I thought it would be helpful to create a page full of my favorite things to help me stay on budget. Some things mentioned are specific to Boston but a lot of my favorites are not!
Because I am a big fan of everything mentioned below, there are some affiliate links included in some of the links below. I do get a small thank you if you make a purchase through my link. It is at no additional cost to you and it helps me maintain this very blog. However, please do not feel obligated, especially do not purchase something you do not need– since that wouldn’t be very budget-friendly!
Favorite Current Free Credits
This is a list of current (as of 10/14) free credits or money you can receive for signing up or downloading an app.
- Lyft: Free $10 credit when you sign up for car sharing app Lyft
- Uber: Get a free ride (limits may apply) when you sign up for transportation app Uber
- AirBnB: Get a $20 credit when you spend $75 or more when you sign up for AirBnB
- SpotHero: Free $5 credit for new users which can be used for a cheaper Boston parking garage on the SpotHero app. (Read my post and experience about SpotHero here)
Favorite Ways to Earn Side Money
As much as I would love this blog to pay every bill, it doesn’t. Here are the some sites and sources I use to earn a little side money. Some sources I use all year round and redeem gift cards and points for Christmas gifts!
- Using cashback websites when shopping online is one of my favorite ways to maximize savings. My two favorite cashback sites are Ebates and Shop At Home but there are so many of them! Shop At Home will guarantee the highest cashback percentage and Ebates is great for beginners since they send a check after your first purchase!
- Shopkick is an app I wish I had when I was a teenager when I went to the mall a lot! Shopkick gives you points for checking into stores and more and you can redeem points for gift cards! (For example, I open the app when I walk into Target and instantly get 30 points!)
- Swagbucks is a great way to earn money online by using their search engine, filling out surveys, watching videos, printing coupons, and more! Once you score 450 points, you can redeem for a $5 Amazon Gift Card and more! (I save up for Christmas time!)
- Pinecone Research: I really hate taking surveys to earn extra money because they are usually tedious with little return. However, I do like Pinecone Research and they typically pay $3 per survey.
Favorite Coupon Spots
I use printable and mobile coupons to help save mainly at the grocery store, Target and convenience stores. I find the best coupons are printable coupons and not from the weekly insert from the local newspaper. Here are some of my favorite spots to find coupons to help reduce my shopping bill:
- Coupons.com: An extensive list of coupons that can be printed online. This is probably my favorite site for printable coupons; however, I tend to print them from Swagbucks because I earn points for every coupon used
- Red Plum Coupons: Another site where you can directly print Red Plum coupons
- SmartSource Coupons: Another site where you can directly pring SmartSource coupons
- Hopster Coupons: Another site where you can print coupons from
- Ibotta: A mobile app that you upload your receipt after you shop to save even more money on certain items at certain stores
- Checkout 51: A mobile app that you upload your receipt from any store to help save money on certain items (Read my post here for tips). New offers are released every Thursday
- Snap by Groupon: A mobile app similar to Ibotta and Checkout 51 but it easy to use and has different offers as well
- SavingStar: No printing needed! SavingStar links your store rewards card to online coupons and you will earn money back into your account when you redeem an offer. You can cash out via PayPal. (I tend to cash out right before the holidays and use it as gift money!)
Favorite Mobile Apps
Some of these I have already mentioned in other sections, but I figured it would be worth doing a section dedicated to mobile apps I use regularly.
- Lyft is a car-sharing app which is usually cheaper than a taxi and get a free $10 credit for new users
- Uber: An app that connects you with a driver. UberX is the cheapest option and is usually cheaper than a taxi + use promo code UberBostonBudget for a free credit for new users!
- SpotHero: A smartphone app in Boston that searches available parking garages with current rates and lets you pay with the app + get a free $5 credit when you sign up with my referral code! (This is a nice back up when I can’t find a metered spot)
- Ibotta: A mobile app that you upload your receipt after you shop to save even more money on certain items
- Checkout 51: A mobile app that you upload your receipt from any store to help save money on certain items (Read my post here for tips!)
- Shopkick: Shopping at a mall or store? Simply open the app to receive points for walking into a store. For example, I open the app at the entrance of Target and I receive 30 points just for being there.
Favorite Websites and Resources
- Restaurant.com: Restaurant.com is one of my favorite websites to score discount dining certificates for local restaurants. Usually you need to spend a specific amount, but it is perfect for special occasions or larger groups. I’ve had a really positive experience switching certificates if a restaurant had gone out of business or if I’d rather eat somewhere else
- Goldstar: Goldstar is a great site for discount event tickets, comedy shows, duck tour tickets and much more! (You can read about my experience buying discount comedy tickets at Laugh Boston here)
- Entertainment Book: Entertainment Book is a big green book filled with coupons for a specific area. I have bought the Boston book the last few years, and it is great to throw in the car for last minute discounts and fun!
- Priceline: Priceline is a website that I use when I need to book a no thrills hotel at the lowest price possible. The negative thing with Priceline is that you can’t see the hotel before you book if you are bidding and you can’t pick amenities. However, for a cheap and quick hotel stay, Priceline is great.
- Zozi: Zozi is an adventure loving daily deal site that has great deals on gear, local adventures and getaways! (I had to return something and had great customer service.) Also, get a free $10 credit when you signup to put towards your first purchase.
- Groupon & LivingSocial are two daily deal sites are quite similar to me, but I always like to browse to see if there’s any great deals
- Amazon Local: Amazon local is Amazon’s daily deal site and then have a lot less deals than other sites but it is a lot easier to browse!
- Amazon Prime: I have an Amazon Prime account which offers free two-day shipping, free movie streaming, and more! My husband tends to use my Amazon Prime account more for free shipping, but it is such a nice perk. Although I find the movies and TV series older, it is nice to have a free option for streaming online.
Above are all the websites, mobile apps, resources and more that I use quite often to help me save money and more!
Let me know if I am missing out on any great resources, and I will try to check them out!
*As mentioned above, this post does contain some affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy here if you have any questions. However, they are all sources I would recommend anyway!