Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Part 2 - Notashopaholic Unemployment Survival Guide

Use Your Points
Ever wonder to do with all those points you accumulate at the grocery store and other places? Now is the perfect time to use them. Use your Air Miles, HBC Rewards, Aeroplan, Shoppers Optimum, Scene points to redeem for gift cards, merchandise, or tickets to events. It is a great to be able to get out and do something without feeling guilty about it. Depending on the rewards program, the points may only be able to be redeemed in stored on purchases, which is fine, that saves you money as well. I used Air Miles to redeem for a $50 Cara Foods gift card. It can be used at Second Cup, Kelseys, Milestones and I few more places. It was a great way to be able to meet friends for dinner and not cost me anything.
If you currently don't have a Scene points card, get one! You receive points every time you go to the movies and only 1000 Scene points gets you free admission. Bonus-you'll get 10% off of your popcorn and drinks too!

Coupons can go along way to saving you money. You can get coupons for almost anything these days, its not just for groceries anymore. This is something you need to be dedicated too and it may take some time to find your coupons and organize them, but this can save you a great deal of money. Combine your coupon use when those items are on sale and you will see an even bigger savings. Take your search for coupons to the Internet where there are websites where you can pick and choose the coupons you want and print them out. Some great websites to look at are: SmartCanucks.ca, Save.ca (these coupons will be mailed to you), and GrocerySavings.com.
Red Flag Deals is a website you should always keep an eye on. Visitors post various sales and deals from a variety of stores, companies and websites all across Canada. If there is a deal to be had, you should be able to find it on here. Coupons for the deals will also usually be posted for printing off.
Most manufacturers or product companies will issue their own coupons and email them to those on their distribution list. If you buy a lot of products from one company, make sure you look into this. I just signed up for Alberto product emails and coupons yesterday.
Whats the best way to get free stuff? Win it! This is a good way to get free tickets to events or even free items themselves. Now be sure if you are entering a contest you know it is legitimate. Some of the contests I have entered have been from shopping malls, radio stations, magazines I subscribe to. Tim Hortons had an online contest for Roll Up The Rim where you could enter your email address for a chance to win free coffee for a year. I didn't win that one, at least I could play without having to buy the coffee!
Gift Cards
If your birthday or the holidays fall during your unfortunate loss of employment, ask for Gift Cards. There is no shortage of places you can get them from and they will come in very handy. My wonderful chiquita's gave me a Mastercard Gift Card for my birthday and Christmas. The best thing about that baby? I can use it wherever they take Mastercard, basically a Gift Card you can use anywhere!!!!! The girls did good on this one. I'm telling you its the best gift I have ever gotten. There is also a Visa Gift Card if you have a preference. The girls picked up the MC card at Shoppers Drug Mart had it activated and away I went! I'm still using it.

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