My friends tell me I know how to find the best deals. If there’s a special, I certainly find it. If you are looking for ways to save money, you can do so in every aspect. This is the start of a penny pinching series, specializing in shopping malls. Some of these you might know while others might be new to you.
Shopping Malls: In an effort to increase shopping in stores outside department stores in our mall, customer service offers a $25 mall gift card to the first 20 shoppers everyday to have receipts that total over $150. This is not an advertised special but was something I found out by looking at the billboards coming into the mall. Check to see if your mall offers this. For those who work at the mall, ask retailers if they offer an employee discount. This can save you money on food and other purchases. Lastly, shop during the Friends & Family sale, where such stores as Lord & Taylor offer 25% off of prices. Ask non-department stores if they will honor that friends and family discount as well. Don’t forget your coupons so you can double up on your savings where you can.
JCPenney: JCPenney has many ways to stretch your dollar. First thing to do is to join JCPRewards, which is absolutely free. Every time you use your credit card, it is tracked online. Once you accumulate 250 points during one calendar month, you get a $10 free reward certificate. Just know you can only get one a month so you might want to delay future purchases so you can qualify for a rewards certificate. Get on their mailing list so you can get $10 reward certificates in the mail as well. These usually come out around Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, but occasionally will be sent out throughout the year. If you get multiple certificates, go and use them for seperate transactions so you can get it all done on one day (you save money on gas spent for multiple trips too). Lastly, don’t forget to take advantage of the coupons they hand out in the store for $10 off a $75 purchase or more. What’s really great is using the 15% off coupon, $10 off $75 purchase and JCP Reward certificates and seeing your total savings at the end. Don’t forget to take advantage of JCPenney’s portrait studio coupons that are mailed out and don’t let them bully you into purchasing the Portrait Club to have zero sitting fees. You will notice the coupons mailed and emailed to you always seem to offer a free 8×10 and no sitting fee.
JCPenney Fun Family Perks: If you order via the catalog or internet, you will be invited to join JCPenney Fun Family Perks. It is a free membership for 30-45 days, depending on the special at the time, and you will receive a $10 voucher just for trying it out. It was amazing how quickly the check was received! This membership is virtually the Entertainment Book that you can access internet specials as well. While the savings to theme parks aren’t the greatest, you will be happy with the fou $25 vouchers you get for Just For Fun. Simply go have fun, whether it’s horseback riding, a vacation, or whatever you choose and mail in the voucher to get $25 cash back. While the voucher can take two to three weeks to come in, you can cancel your membership while you are waiting for your voucher and you will still receive it. They will confirm you were a member on the date of the activity and mail your check. If you don’t have an Entertainment Book or see yourself taking advantage of many of the specials, you might consider retaining the membership after your trial membership is over.
Price Guarantee: Do note that online prices might be cheaper than the store so see if it will save you money to order merchandise over the internet over going to the store. Check out RetailMeNot or do a Google search for coupons for the store you wish to shop at. Members of JCP Fun Family Perks can earn money to spend at JCPenney by receiving points for what is purchased online. If you really want to double dip for point earning, sign up for UPromise, which is a great way to save for college. Download the UPromise tracker as it will automatically track the purchases for you to receive cash back in your UPromise college account as well. Of course if you use a credit card that gives you points based on purchases, you get more bang for your buck. Some stores will match online prices to provide excellent customer service so it never hurts to ask. Lastly check the sale prices as if they decrease in price after you purchased them, you get the best price guarantee. Don’t forget to fill out surveys to get 15% off your next order or purchase as the savings can mount up there too.
If you keep your eyes peeled for specials and aren’t afraid to ask to save some money, your money can go a little longer than what you would’ve been able to spend before, which can make purchasing retail a bit more affordable. This can also open up your budget to go out to eat in restaurants, buy electronics or find good deals online shopping. If you want a shopping budget, you might need to learn penny pinching ideas on saving money on everyday goods, as well as saving money on groceries. Stay tuned for more Penny Pinchers ideas.