Great Ways To Save Money

Double Your Savings When You Buy Gift Cards At Kroger! #Kr2xdip {Plus Giveaway!}

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Tatu Digital Media and a campaign for Sverve. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% my own.

Yeah, I’m a Black Friday fanatic. Note that I said Black “Friday.” I don’t do Thursday. In fact I blatantly boycott stores that are open on Thursday. But at the same time I am on a budget. That doesn’t mean I go cheap, it just means I go with a very firm limit on what I am going to spend. There are two ways I do that: Cash and gift cards. My credit cards and debit card stay at home on Black Friday, under lock and key.

So my strategy is simple. I pick up the Sunday paper and scour the online Black Friday sites. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around and the paper comes out with the Black Friday ads, I’m already set. You know why? Because I went to the bank on Wednesday for my cash. And on the way home I stopped by Kroger and stocked up on a whole lot of gift cards along with my last minute Thanksgiving dinner items. Then I immediately pull my debit card out of my wallet and put it up in the cabinet.  So I’ll be stocking up on Gift Cards for stores that are closed on Thanksgiving and doing my Black Friday shopping on Black Friday. Look out Home Depot, REI, Barnes and Noble and Marshall’s. I’m coming for you.

This Black Friday, in addition to using my gift cards like cash, I’ll be able to save even more. Want to know how? Right now at Kroger, you can double your savings by earning 4x fuel rewards and extra credit card rewards (if that is your thing) when you buy gift cards.


Fuel Offer: Now through December 6, 2014, get 40 cents off per gallon when you spend $100 on gift cards. ALL gift cards are included in this offer with the exception of Visa variable, MasterCard variable, and American Express variable gift cards. Any other “variable” gift cards are included and you can add any amount that you want up to $500!

This is handy dandy and useful even if you don’t use your credit card!

Earn Credit Card Rewards: Use your favorite rewards credit card to purchase gift cards. This will allow you to earn points and miles or a percentage back on your purchase. Some credit cards even offer increased rewards for purchases made at grocery stores!

Now, if you will humor me, a little math. Feel free to skip this part if the percentage breakdown game isn’t your thing!

Right now you can save 15% when you purchase $100 in participating gift cards:

$6 Off Fuel: Anytime you buy a $100 gift card you will earn $0.40/gallon of gas. That is $6 in savings for a 15 gallon tank.

$3 Back: If you earn 3% on grocery purchases through your credit cards rewards program you will get $3 back!

For additional details, head to Kroger near you!


Amazon Gift Card

Managed by Tatu Digital Media

Giveaway ends on December 15, 2014 at 12:00 PM EST

Giveaway is open to residents of the United States who are 18 years or older

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Tatu Digital Media and a campaign for Sverve. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% my own.

Giveaway Disclaimer: The participating bloggers are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to US 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by will be contacted by email. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, or Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Financial Primer to Prep Your Teen for College: Money Management 101

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Teens MoneyThe most important talk you can have with your teen might be about the birds and the bees, but talking about credit cards and money management is something that should be taken just as serious and just as important as far as having long-term effects in their lives. According to the General Accounting Office, 42 percent of college students hold credit card debt from month to month, with an average monthly balance over $500. Proper spending and budgeting should start with the family and the best way to prepare your teen for college and adult responsibilities is to teach them basic money, credit and identity information from the beginning. Giving them a money management heads-up will go a long way toward putting them on the road to financial security.

Budget Wisely

Set up a budget with your teen before she goes away to college. Sit down with her and plan out expenses such as school supplies, food, housing and entertainment. Show her how to divide up her total income for the month into each category, covering the necessities first before adding to the entertainment or miscellaneous pile. Emphasize the importance of following the budget each month and using creative methods such as temporary jobs to make up any shortfall.

Start With a Secure Card

Most college students who get into financial trouble do so with a credit card. Credit is easy to acquire when you’re young with a clear credit history, and teens can amass a wallet full of cards in a short amount of time. Set your teen up with a credit card before she goes to college. Start with a secured card, backed by a set amount of money. This will allow her to experience using credit while not risking creating a large debt. Once she has used and paid off the card regularly, think about sharing a joint card.

Check Credit Score Regularly

Teach your teens to check their credit scores on a regular basis. According to LifeLock identity theft experts, identity thieves love to steal minors’ social security numbers and personal information. The clean credit records and lack of debt make children’s identity an ideal target. Investing in an identity theft prevention service can pay for itself in a short period of time. Police departments are reporting that minors are the fastest growing segment of the population to suffer from identity theft, described on the LifeLock website. Becoming a victim at this young age can affect a college student’s life for decades.

Share a Joint Checking Account

Open a joint checking account with your teen by the time she’s a junior in high school. By this age, she is old enough to have a cell phone, work a part-time job and perhaps drive the family car. When paying her share of these expenses, she can practice using her checking account to pay the bills. Don’t pay extra for overdraft protection; bouncing a check and paying the resulting fees will be a good lesson in budgeting and its consequences.

Learn the Value of a Dollar

Speaking of paying a fair share of the bills, make sure your teen is involved in this activity by an appropriate age. You will do her no favors by simply handing over a credit card or some cash every time she wants something. Food, shelter and clothing are your responsibilities, and the clothing can be held to a budget. Everything else falls under the category of wants instead of needs, and your teen should figure out how she intends to pay for them. Once she equates working 10 hours with the cost of a concert ticket, she will be much more aware of the value of money, and much closer to becoming a responsible money and credit user.

This is a guest post by Don Woods:

Dan is a financial consultant for several small business owners. He writes finance and business news and reviews for cloud computing software


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5 ways to save money traveling to the United Kingdom this summer..

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure
With summer almost here, it’s time to start thinking about traveling.  I have been planning a trip to the UK next year and am super excited about my upcoming travels.  While it’s a year away, I know I need to start looking for ways to save money now.  The way I look at it is if I start now, who knows the savings I will find.  I’m looking for the BEST hotels, cheap flights!  You name it, I want to save as much money as possible so I can spend more while I’m on my trip!
While browsing the web I found an awesome website that allowed me to savings on hotel bookings and flights, it’s called Monarch.  Here’s a few awesome ways to save money on your next trip tot he UK.
  • When booking a flight holidays are cheaper to fly, for example flying  on the Fourth of July, Memorial day or labor day will save money if you do not mind traveling on those days.
  • Choosing to fly on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays can save around $60 round-trip with Wednesdays being the cheapest  day to fly
  • Try to book your trip no later than one month in advance for the best deals.
  • When booking your hotel, choosing one away from town centers, this can save as much  as 40% on your hotel bill.
  •  Ask your employer if your company receives any discounts. Because businesses send workers all over the world they may have deals with specific hotels.
Monarch allows you to savings on hotel bookings as well as find cheap flights at monarch!   It has great deals on everything from flights to train tickets. There is a ton of information about every single  detail you need to plan a trip in the Uk.
The website has a special going on now that takes $32.55 of each person for return flights on over 5 million seats, all dates included. To claim the discount simply enter the code BIG25 into the booking path and see the overall price drop..
They are also running a competition when you add either an Essentials or Extras Airpack to your booking you are entered into the daily contest to win back the cost of your flight. The Essentials or Extras Airpacks give you extra leg room, a choice of where you will be seated and also allows for heavier luggage
Monarch also offers this incredible plan called MFlex you can add on to your ticket for only $3.26 per person each way, which is worth it, especially when you are planning a trip sometimes plans change and this way you are covered for changing any travel dates as long as you make changes 15 days prior to the departure  date.
Don’t forget to check out some of the great Windows Phone travel apps.

Serve From American Express

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An alternative to debit and other prepaid cards that’s loaded with great features. With no credit checks and no monthly or annual fees, Serve brings more people into the American Express family. Enjoy access to benefits:

Purchase Protection:
Shop with your Serve® Account and you can help protect eligible purchases against accidental damage or theft for up to 90 days from the date of purchase.

Roadside Assistance:
When your car breaks down, we can send help your way for towing, winching, flat tires, battery boost, fuel delivery, or emergency lock-out*.

Five Myths About Online Retail Debunked

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Five Myths About Online Retail DebunkedThe world of online retail has transformed the shopping universe. It is amazing how fast that online retailing has grown. It moves so fast that it is hard for people to keep track of what is going on. Because of this, myths grow quickly about online retail. Keep reading to discover the top five myths that exist about online retail.

Online Retail Is All About Price

Many people think that people who shop online are always looking for low prices. This is not true at all. In fact, studies have repeatedly shown that online shoppers are willing to pay extra when they can find quality merchandise on the Internet. Price is important, but quality is the main factor that drives online sales.

Domestic Online Retailers Will Always Beat out Foreign Competitors

Most online retailers have laughed off any foreign companies that try to get purchasers in the American Market. They think that shoppers are unwilling to buy products that come from foreign retailers. That may have been the case in the past and still is to some extent, but more and more shoppers are taking the plunge to buy products from overseas.

Customer Service Isn’t as Important for Online Retailers

Many online retailers seem to think that customer service isn’t as important for them as it is for brick and mortar retailers. This leads to them failing quickly. Customer service is even more important online than it is for physical retailers. Physical shoppers don’t always have lots of other options if they receive poor service. If Internet shoppers receive poor customer service, they can find hundreds of other sites to shop at. Online retailers need to get the services of a customer service advisement company like Mindshare Technologies at

Tablet Shopping Is Taking Over

Many online retailers seem to think that shoppers are now doing the majority of their shopping on their smartphones and tablets. In fact, this is a very small percentage of people. Most shoppers do the bulk of their online shopping on their laptop or desktop computer.

Brand Isn’t as Important as Retailers

Online shoppers are starting to turn to the stores of the brands they wish to purchase instead of shopping at a retailer. This is a real problem for online retailers if they do not realize it. This means that online retailers need to offer excellent customer service and things like free shipping to entice customers to buy brand-name purchases at their sites.

TurboTax – Free Federal e-File 2013

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CLICK HERE>>>>>>>>TurboTax – Free Federal e-File 2013

Was always afraid to do this until three years ago.  Now I do it every year.  I was paying around $200 to someone else who used software too and not getting back as much as I do now.  Try it.  They have help available if you have any questions.

Manilla – Get It Together Challenge To Win $2,500

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Manilla, A New Way to Manage Your Bills


Manilla, A New Way to Manage Your Bills is the free service that allows you to manage everything in your life in a single place. and the 4+ star Manilla mobile apps organize and simplify your life by providing one secure access point and a single password to access all of your household accounts including financial, utilities, subscriptions, daily deals and travel rewards.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Manilla.


Take Ibotta shopping and make $250 this year!

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Who loves shopping?  Have you heard of Ibotta?  Ibotta is awesome and it lets you earn cash every single time you shop!  I know how cool is that, right!  Are you wondering how you earn cash when you shop?  Check it out! [Read more…]

Save Money On Wedding Favors

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By: Bea

Planning for your wedding can be stressful.  There is so many things to think about, and for reason everything tends to land in the bride-to-be’s lap.  Maybe it’s because most brides want to control everything about our wedding.  They have a vision of what their perfect wedding should look like, and want pick everything from the color of the napkins to the shoes we wear needs to be what the bride chooses.

Something many of us tend to forget about during all the planning is wedding favors for our guest.  It’s important to show them we appreciate them coming.  There’s tons of great wedding favors to choose one, however choosing one that fits your budget can be a bit challenging.

While browsing around looking for some great places to purchase wedding favors for your guests.  I ran into this website called  There’s some pretty awesome, affordable wedding favors there.  Here’s an example of some items you will find: [Read more…]