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Saturday Savings: Give Handmade Gifts

Posted on August 22, 2015 by Wendy Krepak

Saturday Savings: Give Handmade Gifts

In this country, we love our gift-giving holidays, especially birthdays and Christmas.

It’s not uncommon for some families to spend $2000-$3000 on gifts. A few hundred on each kid. A few hundred to one another. Then you add up all the miscellaneous gifts you give out – a birthday card to your niece, a tip for your mailman, maybe a Secret Santa at the office – and suddenly you’ve drained your bank account.

By the time many people pay off their holidays, it’s that time a year again, which just creates a cycle of debt. Only the credit card companies win: they get a year’s worth of interest every year.

Handmade gifts are an excellent way to give out gifts all year long while sticking to a reasonable budget. They’re usually inexpensive; they just take time. If you make a multiple pieces or a large batch, you can give them out whenever you like.

For example, you could knit sweaters throughout the year and even personalize them to people’s tastes. You could bake a holiday batch of your famous muffins or cookies or baklava – anything you’re good at. (Keep in mind that people love food).

If you aren’t good at making one thing in particular, you could use this as an opportunity to learn something new each year. Maybe these year everyone gets homemade candles for their birthdays and holidays. Next year learn to make your own homemade soap. The year after, built scrapbooks.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to gift-giving, but you don’t have to break the bank.

Compact Coupon and Card OrganizerWritten by Wendy Krepak, Mom, Entrepreneur and Inventor of Card Cubby, Compact Coupon and Card Organizer

For years, Wendy was losing gift cards, discount cards, loyalty cards, and frequent buyer cards. They were often at home or lost in the depths of her purse. She knew there had to be a better way so she designed Card Cubby, an alphabetized system and was amazed at how easily it worked. Her own mini filing cabinet to replace her wallet. It’s Card Cubby, LLC's mission to provide stylish, quality and money saving items to its customers.

For more information, visit www.cardcubby.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Card Cubby? Send your topic idea to pr@cardcubby.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Card Cubby makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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Couponing 101: How to REALLY Save Money

Posted on August 12, 2015 by Wendy Krepak

how to coupon

Couponing is a fantastic way to save money at your favorite stores. You may have seen one of those TV shows about “extreme coupon-ers” who save thousands. They spend 40-50 hours per week collecting and organizing coupons. That might be out of reach for most of us, but coupons can still help us save lots of money. Here’s the low down on couponing…

Collect your coupons

There are a number of places where you can build a stock pile of coupons:

  • The Sunday paper – This is the most likely place. Pick up a few local ones to make sure you are getting all the best deals.
  • Your favorite store – Many stores will leave stacks of circulars at their entrance.
  • Friends and family – Ask them for their circulars.
  • The Internet – Some stores will post their coupons online. Just print them out.
  • Your email – Sign up for promotional emails from the stores you like to get coupons delivered to your inbox.
  • Local businesses – If you really like couponing, ask local stores to set aside their leftover newspapers that didn’t sell.

Organize your coupons

Coupons are basically money. You wouldn’t leave your money strewn about, would you? The best way to organize coupons is with our Card Cubby. It allows you to alphabetically store them so you can access just the ones you need when you’re in the store.

Be mindful of the stores’ policies

Stores have different policies about how they handle coupons. Some will only accept one coupon per item, others will let you double or triple coupons. Some limit the percentage of savings you receive at the register, others don’t. Some will accept competitors’ coupons!

Make sure to get a loyalty card!

The loyalty card is the best coupon you can get! It allows you to access all (or at least) most of the store’s active coupons. Never forget to have the attendant swipe this.

Ask for a raincheck

Most stores will offer rainchecks if they are out of an item that’s on sale. When they get more of that item, they’ll honor the sale price. This ensures you get the best price and also gives you more time to hunt down more coupons for the same item.

Keep a price book

Sometimes you’ll see a sale and wonder if that’s really a good deal. Who can remember what you typically pay for every product? A price book is a simple list of your most common purchases so you can evaluate whether a coupon is any good.

Always check your receipt

Make sure you actually got the savings by checking your receipt before you leave the store. If the cashier missed your coupon or the coupon didn’t register properly, you want to go back to the counter and point it out.  It might not be fixable if you leave. It helps to watch the cashier and register during the checkout process.

More couponing tips:

  • Think to the future – You’ll probably use soap next week, so take advantage of sales today even if you won’t use the item for a while. Keep a close watch on how quickly you use each product so you can plan properly.
  • Don’t buy what you don’t use – If you never use an item, you aren’t saving money by buying it just because it’s on sale.

Compact Coupon and Card OrganizerWritten by Wendy Krepak, Mom, Entrepreneur and Inventor of Card Cubby, Compact Coupon and Card Organizer

For years, Wendy was losing gift cards, discount cards, loyalty cards, and frequent buyer cards. They were often at home or lost in the depths of her purse. She knew there had to be a better way so she designed Card Cubby, an alphabetized system and was amazed at how easily it worked. Her own mini filing cabinet to replace her wallet. It’s Card Cubby, LLC's mission to provide stylish, quality and money saving items to its customers.

For more information, visit www.cardcubby.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Card Cubby? Send your topic idea to pr@cardcubby.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Card Cubby makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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Saturday Savings: Run Your Appliances During Off-Peak Times

Posted on July 25, 2015 by Wendy Krepak

Most people aren’t aware of it, but many power companies have rates for different times of the day. When lots of people are all using power at the same time, the grid struggles to keep up.

If you live in an urban area, you’re probably familiar with rolling blackouts during the hot summer days when everyone is cranking their air conditioner.

To prevent this, power companies incentivize people to use electricity during off-peak hours with better rates. On-peak is typically from about 4 PM to 8 PM. This is the time of the day everyone is arriving home from work and getting some chores done.

Rates vary by company, area, and season, so you’ll have to check with your provider to get the details, but the discount is usually 1 to 1.5 cents off each kilowatt-hour. For reference, in the summer you pay about 6 cents per kilowatt-hour and in the winter you pay about 4 cents. So we’re talking a 15-20% discount.

If you can commit to using your big energy hogs like your dishwasher, washing machine or dryer during the off-peak hours (which is actually most of the day), you can save a significant amount of money.

It’s actually simpler than you think. If you load your dishwasher after dinner, wait until the morning to press “start.” The washer is a bit trickier because you don’t want to run it before leaving or going to sleep (which would just make musty clothes), so you’ll have to time it, but the dryer can be started before you go to work or bed for the night.

Happy savings!

Compact Coupon and Card OrganizerWritten by Wendy Krepak, Mom, Entrepreneur and Inventor of Card Cubby, Compact Coupon and Card Organizer

For years, Wendy was losing gift cards, discount cards, loyalty cards, and frequent buyer cards. They were often at home or lost in the depths of her purse. She knew there had to be a better way so she designed Card Cubby, an alphabetized system and was amazed at how easily it worked. Her own mini filing cabinet to replace her wallet. It’s Card Cubby, LLC's mission to provide stylish, quality and money saving items to its customers.

For more information, visit www.cardcubby.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Card Cubby? Send your topic idea to pr@cardcubby.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Card Cubby makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Continue reading →

Saving Money at the Mall: 17 Tips

Posted on July 14, 2015 by Wendy Krepak

Saving Money at the Mall

Ah, the mall. The bastion of shopaholics.

The mall is an easy place to spend more than you intended. In many cases, you’ll be paying the most premium retail price, which means you need some tools to save money. Check out our mall money-saving tips.

1. Only bring the cash you need to buy your items – If you’re visiting the mall to buy something specific (and have a budget in mind), only bring that much money. Leave your debit and credit cards at home.

2. Ask for a refund of the difference – If an item went on sale a week after you bought it, some stores will refund you the difference (usually in store credit, but it’s still money).

3. Comparison shop – Don’t pay the first price you see. Many items are also sold elsewhere in the same mall. Take a walk around and see where you can get a better deal.

4. Compare to online stores – If you can stand to wait a few days, check online real quick before you head to the register. Often times you can find a better price even after you pay shipping on Amazon, Overstock, or eBay.

5. Don’t shop bored – The mall is a fun hangout place for a lot of people. It’s easy to meet up with friends and grab lunch, but don’t wander around looking for something to buy.

6. Not sure? Leave the store – If you’re having doubts about buying something, leave the store. You can always think about it later on, but you can’t always return an item.

7. Don’t buy something because it’s on sale – Buying something because it costs less today doesn’t save you any money if you would have never bought it anyway. Stores try to seduce us with sales that end “THIS WEEKEND,” but don’t fall prey to their schemes.

8. Haggle where you can – Most items in a mall can’t be haggled over, but some can. You can discuss price with salesmen if you’re buying a mattress, appliance, or car parts.

9. Keep recipes and leave the tags on – Don’t “unwrap” your new items until you’re sure you want to keep them. Some stores require the tags and a recipe to return an item. If for some reason you grabbed the wrong size or the colors look different in your bathroom light, you can get your money back.

10. Shop out of season – Stores (especially clothing) divide their products into “lines” to stay with current trends. As the season changes, you can usually grab last season’s items at a bargain as stores push out their inventory.

11. Print out the store’s circular – Go into the store armed with information. Print out their deals from their website (or grab their flyer from the paper). Before you buy, do a quick check for a deal. No deal? No buy. These often have coupons you can use as well.

12. Shop on major sale events – The small weekend sales aren’t the greatest deals, but the big holidays have lots of savings because stores know they will make it up on volume. Shop on Black Friday, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the week before school starts.

13. Don’t shop with spenders – If you shop alongside people who buy irresponsibly, you might too!

14. Check the clearance bins – Most mall stores have a wall or bin somewhere near the back with the stuff they want to get rid of. Dig around and see if there’s something that meets your needs.

15. Sign up for those loyalty cards – Most big stores have a store card that will scan all of their applicable coupons and sales. You definitely want this. You’ll get all the savings without having to do any of the work.

16. Sign up for their mailing list – A simple email can’t hurt, but they often send coupons and information about bargains coming up.

17. Mind the “mall experience” – You’ll spend more money at the mall than just the items you buy. You might take in a movie, have lunch or give the kids a few dollars for the arcade. Malls are designed to keep you in and suck a few more dollars out of you.

Compact Coupon and Card OrganizerWritten by Wendy Krepak, Mom, Entrepreneur and Inventor of Card Cubby, Compact Coupon and Card Organizer

For years, Wendy was losing gift cards, discount cards, loyalty cards, and frequent buyer cards. They were often at home or lost in the depths of her purse. She knew there had to be a better way so she designed Card Cubby, an alphabetized system and was amazed at how easily it worked. Her own mini filing cabinet to replace her wallet. It’s Card Cubby, LLC's mission to provide stylish, quality and money saving items to its customers.

For more information, visit www.cardcubby.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Card Cubby? Send your topic idea to pr@cardcubby.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Card Cubby makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Continue reading →

 
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