Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Poshmark: Shop Pre-owned and Save Your Wallet and the Planet

black purse with phone watch and cosmetics spilling out
Photo by STIL on Unsplash



     I recently rediscovered Poshmark and I'm loving it. If you haven't heard of it, Poshmark is an online marketplace where you can purchase items directly from online sellers and there's a little something there for everyone. Most of the Poshmark inventory is clothing for women, kids, men, and accessories including handbags, jewelry, and ties. They recently added a marketplace for home goods that is full of Rae Dunn and vintage household items and seasonal decor.

     The aspect of shopping for pre-owned items that I had not thought of until I started shopping and selling on Poshmark, is that clothing is being saved from landfills by being resold to be re-loved by new owners. I love being a part of the Poshmark community and cleaning out my closet and my daughter's closet to sell online. Knowing that I am saving clothes from being added to the garbage that is cluttering up landfills makes me feel even better.

     There are a lot of online thrift stores out there but I love Poshmark because you can communicate directly with the sellers and I have heard some great stories of things being passed on to new owners that were very appreciative of their new-to-them items. I have also seen sellers who take great care to package their items and send cute messages with their sales. That kind of connection is something you don't see every day. You rarely get a good customer service connection in person anymore so getting a nice thank you note from an online seller and personal one on one service is great. This is a cool way to support small businesses as well.

     One thing that is also different about Poshmark is that the sellers usually encourage you to put together bundles and to make offers. A lot of sites just post items for sale and the price is firm unless they have a sale. On Poshmark, you can negotiate prices with sellers and make reasonable offers on items you like. Look for sellers with banners that say that they welcome offers and be kind when asking and you could end up with some great bargains.

     I am still building my closet on the site but I have some good items if you decide to take a look (find me @lorisagriffith). I also share a lot of things from other sellers on my Pinterest - Lorisa's Saving's Blog under My Posh Picks. Check it out and shop pre-loved. Reduce Reuse, Recycle.

Have a great week!



     

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Dollar Tree Flat Rate Shipping August 2019

This post includes affiliate links. I may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links or banners.

halloween at dollar tree everything is $1
Photo from dollartree.com

     It's back to school time and that means Halloween is right around the corner. Get started on fall decorating and Halloween supply shopping at Dollar Tree .  Make your table look warm and inviting with decorative plates carrying the popular autumn leaf motif and words like "grateful." Carry your iced latte with fall spirit in a reusable cold drink cup with double walls to keep your drink cold. Designs include various fall designs with pumpkins and leaves. Farmhouse is still a big trend and they really have that look down at bargain prices. 
      You can order online at on the website and in some areas have items shipped to your store for free. You can also have items shipped directly to you. For three days 8-13 through 8-17 flat rate shipping is only $4.95. Stock up now!



** Follow me on Instagram at Lorisa's Savings Blog and check out my Poshmark closet under My Posh Closet board and check my favorites on Poshmark under My Posh Picks. Shop from the links on Pinterest. Have a great week!




Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Back to School Savings Tips (2019)


school supplies colorful crayons
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash


     I've been gone for a while, but I'm back for now and I will be here writing periodically. My posts may be infrequent, but I share what I can when I can. Hope you enjoy the post.


     It is that time again. Back to school shopping time, it is. My daughter is starting kindergarten this year, so I am now a part of the madness. I didn't even realize that in my county they changed the rules about going back to school after Labor Day. I found out a few months ago that they go back now in August. Growing up we always went back the day after Labor Day. Going back in September meant 2 and a half months off of school for a nice long summer break. Going back in September as a teenager meant that the MTV Music Awards happened that same month and gave you something to talk about and look forward to.

     Shopping for school when you're a kid can be fun, however, as a parent on a budget, it's stressful. Where I live, you don't buy supplies that are only for your child's use. The list clearly reflects that you are buying supplies for everyone to share. I don't like that so much because they specifically list brand names now and it gets expensive (Elmer's glue only, Fiskars scissors only, Expo dry erase markers, Crayola crayons only no off brands). As a bargain shopper, I know which off brands are just as good and much cheaper. I actually saw a teacher on line call out parents saying not to send your child to school with off-brand crayons. That's too persnickety for me because she will be using off-brand stuff to do her homework so what difference does it make. I do understand that schools undergo budget cuts and that puts a strain on teachers and administrators but that loss gets passed on to parents. On a single full-time income, these things add up. I will be getting what is required as cheap as I can find it. I'm on the Flipp and Family Dollar apps as well as checking my Ibotta all the time.

Here are my tips on saving when shopping for school items:

  • Shop Walmart and Target. Dollar Tree is great but you will find better deals on supplies at the larger stores like 25 cent spiral notebooks and 50 cent Crayola crayons. Dollar Tree is good at this time for calculators (they even have scientific ones), pens in multi-packs, paint, things for packing lunches and teaching supplies (workbooks, nametags, boarders, posterboard).
  • Check out thrift stores. Thrift stores are good for clothes that are in good condition and super cheap. Kids grow so fast that they outgrow some things before they start to show wear. Thrift stores are good for school supplies too. Sometimes Goodwill gets overstock from Target and other stores and they will sell brand new merchandise at deep discounts. I have seen pencil packs, backpacks, socks, and pens there all brand new. I have also seen used but in good condition and brand new office supplies like file folders and Swingline staplers. If you want to help a teacher out, grab something from there and drop it off at your child's school. I'm sure they'd appreciate it.
  • Shop on tax-free weekend. Some states have a weekend where they do not charge sales tax on clothes or school supplies for kids. Sometimes this coincides with hurricane safety tax-free week and you can stock up on batteries, flashlights, and such emergency items as well. Combined with coupons and cashback apps (Ibotta, Do$h) this means big savings.
  • Shop early. Shop early because things get picked over fast. Shop online if you can't find things in-store and save on shipping by doing site to store or looking for online coupons with RetailMeNot's Retail Genie Chrome Extension or app. 
  • Use store pick-up. I found out that a Walmart in my area had the primary composition book that was on my list that I had a hard time finding. It is set up differently from the regular ones so that kids in K-2nd grade can practice their handwriting skills. I ordered it on Walmart.com and did store pick up. They had one of those cool machines that acts as a vending machine to deliver your order to you. That helped me beat the long lines. I loved it. Put your order together online and make one stop to retrieve it all. Easy peasy!
Hope this helps you save money and time. Have a great week!

⇻Follow me on Instagram under Lorisa's Savings Blog. Check out my Poshmark boards: My Posh Picks (for deals from my friends on Poshmark) and My Posh Closet (for items I'm selling). Check out the blog's title board for Dollar Tree and discount store finds. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

Savings Catcher Is Cancelled, Starbucks Rewards Changes And Other Updates

*This post includes affiliate links and if you make a purchase after clicking on my links, I will be compensated.


Walmart Savings Catcher Ending Notice In App


Good Riddance Savings Catcher

     Savings Catcher by Walmart is finally biting the dust. After a bunch of changes over its lifetime, Walmart is killing the only way they do price matches. When Savings Catcher first started in 2014, it was a great program. You shopped, scanned receipts, and Walmart's Savings Catcher system price matched other retailers within a certain local area and reimbursed you the difference in price to a Savings Catcher account. It was good when it worked, but it didn't catch everything that was on sale at competing retailers. Once you got cash back, you could transfer it to a Walmart gift card or transfer it to a Bluebird Amex card. It was a really good program and app that people used to save for the holidays and save toward more groceries.
     As the program became more and more popular and Walmart started to dole out money in various forms, they started to get stingy. They realized that drug stores like Walgreens were consistently beating them week after week on their advertised sale items like paper goods and food. They stopped price matching with all drug stores which meant that CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid no longer counted. Produce also was an area where they were consistently beaten. They stopped matching produce prices as well.
     On May 14th, Walmart is ending Savings Catcher. You will still keep any balance you have on your Savings Catcher-based gift card. I suppose you will be able to use it through Walmart Pay and via the website, but as a precaution, I would probably try to use mine before then. I wouldn't trust customer support to be readily available if cards started to show 0 balances.  I won't miss it because I stopped using it when they stopped accepting scanned receipts and forced use of Walmart Pay. I have found that though I live in an area where Walmart beats nearly all the grocery stores in prices, Target, Family Dollar, Walgreens, and CVS all have digital coupons and often beat Walmart. I have been spending a lot less in Walmart this year and I love it. The less money and time I spend there the better. It will be interesting to see where their sales go from here. I'm hearing that some Walmart stores are no longer accepting internet printed coupons (like from Coupons.com) so what they should do is add digital coupons to their app like Cartwheel. That would show that they actually want to keep their customers and stay competitive with other stores like Target. I guess since they are trying to compete with Amazon, coupons are not a priority. Neither is lower prices.

Starbucks Changes Rewards Program, Again

     Starbucks Rewards is changing and I can't remember the last time I actually used my Starbucks app. I have been drinking Great Value coffee with Friendly Farms (Aldi) coffee creamer daily and loving it. I tried to have Dunkin coffee the other day and they are too hit and miss. Sometimes it is ok and others it tastes like burned watered down motor oil. I love Starbucks, I just don't go as often as I used to and when I do, I usually don't have any money on a gift card so I use my debit card. The last time I went was last week and it was a location in a hospital and I had cash so I just paid with that. I probably won't be using it much but who knows.
     According to the Starbucks customer service page on their site, redeeming birthday rewards has changed. You used to be able to redeem your reward within a few days of your birthday and now it has to be on your birth date and you have to use your card at least once in the 12 months prior in order to get your birthday reward. They send you a reminder two days prior so you don't forget to use it.
     In the Green tier, you can now redeem rewards. You can get extra pumps of syrup with your stars-about 25 (yeah I'd never use that). You can save points for items in the Starbucks store like bags of coffee or branded merchandise (400 or so stars). Two hundred stars get you food items like sandwiches or salads. Overall, it doesn't seem like a bad deal. Might take longer to get certain rewards but since I hardly ever use it then it won't be as big of a deal to me. I like that I can get mugs and bagged coffee with points though. I'll have to see what happens when it actually changes to see how it works.

Stores closing

     I am already sick of the term 'retail apocalypse' because it 's not even that serious. Yes, a lot of stores are closing, but it's not like there are no stores left. If the focus of most of them was more about customer service and giving the people what they want then many of them would still be around. As long as CEO greed prevails, we will continue to lose the stores we love. 
     Charlotte Russe is one of the latest to go. The mall store catered to juniors style and plus-size clothing. I have good memories of shopping there years ago. I got some good pieces there and cute accessories. I haven't shopped there in years. Our mall store was one of the last to add plus sizes and the nearest aside from our local store that did carry plus-sizes was 40 miles or so away. 
     Payless is one store that I am going to miss. I love their Christian Siriano line. One of my favorite bags is a Christian Siriano for Payless bag. When I needed heels for an event a couple of years ago, I knew I had to get them from Payless because I hardly ever wear heels and I needed cheap, comfortable, durable heels that were also stylish. I found exactly what I needed immediately and was in and out in no time. Sad to see them go and I guess now when I get shoes they will be from Target mostly (or Gabes). 
     Shopko, Victoria's Secret, and Gap are all closing stores as well. I never shopped at Shopko because we don't have them in my area. I stopped shopping at Victoria's Secret years ago (overpriced and overrated) and though I used to love Gap, the one in my area closed over 25 years ago and the closest is 40 miles away. I never go there or shop there online. Family Dollar is converting some stores into Dollar Tree stores so I don't really count that as a loss since Dollar Tree is cheaper. 
     As the retail landscape changes and we start to see empty stores and empty malls, I think about what is missing from retail. Good customer service is missing and for me, that is the main thing. I can count on one hand the stores that I love shopping at because they are always polite and helpful (Target comes to mind immediately). Best Buy has recently been very high up on that list. I don't shop on Amazon unless it is absolutely necessary (when it is cheaper and no one else has the same item in stock). I do feel bad for employees losing jobs and I wish them the best.

*Share on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Follow this blog on Pinterest under Lorisa's Savings Blog. Have a great week! $




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Monday, February 25, 2019

Dollar Tree Has $1 Flat Rate Shipping 2.24 to 2.27

pastel colored Easter eggs in a white basket with blue ribbon
Image by silviarita on Pixabay

This post contains an affiliate banner and affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on my links I will be compensated at no additional cost to you.

     Did you know you could shop Dollar Tree online? You can shop their online inventory and have your order shipped to your nearest participating Dollar Tree store for pick up. You can also ship to your home or office. Right now (Feb 24 through Feb 27, 2019), flat rate shipping is $1. Some restrictions apply. Visit Dollar Tree for details.
     Now would be a great time to stock up on essentials for Easter and St Patrick's Day. From artificial floral arrangements to metal wreath rings for crafting the perfect decorations, Dollar Tree has your decorating needs covered. Don't forget the baskets and candy. You can buy in bulk online. Check it out today.



My Referral Codes For Cash Back and Rebate Apps

a bunch of one dollar bills U.S currency
Photo by Madison Kaminski on Unsplash



On this post, I am going to leave my referral codes for the apps I use to earn points for gift cards and cash. If I join any new apps, this post will be updated with the referral codes and any promo codes I get. Feel free to use them as you wish and pass them along to friends.

Ebates - With Ebates you can earn cash back on purchases made online. Once you set up your account shop your favorite stores through Ebates and earn cash back into your Ebates account. Once you have over $5 you can cash out with a check or to PayPal.

https://www.ebates.com/r/GCHIC2?eeid=28187  -Join today for a $10 bonus just for signing up- on the sign in page, look for the blue link that says "Did someone refer you?" under "Join Now" and enter the info.

Ibotta- Ibotta is my favorite apps. Earn rebates when you buy groceries and many other items. Shop in-store and online and accumulate rebates in your Ibotta account. Cash out to PayPal or use your Ibotta account to earn gift cards.
My Ibotta referral code is jrjbbb

Fetch Rewards- With Fetch Rewards you simply download the app and scan receipts from grocery shopping and you get points based on items you purchase. They have special offers that earn extra points. You can cash out to earn gift cards to various stores, movie theaters, or online retailers. You can even donate points to charity. I use mine for Target e-gift cards mostly.
My Fetch Rewards referral code is C9QFR -get 2000 points when you join with my code

Checkout 51-- Checkout 51 works similar to Ibotta just with fewer choices of items and it is more open about what stores you get rebates from. Some deals are available from any store and some are select stores only. Once you get $20 in rebates in your account, CO51 sends you a check.
My Checkout 51 referral link is https://checkout51.app.link/9KQt79PIXR

DO$H- DO$H app gives you cash back for shopping in select stores. With the app you add a debit or credit card or PayPal and when you shop, either online or in-store, cash is added to your DO$H wallet and you can transfer that to your DO$H wallet balance to your bank account or to PayPal once you have $25 in the account.
My DO$H referral code is LORISAG1

Friday, February 22, 2019

Should You Attempt DIY Repairs To Save Money?

This post contains affiliate links or banners. If you make a purchase after clicking my links, I will be compensated.



two wrenches in black and white
Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash
     When money is tight and you don't really have a safety net, meaning an emergency fund, to pull from to pay to replace broken or malfunctioning items, going the DIY route can help. Saving money is the goal and anytime you don't have to pay to replace something it is a plus. Getting as much use out of something as you can is also better for the environment than having a "throwaway and replace" mentality. When should you try to fix something yourself and when should you throw in the towel and buy new (or gently used)?
     That's a question I ask myself often. This time last year I was replacing my laptop because my then three-year-old had gotten water in the previous one. I tried drying it out and it was unresponsive. Luckily, it was an inexpensive Chromebook and I was able to replace it. I opted to pay for the extra warranty for the one I have now just in case. I normally would opt out, but seeing the need for it I got it. One day I will probably pay to have the other one repaired or get rid of it for parts. I learned the lesson that it is a good idea to get the warranty for items that are used a lot and have more potential to be damaged. If a child will be using it at all or will be near it at any time, get the warranty. That being said, I don't think I have ever owned a mobile phone and not gotten insurance on it because I know that it is used every day and has the potential to be damaged. Why wouldn't I protect my computer the same way?
     The washer/dryer unit gave out this week and leaked, leaving a large puddle on the kitchen floor. I purchased the unit about 3 years ago and it is out of the warranty period. I remember getting letters asking if I wanted to renew it and thinking that it was working so great and that there was no need. Of course, now it craps out and I can't use it without turning my kitchen into a swamp. My husband has a certain amount of manual dexterity that has saved us hundreds over the years (maybe thousands counting car repairs). He took to the internet and started doing research. There is supposedly a part that costs less than $20 that is damaged and he can do the work for free. Once the part is ordered from eBay or Amazon, he can hopefully get the work done next week. Replacing a stacked washer/dryer unit (the only kind we can get because of how our kitchen is set up) is not in our budget and I don't want to use a store credit card to replace it knowing that I'm trying to avoid using credit cards in the future. He found repair videos on YouTube and watched how to replace the part on our unit. Thank goodness for YouTube. If we do need to replace the unit, a relative recommended a used appliance retailer so that's the next option before buying new.      Whenever something is not working, it is always a good idea to run a search on the item and the problem you are having with it so you can troubleshoot the issue. I had an HP laptop and my husband had the same model. Mine died unexpectedly and I started using his. When months later his did the same, I decided to look up issues with that model. What I found was that it was a battery issue and for some reason, the battery was not being recognized by the computer. I did the fix that was mentioned and it still didn't work. I took the battery from my old one and put it in his and tried the battery fix and it worked. It died again months later, but I got a few more good months out of it. I also used YouTube to fix my vacuum cleaner when it started overheating and powering off and wouldn't come back on till the next day. That has saved me from buying a third vacuum in the past 6 years.
     When you are researching the possibility of doing your own repairs, don't try to take on more than you can handle. I have surprised myself with what I have been able to fix on my own from watching YouTube videos, but I would never try to tackle any task on my own without watching the video all the way through at least once before attempting the repair. Make sure you have the necessary tools on hand to do the job. Also always cut the power to anything electrical before getting started.
     I've been able to find out about and get fixes for software glitches, mobile phone issues, and small appliance repairs by searching the internet. For larger more serious repairs like HVAC work and things involving large motors I always call a professional. If the money isn't there I have to ask is it something I need or just a convenience. If it is something essential that I cannot do without, it needs to be fixed no matter what. Look for ways to finance the repair that have a low interest rate or ask your repair person if you can pay in installments (ask before the work is started). Ask about discounts when you are scheduling appointments. You never know if you could save unless you ask.

$ Share this with friends on Facebook and Twitter. Pin it to Pinterest and follow my Pinterest boards under Lorisa's Savings Blog. Have a great week. $


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