Monday, April 14, 2014

Saving Money Monday: Week 1

So this may come as a surprise to many of you, but Chris and I aren't millionaires... or rich... or even upper middle class...  We're somewhere between "Yay we have money in savings!" and "who wants Top Raman for the 3rd time this week?"

That being said, we DO have some pretty darn nice stuff and costly renovations that we have paid for, but never, ever, EVER at full price!  So, I thought I would share some secrets that Chris and I live by to get our projects, renos, home decor, furniture, and even clothes/toys for Brooks at a fraction for what they cost in normal retail without sacrificing quality!

Since we have MANY different ways we save money (thousands/hundreds of dollars sometimes) I figured I would break it down in a series called Saving Money Monday's and have a new tip or trick for you every week!

This week is my latest money saving obessesion:
Buying Discounted Gift Cards 
Honestly, this one sounds a LOT sketchier than it really is.  I'm sure you have all heard of those websites where you can cash in your unused gift cards for a percentage of cash via Paypal (ie.,,, etc).  I've even used their services a couple times to get rid off cards I've had in my wallet for more than 6 months, but I never thought about BUYING giftcards off those sites until just recently.

Take our most recently bathroom remodel:  Chris and I preprice EVERYTHING we are about to do so we know exactly how much to save (also adding 15% for overages) and how much we are going to be spending from each retailer (ie. how much at Home Depot vs. a supply warehouse vs. a plummer).  After totaling everything up, we determined we were going to spend a bit over $500 at Home Depot for the needed equipment for walls, plumming, faucets, shower kits, etc.  Once we had our number, I headed off to
The whole reason I prefer this site over others is because it automatically goes through all the other gift card sites and shows you what site can offer you the best discount for the amount you are looking for.
 On the day we looked up our needed amount (keep in mind, their availablity changes daily) we found a combination of cards on for $502 for only $447
I know 11% or $55 may not SOUND like a lot, but if someone offered you $55 for nothing, would you take it? Yea, I think so.  That's a dinner out! Or drinks with friends! Or a cute new summer dress!

Let me give you on more example that saved us over $110 for a new car seat for Brooks.

Being a mother, you always want the best/most safe/"I want to secure my child in bubble wrap" when it comes to car seats.  The latest and greatest one I had been swooning over is the Chicco Nextfit.
I was thrilled with the ratings and reviews but the $280 price tag was still a bit daunting.  Low and behold, I check out my gift card site and see that Bed Bath and Beyond (a division of Buy Buy Baby) are 15% off!!  I brought over $350 worth in gift cards (to account for tax and for any extra additions I wanted to buy while picking up the carseat (ie. wipes, teethers, etc)) and scored some pretty awesome savings: OVER $55!!!
15% plus 20% off from a Bed Bath and Beyond/Buy Buy Baby coupon, we are paying $168.94 for a brand new $279 car seat. 

$111.05?! Hell yea!

This may not work for everything (ie. impulse purchases) but if you are doing a project in advance or KNOW that you are going to have a big purchase coming up, I HIGHLY recommend you check out how much you can save by using discounted gift cards.   School supplies, clothes, pet food (our pups eat a lot), any way you can can save I say DO IT!  You will be amazed at how quickly your savings can add up!

Hope this helps!  Try it out and let me know what you think!



  1. Great tip, I didn't know about this site, but I will definitely check it out.

  2. My son used to work for the company (in Ft. Collins, Co.) that developed Gift Card Granny. You might also put the app on your phone - Coupon Sherpa. They also developed this app that brings up coupons for various stores. Many times I will be somewhere, and pull up the app to see if the site has a coupon for that store.

  3. So glad you're back! I had my baby in August 2013 and I was really missing your posts during nap time. :)

  4. Hi Samm! It's Carrie - from the lake last night! Just wanted to reintroduce myself and tell you how much my husband and I love your blog. Also sorry about me huffing and puffing last night (that tends to happen when I run), and my dogs acting crazy (that tends to happen 100% of the time). We were all just really excited. :) You have a beautiful family!

    1. hey Carrie!! It was great meeting you too!! It seriously made my day that you stopped and said hello! Maybe I'll run into you running around the lake again! We are always out there! Please always say hi!!

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  18. Wow Samm you nailed it. We were actually planning to have a house renovation this year and would definitely consider your saving and discount tips.

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