The holidays are fast approaching and right around this time of year, most of us are wondering what we can do to have a little extra cash for gifts and/or travel.

Around my house, we’re always looking for new ways to reduce what we spend and it really does pay off in the form of having extra money for weekend trips, baby gear, and the occasional shopping spree. I have found recently that if you look close enough, you can find a coupon or a rebate on almost ANYTHING you buy.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to save and earn on everyday purchases.

Couponing has been around forever and there are some people out there who are so good at it that their grocery bills are cut to almost nothing. I’m not anywhere close to that good, but I have found that using the app is an excellent tool for saving on just about anything I get from the grocery store. Often, I can purchase double what I intended to for the same price as if I had no coupon an at all – which has come in very handy while trying to stockpile certain things for after the baby gets here, like toilet paper, non-perishable school lunch items, and cereal. has the usual printable coupons as well as coupon codes you can use in certain stores. You can also attach it to your grocer’s loyalty cards and automatically load your coupons for your next shopping trip and check out their cashback offers and dining rewards!

IBOTTA is an app you download on your phone that gives you cashback on your verified purchases. Before you shop, peruse through their offers and select the ones that apply to you. They will usually have you watch a video or answer a survey question in order to add the offer to your dashboard (that’s how they make their money) and after you finish your shopping, you take a photo of your receipt and once it is verified, funds are deposited into your account where you can transfer them via PayPal or directly to your bank.

Added bonus: IBOTTA has a referral program where you can share a link and you get a bonus when your friends and family sign up for the app using that link! is a rebate program similar to Ebates but with better cashback offers. To use either of these services, you have to shop through the app or online interface. That can be a little tedious but when you consider that you’ll make back 6-10% of what you spend, it’s worth it! is great for holiday purchases or if you’re like me and most of the shopping you do is online. Ebates has some decent offers and more mainstream exposure, but on average, TopCashBack pays back twice as much.

It used to be that every time you walked to the Target checkout, you’d be asked if you want to sign up for a Target RED Card and save 5% on your purchase. I would never do that because the last thing I needed was another credit card – especially at Target. But now the Target RED Card has been reinvented – you can get the card as a debit card attached to your regular bank account and get the same savings as you would with the credit card!

Some of the perks of using the Target RED Card include

  • Free shipping on your online purchases
  • 5% off everyday purchases
  • Savings on their subscription services
  • 5-50% off using the Cartwheel app

Microinvesting is becoming the new norm. When you use a microinvesting service like Acorns, you simply download the app, attach your account information to your profile, and set your parameters and the service does the rest. In most cases, when you make a purchase, Acorns rounds your purchase amount up to the next dollar and then invests that change as it builds up so that your money makes money.

You can even program your account to automatically deposit cash at scheduled intervals or make one-off deposits to use it as a mini-savings accounts (most of the time with better interest). Plus, if you sign up for Acorns using my referral link, you get a bonus $5 reward when you make your first deposit!

See details here.

For More Information on Saving Money and Stretching Your Dollar

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