Just for U was made just for me

If you live in an area with a Safeway, hopefully you’re already a Safeway Rewards member.  However, you may not have bothered to sign up for their “Just For U” emails. You are missing out on some huge discounts.

A few times a week, you’ll receive an email preview of the offers that are available. If you log into their site (or the mobile app), you can add the personalized offers to your card.  You can also add mobile coupons. I’ve noticed that many items on the personalized offers are also on the mobile coupons page, doubling the discount. You can also use any paper coupons you have and triple your savings. I saved 47% yesterday (it shows on your receipt).

There’s usually at least one free offer available, too. Yesterday I got a free Kashi frozen pizza (which was surprisingly good and I will definitely buy it) and a free box of Jolly Ranchers gelatin. And, because they track my purchases, I’m getting grande Starbucks drinks for $2 this month. Yay!

Obviously, they are tracking what you’re buying. That’s really not a bad thing. Come on! It’s a grocery store!!! You’re not buying anything illegal. They send you offers based on your shopping habits and what you’re already buying. It’s a total win for you. Who cares if they know you like to buy Lucky Charms every once in a while? Maybe you’ll get a discount on them next time.

You can also create an e-shopping list of the discounted items. This is great if you’re using the mobile app. It even lets you check items off as you put them in your cart. I tend to forget things very quickly, so this is one of my favorite features. I can see the offer price and compare it to similar items as I’m looking at the shelf. The Just For U price has been the lowest, in my experiences.

Just for U is a free app/service. Go sign up!

OpenTable

I love free things. And I hate waiting. I’m cheap AND impatient. It’s an awesome combo.

For these reasons, I’ve been a member of the free restaurant reservation website OpenTable for years. OpenTable lets me make restaurant reservations all over the world for free and I earn dining checks just for showing up! Each reservation earns 100 points (some restaurants even offer 1,000 points for slower time periods). At 2,000 points, I can redeem for a $20 dining check! I can use the dining check at any restaurant in the OpenTable system and I always make a reservation for the redemption meal (thereby earning another 100 points). I use the site when I travel, too. I’ve made reservations from Alaska, to Hawaii, to Florida.

OpenTable also lets me make reservations for other people. Everyone in my family is on my account. They call me when they want a reservation and I earn the points. When I was an assistant, I made reservations for my boss and anyone else who asked. I racked up points and dining checks like crazy. If you are an assistant, you need to get an OpenTable account. If you just like to eat and you like free stuff, you too should get an account.

I-I-I-I Work Out. And I get paid for it.

It’s the first “work day” of the New Year.  Or, as I like to think of it, Day 1 of the diet.  Let me guess what your New Year’s Resolution is…..

Thousands of well-meaning people are paying for a gym membership that they don’t use.  Luckily, I’m not one of them. You shouldn’t be either! I’m cheap. I don’t like to waste money. I also don’t like to just give money away.

Introducing……Pact.  Using the stick, rather than the carrot, Pact motivates me (and hopefully you) to get off my ass and get moving.  It’s an Apple and Droid app that uses a variety of ways to make sure you’re being active as much as you say you will. Some time before Monday, you set your pact for the coming week (Weeks are Monday-Sunday). You decide how many days (1-7) you will be active and how much each missed day will cost you ($5-50).  During the pact week, you work out/be active for the number of days you agreed to or you pay for the missed days.

You can check in at the gym from the app. Using your phone’s GPS, Pact randomly pings your location to make sure you are where you say you are. Stay and workout for at least 30 minutes and you’ve met the daily requirement.  Not working out at a gym? Use the in-app motion tracker or one of their partner fitness apps (RunKeeper, MapMyFitness) or your Fitbit or Jawbone UP to track your activity.  You can use the RunKeeper app to meet the “30 minutes of activity above 2 miles/hour” requirement on your lunch hour walk!

Each week that you meet your pact, you earn a teeny tiny bit of reward money for each day of the pact.  The payout has ranged between 25-50 cents since I’ve been a member. The earning add up slowly.  You won’t be quitting your job with this app, but at least you aren’t paying for a gym membership you aren’t using. And, more importantly, you’re being active!

Pact is giving away money! Use this link to get started with $5 in rewards.

(Note: This app was called GymPact, which was such a better name, up until January 1st. They’ve recently added two additional pacts for healthy eating. One syncs with MyFitnessPal and the other requires you to take and send pics of yourself eating veggies. I haven’t tried either.)

Pay Retail? Me? Not.

One of my favorite sites to check before I make an online purchase is RetailMeNot. No joke, I don’t make a single online purchase without first checking this site for a discount code.  It’s just one of the hundreds of online coupon code mills, but it’s more organized and you don’t get annoying pop-ups.  They have printable coupons, when they’re available, and they will text the coupon to you if you want to save the paper (Save money & trees!).  There’s a comment link under each code/offer which let’s people share whether or not the code worked and when.  They have an app now which is very useful for in-store coupon codes, too.  And because you’re a savvy blog reader you should also check out their savings blog.

I don’t bother with the other coupon code mills. FatWallet looks like a mess to me. If RetailMeNot doesn’t have it, it probably doesn’t exist.

 

Caffeine Free

Before Starbucks appeared on every corner, you couldn’t get coffee down my throat.  Now that it’s all posh and popular, I time out my mornings so I can make sure I have time to get my fix before I have to be at work.  Yes, it’s a total rip-rip off. I pay $3.70 for about 10 cents worth of product.  But still, I must have it. In my defense, I’ve cut down my double tall iced non-fat lattes to once (okay, maybe three times) a week.  I always fund them with my registered Starbucks gift card.

It’s almost Christmas and you’re probably going to get a couple Starbucks gift cards as gifts. Register them! You can even combine the value of all your cards onto one card. Even better, you can download the Starbucks mobile app and you don’t even need to carry the plastic cards anymore.  You will always have your card with you, even if you’re only carrying your phone. So evilly convenient.

There are levels to this program.  Any average Jane can become a “registered” member. Those who earn five stars level up to Green. And those of us who are addicted (and earn 30 stars in 12 months) level up to Gold.

There are multiple benefits to registering your Starbucks card for the My Starbucks Rewards program.

  • Birthday presents! Starbucks wants to reward you just for being born.  You receive a free drink or food item on your birthday. The drink is any size, any price.  Even these weird ass concoctions. Get crazy with it! (All levels)
  • Free drinks and food!  You receive one star per transaction. When you earn 12 stars, you get a free drink or food item. (Gold Level) As I said, you get one star per transaction. If I’m feeling extra cheap, I break my order into multiple transactions when I’m ordering more than one drink. I have no shame.
  • Free refills! Get brewed and iced coffee and tea refills at no charge during your visit at a single participating store. (Green & Gold Levels) You can sit in Starbucks and pretend to look important on your laptop all day long and keep refilling that cup at no charge!  This is actually great in the summer when you want to chug iced tea all day as you stroll the outdoor mall. Just keep going back to the same store for your first purchase and your refills.
  • Discounts! Opt to receive emails or texts when you sign up. They send coupons and deals a couple times a month for stuff like $1 off, BOGO, & free shipping.  If you download the app, they just kind of magically appear. (Gold Level)
  • Lost or stolen card replacement! If some bitch ever steals your card (or you happen to misplace it) you can get a replacement card with your restored value. (All Levels)
  • The Gold Card! Once you’ve leveled-up to Gold, Starbucks prints your name on your very own gold foiled gift card and mails it to you. If you actually use it (I think I shredded mine), you’ll enjoy the priceless benefit of not having to tell the register person your name when you order! There you go. I just saved you some breaths and some money!!!

Free gift cards anyone?

No, this is not one of those spam e-mails that gets auto-diverted to your trash.  I’m taking about the best iPhone/Droid app ever, ShopKick.

When you walk into specific stores (Target, Macy’s, JC Penney, & AE, just to name a few) you get “kicks”.   And when I say walk in, I mean walk in and sometimes just walk near the front door.  A sensor in the store emits a noise that your phone’s microphone detects and that’s how you’re awarded the walk-in kicks.  Every store has a different walk-in kicks level and some days there are no kicks to be had.  There are usually item scanning kicks available.  Also, some stores offer kicks for purchases you make when you link your Visa or Mastercard.

This app is amazing.  I’ve had it on my iPhone since January 2012.  As of this moment, I’ve earned $497.51 in gift cards.  And these are real (well, virtual) gift cards for stores you will actually want to shop at like Coach, Target, Macys, Best Buy and a lot more.

You redeem your kicks for gift cards within the app and most are available as soon as you redeem your kicks.  I’ve redeemed kicks for Sports Authority gift cards as I’ve stood in line at the store with my $100+ Asics in hand.  Asics on which I didn’t spend a penny, thanks to ShopKick.

The app is free and is very easy to use. You just have to remember to use it.  Click the link above to sign up!