Save money on Mother’s Day 2016 flowers

In case you haven’t been paying attention to the barrage of ads, Mother’s Day is fast approaching – May 8. But don’t panic as I have got you covered on how to save money on Mother’s Day flowers. And, unless you are fortunate to live close enough to hand deliver them to your Mom (not me), you are likely going to pay a premium for service charges/delivery fees. Here’s what you can do.

First, before any online purchase, you should definitely hunt for a shopping portal that will pay you cash back or frequent flyer miles for your purchase. Today, I used Mr. Rebates because they were promoting 15% cash back at 1-800-Flowers. Save money right off the bat with 15% off your total bill! Ok, here’s the somewhat hard part though: get an idea of what you are looking for flower wise first. Does you Mom like tulips? Perfect. Keep that in mind when you are searching the big sites like FTD and 1-800 Flowers. Next, you are going to want to sort by price to get a starting point for what you are wiling to spend. There are definitely a few tricks employed by sites like FTD to steer you towards higher prices. For example, what may look like $59.99 for tulips might be for 30 of them. If you dig a little deeper, you can see that the same tulips can be bought for $39.99, for 15 of them. Mom won’t mind a few less tulips.

Save money easily by searching by lowest price first

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Credit: 1-800 Flowers

Got your flowers in mind? Great. Ok, here are the next few hurdles that might trip you up. Depending on what day of the week you are looking to have the flowers delivered, the price definitely goes up. For example, send flowers on that Thursday before Mother’s Day and the service charge is less than what it would be if you were to have the flowers shipped on Saturday. Here’s a tip. Make yourself look better than your siblings by sending the flowers EARLY. Not only will you look good and save money, your Mom will love your initiative, and your siblings will be jealous of the attention you get.

Before pushing send on the order. It definitely pays to see what discounted gift cards might be available for purchase as well. In my experience, it was cheaper to buy from 1-800 Flowers because there were discounted gift cards available at Gift Card Granny at up to 50% off. FTD had only one option available. (Tip: make sure the gift card is for online use. These come in the form of ecodes or egift vouchers and have a long string of numbers and a PIN to use. If you accidentally buy a physical, plastic gift card, it may not work online. Don’t forget to use the gift card when checking out.)

Ok, I know you’re getting anxious, but were not done yet. With any online shopping, you also want to see if there are any promo or coupon codes available. This is pretty easy. Download the Coupons at Checkout or Honey plug ins and they will do the hard searching for you. I have discussed these apps before and they are phenomenal tools.

Last thing to keep in mind is providing your phone number as the “recipient.” This is because if there’s an issue with the order delivery, you don’t want your Mom to have to deal with it. It is possible to save money on flowers. Follow these tips and everyone will be happy!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Big money savings news – RetailMeNot acquires GiftCardZen

For big fans of discounted gift cards and coupon codes, like this blogger, this RetailMeNot acquisition is exciting and it could greatly simplify money savings strategies I have discussed many times before. For a while, I have been hoping for a more seamless coupon + discounted gift card shopping integration experience. This may be one more step there.

According to their press release:

“Acquisition Significantly Expands RetailMeNot’s Operational Abilities and Digital Savings-Oriented Content to Enhance Consumer Experience and Drive Long Term Growth”

Agree with that statement. They have been a coupon force for some time now and are typically the go-to place for whenever I am looking for a deal.

What will the “new” RetailMeNot site look like?

retailmenot

Credit: RetailMeNot

Details of the future partnership are few but it looks like there will be an integration of discounted gift card buying opportunities alongside displaying coupon codes for retailers. This would be my guess.  I have used Giftcard Zen previously and found them to be very fast when processing electronic gift cards (or ecodes) – nearly instantaneously vs. waiting up to several days after the transaction for the purchase to be verified. With these types of gift cards, instead of a plastic card, you receive a 16 digit number and a PIN which for many retailers can be used in store or online.

Since they are a quick processor, my hope is that RetailMeNot develops some sort of plugin, webapp, or app that allows seamless check out process that allows one to simultaneously buy an appropriate value discount gift card and apply a coupon code. This would cut a step in the process of maximizing money saving while shopping online.

We’ll have to stay tuned to see how the details will shake out. In the mean time, for the many other gift card resellers out there, take note.

P.S. sorry for the “pause” in posting. Life got in the way.

An update on my attempt to save money on my monthly bills

Last week, I discussed that I was going to try to save money on some of my monthly bills by negotiating with the service providers. I targeted three principal offenders – cable, mobile, and car insurance. Car insurance is legally necessary, and of course phones are hard to live without. Internet is practically on the same, if not higher, priority than a phone. Data plans are somewhat unnecessary but really convenient. However, since Internet service can be costly without bundling it with cable t.v., a viable alternative is still somewhat elusive for home use. This week, I wanted to provide on an update on my progress.

I am please to report that 2 out of 2 attempts to save money on services so far have been successful! My car insurance company and I keep playing phone tag, so I have nothing to report there, yet.

Save money easily by calling these providers and negotiating

Verizon –                                           Before: $145

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Verizon told me about plans I didn’t even know existed

After:   $110

Total Savings: $35 or 25%

 

 

 

 

 

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Our regional Internet / cable provider played ball

RCN –  Before: $165

After:  $155

Total Savings: $10 or 6%

 

 

Keep in mind that these are monthly savings, so annually, we are looking at $540! And, I haven’t even gotten around to negotiating with my insurance provider yet to try to save there. But, I am pretty confident I can knock down the premium they charge me.

When I discussed the various negotiation methods to save money, I was thinking my strategy would include playing the loyalty card since I have had these providers for years. Their service is overall good so I didn’t think it was necessary to try to quit them as a tactic in my case. If you have had any particular service provider for a while and you aren’t happy with them, then by all means threaten to quit as a tactic. Overall, the takeaway is that YOU are more empowered to save on monthly bills than you thought possible. It just takes a small bit of research, or a convincing argument at least, that your bills are too high.