Reader Tips & Picks
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 at 3:36 pm.
Are you on the search for cute and affordable ♥ Valentine’s Day ♥ gift ideas?! Then check out some of these adorable creations and share your own with us in the comments below!
First, Hip2Save reader, Melanie, created these sweet and nearly free gifts featured at the top of the post. Check out her email…
Today I made Valentine’s (practically for free!) for my 3rd and 1st grade children to bring to school. Here’s how:
1. Valentine tissue paper bought at Target’s 90% off Valentine’s Clearance ($0.20).
2. 2 Jumbo bags of snack size Kit Kats FREE from CVS after $3 off coupon (coupons given to kids dressed in costume for Halloween) and they were on sale for $3 in October. Candy doesn’t expire until 9/2013.
3. Red curly ribbon purchased at Target’s 90% off Christmas Clearance.
4. Avery printer labels FREE after rebate from Office Depot.
Wrapped two Kit Kats in the tissue paper. Tied the ends with ribbon to make it look like candy. Printed out labels that say, “You’re Sweet! Happy Valentine’s Day! From ______.”
Check out these other adorable creations to get you thinking….
Do you have any unique, frugal and “hip” Valentine’s Day gift ideas?! Please share in the comments below… Thanks!
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 at 2:47 pm.
If you’re looking to save on printer ink (from printing all those coupons ), here are a few helpful tips for ya! Also, be sure to check out the recent Facebook post here for even more helpful tips from Hip2Save readers. Here are a few tips…
Inkjet Versus Laser Printer:
Many of you have stated that the longest lasting, most reliable, and most affordable (in the long run) printers are laser printers! Although laser printers may cost more initially, they tend to be faster, use less ink, and are much cheaper on a month to month basis (i.e. cost of inkjet cartridges versus laser toner cartridges).
Helping You Find the BEST Printer:
Continuous Flow System:
Already have an inkjet printer? Then you may want to consider a Continuous Flow System. This system will help you save big bucks on printer ink as it eliminates the need for replacement ink cartridges. For more information on this economical system, click here.
Best Places to Purchase Ink:
* 123InkJets.com – currently offering up FREE shipping!
Tips on how to Save Money on Ink and Paper:
* One tip that I have is that I enable a Print Preview for each document. It makes the printing process longer, but I can tell if a coupon is printing at the top, middle, or bottom of the page. That way I can use half sheets if a coupon is printing from the top.
* For the one-page ads with a single coupon on the page, I cut my paper into 4’ sections. That way the coupon prints at the top and then stops. Of course, sometimes you get a coupon that prints at the bottom. I try to only use the cut paper on coupons that I know will print at the top. If I am printing a coupon and I see that there is an ad below it, once the coupon prints, I hit STOP on my printer.
* The trick to making your ink last longer is to set your printer to print in grayscale, black ink only, and to print in Fast Draft mode. I have my cartridges refilled at Walgreens. Before I take a cartridge to the store, however, I use a little rubbing alcohol on the ports of the cartridge to prevent dry ink from clogging the ports (where the ink is inserted). Works like a charm.
* Use Garamond font in a small size…it takes less ink than other fonts.
* If you decide to refill your cartridges, get the refill done ASAP. If you wait too long, the remaining ink dries out.
* Refill your own cartridges (buy the ink in bulk at a discount!), which saves a LOT of money.
* There is a trick (found on YouTube) to make your OEM toner last longer (usually runs out after 300 sheets or so): Buy the toner on Meritline.com when a multi-pack special is offered (less than $14.99/toner with free shipping). This special is offered regularly along with free shipping. We’ve NEVER EVER had any problems using their non-brand toner. The trick is to order when it is on sale and before you need it as the toner comes from overseas and takes a few weeks to get here.
* For anyone out there who has toner cartridges, when the printer states that the toner is low, take the cartridge out and look for a little “window” on the side. Cover it with a piece of black electrical tape, and you’ll get MANY more pages of ink out of it. The window lets light in and tells the owner to buy a new cartridge but, in reality, there is still plenty of toner in the cartridge.
What are some ways you save on printer ink? Please Share!
Keep in mind that if you want to easily access this post in the future, be sure to save it to your Hip List. You can also access it (and other reader’s tips and picks posts) by clicking on the orange “Show All Categories” button on the right sidebar and then clicking on “Reader’s Tips & Picks.”
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Thursday, January 17th, 2013 at 4:00 pm.
Check out this email that I received from reader, Margaret….
I know I cannot be alone. I’m just wondering how other people handle the inevitable slump. I just don’t feel like clipping coupons, checking deals, or driving to various stores to get the deals — even though I am on such a tight budget that it’s a must. I skipped a week here or there over Christmas hoping it would help me get my mojo back. But here it is the second week of January (or is it the third) and I am still in a slump, a funk, or whatever. How do others shake that sluggishness and reclaim their get-up-and-go???
On a fairly regular basis, I receive emails (like the one above) from couponers that either say they are on coupon burnout or that they want to give up completely. They want to throw in the towel and the coupons! They’ve had a bad experience with a mean cashier, their coupon beeped, they’ve invested 5 hours organizing and still don’t know what is what, they’ve over-spent at the grocery store because their coupons didn’t scan properly, the person behind them in the checkout line scowled and glared, they just don’t feel like clippin’…. and the list goes on and on and on.
I know from experience that couponing can definitely present a variety of challenges, but I also know that in the long run, it is absolutely worth it! Have you ever fallen into a Couponing Slump? If so, please share your tips, suggestions, and advice for how you have climbed out of it. I can’t wait to read all of your words of motivation, inspiration, and wisdom!
* I am also excited to mention that I will be starting a new series in the next few weeks on simplifying couponing and making it feasible for everyone, so stay tuned!
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Tuesday, January 1st, 2013 at 1:13 pm.
How many of you have made a resolution to more effectively organize your finances and/or life in general this year? I am guessing that quite a few of you are looking to improve your organizational methods, as I have received many emails in the last few days regarding this topic. As a result, I decided to put together a post with some organization tools to help you get started. Please feel free to mention other organizational tools that you are fond of in the comment section below.
* FREE Coupon Savings Tracker Spreadhsheet
Head over here to download this spreadsheet for free (available for Microsoft Excel 2010, Microsoft Excel 2003-2007, or Open Office). Just go in and enter the information from your receipts and you can keep track of how much you are saving and how much you are spending.
* FREE Online Money Management Tool
Head over to Mint.com to create a budget, categorize your purchases and more – for FREE!
*FREE Downloadable Calendars, Meal Planners, To Do Lists, and More
- Head over to MommyTracked.com where you can download lots of free (and super cute!) schedules, checklists and more to keep you organized in style!
- Also, be sure to head over to IHeartOrganizing to check out her adorable and free printables. The Morning School Routine Printables and Bedtime Routine Printables are great to print and hang up for your kiddos.
* Consider joining FlyLady for FREE
Join FlyLady and you’ll receive daily FLYmail with lessons that will guide you through babysteps to help you set up routines, get rid of your clutter, and put your home and life in order.
How about you? Do you have any organizational tips and tricks to share with all of us?
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 at 4:23 pm.
If you’re still in need of a last minute teacher’s gift that is budget-friendly (and healthy!), check out this email that I received from reader and teacher, Jamie…
Every year at around this time, I see readers posting questions about what hip gifts to get teachers during the holiday season. I am a teacher and I would like to start by saying that absolutely nothing is expected from families this time of year. But, it is a nice surprise when parents send a card to school with students or something to say thanks for what you do. In a season where candy and cookies are almost unavoidable – this year I received the best teacher gift ever. A parent sent a fresh pineapple with a bow to school for each of their student’s teachers. I just thought that was a thoughtful healthy gift that I really appreciated.
I know that pineapple coupons periodically come available on Coupons.com and when paired with a sale this could be an inexpensive gift to let them know that they are appreciated.
Thanks for passing this idea along, Jamie! Also, if any of you have any last minute frugal teacher gift ideas, please feel free to share them in the comments below. Thanks so much!
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Thursday, December 13th, 2012 at 2:00 pm.
Check out the email I received from reader, Amanda:
Hi Collin! Thanks for all the great deals you post. You sure don’t skip a beat!!! I have a question…. could you please ask your readers for great white elephant gift ideas. Our family is having a white elephant gift exchange this year and I would love a cool, creative, and hip gift idea. Our limit is $5. Thanks so much.
If you are not familiar with a White Elephant gift exchange, here’s the description from Wikipedia:
A white elephant gift exchange is a popular holiday party game found primarily in North America. Generally, white elephant parties need a minimum of six participants. With a larger group, game play may be more protracted. White elephant parties have been known to result in playful rivalries between players trying to get sought after gifts. The goal of a white elephant party is usually to entertain rather than to gain.
So do you have any great gift ideas? Either funny ones (love those!) or gifts that you know others will want to steal. Please share with us in the comments below! Also, on a side note, our family is getting together this year and doing an ugly holiday sweater contest. I Can’t wait! And I may even post a picture here on Hip2Save.
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Monday, October 22nd, 2012 at 4:32 pm.
Ohhh… I am so excited that my favorite time of the year is fast approaching! I absolutely love fall…I love the cool, crisp air; love how the trees change colors; love the scent of pumpkin pie etc. I also love that one of my favorite holidays, Halloween, is almost here. Although I would like to make creative and budget-friendly costumes for each of my kiddos, I am often at a loss as to where to start. So this is where you come in! If you have successfully made a Halloween costume in the past, please share your ideas, tips and tricks with all of us. If you are a fan of purchasing costumes, where is your favorite place to shop?
Plus, check out the awesome creation pictured above that reader, Lars, put together for her kiddos…
My son is three and in love with Thomas the Train so of course he wanted to be that for Halloween. I didn’t see any costumes that I liked, so decided to make something myself. I think it turned out pretty good! I borrowed the wagon from a friend, got the boxes from another friend who had moved, used a 5 gallon bucket we had from our food storage and covered it in cereal boxes that I painted. I got the paint and electrical tape from Lowes using my $10 off $10 email coupon. I also bought a conductor hat (not pictured). Total cost: less than $8! Pretty cheap for two costumes and they love it of course!
On a side note, I’m also always looking for creative Halloween treats and snacks too! If you have favorite Halloween recipes, please share them in the comments!
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Thursday, October 18th, 2012 at 2:46 pm.
With Christmas right around the corner, I thought it might be fun to create a place for all of you to share your small and/or home-based businesses (i.e. Etsy, Avon, Scentsy, etc.) with other readers and/or to offer Hip2Save readers a special discount on products that you sell. I posted something similar last year and it was quite a hit!
OK, so have at it and feel free to share your small business with the Hip2Save community!
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Thursday, July 26th, 2012 at 4:00 pm.
Check out the email that I recently received from reader, Cindi…
Hi there! My husband and I love using your site to find great deals for movies, dinner, and date nights… but when it comes to paying the babysitter, sometimes we feel like no matter how much we save on our night out we just can’t afford the high babysitting rates! So I would love to know what other Hip2Savers think is fair. Also, would it be weird to pay the babysitter in movie tickets and other merchandise that I can find a hot deal on?
So, this is where YOU come in! Please share your thoughts and opinions with us.
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Monday, June 18th, 2012 at 3:20 pm.
Although I am an avid couponer and am always looking for ways to cut back on spending, I am NOT cheap when it comes to tipping. As a former waitress, I know how important tips are in the lives of those who work in service-based industries. Although I almost always tip at least 20% when dining out, I am sometimes a little more perplexed as to what to tip in the following situations: Purchasing food to-go, Hair Cut for yourself and/or your kiddos, Assistance with baggage when staying at a hotel, Purchasing espresso from Drive-Thru Coffee Shop, etc.
Needless to say, I was excited to recently discover the Interactive Tip Guide created by a design team over at Hospitality Management Schools. Just head on over here, scroll down to the orange Tip Guide button at the bottom of the page, and then select a category (choose from travel, cosmetics, restaurants and more). This guide tells you how much to tip, when to present the tip, and even has some basic tipping rules:
* Do tip pre-tax.
* Do tip at buffets.
* Do tip when using a discount or voucher like Groupon.
* Don’t tip the owner.
* Don’t tip extra when gratuity is already added on the bill.
* Don’t leave a bad tip if you plan on visiting the establishment again.
So take some time to check out the guide and then come back and share your thoughts. Think about the following questions: What services do you believe require a tip, how much do you tip, do you tip even if the service is horrible etc?
(Thanks to reader, Nichole, for sharing this guide with me!)