4 Ways to Save Your Time And Money Without Lifting a Finger
The holidays are pretty crazy for us. We really enjoy taking part in holiday traditions like decorating the tree, hanging stockings, baking cookies, and most of all, spending money. Whether it be for gifts, decorations, party supplies, etc. it is hard, maybe even impossible, to not spend extra money during the holidays. This stuff also takes time. Picking out presents, taking the baby to see Santa, returning all the stuff you get that you don't want, it all takes time. I really like things to run efficiently in our house so that I can use my brain to create and develop important things rather than make a million decisions about errands and trivial tasks.
Paribus is an app that keeps track of your purchases and submits price adjustment claims to your bank or the retailer when retailers drop prices after you purchase. You can read an overview of the service here. It's free to use, and over the past month or two has saved me about $22. It's not much, but it's something, and the best part is, all I had to do was sign up! You connect your bank account(s) and it will automatically submit claims to your bank or the retailer when a price drops on an item you've purchased within 90 days of the purchase date. They have algorithms that work behind the scenes to make the magic happen so you don't have to lift a finger. If your claim is accepted, you get money back and Paribus takes 25% of the money you'd get back. It seems high, but compared to you getting nothing back, it's more than that because, honestly, who has time to sit and monitor what prices change on past purchases. Also, the more people you refer to Paribus that sign up, the lower the fee gets. I have mine down to 10% now! They have apps available for apple and android devices as well as a web interface, shown below.
Skimlinks is an affiliate tool that allows you to collect a commission based on your referred purchases. A lot of bloggers use affiliate link tools like ShopStyle, RewardsStyle, SkimLinks or VigLink, but they all essentially do the same thing. When a reader clicks on an affiliate link and makes a purchase, if their purchase reaches that retailer's specific amount threshold, a percentage of that purchase price is given to the publisher or blogger. I use Skimlinks on my blog because it doesn't redirect the reader or interrupt their experience like some of the others do, and they have minimal requirements to become a member. Below are their requirements to be accepted into their program.
The process can be a bit confusing at first, so here's a simple example. If I publish a link to ShopBop's website and a reader clicks on the link, goes to the site and buys $450 worth of items. Skimlinks' specific purchase threshold is $10 per transaction and ShopBop has a commission of about 12%. 12% of the $450 purchase is $54, which is higher than the $10 minimum threshold value that Skimlinks requires in order for them to pay you, so I'd get paid $54. If the reader only purchased $45 worth of items, 12% of that is only $5.40, which is under the $10 threshold, so I wouldn't get paid anything.
Now you're probably thinking, ok, so how does this save me money? There's nothing saying that you, yourself, can't purchase items using your own affiliate links. You can install the Skimlinks browser extension which gives you the ability to grab the affiliate link for the page you're on, and when you're on a site shopping, if you used an affiliate link to get there, it'll count towards your commission purchases, just the same as if a reader was shopping from your link. If you create shopping lists on a website with product links, you can also use the browser extension to generate an affiliate link so that you earn commission for items purchased from the list.
Rewards programs have been around forever, but certain places have ones that are leaps and bounds above the others, especially if you have that store's credit card. Here are some of my favorites.
Rewards: 1 reward point per $1 (2 for $1 with Nordstrom credit card) spent at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack and Hautelook. 2,000 reward points = $20 Nordstrom Note. Check out the rewards page for other awesome benefits, especially if you have a Nordstrom credit card.
Amazon Subscribe and Save is my new best friend. You can put things such as baby formula, cleaning supplies, snacks, beauty products, etc. on a subscription plan (from 1-6 month reoccurrence) and can set various quantities per shipment. You can even create subscriptions to start in the future, after the current month. We use it for all kinds of personal care products like body wash, razors, deoderant, etc. and for things like toilet paper, paper towel, Keurig K-cups, baby food, diapers, and SO. MUCH. MORE. Before, we would go to Costco, which was great, but then we'd have to store 3 months or so worth of Swiffer dusters, tissues, pasta sauce, etc. Now we only have to store a 1 month supply at a time, which, if you've ever worked in manufacturing, is KEY to efficiency. At the beginning of the month, we just receive a bunch of boxes of stuff and that's that, super simple, hardly any maintenance and you even save 15% if you have 5 or more items in a month in a subscription. You owe it to yourself and your sanity to check it out. You can do a lot with the time that you spend at the grocery store and bulk warehouses. I've compared the prices and even without the 15% discount, the items are very comparable to the grocery store.
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