A month by month savings guide by The Coupon Detective.
Get the money saving ball rolling, set up all of those little things that will help you bank money for the year.
First of all like my page on Facebook to get access to all the latest coupons that will save you money on everything from washing up liquid to cat food, and everything in-between.
1. Sign up to money saving sites such as top cash back start getting into the habit of going through here to buy stuff online, everything from car insurance to your groceries. Quidco is another one you can also link your debit/credit card to this site so it automatically pays you money for just shopping as normal as well as earning money through the app and surveys.
2. Download the apps, Shopitize, Clicksnap and checkout smart on your phone, this will allow you to claim money back from things you have bought just for taking pictures of your receipt. I usually put up where the best place to get them from is as you can sometimes get items for free with cashback or even paid to take them away as you can use coupons at the till and still claim the cashback.
3. Check out Swagbucks, here you can earn points from doing online surveys and playing games, you can then trade these in for gift cards to places like amazon, PC world and others.
4. Get a reward card, if you shop anywhere that has one and you don’t yet own one Why not? If you already shop there even if it’s not often you will still get rewarded for doing so. Tesco is running a great scheme for savers at Christmas, just go online to the club card site and tick the box Christmas savers, this means that you get all your money off coupons just in time for the November double up and you can top up the card throughout the year.
5. Use the site, mysupermarket.co.uk to plan you’re shopping, it shows you the cheapest place to get your shopping and means you know all the deals before so you can plan your shop around what’s on offer.
6. Have a word with your bank, if you are not earning rewards on your card of your account you might want to switch. Many banks now have a reward scheme for using your card in certain shops or just using wireless, some also have rewards for paying your bills by direct debit. I get £20 a month just for paying my bills as normal, it costs me £3 a month for the account but that still leaves me £17 in profit. At the end of the year or at certain points I can double that by choosing to take the rewards as gift cards.
7. Keep an eye out for clearance items such as gift sets that go down to silly prices so the shops can get rid of the, coop for example have all the sets on but 2 get 1 free and they have gone down to half price, so that’s great for stocking up the present cupboard for birthdays throughout the year or even Christmas next year.
Carry on using coupons wherever you can to save money, you can put the money to one side for other things or just take the savings then and there.
The garden is starting to wake up, if you are a keen gardener then now is the time to get the garden ready, if you have never tried growing things in the garden then it’s a great way of getting free vegetables and nothing beats free. Potatoes are really easy just plant them and leave them, you can buy the seeds and have fun with the kid planting them or if you don’t have the space (or in my case the patience) you can buy packs of them quite cheaply. The more you try the better, even if it fails horribly it was still fun to try and kids are more likely to eat things they have been involved in growing and picking.
The garden should now have lots of goodies n it for eating harvest all the lovely ripe tomatoes and potatoes and enjoy the free stuff, if you have a glut on one item like runner beans then you might be able to swap it at work with someone who has too many of something else.
Now is the time for those autumn harvests, if you don’t have an apple tree you might try being cheeky and asking a neighbour if they have a few to spare as rarely do they all get used. If you have the opposite problem and have too many there are several local schemes where someone will come round and pick them for you and use them to make delicious goodies, it stops waste and they are usually sold for charitable causes so you’re doing your bit to help.
Blackberry picking is one of my family’s favourite things to do this time a year (with the exception of actually eating them) so good free fun.
Hopefully you have been keeping your eye out all year for those small bargains to put aside for presents, but if not you might want to get a few now, I know it’s only October but for some people that means that there is only 2 paydays to Christmas and it’s amazing how fast it will go. If you have signed up to all the saving schemes I suggested in January, you might want to check and plan what you’re going to cash them in for. You can never guarantee how long the codes or cards will take to get to you and most of them have a long life so if you want to cash them in now then you will have them ready for sale events like black Friday, or the sales that seem to start earlier each year.
Don’t panic!! If you haven’t cashed your rewards in yet do so, either transfer the money to your account of if there is the option where you can trade them in for gift cards and usually get a bit more than if you take the cash. Keep an ear out for events like double up’s for supermarkets, both Tesco and Sainsbury’s have been doing these for a few years and it doubles the value of your points on things like toys or beauty products.
If you were savvy enough to take advantage of all the sales from last year you should have plenty of cards, wrapping paper and bows all ready. Use the gift cards in the sales to buy all the presents and even food for Christmas, wrap and sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour, knowing your bank balance had not taking the usual seasonal pounding.
By The Coupon Detective.