Posted in December 2013 Challenge

Three best bargain deals

It’s Saturday, December 7th, which means it’s day 7 of the 30-day blog challenge I am currently working through. Today I have decided to write on prompt #25 – “your three best bargain deals.” I’m going to interpret this prompt by listing three of my best ways to save money.

target redcard1. Target REDcard – I love Target; even more so, I love Super Target. I love the products Target sells, and I love that I get coupons almost every time I shop.

Early in my junior year of college, I heard about the Target REDcard. At first, I ignored it, because I thought it was just another store credit card, but then I learned they have a debit card option. I feel like many people don’t understand the greatness of this option.

I have not been sponsored or paid or anything of that sort to do this, but let me just give you a brief advertisement: So like most people, I imagine you have a debit card. Isn’t it great? It’s like having cash, but in a convenient card. Now imagine if that same debit card account could give you a bonus 5% off every purchase you made at Target, even in the Starbucks or Pizza Huts in Super Targets? Well, that is possible! The Target RED debit card is connected to your existing debit card account. You can even use the same pin number. The only difference is that it is an additional card in your wallet with a Target logo that can only be used in Target stores or online at target.com, but it saves you money and doesn’t add any additional bills to your life!

And for those of you who still, for whatever reason, prefer credit cards, they also offer a Target RED credit card.

As of today, I have saved $98.34 in 2013 shopping at Target with my RED debit card. I think it’s definitely worth getting if you shop at Target somewhat regularly.

walgreens balance rewards2. Store Rewards/Points Cards – Those who know me personally know how many things I have on my keychain. I have my car keys, house keys, mailbox key, and fake souvenir keys and keychains from around the world, but I also have a variety of store reward or point cards.

These cards, 99% of the time, are 100% free to get. On my keychain I have one for Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Rite Aid, Panera Bread, Shoe Carnival, Office Depot, and more.

How do these cards work? Whenever you go shopping, just give your cashier the wallet-size card, or your keys with the one attached to them and they will scan it with your purchase. You get points back per dollar amount your spend, and in some cases, you get discounts on products you purchase that day.

Currently my favorites are the Walgreens and Panera Bread rewards/points cards simply because I happen to go to these places fairly regularly. At Walgreens, you not only get a discount on many purchases, but you also gain points that transfer into dollars you can save later. In the past, I’ve made $20 purchases and only had to pay $5 or less after I swiped my points cards and used the rewards I had gained. At Panera Bread, you can earn free food or drinks, and who doesn’t love that?

How do you get one of these cards? Most of the time, the store will have them available at the register, but if they are not visible, it never hurts to ask if the store offers some kind of free rewards card. I have obtained some for local grocery stores just by asking. Some places advertise them better than others, but again, why not take a chance on something free?

amazon prime3. Amazon Prime – As a student, I can get a student rate on Amazon Prime, so I definitely took advantage of this. The perks of Prime status include, but are not limited to, getting free shipping on most purchases from Amazon, having them shipped in one or two-day shipping times (very fast!), and, if you are a kindle user like myself, you get access to the lender’s library where you can borrow books from the lender’s library to read for free.

If you aren’t a student, I still recommend looking into Amazon Prime if you are a regular online consumer. The benefits pay for themselves in many cases.

What special tricks do you have for saving money?

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