Day 1: We all have to shop! Why not save money while doing it?
Day 2: The Language of Couponers – Translated!
Day 3: Where Art Thou Coupons?
Day 4: Know Thy Coupon (What does that fine print mean?)
Day 5: When to Use Your Coupons
Day 6: Buy Groceries, Pay for College with Upromise eCoupons
Day 7: eCoupons the Alternate to Clipping
Day 8: Don’t Get Mad, Get a Rain Check
Day 9: Advance Your Couponing Skills with Rebates
Day 10: Stockpiling
Yes, you can buy groceries AND save for college. How? With a completely FREE program called Upromise. After signing up for Upromise and linking your store rewards cards like a Kroger Plus Card, Meijer One Card, CVS Extra Care Card, Marsh Fresh Idea Card and more, you will begin earning a small percent on participating items. You can earn in other ways but this is the easiest way and it requires you to do nothing besides buy things as you normally would.
Another way, which is new in the last year is called Upromise eCoupons. For this, you also have to have your store cards linked to your account but you will also want to go into the eCoupon portion each month and activate all of the eCoupons available. I never buy something because it is specifically on the eCoupon list but I go ahead and activate them all just in case I buy something on the list. At least once a month I buy a few items. So I’ve easily collected $10 in my account by making the same purchases as I normally would.
Upromise eCoupons are not taken off your bill at the register but rather credited to your Upromise account. So you can use manufacturer’s coupon along with the eCoupons. A few of my favorite eCoupons right now $1 for buying Huggies, $1.50 for Huggies Supreme, .45 for Little Debbies 100 calorie snacks, .50 for Charmin (we all have to use TP!), and many more.
We’ve had our Upromise account since the first year it started and we’ve accumulated a nice amount from this program by doing nothing extra than our normal spending. Every little bit counts especially when you are saving for college. What is nice about Upromise is you can also set up a 529 plan through Upromise and have your earning go directly into the acount.
If you don’t know about 529 plans, the highlights include:
- Earnings are free from federal or state tax.
- Qualified withdrawals are free from federal tax
- You can use savings from your 529 plan at any accredited college
- You maintain control of the account
All of our children have a 529 set up in their name and we add any gift money their receive to their account and a small amount every month. They all have “Age Based Plans” and while they do not have a huge amount of money in their account, it has far outperformed our Simple Retirement Fund Investments. It has actually made money while our personal retirement plans have only lost money!
So maybe you don’t have a child? You can allocate your Upromise earnings to someone else – maybe a grandchild, another relative, or a friend. Here’s one other little trick – Current College student listen up! You can even name YOURSELF as the beneficiary and use it for current college expenses, future college expenses OR student loan payments. If you are in college, you can add money to your own 529 plan and benefit from the tax savings as some states like Indiana even allow a small tax credit for contributing to your account. of course, there are limits so you will want to check with your own financial advisor for more information or read more about it on Upromise.com.
Other ways to earn
- Register your debit & credit cards. You will earn $ when shopping at participating retailers
- Shop online through their links.
- Ask your friends and family to link to your account.
- Sign up for the Citibank Upromise Credit Card. You will earn for your purchase. Just make sure to pay it off every month or you will negate your savings with the finance charges.
- Check out the Upromise Message boards for creative ways to save and earn with Upromise. Currently, they have a messiest room picture contest. Too bad we just cleaned the kid’s rooms. You can win $150 gift card to Kmart if you have the messiest room.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up for Upromise and pay for college.
The 15 Days of Couponing will guide you through the art of couponing. It is a skill that you can learn and maximize to the full potential to help your family and help others. So if you are interested in cutting your grocery budget in half or more, read yesterday’s edition and stay tuned for tommorrow’s edition where I will tell you about more places you can use and find eCoupons!