Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cheap entertainment on/around Campus

I found this article today. Its written by a Sarah Deveau (of "Sink or Swim: Get Your Degree Without Drowning in Debt" fame). It offers some great advice for college students that want to have fun on a budget. Not only do you get free/low-cost entertainment advice but she also offers a few ways to pad resumes and scholarship applications.

Cheap Entertainment for College Students

Renting Your Textbooks?

Ok, so I randomly came upon this site while messing around on the internet. allows you to rent your textbooks and thus save a ton of money off the list price for those books. I'm not a 100% believer in this but I could see how this would prove to be helpful for some. You rent your textbooks from them and then when you are done you send them back (via UPS and they pay for it). End of story.

I guess if you didn't want the hassle of trying to then resell your textbooks when you were finished with them, this could be an avenue for you. The website claims that renting can be much cheaper than buying used textbooks. You are helping the environment when you rent from them since they plant a tree every time you rent. They also allow you to sell your textbooks to them. This could be valuable if you want to see how much you can get for your textbooks from an outside source that isn't your school bookstore. Check and note how much Chegg would give you and then go try to sell your books back to the bookstore and decide from there which gives you more money back. Gotta save where you can in college right?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Battle of the Warehouse Clubs

Here in Virginia Beach there is both a BJ's Wholesale Club and a Sam's Club. They are maybe a mile away from one another, if that. I have a membership to Sam's but last year activated a 3 month free trial membership to BJ's to try it out. I ended up keeping my Sam's membership, but lately I have been having second thoughts.

There is really no need for me to have memberships to both and since it costs to have memberships to both it isn't practical for me to pay for both. However, after a recent trip to BJ's where I shopped on my mother's membership, I realized that it might benefit me more to shop there as opposed to Sam's.

First perk to shopping at BJ's is the ability to use coupons. They have some in-store and manufacturer's coupons are always accepted. I was able to get some yogurt that I could not buy at Sam's much cheaper than I would have paid at a regular grocery store or even the commissary with a coupon they had in-store. After a quick evaluation of the prices on things I normally buy anyway (I remember numbers so it was really easy to just recall from my brain what I paid at Sam's vs. BJ's for things), the prices were comparable with some things being cheaper at Sam's and some things cheaper at BJ's. The addition of a coupon for the things I normally buy (especially diapers) makes them cheaper at BJ's by several dollars.

A perk for shopping at Sam's Club is the fact that they have photo services in-store. I can't remember the last time I used the photo services there since we got an IPod that allows us to put photos on it for David to take underway with him so it makes this less of a perk, in my mind. However, if you do a lot of photo printing this would be a reason to keep a Sam's membership.

The second perk for shopping at BJ's is the availability of 100% no sugar added juice. I can't find anything at Sam's that isn't a juice cocktail or fake juice. Bj's has several options and with juice guzzlers like my son and my husband, it makes sense to save a few cents and buy in bulk to minimize trips to the grocery store.

Another perk for Sam's is their meat department. I really like the meat department at Sam's especially when they have "reduced for quick sale" items. They are almost always half price and I'm going to freeze them anyway so they will keep. I haven't really delved into the meat department at BJ's however, I've been told by people who have bought meat there that they were not impressed with the taste and quality. So the moral here is, I guess, is the intention to buy meat in bulk or can a trip to the commissary or grocery store suffice for this purpose?

I'm now at the end of my comparisons. I can't think of anymore...Anybody got anything else? Hopefully, someone benefitted from my brain explosion above...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Get $10 off
your first order of diapers
use code NINA9494
$49 min. total order
buy diapers
shop  baby store

So I had found this site back when I first had Jordan and then I stopped using it because it was a bit cheaper to buy diapers at Sams. (Although $10 dollars off your first order makes getting diapers here cheaper, at least for that first order!) However, they have a ton of coupons on their site and there are a few things that you can get great deals on. It's great for first time moms too because you don't have to go to the store to get diapers and other baby needs, just hop on the computer and you can have them the next day! Even if you don't have a kid, you can save on shower gifts, etc. First time customers get $10 off their first diaper order ($49 minimum which is easy to hit because buying in bulk gets you there anyway). The code for $10 off is NINA9494.

I just ordered some sunscreen from them because its hard to find the "good and safe" sunscreen at the store. I'd rather not run around looking for the kind I want when I know I can get it here (and with a discount, 15% off skincare). I end up paying about the same amount anyway (or sometimes it ends up being cheaper). I recommend checking out the stuff on sale. Free 1 day shipping too...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Swap your Stuff

Check out

It's free. All you do is set up a free account and post items that you would like to get rid of. When someone requests one of your items you send it off. You earn request credits which you can then use to get items from other users. The nitty gritty details are listed on their homepage. If you decide to join, let them know I sent you (Nina Hodapp).

Friday, June 11, 2010

Costco Shopping without a membership?

Thanks SH for this story.

Apparently, you can shop at Costco without having a membership as long as you have a giftcard. Just get someone you know that has a membership to purchase you a giftcard and shop until your heart's content :) (Hey it saves $50 on a membership...)

Monday, June 7, 2010

House cleaning = $ or new things!

I hate when I'm cleaning and I come across all the dvd's and cd's that I don't listen to that I still have to dust. I came up with a solution to get rid of them while making a few bucks or trading them for dvd's or cd's I'll actually use. FYE (For Your Entertainment) here in Virginia Beach buys/trades used dvd's and cd's. Stores that do this are all over the place. Use the internet to find one near you.

The great thing about these stores is you can take them your dvd's and cd's you don't use and turn them into cash (a few dollars a piece) or store credit (a few dollars plus an added 25% on each item). I can get some new stuff while cleaning out the old stuff and not have to shell out money in the process! Admit it, everyone has that copy of the Baha Men's, Who Let the Dogs Out? that you never listen to anymore...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Planned Grocery Shopping

I thought I would post since I'm sitting here about to do the following. I always plan out my grocery shops the night before I go. It only takes a couple of minutes. First, I make a list of everything I need. I look through the coupons that I have randomly clipped out of the circulars and pull out relevant ones. Then I look at my list to see if there is any item that I could possibly search for a coupon for on the internet (Juicy Juice, Quaker oatmeal, etc.). I do my search and print stuff out. I put my list and coupons together and put it in my bag so I don't forget it the next day. The End :) I know it sounds rather involved but it's really not. I think its worth saving a few dollars on stuff you need anyway.

The day of my grocery shop I stick to my list. I save money by not going down any unnecessary aisles this way and picking out things I don't need. Sometimes I get lucky and an item I was going to pick up anyway has a coupon on the package. (Sometimes its better than the one I found, if I found one for that item).

Here's just some other random tips:
-look online and see if your grocery store allows you to attach electronic coupons to your frequent shopper card and do so before you go grocery shopping.
-some stores like Harris Teeter double coupons (sometimes they have weeks where they triple them) up to 99 cents.
-check the circular for the store you are going to to see if they have any deals on things you are planning on buying. This way you know which brands are on sale and which ones are the best price to buy.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Thanks Brynne for telling me about this website and providing testimonial (she got over 20 dollars back in checks in the mail)! This is really cool. Sign up (it's free) and access stores from this website and you earn cash back for your purchases. Just click on the stores from this website and you earn a percentage of cash back on your purchase! They also offer coupons for some of their retailers. Definitely worth it.

Online shopping

Whenever I decide I'm going to buy something online, I always look for ways to save money on my order. I recommend doing a Google search for coupon codes. Some of the websites that come up that are reliable are and I try all the codes listed that match the requirements for my order. I've gotten free shipping and up to 20% off my purchases doing this. It's definitely worth a shot to try if you have a couple minutes while placing your order.