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Tag Archive: Reader Tip

Reader Tip: Get Cash For Your Unclaimed Property!

Devon emailed the following tip:

Each state has requirements that all banks, insurance companies, and other businesses report “unclaimed property” to the state after a certain amount of time (in California it is 3 years).

You can search for your name in the database your state set-up and see if there is any money the state is holding for you.

For instance, I had submitted a refund for lotion I bought many years ago, the company sent it to the wrong address and the check was essentially lost. My name was on the California Unclaimed Property database and I was able to file for the $3.00.

I know of other people who searched and ended up finding hundreds of dollars — so it’s worth a couple minutes to check and see if your name is there.

I would suggest doing an online search for “________ Unclaimed Property Database” and put your state in the underlined blank. Generally, you just fill out an online form and hit ‘submit’ or print out and mail in the form to your state controller’s office. It’s fairly simple and the turn around time was quick for my claim!

Here is the link to California’s database for unclaimed property if you want to see what it looks like. I’m guessing the forms for other states would be similar.

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Reader Tip: Get Paid to Workout Using Walgreens’ Balance Rewards

Katie, from Saving You Everything, sent in the following tip:

If you’re one of the many people who pay for a gym membership, you might be interested to know how I get paid to workout!

I belong to a local gym that charges me $10.49/month to workout; however, I use Walgreens Balance Rewards recoup that cost!

Most people know you can earn Balance Rewards points for purchases, but did you know that you can also earn them for logging good health behaviors like exercising, weighing-in, and quitting smoking?

You can link your Balance Rewards account with your smartphone or FitBit-type device so it automatically records activity. Or you can manually log into your account to track your activities. (It’s on the honor system.)

The Walgreens Balance Rewards program will give you a credit of 20 Balance Rewards every time you log one mile of walking or running (up to $10.00 per month). So if you log at least 50 miles a month, you will earn $10 a month.

You can also earn Balance Rewards for other activities like weighing in and setting healthy weight goals. You can even combine coupons when redeeming your points for even more savings.

It’s really a win-win situation!

On top of all of this, my health insurance will reimburse me the cost of my gym membership IF I go at least 12 times a month! How great is that?!

Free Magazines, Audiobooks, and TV Shows with My Library Card

library-card

Elizabeth emailed in the following tip:

I have seen so many deals about getting magazines cheaper; but our Austin, Texas library actually offers FREE magazines through a site called Zinio. I can link my Zinio account to my library card and the magazines download onto my tablet. I am even notified whenever a new issue of the magazine comes out every month!

I can also download audiobooks through Overdrive so I can listen to while I drive. This account is also linked to my library card.

And then there is Hoopla, also linked to my library card, which gives me about 5 movies, tv shows, or music selections each month — all for FREE!!

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How I Get Free Magazines

free-magazines

Liz emailed the following tip: 

I absolutely adore magazines! Flipping through the pages is such a relaxing time for me, and I can do this with a limited amount of time. However, I do not like paying for magazines. So I have found a way to help the environment and enjoy my magazines!

The local recycling company in town partners with RecycleBank, and you earn points every time you recycle. You can “cash in” your points in the reward store, and I typically use mine on magazines! I try to subscribe to a variety to keep my mind fresh and to broaden my perspectives.

Recently my subscriptions have included Food Network, Real Simple, Dwell, Money and Time. When I am done reading, I either pass the magazine onto a friend or they go into my recycling bin.

I have estimated this has saved me around $150 in the past 6 months! Now I can do something I enjoy, while saving money!

Another option is to try your library as they often have copies of recent magazines and you can request back issues.

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4 Tips to Save on Smartphone Service

smartphone-service

Ruth emailed the following tips:

One thing that I often see when looking at money-saving ideas is to get rid of your smartphone. It’s usually assumed that smartphone service is very expensive… however, that isn’t always the case!

My husband and I have two smartphones, a Samsung Galaxy S5 and a iPhone 6s. We pay a combined household total of no more than $30 per month (occasionally less than that). This includes unlimited texting for both phones, unlimited minutes for both phones, and 2.5 GB of data per phone. (We don’t get overages on data though. When we use up our data, the speed just slows down). We use Cricket Wireless.

Here’s the tips that have helped us to keep our bill so low.

1. Avoid monthly contracts

Monthly contracts keep you locked into the same provider for long periods of time, reducing flexibility. They also “bake in” the price of that discounted smartphone and more, actually costing more in the long run than paying full price for a phone.

It’s cheaper to purchase your phone up front and go with an out of contract option. We chose Cricket Wireless, which does solely month-to-month service with no contract option. If we don’t pay our bill on time, we just wouldn’t have service until it’s paid.

2. Find good deals on phones and own them outright

Android phones, as a rule, tend to have a more variable price range than iPhones. I’ve had two iPhones, one that was purchased on an amazing deal and one that was a hand me down from a relative after they upgraded. (I offered to buy it from them but they had decided on giving it to me)

If I had been unable to find deals on iPhones, I would have gotten an Android.

3. Take advantage of multi-line discounts

Our current provider, Cricket, offers amazing discounts on multiple lines. They allow up to 5 lines on the same account. We found 3 other friends who also wanted to save money and added them to our account. The cost is lower for all of us this way.

4. Find discounted refill cards.

Sometimes we can find Cricket refill cards for sale online at a discounted rate. One time we found a $30 refill card for $27 and another time we found a $30 refill card for $28.50. That doesn’t save a huge amount, but since it only takes about 5 minutes to buy the refill card and add to our account, it’s actually a pretty good “hourly wage” for very minimal effort.

We enjoy smartphones because of the many perks on them, such as budgeting apps, GPS, etc. It’s good to realize that for those who prefer to keep them, there are ways to keep the cost very reasonable.

Ruth has 3 kids, ages 10, 7, and 4, and homeschools. Her family has recently become debt free and are always looking for ways to continue to manage their resources well.

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Reader Tip: Save money with the Boxed online warehouse store

Save money with the Boxed online warehouse store!

Amy e-mailed the following tip:

I have recently discovered and love Boxed! It’s basically like a Sam’s Club or Costco, but without the membership.

You can get TONS of stuff delivered to your door in about 2 days — groceries, beverages, cleaning supplies, paper products, personal items, baby supplies, pet supplies, etc. And shipping is free on orders over $50! I always meet the $50 and then put in a coupon code. It will still allow for free shipping as long as you met the minimum before discounts.

I have purchased mostly lunchbox and school party snacks, but have also used it to stock up on laundry detergent. It’s so nice to have those big items delivered to your house instead of taking up cart space at the grocery store.

I have found that the prices compare similarly to Amazon Subscribe & Save, but you don’t have to remember to stop your subscription service. Friends have also told me that many items are similar to Sam’s Club prices.

They also have great customer service! In my last order, they packaged my laundry soap with the 18 sleeve box of Ritz crackers, which crushed the crackers. I e-mailed them just to let them know and they credited me the FULL price of the ritz crackers!

Have you tried Boxed yet? You can go here to sign up and get started!

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