Like clock work, back to school clothes and supply shopping hits the pocket book hard. It seems like everything that needs monetary attention, happens around this time as well (fixing a car tire, dental work, college student fees and so on). I had to review our budget to look at funds available. One of budget strategies we discussed was purchasing Visa Gift Cards to hold until these types of expenses come up and they do, every year. This is a great idea, especially if you can find discounts on the gift card purchases. For example, right now Office Max has a deal to maximize on savings:
$15 off when you purchase $300 in Visa Gift Cards. The offer is valid from August 23rd – August 29, 2015.
While this saves $15 off the top, add in other coupons and you can save up to $100 or more (depending on your strategy). My husband has no desire to do the research thus I end up spending about an hour or so doing the legwork.
Here are the steps I follow:
- Make a list of the items needed
- Price compare store sales via online circulars for price matching
- Sign-up for store rewards program
- Search for printable coupons to use in-store (check restrictions)
- Return empty ink cartridges (30 day processing).
Finally, I would split up the purchases. One part for Office Max and the other for clothes. Repeat the steps above for each retailer. Finally, after the purchase, some items will go on sale. Note, some stores will refund the difference but you’ll need to follow store policies.
There are so many ways to save but it does take time to prepare. I am curious, what strategies do you use to save — anything I have not mentioned? Or maybe you think it is not worth the hassle?
Bonus savings: If you have a Chase Ink Business credit card, you can double up on the savings! Card holders will receive increased rewards on specific purchases made at Office Max stores (4x the points or 5% cash back on the Visa Gift Card purchase). Visa Gift cards can be used everywhere the U.S. Visa Debit is accepted.
Details: Activation fees apply. Limit of 2 per household. See your local store for more details.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
I think it was a nostalgic trip down memory lane that triggered this. I found myself searching for laser show discounts on Groupon this past week. Perhaps that or another birthday headed my way or just something random. Seems to be happening a lot lately. Either way, I realized my affection for the things from my youth still lives.
Your summers might sound a little like mine. Typical teen adventures. I spent countless summer hours at the mall with girl friends. Limited budgets kept us close to home and using our creativity. After scraping change together, we would head for the area where teens congregated. On the way there, I would daydream. Thoughts of clothes and makeup on an unlimited budget made me smile. Instead we would window shop at Express then pay a visit to the local music store. Whether we realized it or not, our stress was minimal. My biggest concern? If my crush called while I was out, haha!
Even though times have changed, the benefits in finding the best deals remains. Saving a little dough to hang out with your crush (or spouse) is still a priority. Plus, finding that cute top and latest makeup for the date is fun too.
One of the trends that has not gone out of style is bold stripes. I loved them then and now. Which Express piece would you pick to add to your wardrobe: A, B or C?
Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with Groupon. All opinions and thoughts are my own. All images are owned by their respective companies.
If you asked him, he would agree. A week after High School graduation and he was ready to move on. Just skip over all the sentimental bull crap that all of us parents need to work through. Catharsis. All of our lamenting about what to watch out for, how to stay out of trouble and keep focused. You know the moments where you remember your parents telling you the same thing. But we still give the advice. As if it was new.
“I’ll be fine and just cause you think I’ll make the same mistakes as you, doesn’t mean I will.”
No truer words have been said by an eighteen year old.
No truer panic has been felt by every parent hearing those words.
I will continue to sit and wait until the time is up with an ashtray full of butts. Plus, several solitary hikes later to calm my nerves. I have heard other parents talk about this process, even took in some advice. I tried to find a survival kit but it seems they do not sell them in stores. Instead, I remembered this song.
The eldest sets his sails for college this week. So, I will queue it to be heard at least once before he embarks on the 4-year long journey of discovering oneself.
I smiled as the College Admissions Clerk laughed and offered me this bit of her knowledge and experience: “their attitude and antics, I think is God’s way of making it easier for us parents to help them move out.”
Baz Luhrman’s Sunscreen advice is much easier to digest.