Category Archives: Couponing

#CentsAbility Challenge Complete-ish. Financial Literacy Tune-Up Required!

#CentsAbility Mission Complete-ish Christa Clips Save-at-Home-MomMy goal for the Manulife 30-Day #CentsAbility Challenge was to measure my monthly successes and savings, down to the penny. I happily snapped photos of my savings strategies and frugal lifestyle hacks and shared them on Instagram and Twitter, then celebrated the tiny daily achievements of the other #CentsAbility challengers with hearts, thumbs & stars (that’s how us bloggy-types operate!).

  • I saved money by using coupons and price-matching with Flipp at the grocery store
  • I saved money by washing our laundry in cold water during off-peak hours and hanging it out to dry
  • I saved money by working from home and thereby avoiding daycare fees, the cost of commuting, having a professional wardrobe, etc,
  • I made extra money by selling our stuff on UsedOttawa.com

Saving was a cinch! Measuring all of those savings, however, turned out to be a very unmanageable goal …. and almost impossible to calculate!  Turns out there isn’t an app that says “Way to go, Christa, you just saved $4 by showering your kids at the YMCA after swimming lessons and taking advantage of the towel service included in your membership!”Instagram Collage Christa Clips Save-at-Home Mom #CentsAbility Challenge

Something that became glaringly obvious to me, when I lined up all my Instagram photos in my mid-challenge blog post with $2 saved here, and $6 saved there, was that my savings are on a really SMALL scale. And while I’m a firm believer in “it all adds up”, the #CentsAbility challenge has reminded me that I need to take a second look at some of the bigger pieces in our monthly budget.

It’s time for a Financial Literacy Tune-Up

October was a month of #CentsAbility and monitoring my day-to-day spending habits.  I’m devoting the next few months to assessing and changing some of the services we’re paying for each month in our household so that I really understand where my money is going. The fact that November is Financial Literacy Month is perfect timing!  There are oodles of resources and #FLM2014 reminders floating around to help me make sure that I’m not wasting money on these bigger budget pieces, and that I’m tapping into the right resources to stretch my savings even further.  As such, it’s time for a Financial Literacy Tune-Up!

My Financial Literacy Tune-Up to-do-list includes:

  • trim our satellite channels to the bare minimum
  • research Netflix and online streaming as an alternative to satellite in  2015
  • check my internet & home phone bundle to find possible savings
  • research options to cut home phone land line in 2015
  • touch base with Insurance Broker to find possible savings, including bundling life insurance
  • touch base with Mortgage Broker to find possible savings
  • connect with a financial advisor to review longterm savings strategies
  • research credit union or change of bank to save on fees
  • increase  automatic savings contributions
  • research tankless water heaters so we can cut our monthly hot water tank rental

I’m not sure how long it will take me to get through the entire list, and I suspect the list will grow as I discover other monthly charges that have been coasting under my radar over the past few years. I’m grateful to the #CentsAbility challenge for inspiring me to dig a little deeper into my Save-at-Home-Mom strategy to make sure that I’m saving on all levels and stretching those savings as far as possible by tapping into resources available.

So as the 30–Day #CentsAbility challenge comes to a close, I’m ready to start my next challenge, to make sure I’m #DiligentWithMyDollars.  Any words of advice? Or at least a catchier hasthtag?!  Drop a line in the comments below!

Flipp Makes Price-Matching Faster

Download Flipp and enter the $50 Visa Card Giveaway on ChristaClips.com

Download Flipp and enter the $50 Visa Card Giveaway on ChristaClips.com

With more and more stores across Canada offering to match the price of competitors’ sale prices, the opportunity to save on groceries and other purchases has affected the way many of us shop. On the plus side, we’re saving money, sometimes on an extreme scale, and on the down side, the experience at the check-out counter can be a source of frustration for those waiting behind the savvy shopper who is stumbling through flyers to save on their purchase.

We’ll now there’s a FLIPP side – increased savings and decreased time at the checkout counter. If you haven’t discovered Flipp yet, you’re in for a treat!

Flipp saves time and money – it’s FREE, it’s easy, it has rocked the price-matching world!

Flipp is an iOs and Android compatible app that lets you view store flyers, search for the lowest advertised price for an item, and clip all of your best sales onto a shopping list. Instead of lugging paper flyers along to show the best price for an item at the cashier, simply flash your mobile device or smart phone at the cashier and say “I’d like to price-match this item to this flyer”. It’s a price-match revolution!

I price-match my entire grocery list each week. Here’s some of the fresh produce I’ve clipped and added to my Flipp shopping list this week:

By price-matching the lowest price on fresh produce using the Flipp app, Christa Clips saves $10-$20 on groceries each week. That adds up to over $1000 a year!

By price-matching the lowest price on fresh produce using the Flipp app, Christa Clips saves $10-$20 on groceries each week. That adds up to over $1000 a year!

  • Grapes – best price $1.49/lb
  • Apples – best price $2.49 for a 3lb bag
  • Watermelon – best price $2.47 each
  • Cucumbers – best price $.50 each
  • Cauliflower – best price $1.77 each
  • Broccoli – best price $1 each
  • Asparagus – best price $2.97/lb
  • Green Peppers – best price $.79/lb
  • Carrots – best price $2.50 for a 10lb bag
  • Romaine Lettuce- best price $.69 each

By price-matching with Flipp, our family saves $10-$20 on our fresh produce ALONE each week which adds up to over $1,000 in savings per year. A thousand dollars!  So imagine the savings to be found on higher priced personal items like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, diapers, and razors – they’re always on sale, somewhere!  And when it comes to shopping around for major purchase like appliances, electronics, and furniture – remember that if an item is listed in a flyer, Flipp will help you find out where it’s on sale for the best price this week.

No more settling for “that seems like a good deal.”  Flipp has changed the price-matching game so that we are confident that we’re paying the lowest possible price each week!

My favourite part of using Flipp is that I can price-match these best prices at my local Walmart and enjoy all of these savings in a one-stop-shop. I place my groceries on the belt in the same order that they appear in my clippings list on Flipp, and then I scroll through and flash my phone at the cashier for each price adjustment. It’s SO fast! I dare say that most customers behind me are oblivious to the fact that I’m price-matching at all!

Saving on weekly groceries continues to play a role in my Save-at-Home-Mom strategy, and I’m so pleased to have found an app to help me save time as well as money! Join me by trying Flipp …

Happy Saving!

 

Saving on 376 School Lunches with Flipp!

Christa Clips sends her kids back to school with lunchbox savings by FLIPP

Our kids started grade 1 and grade 3 today – they’re super excited and I’m pleased as punch to get back to the blog! First up: how to save time & money on lunchboxes with the Flipp mobile app!

I have 376 school lunchboxes to pack between now and next summer – YIKES!  In addition to saving on all of the fruit, vegetables, bakery and deli items that I’ll pack, pre-packaged lunchbox items are another easy category for savings at the grocery store by using the Flipp app! I commonly stock up on 100% juice boxes, granola bars, pots of fruit sauce, and yogurt tubes (they freeze well!). Before filling our pantries and fridges with lunchbox items that “seem” like a good deal, though, there are a few things to be mindful of:

Know your needs

What are you permitted to take to school when it comes to nutritional ingredients, allergens, and packaging?

Know your limits

How many lunchbox items will you need by the end of the school year and/or the product expires?

  • I have 160 lunchboxes to pack before Christmas (80 days x 2 kids)
  • 96 lunchboxes between New Years and March Break (48 days x 2 kids)
  • 120 lunchboxes between March Break and the end of the school year (60 days x 2 kids)

Know your prices

Keep an eye on sale prices and stock up on your favourite items when they’re on sale. Try to match the sale price with other layers of savings such as coupons, store perks, specially marked packaging with coupons or useful offers, cash back rebates, etc.

The absolute EASIEST way to keep an eye on prices and be ready to stock up on back to school lunchbox items is with the Flipp app! I’ve been an avid Flipp user for over a year now and have been able to save hundreds of dollars and a WACK of time. Here’s how!

How to Use Flipp to SAVE time & money on groceries:

Step 1. Find out if an item you want is on sale this week by typing it into the search bar of the Flipp app

Step 2. Based on the search results, choose the flyer that has your item for the lowest price this week, regardless of where the store is located

Tap the screen to add an item to your Clippings list

Tap the screen to add an item to your Clippings list

Step 3. Add that best price to your Clippings List by tapping on the item

Step 4. Buy the items on your Clippings List and enjoy your savings, knowing that you bought your items at the lowest price offered this week without having to scour the paper flyers on your own!

Tip: Put items on the conveyor belt in the same order as your Clippings list for fast & easy price-matching!

Tip: Put items on the conveyor belt in the same order as your Clippings list for fast & easy price-matching!

Yah … but …..

How can Flipp help me save money if the best price is at a store that’s far away?  

No prob! Simply flash the Flipp app at the cashier of your local store that price-matches! Walmart, Giant Tiger, and Real Canadian Superstore are my three favourite stores to price-match in my neighbourhood.

It doesn’t make sense to pay for an app that will save us money.

Apparently the folks at Flipp agree – it’s a FREE app available for iOS and Android!

I don’t buy processed or packaged foods for our lunchboxes.

Try searching for the best prices on fruit, veggies, dairy, meat, etc. Then price-match them and save on ALL of your grocery needs! One of my many saving mantras is “Grapes are always on sale, somewhere!” Here’s my blog post with 4 Ways to Save on Fresh Produce.

I don’t have a data package on my mobile device.

Even though many stores offer free WiFi access now, there is the odd “dead zone”. To remedy this, the Flipp app has a great cache system. Simply open any flyers that you might want from home or wherever you’re connected to the internet. Then when you’re out shopping, anything you’ve previously opened and/or clipped will be accessible without internet connection when you open the app next!

I get embarrassed about holding up the line when I’m trying to price-match and/or use coupons.

Fumbling through paper flyers while trying to organize our items on the conveyor belt can trip up even the most seasoned couponer or price-matcher. Flipp makes checking out while price-matching SO much easier! I put all of my regular items on the belt first and put a divider bar down before placing my items to price-match in order as I scroll through my clippings list on my phone or iPad.

  • Me: “I’ve got a few items to price-match after the divider bar”
  • Me: “Grapes are on sale for $.99/lb at FreshCo. this week”
  • Show the cashier the sale price on your Clippings list
  • If the cashier needs to scrutinize the date, size, brand, etc., simply tap the clipped item and it leads directly to the online flyer with all of those details.
  • Cashier: “My oh my, you’re a smart shopper.” *
  • Me: “Why yes, yes I am!”

Hmmm … I really must shoot a quick video to show how fast and simple it is to save time and money at the grocery store with Flipp. Stay tuned! *some parts of the example transaction may be exaggerated!