Since quitting my job, I’ve been working as a freelancer. That means my monthly income fluctuates month-to-month. Because of that instability, I’ve needed to save money now more than ever.

However, when I quit my job, I wanted my overall life to improve. I wanted the freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted to do it. But living like that would stress me out. I’ve always been frugal with my money, so I wasn’t too worried. But I also have an online shopping problem.

So I needed to find ways to make smarter choices when it came to how I spent my money that didn’t involve me not spending money. Does that even make sense? Or am I just trying to justify my shopping habits?

Ebates

If you’re not using Ebates, you’re missing out on deals. Essentially all you have to do is click their affiliate link to take you to the website you want to shop at (there are hundreds on their list) and you’ll earn a percentage back. They send out checks quarterly and sometimes, you can cash in your cash for gift cards and they’ll increase the amount. Why not get cash back on the things you were going to purchase anyway?

Sign up for Ebates using my link and you’ll get an additional $10 when you make your first purchase of $25.

Ibotta

Ibotta is an app you can download that offers cash back and rebates. You pick the store you’re going to be shopping at and then clip the rebates you’d like to redeem. Once you’ve made your purchases, you just scan your receipt to earn the rebates. The cash is deposited into your account and you can withdraw funds via PayPal or Venmo (they also offer certain gift cards as well) once you hit $20.

It’s an easy to use, cash back rewards app.  I use it every time I shop and thought you would like it too! Use my referral code, pvkuifi, and you can get a $10 welcome bonus. Sign up at https://ibotta.com/r/pvkuifi.

Grocery Store Apps

This will depend on where you’re located, but it never hurts to see if your local grocery store has an app. Currently, I shop at both Wegman’s and Shoprite. Both stores’ apps offer digital coupons that you can “clip” and then the discount will come off automatically when using your store savings card. They’re mainly manufacturer coupons, which is nice because I also seem to forget my coupons at home. Having them pre-loaded onto my card makes my shopping trips easier. I even use the apps to create digital lists that include the items I have coupons for and anything else I need to pick up during that shopping trip. My favorite part about these lists is the fact that the apps tell you which aisle each item is in.

Amazon Subscribe & Save

Now that I have cats, there are certain things, like their food and litter, that I need to replenish regularly. That stuff ain’t cheap. While I was shopping around for my best options, I turned to Amazon because I am a loyal Prime Member. I love the fact that I don’t have to leave my house to get these essentials. There are a lot of products sold on Amazon that are eligible for their Subscribe & Save program. And a good number of the eligible products will offer a discount if you subscribe to at least 5 items per month. It’s super easy to edit your subscriptions or skip a month if you need to. But now I get things like my cats’ supplies and my personal vitamins delivered monthly for less.

(Also, since I have the Amazon Prime credit card, I earn 5% cash back on my Amazon purchases, so double benefits.)

I’ve racked up crazy amounts of cash back over the years. Receiving those checks or transfers is a nice way to save up money to treat yourself even if your monthly earnings are already budgeted. What are your favorite ways to save?

piggy bank