I have a philosophy about shopping and most everything else that goes something like this: “If I am going to do something anyway, I might as well get something extra out of it.”
Let’s face it. I go to the grocery store and drug stores at least once every week. Sometimes, I go multiple times if there’s good sale. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could save for college or get cash/gift cards just for doing my normal, everyday shopping? Guess what? There is!
There are two ways you can accrue money while doing your everyday shopping. First is a program called Upromise.com.
With UPromise, you register your store courtesy cards (I registered every one I have) and then select the coupons you want. I always select all the coupons because I just don’t know if I will use them. It doesn’t hurt and takes very little time. (After you click on the coupons, make sure you hit “activate my coupons” on the right side of the page.)
The coupons automatically get downloaded onto all your store cards and are activated when you shop. When you shop, you earn money for college. For example, say you buy Bounty paper towels. If there is a .50 coupon for Bounty towels at Upromise, download the coupon and then buy paper towels. Fifty cents goes into an account for college.
You can still use regular coupons as well, so it’s not like you’re missing out on getting good deals. I don’t have any kids in college right now, but I signed myself up. I don’t have any real plans to go back to school, but I’m thinking my niece or nephews might be able to use this money in a few years. If you don’t want to give the money to someone for college, you also have the option of transferring the money over to a savings account or requesting a check.
The second way you can save is through a new website called SavingStar.com. Like UPromise, you can register all your grocery and drug store courtesy cards and download coupons onto them. The only difference is you can opt to purchase Amazon gift cards with your money in addition of having the money saved to your bank account. This is a fabulous way to pay for some of your holiday shopping. Just buy groceries and request Amazon gift cards from SavingsStar.
Because neither UPromise or SavingsStar prohibits you from using paper coupons at check out, this is a win-win situation for you and me. Not only are we limiting the money we pay for food and toiletries with paper coupons, we’re saving money for college or earning gift cards. How cool is that?
Gina is the creator of Gina’s Kokopelli, a Connecticut blog dedicated to all things coupon, free and cheap. You can get more frugal tips, freebies, coupons, and great deals by visiting her blog at http://ginaskokopelli.com. Gina also teaches couponing classes and would love to be invited to your organization or business to teach a class. For more information or to inquire about a couponing class, please email her at email@example.com. She’s also happy to answer any couponing question you may have!