings, this is not the program for you. Now if you're like me and like switching purses or putting on a jacket and suddenly finding some money in your pocket, this is your type of program. You link the ecoupons and perform your regular shopping, then when you least expect it you go to your saving star account and have over $5 accumulated and can withdraw the moneey. The good part is that the coupons are usually similar to coupons that are in the papers. Thus, chances are you were going to buy those products to take advantage of the coupons anyway.

Now, a lot people have asked if you can use both saving star and the regular clipped or prined coupons. Up until now, I haven't had any problems because I'm not getting the saving star discount at the cash register but deposited into my account. If they decide to change this in the future we will just have to wait and see.