Open Mic 9/18/2014

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Open Mic is a post every Thursday that is a mini-version of a discussion board. You can leave a comment with whatever coupon, money-saving or debt reduction tips or questions you have and other readers chime in and answer.

When you leave a comment on this post, you’ll be able to choose whether you’d like to be emailed follow-up comments or not. Getting comments via email is a great way to stay connected without having to visit the site a bazillion times (although I don’t mind if you come a bazillion times).

As always, I look forward to hearing the voice of the Pocket Your Dollars community. Read through the Open Mic archives here.

Your turn: Leave a comment with your money-saving, coupon or debt reduction question, thought or suggestion.

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  1. mikey says

    Has anyone been to the Stone Lake cranberry festival? If so, how was it? Any nice campgrounds or hotels nearby? Is there enough to do in the area to make a weekend of it? We’ve been to the Warrens,WI cranberry festival so thought we’d check out another festival this year.

    • Helperlady says

      We took a tour of the cranberry fields at Glacier Lake Cranberries. It was a very informative trip and we saw it all close-up with an owner narrating us on the bus. Highly recommend this tour. I think it was 1 1/2 hours. Can’t quit talking about it.

    • Rene S says

      I live with DH in a household of two, but more than get my money’s worth out of our membership. Any OTC supplement or medication is WAY cheaper at Costco, things like ibuprofen, vitamins, fish oil, etc. Watch their monthly flyers because many things regularly have monthly “sales.” Milk is a great price, as are loaves of bread, and their rotisserie chicken is the cheapest I’ve found anywhere. I buy Dawn dish soap, laundry detergent, baking soda (for household cleaning), and large jugs of vinegar t oo.

      FYI, If you buy any electronics, Costco adds another year to the manufacturer’s warranty.

    • says

      I buy organic produce (fresh, frozen, and canned), shelf stable soy milk, paper products, clothing, motor oil, bakery products, oatmeal, spices, canned beans, chips, and pop.

    • lori says

      Make sure you are on the mailing list. You will get a booklet monthly with specials.

      I get Kleenex, paper towels and vitamins regularly. I also gas up the car frequently as they are almost always the cheapest place.

    • Fawn says

      I always get my ground beef at Costco, it’s very good quality. Also their pork roasts. I love their bakery items especially the 1/2 sheet cake for celebrations, only 2 flavor choices but the white cake with the cream cheese filling is delicious (I’ve never tried the chocolate). If you have a dog the Kirkland Signature dog food is a quality product at a reasonable price. They usually have good prices on the seasonal items as well.
      Go in the early afternoon on Saturday or Sunday for the samples. I have bought several things after trying the samples and those items are often on special. Stop by the food counter on the way out for an inexpensive lunch or treat.

    • JoAnna says

      Costco is great for organic items, meat, seafood, cheese, milk, fresh produce, spices, coffee, vinegar, oil, bread, snacks, electronics (love the warranty and return policy)……I pay for the Costco membership and received a free Sam’s membership—prefer Costco hands down.

      • Sara says

        This is the only place I will buy meat. Especially now that Rainbow is no longer with us. I would occasionally buy rainbows meat. Love Costco quality of meat. Butcher department meats. Also their fresh fruit, asparagus, Tazo Chai Tea, Charmin toilet paper (when their is a coupon), chips are certainly cheaper.

        • Cheri A says

          I buy many of the same things mentioned by the others. I also buy contact solution. It regularly goes on special and is two huge bottle of Renu and a travel size for less than you can get it for at the other stores. They are expanding their line of gluten-free items, and I also buy that for two family members.

  2. sally says

    I’m so tired of signing in to cartwheel every time. Any way to avoid this? Also would like to a feature on that you could go to coupons, cartwheel, and Target .com. What I mean is when I’m in cartwheel and want go to coupons or Target .com I have to get out of cartwheel and sign in again.

  3. JoAnna says

    Herbergers has a great end of season swimsuit sale. If you have shop runner it looks like they all qualify for free 2 day shipping

  4. Kris L. says

    Ibotta or Savings Star…or both? Who’s using them and what are the perks and/or disadvantages?

    I’ve used Ibotta a couple of times…they don’t seem to have very many offers. Just downloaded Savings Star….currently looking at it…seems a lot like Ibotta.


    • Cris says

      I’ve been using ibotta, Savings Star, Checkout 51 and Shopmium since the beginning of the summer. I only use them for items that I would have purchased anyway. I think there are pros and cons to each app.

      Checkout 51 has the easiest redeeming process and probably the fastest too (my rebates are usually processed within a few hours). Checkout 51 is nice because you don’t have to shop at a certain store. The downside is that you need to have $20 to cash out, which is tough to do since most rebates are for 25 cents. I’m up to $8.00 so far.

      ibotta is my favorite because I buy a lot of the products that are constantly available for redemption (yay for Chobani). I like all the teamwork bonuses and usually get an extra dollar or two a month that way. I think you only need to have $5 to cash out, and you can choose to use paypal or venmo. I’ve saved $21.00 so far with ibotta.

      Shopmium is nice because you don’t have to have a certain amount to cash out, each rebate automatically goes to your paypal account. I just don’t buy a lot of the products offered, so I don’t use it frequently. I did get a $2 referral bonus, which was cool. I think I’ve saved around 7 dollars so far.

      Then there’s Savings Star. This is my least favorite of the bunch. I’ve had a hard time getting my items to scan using the app. I’ve had receipts get rejected without being given a reason. Sometimes I’ve resubmitted the receipts and then they work, but not always. You can’t stack manufacturer coupons with Savings Star, so there’s not much savings there anyway. I may never make it to the $5 minimum for cashing out because it’s been such a hassle. I’ve saved $2.39 so far.

      So…it really depends on where you shop and what you buy and how much effort you want to put into this rebate process. Hope this helps! :)

      • steve says

        I like to save money and get a deal whenever possible. I think it is great that you are trying to use these items. I personally think it is to much work. I want immediate savings or I am not willing to do it.

      • Becky says

        Saving Star works nicely if you have it linked to your grocery card. You don’t even have to think about it – if you buy something on your list (you do have to go to your account and “activate” the deals), you automatically get credit in your account. I don’t have a smartphone, so I only use it at one store. However, in the past year or so, I have been able to cash out for Amazon gift cards several times.

  5. Amy says

    This weekend there’s a fun, family-friendly event where kids get to try a bunch of sports and give back to the community. There’s cricket, rugby, soccer (with former world cup player Tony Sanneh), yoga, karate, arts& crafts — all for a $10 donation to help a local nonprofit!

    Our family has gone for years:

  6. Mary says

    Does anyone have any tips on how to get helium filled balloons for a party? I have a bunch of balloons so was at first thinking of renting or buying a helium tank. Any tips on where this would be cheaper? Or is it cheaper just to buy balloons and have them filled at a store? Thanks in advance!

    • says

      Dollar Tree sells mylar balloons in a variety of designs for $1 eached, which includes helium. That is by far the best deal you can find. I am not sure if they will fill your own for you though.

  7. Earnest says

    Which is the best trusted & affordable car body work place where I can fix the window switches of my car? I checked with Abra Body care and they gave a price estimate of $146 which is expensive. Any suggestions or recommendations would be appreciated. Thank you!

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