Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Free Chips and Cheese at California Tortilla (4/15/14 Only)


That’s right—because you pay big cheese on Tax Day, we’re going to give you some free cheese right back. All you have to do is make a purchase at any California Tortilla on Tuesday, April 15th and when you say the secret password “Taxes Shmaxes,” we’ll give you free Chips and Queso or Salsa.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Kohl's Deals: 30% off, Free Shipping + earn $10 Kohl's Cash

  • Get 30% off with coupon code SHOP30 ends 4/2/14
  • Get free shipping with no minimum order with coupon code WESHIPFREE
    ends 4/2/14
  • Get $10 Kohl's cash for every $50
Earn Kohl's Cash

From 12am (CDT) March 26 to 11:59pm (CDT) March 30, 2014 everyone gets $10 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent in store, online & at the kiosk on all sale-, regular- and clearance-priced merchandise!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Making sure that your total bill is correct

Nothing is fool-proof, even with the scanning technology that we have today. Computers will do only what they are programmed to do - including overcharging you for that bag of carrots if the price was not updated correctly in the system!

I take my time shopping around for the best deals and matching my coupons - all that work would be a total waste if my purchases do not scan correctly or my coupons do not scan or do not double.


How many times have you been charged incorrectly? How many times did your coupon not scan or did not double? Well, if you are not checking your total bill, then you would not know, right?

I have had many instances where my total bill was incorrect that were due to:
  • item ringing up with the incorrect price
  • cashier punching in the wrong code for a produce item (which seems to always end up to be the more expensive item!)
  • cashier ringing up the item more than once
  • coupon not scanning
  • coupon not doubling
Just last week, I had an extra item ring up. It was a $3 difference from what my expected total was. I wouldn't have noticed that if I didn't know what my total should be. There are also many times that a coupon did not double. The store couldn't explain it to me, just that sometimes the computers do not work as they are supposed to. They manually double the coupon for me with no problems.


Out of MilkI have been using an App on my phone to keep track of my purchases (including the coupons) and it has saved me money that I would otherwise have wasted.
 There are many grocery list app out there but I have found that the Out of Milk App meets my needs. It is a free app and is very user-friendly.

To keep track of my purchases:
  1. I scan or enter each item that I put in my cart.
  2. Out of Milk also has a field for coupons so that you can enter the actual price of the product and then enter the coupon amount in a separate field and it reduces the net price by the coupon. This is helpful because it is easier to match the prices on the receipt when I have to check my receipt if my total is off.
  3. I don't worry too much about what items are taxable or not. I just go by the total on my App and compare that with the total (before tax) before I pay.
  4. Another thing that I have found useful is to group my coupons by amount and then list (on a piece of paper) how many coupons of each amount I have. I have separate totals for coupons that double and ones that do not and then have a final total of coupons. (I usually save about 30% of my grocery bill just on coupons alone, so it is a big chunk of money and definitely worth the time for me to make sure they were all scanned).
If my total is off:
  1. First, I check the total coupon savings printed on the receipt against my total coupons. That's how I can quickly make sure that all my coupons were scanned (and doubled) correctly.
  2. If it's a coupon issue, then I scan the coupons by amount to make sure I have the correct count for each (I hand the coupons in groups by amount so it is easy to see).
  3. If all coupons scanned and there is still an issue, then I check if any of them did not double as they were supposed to.
  4. If it's not the coupons, then I check each item to see if anything was charged incorrectly, or if an extra item was scanned (like last week when an extra $3 item was inadvertently scanned).
It's easier to get my bill corrected and any coupon issues resolved if I take care of it BEFORE I leave the store. It takes little time to enter items as I get them, but that little time has saved me a lot of money in the end.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Looking to Expand Your Knowledge? Take Courses for Free

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Men's Socks for $0.77 Per Pair on Kohls.com

Everyone needs socks - and my husband could use more at this time, which is perfect with the current deals on Kohls.com

Tek Gear® 11-pk. 1/4-Crew Athletic Socks is $20 with a Buy 1, Get 1/2 Off deal, making the total $30 for two packs of 11.


Coupon Codes

  • Use coupon code TENBUCKS that is supposed to be the $10 off any $30 purchase coupon but it is saying that it is giving an extra 15% on top of that so that the total money off is $13.
  • Use a second coupon code SHIP4UFEB to get free shipping with no minimum (with your Kohl's charge)
The $10 coupon is good until 2/19/14. You can find Kohl's coupon codes on http://www.retailmenot.com/s/kohl%27s

The final total is $17 for 22 pairs of socks or $0.77 per pair.

I actually got this order for free because I used my Discover cashback bonus. If you have a Discover credit card, you can cash in your cashback bonus for gift cards, like Kohl's gift cards.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Save Money on Your Trash Disposal Fees by Shopping Around

We received our new quarterly trash disposal bill from Advanced Disposal, which showed a rate increase of $4.17 per quarter, plus a new administrative fee assessment of $2 per quarter. That is a $6.17 increase per quarter from our old rate of $83.25.

There is always an option

We never just say okay to rate increases on any of our bills. We have made some drastic changes for the past year or so, which were all triggered by rate increases by the companies that we deal with. We have saved a LOT of money so far by shopping around and making changes to our plans. The lesson that we have learned is that you always have an option. It is your money, you have the say on how you should spend it. Don't allow companies to just raise your rates without giving you options on how to lower them. They are working for you.

Call your provider

The first step is to call your provider. Let them know that you are not satisfied with the increased rates and ask them what options they can give you to help lower your rates. For the most part, they will give you options like lowering the level of service or plan, giving you a discounted rate for a certain period of time (like 12 months), offering a discounted rate if you sign a contract or prepay, etc.

When we called Advanced Disposal, we were given two options:
  1. We pay our old rate of $83.25 but they will keep assessing us the $2 admin fee per quarter. This is a total of $85.25 per quarter or $341 for the year.
  2. We prepay for the year to get a 5% discount and only pay the $2 admin fee once. The annual rate is $349.68, which is $332.20 after the 5% discount plus the $2 admin fee = 334.20 per year or $83.55 per quarter.
We do not know if we have always had the option to get a 5% discount if we prepaid, so we potentially could have been paying less all along. This makes us realize that we probably should review our plans every year and contact our providers to see what savings options are available instead of waiting to get a bill increase in order to contact them - lesson learned.

Call around for the best rates

Option 2 that gives us $83.55 per quarter was only a couple of cents more than our old rate and we could have just stayed with that. However, we decided it was time to review rates with other companies. We shopped around years ago when we originally set up our trash disposal service when we first moved in. But things change and lower rates may be available as more companies offer services. We called AJ Blosenski and Diamond Disposal to get their rates.

It is important to also inquire about the level of service included in the quarterly rates because they can vary. For example, some companies may limit the number of trash cans, bulk items, or frequency of recycling pick up than what you are used to. My husband has his own handyman business and frequently needs to throw out bulk items in the trash, so it is important to us that we are able to have this service.

AJ Blosenski's rates are $87 per quarter, which is way much more than the $83.55. When we asked about other savings option, we were told that we can sign a 3-year contract, which will give us the following rates:
  • $75 per quarter for year 1
  • $78 per quarter for year 2
  • $81 per quarter for year 3
Diamond Disposal gave us a rate of $69 per quarter or $65 per quarter if we use our own trash cans. We have a lot of trash cans and so this is not a problem for us. We are saving $18.55 per quarter by switching to Diamond Disposal and still get the same level of service for the trash pick up as we did with Advanced Disposal.

Before switching, check if your current company will match the competitor's pricing

We called Advanced Disposal to let them know about Diamond Disposal's lower rates and asked if they are able to match them. The best thing they could do is to give us $1 off per month. The decision was a no-brainer and so we decided to save $18.55 per quarter by going with Diamond Disposal.

It pays to re-assess your current service plan

The whole process did not take long at all, it only takes about 30 minutes to talk to your current provider and shop around. If you have extra time, you can also call more companies for prices. Also, if you know that you do not have a lot of trash to dispose of, then you can most likely find much lower rates with a more basic plan. It all depends on your needs.

Another option is to combine your trash pick up with your neighbor and only pay half of the fees. This of course works only if you do not have a lot of trash every week - and if you get along with your neighbor!

Remember that your are the customer and there are always other options available to you. All you have to do is ask. And if you don't get an option that works for you, then at least you tried and did not just willingly accept higher rates imposed on you by companies that need your business.

Also, it is good to just ask savings options that are available to you with your current provider such as the pre-payment discount. The little savings here and there eventually add up.